New Solar AC Micro-Inverter Company Launched

September 03, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Island Technology announced the launch of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Direct Grid Technologies, LLC. The new company will manufacture leading-edge solar micro-inverters for residential and commercial photovoltaic (PV) applications.

Island Technology is a manufacturer of electric utility products and services. Direct Grid is said to be a natural progression of Island Technology’s heritage and takes its expertise to the solar market for "direct grid" tied solutions�and thus the origin of the company name.

The investment by Island Technology into this emerging market enables Direct Grid to swiftly move forward with manufacturing, key partnerships and commercial launch.

The main thrust of Direct Grid is what is described as an innovative, patent-pending, closed loop MOSFET planar micro-inverter design made specifically for thin-film type PV modules. The cost effective solution significantly increases micro-inverter reliability and efficiency.

"Today’s PV systems can be unreliable and complex. We aim to leapfrog the competition currently in the marketplace and offer customers a true modular micro-inverter that permits scalable freedom," stated Frank Cooper, President of Direct Grid. "While the growth of the solar industry is undisputed, a need still exists to bring the costs of a PV system down to a reasonable level that enables residential installations on a larger scale. We are excited with our micro-inverter approach and believe we have a market disruptive solution that will also help realize the ’do-it-yourself’ goal."

At the Solar Power International conference in late October, the company plans to initially launch the OEM series and SMART series micro-inverters for thin-film PV manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers interested in offering turnkey systems. The OEM series will consist of a stand-alone unit that incorporates state-of-the-art technology and converts dc to ac, enabling 200 or 300W power generation for direct connection on the grid. The SMART series shall incorporate additional communication functionality to enable theft prevention and remote monitoring via a separate web-based user interface or phone application. Both the OEM series and SMART series offer safeguards in the event of power outages and fire. First product shipments are expected in the fourth quarter of 2009.