California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] eIQ Energy Inc. and PV Powered Inc. announced that they will explore enhancements to their solar energy conditioning products in a collaborative effort. The two companies will seek to optimize system-level solutions used in solar power installations.
PV Powered is a supplier of high-efficiency inverters, which convert the DC power generated by solar panels to AC. eIQ Energy’s Parallel Solar technology—including the recently launched vBoost DC-to-DC converter modules—allows solar arrays to be wired in parallel rather than series, with substantial cost savings.
The two companies’ products will inter-operate across electrical buses, where there are opportunities to optimize the performance of system components. These optimizations will not only improve the operation of the solar installation but will also have a significant impact on the economics.
Among other things, the vBoost narrows the range of the voltages seen by the inverter, which could enable higher conversion efficiency for inverters. The data that can be provided by the vBoost system will give array operators better visibility into performance and potential problems before they have a chance to affect the inverter.
“We see an opportunity to collaborate with eIQ Energy and provide our customers system-level solutions that improve the economics of solar by optimizing power production from the panel to the inverter to the grid,” said Gregg Patterson, CEO of PV Powered.
eIQ also confirmed that it has reached a product bundling agreement with Signet Solar Inc.
The initial product offering—jointly marketed by both companies—bundles Signet Solar’s SI S4 thin-film quarter-panel solar modules with eIQ Energy’s vBoost 350 DC-to-DC converter modules.
The combination of thin-film panel technology and parallel-wired architecture is emerging as a popular approach to solar power generation. Wiring solar arrays in parallel rather than series substantially reduces up-front hardware costs because of simplified cabling. eIQ Energy’s Parallel Solar architecture, enabled by the vBoost converter module, also provides distributed Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) and the ability to connect unprecedented numbers of panels on a single cable run—over 100 thin-film panels can be linked in this manner, simplifying the design and installation process.
Orders for the bundle are being taken now for delivery in Q1 of 2010.
RenewableEnergyWorld.com will be sitting down with eIQ this week at Solar Power International in Anaheim, check back later to this week to hear more about the company’s products at it’s position in the balance of systems market.