UQM Technologies Inc. says it has received a US$100,000 first phase contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new generation of small, lightweight and highly efficient electronic inverters for distributed power.GOLDEN, Colorado, US, 2001-10-18 [SolarAccess.com] Power inverters are used to convert DC output of wind turbines, PV panels, microturbines, fuel cells and other generation equipment, into conventional 110 or 220 volt AC power. The inverters will be developed under the Small Business Innovation Research Program to operate over a wide range of input voltage and matching the power characteristics of the generation source, and incorporate a modular design allowing for easy adaptability to different power levels. They will incorporate digital signal processing control for ‘plug and play’ compatibility. UGM expects to rapidly develop and commercialize a highly functional and cost competitive modular inverter for applications ranging from several kilowatts to 250 kW. Many current inverters on the market can be difficult to install due to a lack of ‘plug and play’ compatibility, and have operating limitations in those applications where input voltages change across a broad range. One of the leading companies assisting with the product definition is Southwest WindPower, a large manufacturer of wind turbine generators.