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).
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.