The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking to find, drive and deploy new innovative energy solutions to increase the safety of its troops, lower energy costs, and reduce its reliance on foreign energy supplies. So the DOD hosted a Defense Energy Technology Challenge and reviewed over 250 submissions with its Investment and Corporate review committee. Ideal Power Converters (IPC) won with its 3-Port Photovoltaic (PV) and Battery Converter.
IPC says its 3-Port PV and Battery Converter will improve energy efficiency and system costs when combining distributed PV and battery storage systems. The product will accelerate the deployment of combined PV and battery systems in EV fast charging directly from solar carports, reducing peak demand charges of installations, and diesel generator dependency of remote operations.
“The Defense Department has taken a strong leadership position in accelerating adoption of clean energy technologies, and Hawaii is where many of these technologies will be deployed first,” says Paul Bundschuh, Vice President of Business Development for Ideal Power Converters. “We are honored that the DOD has recognized IPC’s technology as impactful for the defense industry and selected IPC as the winner of the Defense Energy Technology Challenge, as this competition encourages and rewards innovative technology and products.”
IPC’s flagship product is a 30-kW solar inverter that delivers 480V AC 3-phase power and supports grounded photovoltaic systems without an internal or external transformer. It weighs only 94lbs compared to the 1,200lbs of conventional 30-kW 480VAC solar inverters with isolation. IPC’s 30-kW solar inverter conforms to UL1741 and achieved a CEC-weighted efficiency of 96.5 percent. This efficiency rating is superior to any other CEC-listed solar inverter under 100kW with isolation for grounded arrays, the de facto standard in the United States.
The solar inverter is used for large commercial rooftop arrays and solar carports, where physical space restrictions can add significantly to installation costs. By using IPC’s light weight inverter, installers have saved $0.15-$0.20/W in Texas and can save over $0.30/W in Hawaii, nearly as much as the solar inverter cost.
Multiple IPC 30-kW solar inverters can be used in larger arrays. System configurations of one to ten inverters are typical, allowing this lightweight modular solar inverter to address one of the largest market segments for photovoltaic systems in the United States. The solar inverter was developed and is being manufactured in volume in the United States at lower cost than competing systems.
IPC will introduce its technology to the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force at the 2012 Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit in Honolulu, August 13-15.