Dutch Firm Invents ‘Idiot-Proof’ Inverter for Home Use

The Dutch company, NKF Electronics, is marketing a home inverter which it claims can allow anyone to generate solar power at home for the grid.

GOUDA, The Netherlands, NL, 2001-11-29 [] “Small solar energy systems may now be obtained without the need for high investments in massive high-capacity equipment,” said NKF officials who unveiled the OK5 inverter during the PV exhibition in München, Germany, last month. “By using (these) AC-modules, the threshold for consumers to invest in green energy has become significantly lower.” “The combination of such an inverter with an 80-140 Watt solar panel makes a perfect AC-module which can be connected to the grid directly,” they explained. “The ‘plug-and-play’ design of the inverter implies that anyone, capable of simply attaching a mains plug to a power lead, will be able to install a PV system safely and easily.” The OK5 measures 20″ by 3″ by 1.5″, and officials claim the unique design offers high performance and a lifespan of 20 years, with galvanic separation between DC and AC which conforms to Class II safety isolation. There is built-in islanding protection with frequency, phase and voltage monitored continuously allowing the unit to switch off within one-tenth of a second if the grid disconnects. “Even for huge PV systems, these AC modules can be of considerable interest; they can be seen as building blocks for every feasible system,” say NKF officials. “Architects will appreciate the technical and esthetical benefits provided by these building elements, being allowed a higher degree of flexibility in their design.” NKF has offices in three countries and claims to have sold 35,000 of its various unit models worldwide.