New Industry Products

SatCon Claims Largest Photovoltaic Inverter

January 17, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

SatCon Technology Corp. has launched its 500kW PowerGate™ photovoltaic (PV) inverter. The release of the PowerGate™ 500kW inverter was one of SatCon's major R&D milestones for 2006.

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, SatCon also claims 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.

"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 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 inCorp. 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.