Imeon developing silicon carbide inverters


France-based inverter manufacturer Imeon has developed photovoltaic inverters featuring transistors with silicon carbide crystals.

Silicon carbide-based inverters are known to have higher power densities, with less need for cooling and lower overall system costs than traditional inverters. However, defects at the interface between the silicon carbide and the insulating silicon dioxide material could still present an issue for such devices.

Imeon said it has partnered with École Nationale Supérieure de l’Électronique et de ses Applications (ENSEA) and engineering school CentraleSupélec to develop the new devices, which can purportedly generate active filtering for electrical networks.

This functionality makes it possible to clean electricity networks while ensuring an optimal conversion efficiency “exceeding 99%,” said the manufacturer. The inverter housing also becomes half the size, driving down manufacturing costs.

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The new products are still in the prototype stage, but they could quickly be produced on an industrial scale “by a Breton partner,” said Imeon. The new silicon carbide photovoltaic inverters, initially aimed at industrial clients, are also designed for use in residential and commercial projects. 

Imeon Energy, set up in 2013, currently employs 17 people. In September 2023, it announced an initial public offering on Euronext Growth, which it hopes to finalize in the first half of this year, with a fundraising target of €8 million ($8.6 million). The company currently has around 6,000 users throughout the world. It claims an annual turnover of €4 million, with 60% of that generated outside of France – mainly in Africa and the Middle East.

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