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Published on October 21st, 2011 | by Andrew

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New Generation Inverters to Drive Down Cost of Solar Power: Interview with Silicon Valley’s ArrayPower

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October 21st, 2011 by
 

Digital and solid state electronics are reshaping the way solar power systems are designed and built, holding out the promise of higher, more efficient performance at significantly lower cost and with a smaller footprint. This is especially true in the market for inverters, which convert direct current (DC) from modules or batteries to the alternating current (AC) used to light and power homes, buildings, appliances and industrial and commercial processes.

As auto manufacturers have done in recent decades, power inverter designers and manufacturers are increasingly using semiconductors and digital, solid state electronics rather than traditional electronic components to design and build power inverters, and they’re incorporating them into solar power modules themselves. They’re also redesigning the wiring and architecture of solar power arrays to increase system performance and efficiencies, as well as make it easier and less costly to install solar power systems capable of reliably supplying grid-ready, commercial-grade electricity.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, ArrayPower is one of a number of power inverter designer/manufacturers that’s taken advantage of Solar Power International (SPI) 2011 in Dallas this week to launch new product lines.

In ArrayPower’s case, that includes launching the ArrayPower Sequenced Inverter, as well as the start-up coming out of Silicon Valley “stealth mode.” Its Sequenced Inverter is the first in the world that reliably converts DC power to grid-ready, commercial-grade, three-phase sequenced AC, according to the company.

A Quintessential Silicon Valley Start-Up

The Antenna Group’s Tomi Maxted and Kimberly Setliff organized a Skype video interview for Clean Technica with ArrayPower CEO Wendy Arienzo and director of business development Nick Cravalho.

The creation of ArrayPower is the quintessential story of a Silicon Valley start-up as Ms. Arienzo describes it. Founded in 2008, the company’s origins go back to a Silicon Valley garage where a group of inventors with expertise in solar and power electronics and semiconductor technology joined in an effort “to perfect a completely novel approach to solar power conversion.”

Successful in their initial efforts, the company’s founders were able to attract seed capital from venture capital firms and attracted the interest of a California manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, one of the top 10 in the world. Arienzo and Cravalho left us guessing as to exactly which company this might be, as they were unable to disclose the name.

* Image courtesy of ArrayPower

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–> Page 2:  Module Design, & Reducing the Leveled Cost of Solar

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About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.



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