Uni-Solar Selects SatCon PV Technology

Uni-Solar, a manufacturer of thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and provider of commercial PV roof system solutions, has selected the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based SatCon Technology Corporation’s PowerGate Power Converter System for integration into Uni-Solar’s PV power generation systems for installations greater than 50 kW.

Auburn Hills, Michigan – November 25, 2003 [] The SatCon Power Converter Systems, essentially large inverters, are designed for use with solar electric systems to convert the DC power from the panels to AC electrical power for use in office buildings, small factories, hotels and similar facilities. “Using the SatCon PowerGate Power Converter System gives us higher efficiency and lower standby mode losses enabling Uni-Solar’s photovoltaic systems to deliver more net energy,” said Allan Gregg, United Solar Ovonic’s director of system engineering and marketing. “Furthermore, the PowerGate Converter has integrated all components required for grid connection, allowing us to reduce our electrical installation cost by as much as 75 percent. The introduction of SatCon’s large converters is timely since we are seeing the majority of market growth in large power installations.” An International Energy Agency (IEA) report on “Trends in Photovoltaic Applications”, a Survey report of selected IEA countries between 1992 and 2002, reported that annual module PV production rose by over 50 percent in 2002 to 482 MW. At an estimated average installed cost of US$7.00 per watt, the annual production rate represents some $3.5 billion dollars in sales globally. Roughly 60 percent of that market represents module costs, which include the cost of power inverters, which typically account for about 15 percent of the hardware cost of a system. The report also stated that the PV market has grown at a rate of roughly 35 percent per year over the past few years. The report Clean Energy Trends 2003, published by Clean Edge Research, estimates that PV (including modules, system components, and installation) will grow from a $3.5 billion global industry in 2002 to more than $27.5 billion by 2012. “We believe there is a growing market for technology that makes solar energy practical for industrial applications,” said SatCon President and CEO David Eisenhaure. “With our next-generation technology, we are well positioned to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the solar photovoltaics market. We believe that the market potential for our 100 kW photovoltaic power conditioning system will be significant, and we are pleased that Uni-solar has adopted our power converters for use in its photovoltaic power generation systems.”