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North Caucasus hydropower to increase with three new projects from RusHydro

North Caucasus hydropower to increase with three new projects from RusHydro

Three small hydropower plants developed by RusHydroare set to begin construction...

Discrediting advertisements on carbon pollution standards outrages organizations

Discrediting advertisements on carbon pollution standards outrages organizations

The Natural Resources Defense Council, and more than two dozen organizations, is...

Supercritical steam for super productive solar thermal plants

Supercritical steam for super productive solar thermal plants

By using supercritical steam, solar thermal power plants could produce enough en...

Nepal gets first wind-solar hybrid system

Nepal gets first wind-solar hybrid system

The Asian Development Bank has handed over the country’s very first wind-solar h...

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger...

Chile’s largest solar power project officially open

Chile’s largest solar power project officially open

The 100 megawatt Amanercer Solar CAP Power plant in Chile has been officially op...

Five gigantic things happening in sustainability

Five gigantic things happening in sustainability

Understanding this mainly becoming typical ‘S’ word has always been part of the ...

Business

Ascent Solar announces milestone agreement for their J.V. in China

Ascent Solar announces milestone agreement for their J.V. in China

Thursday, 03 July 2014

Thin-film solar module manufacturer Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. has announced the achievement of a significant milestone for their joint venture i...

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Technology

Politics

Living Green

Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids

Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids

Monday, 07 July 2014

A new group of nano explorers could change the way children learn about positive values, the environment, and believe it or not, the periodic table of...

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Renewables

R.E.S. Americas orders 166 MW-worth of wind turbines from Vestas

R.E.S. Americas orders 166 MW-worth of wind turbines from Vestas

Monday, 07 July 2014

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has received an order from Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. for 166 megawatts worth of wind turbines for a wind...

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Low-Carbon

World Bank to help Kosovo, Kazakhstan become more energy efficient

World Bank to help Kosovo, Kazakhstan become more energy efficient

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The World Bank has approved a $31 million-project for Kosovo and a $21.7 million-grant for Kazakhstan that will both be increasing the countries’ ener...

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Opinion

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger, said Benjamin Franklin once, is the best pickle. Some say “pickle”...

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Company which makes PV panel boosters gets $18 million investment


A California-based company which makes electronics that can improve how solar panels convert sunlight into energy by as much as 20 percent raised $18 million in its fourth financing round as it expands manufacturing and international sales.

Tigo Energy makes power optimizers about the size of a computer modem which are installed on the back of each solar panel in an array. A single device, called a maximizer management unit, calculates the optimal performance of the solar array and "tunes" each panel to achieve it.

Proceeds from the series D could support Tigo's current partnerships with companies that have agreed to install its device into their solar products.

In October, the company announced that Trina Solar, the fourth largest solar panel company worldwide, Hanwha Solar and Upsolar will offer Tigo-optimized solar panels, broadening the company's reach in the market more quickly. The system has versions for utility, commercial and residential solar installations.

The current round brought the company's total venture capital funding to just over $50 million. The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners and joined by all existing investors including Inventec Appliances, Clal, Matrix Partners and OVP Venture Partners.

"Tigo Energy has a winning solution that has attracted many of the world's largest PV suppliers," said Lucinda Stewart, managing director at OVP. "Tigo Energy's technology helps customers of solar installations earn the most out of their investment, and we're pleased to continue to support the company's strong growth."

Power optimizer

In a typical solar array, panels are connected together in a series to form groups wired to the inverter - converting direct current to usable alternating current. Though this set-up helps in making installation easier, the disadvantage is that weak-performing panels can drag down the power production of the array.

Micro-inverter systems have been introduced as an alternative to central inverters by installing a small, efficient inverter on each panel. These devices also can optimize solar panels, but not as closely as power optimizers, according to Tigo.

The company said the Energy Maximizer uses algorithms and software based on real-time conditions to accurately compute the adjustments in each panel. Micro-inverters are said to base calculations on averages. (Oliver M. Bayani)



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