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Newsletter "SEI NEWS" 2013

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[Newsletter "SEI NEWS" Vol.428]

Power Conditioner and “POWER DEPO” Energy Storage System for Photovoltaic Power Generation

With an aim to put regenerative energy into practical use and expand the use of this type of energy, Sumitomo Electric has developed a power conditioner and space-saving energy storage battery system called “POWER DEPO.” The power conditioner converts photovoltaic DC power into AC power, while the POWER DEPO can be used in combination with a photovoltaic power generation system.

 

Power conditioner

 

POWER DEPO

 
■Product Data
Start of sales 2013
 

What are the power conditioner and POWER DEPO?

The power conditioner for photovoltaic power generation converts DC power generated by solar panels into AC power that can be used in households and other small-scale buildings. Equipped with a data measurement/display device, the power conditioner visualizes the operating condition of the power generation system by indicating the power generated, consumed, and received on a real-time basis. The power conditioner also measures necessary data every day, enabling the user to check not only daily power generation quantity but also past quantities of power generated, consumed, and received. Further, with a rated capacity of 1.8 kW, the power conditioner is suitable for installation in each individual house of collective housing, the number of which is recently on the increase, or a single-family house in an urban area. This device is the most compact and lightest in the industry* and can also be installed outdoors.

The POWER DEPO is a compact energy storage device that can be used as an emergency power source when the utility power supply is cut off due to a disaster or other unexpected event. This device can be charged from a household wall outlet or an independent wall outlet of the power conditioner in a photovoltaic system that can generate power even in the event of utility power outage. Equipped with a valve-regulated lead-acid battery, the POWER DEPO can supply power for a maximum of 5 hours at its rated output of 300 VA. In addition to its use as an emergency power source in the event of utility power outage, the POWER DEPO can also be combined with the newly developed power conditioner as shown in the figure to back up any decrease in output of the photovoltaic power generation system during the night or bad weather, thereby avoiding wasting the generated power and ensuring stable supply of power to electrical loads.

As of April, 2013

■Interview with engineer in charge
What were the difficulties in developing these new products?

Kenji Abiru / Power Control Group, Electric Equipment and Systems Technology R&D Dept., Power System R&D Laboratories

In the process of realizing the industry’s most compact power conditioner, we encountered difficulties in ensuring compatibility between sealing performance that allows outdoor installation of this device and its heat dissipation performance. It was indispensable for enhancing operational reliability of the power conditioner to release heat from the enclosure and thus prevent heat from staying inside it. Since there was a tradeoff between downsizing and dissipating heat, reducing the device size made it difficult to release heat effectively from the enclosure. To break this tradeoff, we rationalized the arrangement of heat-generating parts and used heat-conductive aluminum to make the enclosure. Thus, we finally could realize a compact power conditioner having a high heat-dissipation performance.

The Great East Japan Earthquake triggered us to develop the POWER DEPO. To ensure stable operation without falling even in the event of a large earthquake, we designed the structure with particular attention to the position of the center of gravity.

What features of these products are well regarded by customers?

The newly developed power conditioner is enjoying a good reputation among users because of its compactness, which enables effective use of restricted indoor or outdoor space. Users also appreciate the large input current capacity of this device, which permits connection with various types of power generation modules.

In addition to its high performance and safety features, the POWER DEPO has been constructed to simplify battery replacement. These advantages are appreciated by not only users but also maintenance and installation personnel.

・POWER DEPO is a trademark or registered trademark of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

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