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Ideal Power intros 3-port 30kW hybrid converters

Posted: 09 Jul 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ideal Power  hybrid converter  backup power  grid resilient  off grid 

Ideal Power Inc. has announced its 3-port 30kW hybrid converter family aimed at off grid, grid-tied and grid resilient applications. According to the company, the product has the unique ability to cost effectively integrate energy storage and solar photovoltaic (PV), which it believes will accelerate deployment of microgrids.

At Intersolar Europe, considered as the world's largest solar exhibition, the company's hybrid converter was awarded the 2014 electrical energy storage (ees) award for product innovation to improve efficiency and cost of combined energy storage and PV applications. Due to an improvement in size, weight, cost and efficiency, the hybrid converter integrates multiple power sources for microgrids lowering the cost of delivering grid resiliency during blackouts, such as Superstorm Sandy, and reducing dependency on expensive diesel fuel for off grid applications.

According to Ideal Power, its hybrid converter family is the first to use the company's patented Power Packet Switching Architecture (PPSA) in a 3-port product. This enables the integration of solar PV inverter functions on one DC port and bi-directional battery converter functions on the second DC port while a third AC port is used to support both grid-tied and microgrid applications. The DC port functionality is software-defined enabling integration of other power sources including diesel gensets, EV charging infrastructure or DC microgrids. The hybrid converter supports these numerous functions with only a modest increase in product size and weight over the company's established 2-port battery converter, with no loss of system efficiency. Conventional hybrid converters that combine storage and solar PV require multiple hardware units, which increase size, weight and cost, and multiple power conversion stages, which reduce efficiency, indicated Ideal Power.

The company estimates that its hybrid converter will reduce the size and weight of microgrid power electronics that integrate PV and storage by 90 per cent, which reduces material, manufacturing, shipping and installation costs. The company's hybrid converter is also expected to significantly improve PV to battery to load efficiency by 10 per centage points. During the conference sessions, the company discussed two microgrid markets for the hybrid converter family: grid resilient power, which includes backup power for commercial buildings during grid failures, and remote off grid power, which includes tactical military and remote communities that depend on diesel generators.

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