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Sat08092014

Iberdrola completes its first three renewable energy projects in South Africa

Iberdrola completes its first three renewable energy projects in South Africa

Iberdrola has completed two wind farms and a photovoltaic power plant in South A...

Former Irish president appointed as special envoy for climate change

Former Irish president appointed as special envoy for climate change

Former Irish President Mary Robinson has been appointed by United Nations Secret...

The truth about the forthcoming endangered cities

The truth about the forthcoming endangered cities

Gone are the days when the term ‘endangered’ was being cascaded to animals or di...

Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids

Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids

A new group of nano explorers could change the way children learn about positive...

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

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has received an order from Renewable Energy Sys...

N.R.D.C. fights back, counters discrediting advertisements through TV ads

N.R.D.C. fights back, counters discrediting advertisements through TV ads

New York-based environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council ha...

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...

Business

Technology

Patterned silica layer allows solar cell to cool itself

Patterned silica layer allows solar cell to cool itself

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

By adding a specially patterned layer of silica glass to a solar cell, a team of researchers from Stanford University have improved its ability to tra...

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Politics

Living Green

Recycling for an even greener garden

Recycling for an even greener garden

Wednesday, 06 August 2014

All homeowners are encouraged to recycle wherever possible, whether it’s the packaging that their food comes in, the items they’re thinking about thro...

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Renewables

Low-Carbon

How to use eco-financing to create a competitive edge

How to use eco-financing to create a competitive edge

Thursday, 07 August 2014

If you are an entrepreneur, your success lies in adapting your business operation to people’s lifestyles in order to create brand loyalty. One of the ...

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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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