Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a nonprofit group backed by the Canadian government, has awarded $2 million in funding to support a research project being led by Solantro Semiconductor Corp.
The project seeks to compare the performance of alternating-current building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems to conventional direct-current BIPV systems through the implementation of a nano-inverter design in an integrated circuit-based format.
The standard practice for building a BIPV system is to arrange individual modules in a series of connected strings and to use a central inverter to convert the DC power to grid-compatible AC power. Solantro, however, has developed an AC-grid approach for interconnecting BIPV modules based on its proprietary nano-inverter. The company says this approach has the potential to increase solar energy harvest by up to 30% and to reduce the cost and time of installation by half.
‘It is through projects like this one that we can take prototypes out of the labs and test them in real-world settings so that they can reach the market faster,’ says Vicky Sharpe, president and CEO of SDTC.