Alencon Systems releases new centralized DC:DC converter

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From pv magazine USA

Alencon Systems has announced the launch of CUBE, a new DC:DC converter that is designed for high-voltage applications, with support for 1,000 V and 1,500 V. The converter is rated from 430 kW and up, and can be configured for solar and energy storage applications.

The CUBE (Combined Universal Buck/Boost Power Electronics) comes in a compact design, with high levels of power density. Alencon said the power density of the CUBE is about five times greater than other non-isolated DC:DC converters in a similar power class.

The power density is achieved via a silicon carbide-based power train, which is currently patent pending in the United States. Like all Alencon products, the CUBE is designed and manufactured in the company’s factory in Philadelphia.

In large-scale solar facilities, the CUBE provides distributed energy harvesting to increase energy yield for projects using larger central inverters. The converter will step up voltage to a central inverter, thereby allowing the inverter to operate at greater utilization. This enables large-scale PV plants to be built with fewer power blocks, lowering costs. The CUBE allows for less copper to be used in the balance of the system by operating at higher voltage and lower current.

The converter also allows PV facilities to be “storage ready” and can be useful in repowering older PV arrays. In energy storage applications, the CUBE can be used to step up voltage from lower voltage batteries to higher voltage power conversion systems. As a result of its high switching frequency, the CUBE provides minimal additional fault current contribution to a battery energy storage system.

“The introduction of the CUBE series of DC:DC converters allows Alencon to offer alternative energy project developers yet another unique tool in an increasingly DC coupled world,” said Hanan Fishman, president of Alencon Systems. “Alencon has leveraged its decade of expertise in building high power, high voltage DC:DC converters with next generation silicon carbide power electronics to deliver a product of unrivaled power density to the market. The addition of the CUBE to Alencon’s product line-up is consistent with our mission to become the premier supplier of high power, high voltage DC:DC optimizers to the alternative energy industry.”

The CUBE joins Alencon’s existing line-up of galvanically isolated, modular DC:DC optimizers, the SPOT and BOSS. The CUBE can be paired with the Alencon BOSS, to create cost-effective, fixed-voltage DC bus solar-plus-storage projects.

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