Bad Staffelstein / Neckarsulm, March 6th, 2015 - With the Ultraverter concept, KACO new energy, the Neckarsulm, Germany, based solar PV inverter manufacturer has combined the advantages of module- and string inverters in a completely new "AC serial switching" system architecture. The concept was awarded the highly coveted Innovation Prize at the "30th Photovoltaics Solar Energy Symposium" in Bad Staffelstein, Germany, for being one of the rare key innovations in the branch.
An industry expert jury chose to award KACO new energy GmbH the prize for the Ultraverter blueplanet Flex and blueplanet FlexGate PV inverter concept. The technology can be classified as MLPE (Module Level Power Electronics) and differs from conventional approaches by means of lower voltage DC-AC conversion at module level, with resulting advantages of high efficiency, lower switching losses, decreased heat dissipation, reduced material stress on the components and overall improved reliability.
The Ultraverter consist of two key components, the blueplanet Flex module inverter and the blueplanet FlexGate grid connection box. The blueplanet Flex is a low voltage inverter, which turn almost any commercially-available PV module into a pure AC source. The units can be mounted onto existing module racks or can be pre-installed as an integral module component, turning PV modules into "smart AC panels". The communication and grid management brainpower is integrated in the blueplanet FlexGate grid connection box. The blueplanet FlexGate controls all connected modules, the interface to the power grid and all communications with a remote operator. The output power of each blueplanet FlexGate is widely and easily scalable: single-phase solutions range from 1kW to 11 kW with three-phase solutions offering from 3kW to 20 kW.
A unique advantage of the concept is that the Ultraverter hardware is compatible with essentially all grid voltages and grid frequencies world-wide. The number of modules per system is simply determined in accordance with the grid voltage and the desired system size. A universal inverter for all grids also means that system design and logistics schemes become easier than ever with the Ultraverter.
The Ultraverter also addresses all current and many future demands when it comes to reliability and operational safety. The system will continue to work through partial shading, panel soiling and even more serious fault situations. Highest safety is assured thanks to the ability to disconnect power right at the module level, for example, during maintenance or an emergency shutdown.
The award-winning highlights of the KACO new energy Ultraverter concept at a glance:
• Very high efficiency and increased reliability
• Compatible with all grid voltages and frequencies, world-wide
• Safe operation due to low voltage levels and switch-off features
• Easy system layout and fast mounting
• Advanced grid management feature support
• High shade, soil and fault tolerance
• Available as stand-alone unit or "module-attached"
• Improved value for money vs. other micro-inverter concepts
About KACO new energy
KACO new energy is amongst the world's largest manufacturers of solar inverters. With 850 employees and offices in 16 countries, the company offers inverters for every array size from the smallest homes to the largest solar farms of hundreds of Megawatts. KACO new energy is based in Neckarsulm, near Stuttgart, Germany and the production facilities there, in the Americas and Asia have supplied approx. 7 Gigawatts of inverters since 1999. The Company was the first inverter manufacturer to achieve fully carbon-neutral production and is rapidly heading towards power self-sufficiency. KACO new energy also supplies energy storage systems and battery inverters, as well as inverters for combined heat and power plants and CPV systems. In 2014, KACO new energy celebrated the Centenary of the original company which was one of the first suppliers of inverters in the late 1930s.