Plug-in to Sun's power

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

Pacific Solar of Australia plans to develop a novel concept in solar technology that could allow solar panels to be plugged directly into the standard 240 volts (V) wiring system of a house -- and directly into the grid. It would be done by integrating an electronic-based, multi-layered thin film, laser-grooved, embedded contact, polycrystalline silicon solar cells. The technology is called the integral power conditioner that could be built into the back of every solar module. The device will convert the Direct Current (DC) output from the solar panels to Alternative Current (AC) mains quality power of 240 V at 50 hertz (Hz), thereby eliminating the need for battery storage. A pilot production plant is currently under construction which, when operational, will manufacture 30-cm square modules, using a variety of production techniques. Over a lifespan of 20 years, each megawatt of solar electricity capacity will save more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per kilowatt rate. The Australian government actively supports Pacific Solar's plans and has recently offered them financial assistance for further research and developmental work on the integral power conditioner ( Australian Energy News , September 1997).

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