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SEGIS Pushes Photovoltaics Into The Grid

Jan. 6, 2011
The U.S. Department of Energy SEGIS (Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems) pogram aims to support industry in developing new technologies for distributed power.

The Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) concept will be key in achieving high penetration of photovoltaic (PV) systems into the utility grid. Advanced, integrated inverters/controllers will be the enabling technology to maximize the benefits of residential and commercial solar-energy systems, both to the systems owners and to the utility distribution network as a whole.

Advanced communication interfaces and control will boost the value of the energy provided by these solar systems. They also will increase the reliability of electrical service, both for solar and non-solar customers.

The objective of SEGIS is to develop the technologies to increase PV penetration into the utility grid while maintaining or improving the utility grid’s power quality and reliability. Highly integrated, innovative, advanced inverters and associated balance-of-system (BOS) elements for residential and commercial solar-energy applications will be the key components developed in the effort.

Advanced integrated inverters/controllers may incorporate energy-management functions and/or communicate with standalone energy-management systems or utility energy portals, such as smart metering systems. Products will be developed for the utility grid of today, which was designed for one-way power flow, and for intermediate grid scenarios. They will also be developed for the grid of tomorrow, which will seamlessly accommodate two-way power flows as required by wide-scale deployment of solar and other distributed resources.

PV Powered Inc. is leading a team selected to continue development work funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) and administered by Sandia National Laboratories. Focus of the effort is lowering the barriers to adoption of solar energy on the utility grids of North America. Stage 3 represents the final stage of the competitive portion of the SEGIS program, which is directed toward commercialization of the technologies developed under previous stages.

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