Module-Level Power Electronics Platforms: Page 2 of 4
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Alexandre Kral and Dr. Christopher Jones founded privately held Chilicon Power in 2010. Both Kral and Jones have degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. One unique aspect of Chilicon Power’s business is that the company’s microinverter and gateway products are not only designed but also manufactured in California.
Chilicon Power’s current microinverter is its CP-250E model, which is Rule 21 compliant and can provide reactive power on demand. To provide compatibility with both 60- and 72-cell PV modules, the CP-250E has a wide input-voltage range of 22 V–33.5 V and a maximum input-voltage rating of 60 Vdc. The CP-250E ships from the factory with a maximum continuous output-power level of 250 W, which supports 13-module branch circuits at 208 Vac or 15-module circuits at 240 Vac. Alternately, installers can use the CP-100 gateway to extend the maximum continuous output-power rating to 285 W; in this extended-power mode, the product supports 11-module branch circuits at 208 Vac or 13-module circuits at 240 Vac.
The CP-100 gateway features a 7-inch 800-by-480-pixel LCD touch screen. It uses PLC to interface with the system’s microinverters and also offers Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Z-Wave connectivity. The Z-Wave wireless home automation mesh network protocol enables the gateway to interface with smart home security and energy monitoring devices from vendors such as Aeon Labs. The CP-100 can also provide consumption monitoring and supports zero net export and self-supply modes with the installation of current transformers in the site’s ac panel. The gateway can be cloud interconnected or can operate as a stand-alone unit where connectivity is not available.
Chilicon Power’s microinverter system is compatible with storage inverters from vendors including OutBack Power, Magnum Energy and Schneider Electric in ac-coupled configurations. The CP-250E microinverter carries a standard 25-year warranty.
Chilicon Power / Los Angeles, CA / 310.579.2449 / chiliconpower.com
Founded in May 1997, Darfon Electronics has a design and manufacturing focus that includes a wide range of product groups such as human interface devices, power and energy devices, and integrated components. For example, Darfon is currently the world’s number one notebook keyboard manufacturer. The company has a worldwide footprint that includes its global headquarters in Taiwan, as well as facilities in China, the Czech Republic and South Korea. Darfon’s US subsidiary, Darfon America, is located in Mountain View, California. Darfon Electronics is one of 16 independently operated companies in the BenQ Group and is traded on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Darfon’s current microinverter lineup includes two models, the MIG300 and the G320. The MIG300 has a continuous ac output-power rating of 250 W and a peak ac output rating of 260 W. It has a maximum input voltage of 60 Vdc and an MPP tracking range of 24 V–40 V. A trunk cable aggregates up to 16 microinverters per 20 A single-phase ac branch circuit and 24 microinverters per 30 A ac branch circuit. In 2015, Darfon partnered with PV mounting solutions provider IronRidge to develop the ACRak 300. The ACRak combines Darfon’s MIG300 microinverter with IronRidge’s XR100 XR Rails. To reduce installation time and improve overall installation quality assurance, the ACRak features factory-assembled sections of rail, microinverters and cabling.
Launched at Solar Power International 2016, Darfon’s third-generation microinverter, the G320, is compatible with 60- and 72-cell modules with STC power ratings of up to 350 W. The microinverter platform has multiple phase configurations and is available in four voltage options that are set at the factory (208 V, 220 V, 240 V and 277 V), making it suitable for deployment in residential, commercial and industrial applications. The G320 has a maximum input voltage of 60 Vdc, an operating voltage range of 22 Vdc–60 Vdc and an MPPT range of 24 Vdc–45 Vdc. Its continuous power rating is 300 W. Crews can install a maximum of 19 G320s on a 30 A branch circuit in 240 Vac systems and up to 66 (balanced) units on a 30 A 277 Vac circuit. The platform features flexible cabling configurations with or without trunk cabling.
Darfon’s microinverters carry a 25-year warranty. Its microinverter platform includes a cloud-based monitoring system. Darfon also offers a lineup of combiner boxes for branch circuit aggregation.
Darfon America / Mountain View, CA / 650.316.6300 / darfonsolar.com