eIQ Energy Launches Parallel Solar Technology

Solar startup eIQ Energy Inc., officially launching this week, has unveiled its Parallux system that the company says will lower the installed cost and improve the performance of solar power systems, while also eliminating the design and installation constraints inherent in conventional string architectures.

The system is built around the vBoost DC-to-DC converter module. It uses DC power management technology to allow connection of solar panels in parallel rather than in series. In the case of thin-film photovoltaic panels, the company’s Parallel Solar architecture enables the connection of over 100 solar panels on each cable run — a twenty-fold improvement over conventional string architecture, according to the company.

vBoost allows any solar panel to be connected in parallel to a constant high-voltage DC power bus, and also incorporates distributed maximum power point tracking (MPPT). The DC bus voltage can be fixed at the optimal level for any inverter, improving inverter efficiency and reliability. In combination with distributed MPPT, this enables solar photovoltaic systems to harvest 5 to 30 percent more energy than conventional systems.

eIQ Energy’s Parallux system also includes panel-level monitoring for enhanced visibility into system operation to help with maintenance and ensure long-term system performance. Monitoring data is sent over the main power bus, so no separate cabling or wireless system is needed.

“Our team includes top DC power supply and power management engineers, and together they have developed a unique solution that addresses the inherent limitations of string architectures,” said Oliver Janssen, eIQ Energy’s CEO. “Parallel Solar simultaneously addresses fundamental problems facing plant designers, installers and operators, and provides quantifiable incremental performance without increasing cost. We are helping to unlock the full potential of solar energy with innovative thinking and unique technology that’s built for harsh operating environments.”

eIQ Energy began operations in 2007 and the amount of funding the company had recieved through July of 2009 totals $10 million from NGEN Partners and Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC).

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