Ideal Power Converters Announces First Commercial Installation of Revolutionary Solar Inverter at UTSA
PV inverter reduces shipping and installation costs up to 90 percent, lowers manufacturing costs, increases efficiency and reliability
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – November 28, 2011 – Ideal Power Converters (IPC) is pleased to announce the first commercial installation of its revolutionary photovoltaic (PV) inverters at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). The UTSA installation is utilizing five of IPC’s inverters between two buildings on its Main Campus.
IPC’s 30kW PV inverter was selected for installation by UTSA because of its disruptive capabilities including a 90 percent weight reduction over conventional PV inverters, substantially reducing both manufacturing and installation costs, as well as improving efficiency and reliability.
The IPC inverter delivers 480V AC 3-phase power and supports grounded PV arrays without an internal or external transformer. It weighs only 94lbs compared to 1200lbs from conventional PV inverters with similar capabilities. The lower weight is achieved through IPC’s patented current-modulation topology. The IPC inverter uses standard materials and components, but with an entirely different approach to controlling the power flow. This allows more than a 90 percent reduction in magnetic components such as transformer and inductors, which are the most expensive part of inverters.
In addition to lowering materials and manufacturing costs, the lightweight inverter reduces shipping and installation costs up to 90 percent, saving installers $0.15 to $0.20 per watt. As PV module costs have declined dramatically over the last year, installation costs are increasingly the key to enable cost effective solar power without subsidies.
"There is much excitement in the solar industry today, but the importance of PV inverters in the solar value chain and the innovation in this segment of the industry are both often overlooked," said Les Shephard, director of the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at UTSA . "As many domestic PV module manufacturers are facing commoditization pressure from foreign competitors, PV inverter companies such as Ideal Power Converters are creating innovations that can enable the U.S. to regain technology and manufacturing leadership in this critical segment of the global economic clean energy race."
"UTSA's selection of our technology for their photovoltaic installation clearly demonstrates that the industry is recognizing the technical superiority of our products," commented Bill Alexander, CEO of Ideal Power Converters. "This is an important milestone in our plans to transform the electronic power converter market and make the United States a manufacturing powerhouse in this cleantech industry."
A ribbon cutting for the system will be held on Monday, November 28, 2011 at UTSA’s Main Campus. IPC is also cooperating with the UTSA’s Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute on various research projects.