Powin Energy and Ideal Power Converters to Co-develop Modular Grid Storage Solution

May 29, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Powin Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Powin Corp., announced it will begin utilizing Ideal Power Converters’ (IPC) patented bi-directional battery converters as part of the Powin Energy Grid Storage Solution. IPC is a leader in developing disruptive electronic power converter products.

Through this development agreement, Powin and IPC will jointly develop the Powin Energy Module Grid Storage solution and validate the system with independent testing labs and utilities.

"Powin Energy’s Modular Grid-Storage provides four hours of cost-effective storage with Lithium Phosphate batteries that is ideal for daily load leveling and peak demand reduction," said Paul Bundschuh, Vice President of Business Development, Ideal Power Converters. "Powin Energy is an early leader in this new multi-billion dollar grid storage market, and IPC is pleased to work with them on development, utility validation and market adoption of these products."

"Ideal Power Converters’ bi-directional battery converter is a game changer for the grid-storage market by improving efficiency and cost of these systems," said Virgil Beaston, Chief Technology Officer Powin Energy. "IPC’s bi-directional converters will lower the power electronics efficiency losses in our grid-storage energy system by 30 to 60 percent compared to conventional converters as well as reduce system costs. Powin Energy is pleased to join the U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E and Lockheed Martin as early endorsees of IPC technology."

Bi-directional battery converters convert Alternating Current (ac) from the power grid to Direct Current (dc) needed to charge batteries and then invert the DC current from the batteries back to the ac grid. An efficient, low cost, reliable converter is required to achieve this.

Ideal Power Converters’ initial product, a 30kW photovoltaic inverter is already receiving industry recognition for its 90 percent reduction is size and weight over conventional inverters, while providing isolation without a transformer. Its transformer-less isolation topology may be even more beneficial in energy storage applications. Its next product is a bi-directional battery converter that will be used by Powin Energy. Both IPC’s photovoltaic (PV) inverter and bi-directional battery converter are based on the same Universal Power Converter™ platform, allowing IPC to leverage a common hardware design and manufacturing logistics across multiple markets.

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