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Tue Jan 31, 2012, 04:27 PM

New Type of Inverter Could Drive Down the Cost of Solar Power

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/01/31/new-type-of-inverter-could-drive-down-the-cost-of-solar-power/

ArrayPower says that it has invented a “sequenced inverter” design that could cut the cost of solar power by 10%.

For those that don’t know what an inverter is, don’t worry, it is easy to understand and I will explain it: a typical inverter for a solar-powered home converts the DC (direct current) power that solar panels generate into 120- and 240-volt AC (alternating current) power, the same as what your power outlet provides. Small solar setups often generate DC at 12 volts, and that 12 volts of DC power is converted into 120 volts of AC power, which is suitable for most household appliances, portable devices chargers, etc.

The new inverter setup mentioned above involves equipping each solar panel with a small inverter, instead of connecting all solar panels to one large inverter.

At a cost of one dollar per watt (of electricity generation capacity), commercial-scale solar panel purchases are less than one-third of the cost of the total cost of commercial solar power setups (including installation), which is $3.50 per watt, on average.

Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/15u0c)

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Reply New Type of Inverter Could Drive Down the Cost of Solar Power (Original post)
jpak Jan 2012 OP
Demeter Jan 2012 #1
Blue State Bandit Jan 2012 #2
Dead_Parrot Jan 2012 #3
kristopher Feb 2012 #5
mopinko Jan 2012 #4

Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 05:03 PM

1. We were offered this kind of solar panel two summers ago

 

by the company that did the roofing for the condo association. Very cool. panels have one line to synchronize them all together, but are otherwise individually working.

Unfortunately, we have a lot of technophobes on the board, so the deal went nowhere.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:22 PM

2. How does this new tech differ from Enphase Micro-Inverters?

At a dollar a watt, with typical modules in utility scale solar farms ranging from 200 to 260 watts per, the price point on this is nearly twice the price of Enphase. In bulk you can get them for about $120 or less a unit. Not to mention the fact that commercial installs are more often than not 208v 3 phase, 480v, or require a transformer and a line-side tap. Not to fond of Enphase's failure rate though (1 in 30 or so).

Now if someone can put the Power Point Tracking on the module at a competitive price, I'll be all ears.

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Response to Blue State Bandit (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 10:02 PM

3. Maybe that's why...

...they include the phrase "For those that don’t know what an inverter is..." - they're aiming for the 'more money than sense' demographic...

Seriously, I don't see what's so epic about these.

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Response to Blue State Bandit (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 02:51 AM

5. You've misread the article: $1/watt = panel cost. nt

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 11:11 PM

4. seems to me home solar should just output dc.

half the shit you plug into it just converts the ac back into dc.
(i know that is not what this is about exactly, just one of those things that seems stupid to me.)

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