Energy Storage Power Electronics: Page 4 of 6
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OutBack Power is a manufacturer of power electronics for battery-based renewable energy applications including solar, wind, microhydro and utility-interactive systems. Engineers integral to the early success of Trace Engineering—and the company’s SW series inverter/charger that became an early staple for battery-based renewable energy, backup and utility-interactive systems-—launched OutBack in 2001. In 2010, the Alpha Group acquired OutBack Power.
OutBack’s flagship power conversion products, the FX series inverter/charger and MX series solar charge controllers, have evolved over the years. The current FXR/VXFR series of grid/hybrid inverter/chargers offer stand-alone, backup and utility-interactive solar export functionality. The FXR/VXFR line features seven operational modes, including GridZero, which prioritizes the use of battery or renewable sources to power loads and uses renewable energy sources such as PV only to recharge a system’s battery pack. An Advanced Battery Charging profile option supports lithium-ion battery technologies. The 60 A and 80 A FLEXmax models, the successors to OutBack’s original MX60 MPPT solar charge controllers, operate at dc voltages up to 150 Vdc.
In 2011, OutBack released its Radian series of hybrid, utility-interactive split-phase 120/240 Vac inverter/chargers. Available in 4,000 W and 8,000 W power classes, the Radian features two ac inputs for grid and ac generator connectivity. The 8,000 W GS8048A and the 4,000 W GS4048A have a 100-millisecond maximum output current rating of 70.7 Aac and 35.4 Aac, respectively. These models also include OutBack’s GridZero mode and Advanced Battery Charging option.
Since its launch, OutBack has focused development efforts on system integration packages that allow prewiring and testing at certified facilities to reduce installation time and complexity in the field. OutBack’s current SystemEdge prebundled equipment packages build on this early component integration focus. With the introduction of four VRLA storage batteries optimized for specific applications such as float service or regular deep cycling, as well as integration with its power conversion equipment, OutBack now offers an extensive product family for energy storage applications listed to the relevant UL standards from end to end.
OutBack Power • Arlington, Washington • 360.435.6030 • outbackpower.com
Headquartered in Westbrook, Maine, and founded in 2010, Pika Energy manufactures bidirectional inverters, solar charge controllers, substring solar optimizers and small wind turbines. Pika’s patented bidirectional REbus DC nanogrid, a 380 Vdc (360–440 Vdc operating range) dc bus, enables power transmission, control and data functions to share the same conductors via powerline carrier communication (PLC). Pika Energy developed its Pika Energy Island system to provide residences and small businesses with a single inverter solution for backup power, self-consumption and demand charge reduction functionality. The Energy Island uses two Pika products, its X7601 Islanding Inverter and Pika’s PV Link dc optimizer, as building blocks for the system.
The Pika Energy X7601 is a 7.6 kW bidirectional inverter that connects PV, energy storage, electrical loads and the grid, and supports 120/240 Vac critical loads without requiring an autoformer. Pika designed its inverter to leverage the efficiency advantages provided by a high-voltage 380 Vdc bus used in conjunction with lithium-ion batteries. However, the inverter can also integrate with 48 Vdc nominal lead acid batteries as well as Aquion Energy’s AHI energy storage products. The X7601 inverter has a power rating of 7,600 W in grid-export mode and an 8,000 W continuous power rating with a 12 kW 10-second surge in stand-alone mode. It is certified to UL 1741, meets Rule 21 requirements and carries a 10-year standard warranty extendable to 20 years.
Pika Energy’s PV Link S2501 subarray PV optimizer supports the creation of 380 Vdc nominal arrays compatible with its 7.6 kW bidirectional inverter and 380 Vdc system bus. The PV Link can interconnect two to nine modules to create subarrays of up to 2,500 W. The product is rapid-shutdown compliant and provides MPP tracking (60–360 Vmp range), shade mitigation, ground-fault protection, arc-fault protection and substring monitoring via PLC. Pika Energy backs its PV Link subarray optimizers with a 25-year limited warranty.
Pika Energy • Westbrook, Maine • 207.887.9105 • pika-energy.com