Canadian Inverter Co. Aims for Both On- and Off-grid

Solar photovoltaic inverter company, Sustainable Energy Technologies, said it has secured a funding arrangement with the National Research Council, Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), in which the council will make loans of up to $245,000 toward development of an inverter platform that will serve both grid-parallel and off-grid applications for a variety of generation and storage technologies.

The project’s main focus will be to extend the capability of the company’s inverter platform to include battery management for off-grid and backup power applications, and to enhance its control software to optimize integrated system performance. The result, says the company, will be an ability to serve a much wider range of product applications with a single device. These would include grid-connected and off-grid solar and small wind power systems, fuel cell power modules for combined heat and power and for backup power applications, and new-grid-connected flow battery technologies for peak shaving Brent Harris, P. Eng., Director of Technology Development for Sustainable Energy Technologies, said the ability of the same inverter to operate in both a grid-connected and off-grid mode means that it is ideally suited to supporting solar PV and other systems selling power to the grid, but also combining with energy storage to provide backup power during grid outages. “We believe this will be an industry first, and is only possible because of our unique approach to power conversion,” Harris said. “In addition…using the same power electronics and control software for multiple product applications offers significant product cost and reliability advantages. It also means that advances in technology and control software, as well as regulatory approvals are easily transferred to the various market applications.”

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