Alencon Systems has announced the launch of the CUBE — its newest line-up of high power, high voltage DC:DC converters for alternative energy applications. The CUBE, which stands from Combined Universal Buck/Boost Power Electronics, is a compact, centralized, DC:DC optimizer. The CUBE is available to support both 1,000 and 1,500 V DC:DC applications and is available in two modalities — the CUBE-PV for solar applications and the CUBE-ES for battery energy storage applications.
The CUBE is unique among other centralized DC:DC converters by offering a level of power density about five-times greater than other non-isolated DC:DC converters in a similar power class. The CUBE achieves its unrivaled power density via a silicon carbide-based power train. The CUBE is currently patent pending with the United States Patent Office. Like all other Alencon products, the CUBE is designed and built in the United States in Alencon’s Philadelphia-area factory.
The CUBE offers alternative energy project developers a number of unique benefits. For large-scale PV plants, the CUBE-PV provides distributed energy harvesting to increase energy yield for projects using larger central inverters. For such projects, the CUBE will step-up voltage to a central inverter and thus allow the inverter to operate at greater utilization. By doing so, large-scale PV plants can be built with fewer power blocks and thus significantly lower cost. Also, by operating at higher voltage and lower current, the CUBE-PV allows for less copper to be used in the balance of the system. Additionally, the CUBE-PV allows PV plants to be storage-ready. The CUBE-PV can also be a great tool for re-powering older PV arrays.
For battery energy storage applications, the CUBE-ES offers a highly dense, cost-effective package for integrating batteries into DC-coupled solar + storage projects. The CUBE-ES is an ideal solution for stepping up voltage from lower voltage batteries to higher voltage power conversion systems (PCS). As a result of its high switching frequency, the CUBE provides very little additional fault current contribution to an energy storage system.
“The introduction of the CUBE series of DC:DC converters allows Alencon to offer alternative energy project developers yet another unique tool in an increasingly DC-coupled world,” said Alencon Systems president Hanan Fishman. “Alencon has leveraged its decade of expertise in building high-power, high-voltage DC:DC converters with next-generation silicon carbide power electronics to deliver a product of unrivaled power density to the market.”
The Alencon CUBE series compliments Alencon’s existing line-up of galvanically isolated, modular DC:DC optimizers, the SPOT and BOSS. As an example, the CUBE-PV can be paired with the Alencon BOSS, to create cost-effective fixed-voltage DC bus solar + storage projects.
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