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500kW Photovoltaic (PV) Inverter now available

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January 20, 2006

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January 21, 2006 SatCon has announced that the launch its 500kW PowerGate inverter, the largest commercial Photovoltaic inverter available in North America. As the inverter iqualifies for California’s Self Generation Incentive Program, it attracts a rebate of US$2.80/watt. The inverter is a commercial-grade product available in 208, 240, and 480 volt models for grid-connected operation in low and medium voltage applications as single unit and parallel multi-megawatt systems. The PowerGate is a completely integrated package with all electrical and control system components pre-assembled and tested in a common enclosure.

The release of the PowerGate 500kW inverter was one of SatCon’s major R&D; milestones for 2006, and positions SatCon as the leading provider of high efficiency inverters for the rapidly growing solar markets.

The 500kW AE-500-60-PV-A utility-grade PV inverter was successfully listed to the UL 1741 Standard and also received approval from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The acceptance of this inverter by the various agencies not only gives SatCon the largest commercial PV inverter in North America, it also gives SatCon the broadest product line in the commercial photovoltaic inverter market – ranging from 30kW to 500kW - with 13 designs now approved and listed by the CEC. These approvals are required to qualify for California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), as program administrators use the list to determine which projects qualify for rebates under the program. On December 15, 2005, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) voted on the upcoming budget, infusing $300 million into the program for 2006. At a rebate of US$2.80/watt, that is equivalent to over 100 MW worth of solar power that could potentially be installed in California this year.

“We are very pleased to announce the release of the 500kW PowerGate product,” stated Millard Firebaugh, SatCon’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Within the past two years, SatCon has established itself as a major player in the rapidly emerging solar industry with approximately 14 MW of inverters shipped to-date. This unit gives us a unique position in North America as the only supplier who can offer units of this scale for large, commercial installations. The average size of our PV units shipped is over 100kW per unit, underscoring our presence in the high-end commercial solar markets. We have already shipped the first 500kW unit and we currently have orders in-house for additional units.”

The PowerGate inverter family offers the highest average efficiencies across the product line for any line of commercial PV inverters. The 500kW PowerGate unit is rated for 95% efficiency at nominal voltage, a huge advantage for large power installations. It is currently available as a 480V, 60-hertz unit with integrated transformer, or without transformer for incorporation into medium voltage power systems.

“The addition of the 500kW unit to the PowerGate inverter family was in response to the growing global demand for multi-megawatt installations and provides further evidence of SatCon’s leadership role in the development of large scale PV technology to serve this rapidly emerging opportunity,” added Firebaugh.

The PowerGate AE-PV Series inverter is a commercial-grade product available in 208, 240, and 480 volt models for grid-connected operation in low and medium voltage applications as single unit and parallel multi-megawatt systems. The PowerGate is a completely integrated package with all electrical and control system components pre-assembled and tested in a common enclosure. This minimizes installation time by reducing field wiring and site testing and greatly reduces the equipment footprint, while improving reliability of the system. The PowerGate is available in power ratings from 30kW to 500kW, and meets all requirements of UL1741 and IEEE1547.

SatCon also designs and builds inverters for fuel cells, wind turbines, plasma based converter systems, and advanced energy storage applications.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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