Fronius International, the Austria-based electronics company, is making further inroads into the American market with the recent announcement of staffing for the company’s U.S. solar electronics operations to be located in Santa Barbara, California.Santa Barbara, California – August 18, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Mark Stimson, Director of Sales and Marketing and Brian Farhi, Senior Applications Engineer will lead efforts to introduce the highly successful Fronius IG grid-tied photovoltaic inverters to the United States market. The Fronius Solar Office will be located in the Santa Barbara, California area. “The US market for grid-connected photovoltaic systems is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, ” says Christoph Panhuber, Head of the Solar Electronics Division. “The Fronius IG inverters that were introduced to the European markets in 2001, have been a successful and rapidly growing part of Fronius’s business. We believe that with the strong team that we are building in the US we will be able to replicate this success. I am really excited about Mark and Brian joining the Fronius team.” Before joining Fronius, Stimson served in several marketing management positions with the leading software provider for the telecommunications industry, Openwave Systems Inc. Prior to Openwave, Stimson spent over 12 years in the alternative energy industry. He worked for ARCO/Siemens Solar in a variety of roles including Marketing Communications Manager, Customer Service Manager and International Sales Coordinator. He also served as Export Sales Manager for the Swedish solar panel manufacturer Sun Star Systems AB. Prior to Fronius, Farhi worked for the Florida Solar Energy Center as a Senior Research Engineer in the Photovoltaic and Distributed Generation Division. Farhi’s responsibilities included coordinating FSEC’s photovoltaic system design review and approval process, training professionals in photovoltaic installation and related subjects, and analyzing grid-tied inverters for photovoltaics systems. While at FSEC, Farhi originated the Energy Management Workshop for national retail chains and government facilities. Farhi also managed FSEC’s photovoltaics performance and reliability database for Sandia National Laboratories. The company’s IG inverter’s high frequency topology offers high efficiency, precision MPP-tracking, and active cooling, all of which result in superior energy output from photovoltaic systems, said Fronius. In spite of its sturdy construction, both the Fronius IG 2000 and Fronius IG 3000 inverters, at 31 lbs., are half the weight of competing inverters, said the company. Advantages are reduced shipping costs and easier and safer installation. Fronius IG inverters come standard with a LCD user interface/display where the installer and user can view and record over 20 parameters pertaining to inverter and system operation. Optional remote data communications and data logging features can easily be added via Plug-n-Play cards to transform IG inverters into a data acquisition system and weather station. Fronius IG inverters are currently undergoing UL testing and certification and will be available from US distributors and dealers by the end of 4th quarter 2003.