Sharp Teams up for Large Scale Inverters

Sharp Corporation and Daihen Corporation have jointly developed a solar inverter for large-scale photovoltaic (PV) power generating systems intended for commercial users and electric utilities.

Tokyo, Japan – April 4, 2003 [] Operational tests will begin in May of this year, with product availability in July. In an effort to stem global warming, Japan has enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law obligating power companies to use a certain minimum amount of “new energy” derived from wind, solar, geothermal, and other green energy sources. Complementary programs aimed at halting global warming are also being put in place worldwide, including trading green energy credits and imposing carbon taxes. Companies that use large amounts of electric power, particularly electric utilities, who had previously been working with “new energy” power generating systems in the several-tens-of-kW class, are now beginning to study the introduction of large-scale “new energy” systems in the 1,000 kW class and above. As a key technology in these large-scale “new energy” power generating systems, Sharp, who possesses control technology nurtured in developing inverters for its residential PV power generating systems, and Daihen, who offers industrial inverter technology honed in developing welding machines and grid interface and energy conversion technologies refined in manufacturing power transformers, have jointly developed a solar inverter for large-scale 100 kW PV power generating systems. This solar inverter is the first of its kind to be designated as a standard model in the Japanese market. Large-scale inverters in these classes currently available are, as a general rule, designed and manufactured on an “order-booked” basis, and require significant lead-times before delivery. A set of standard specifications has been established for this new product, making it possible to shrink delivery times after receipt of an order and offering attractive advantages in terms of cost. Daihen will be responsible for manufacturing the solar inverters, while Sharp will launch sales of turn-key systems including photovoltaic modules and ancillary equipment beginning in July of this year, targeting electric utilities in Japan and users who have their own large-scale “self generation” power systems. In addition, plans call for the expansion of marketing efforts internationally, first to the US (December 2003) followed by Europe (January 2004). Major Features of Newly Developed Solar Inverter 1) High capacity, capable of handling up to 100 kW with a single solar inverter device; also achieves a rated conversion efficiency of 93 percent. 2) Solar inverter output voltage is flexibly adjustable using high-efficiency isolation transformers. Units can be set up to match a wide range of power distribution specifications for interfacing to the power grids of countries around the world.
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