Solar firm SunPower goes micro
High-efficiency solar-cell manufacturer launches a new line of silicon panels so that the electricity generated from solar can be converted from DC to AC at the source.
A leading solar manufacturer has decided to offer panels with microinverters for automatically converting electricity from direct current to alternating current.
A microinverter embedded in a solar panel does the conversion from DC to AC at the panel immediately, eliminating the need for that extra step of routing all the electricity generated by a rooftop solar system to a conversion box before the home can draw on the solar-generated electricity.
Solar panels with microinverters make installation and wiring a much simpler process, and in many cases enable small installations to become more of a do-it-yourself project for homeowners. The drawback has been developing solar panels with microinverters that offer good efficiency. According to SunPower's own statistics, it seems the company has been able to overcome that hurdle.
The E18 will be a 225-watt AC solar panel while the E19 will be a 240-watt AC solar panel. Both types of solar panels will have an efficiency of 22.4 percent, a very good efficiency for a silicon solar panel. They'll be available in the U.S. starting in early 2012, according to SunPower.
Several companies have been trying to perfect microinverter efficiency.
Most notable is that microinverter manufacturerto further develop its technology, and then . Solar manufacturer in funds to develop its microinverter technology.