IPC announces Universal Power Converter Platform

July 04, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Ideal Power Converters (IPC) is announcing its Universal Power Converter Platform™ (UPCP), based on its proven and patented current-modulation power converter topology and its initial 30kW PV inverter that is currently shipping. This common UPCP hardware solution, with new embedded firmware, will be shipping soon across applications for bi-directional battery converters for grid-storage and electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers.

The UPCP is transformational to the power converter industry by allowing a common highly efficient, low -cost hardware platform to address multiple markets with only embedded software modifications. This allows IPC to leverage its development costs, and further reduce manufacturing costs by increasing volumes. It also allows the company to address new market requirements faster through firmware updates. This model has been instrumental to the success of computer and communications industries, and IPC will be bringing this strategy to the highly fragmented power converter industry.

The Universal Power Converter Platform significantly improves weight, size, cost, efficiency, reliability and safety of electronic power converters. This topology depends more heavily on semiconductor switches and advanced software controls than conventional voltage‐source topology, but dramatically reduces the amount and weight of magnetic metal materials.

IPC’s flagship product is a 30kW inverter that delivers 480Vac 3-phase power and supports grounded PV arrays without an internal or external transformer. It weighs only 94lbs compared to the 1,200lbs of conventional 30kW 480Vac PV inverters with isolation. IPC’s 30kW inverter conforms to UL1741 and achieved a CEC-weighted efficiency of 96.5 percent. This efficiency rating is superior to any other CEC listed PV inverter under 100kW with isolation for grounded arrays, the de facto standard in the United States.

The IPC inverter is used for large commercial rooftop arrays or PV parking structures, where physical space restrictions can add significantly to installation costs. By using IPC’s cost-competitive inverters installers can typically save an additional $0.20/Wdc on Balance-of-System (BOS) from lower cost inverter installation and simpler dc wiring.

Multiple IPC 30kW inverters can be used in larger arrays. System configurations of one to 10 inverters are typical allowing this lightweight modular inverter to address one of the largest market segments for PV systems in the United States. The IPC inverter has been developed and is being manufactured in volume in the United States at lower cost than competing systems.

More news and information regarding the latest developments in Smart Grid electronics can be found at Darnell’s SmartGridElectronics.Net.