New centralized DC:DC converter from Alencon


Alencon Systems announced the launch of a new DC:DC converter, called CUBE, which is designed for high voltage applications, able to support both 1000 V and 1500 V. The converter is rated at upwards of 430 kW and can be configured for both solar and energy storage applications.

The CUBE – Combined Universal Buck/Boost Power Electronics – comes in a highly compact design, offering 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 US.

Like all Alencon products, the CUBE is designed and manufactured in the company’s Philadelphia-area factory.

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 also 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.

Alencon’s solutions for ALternative ENergy CONversion provide modularity and scalability for systems from several megawatts to several-hundred megawatts. Headquartered in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, the company has been building PV power conversion hardware since 2009, drawing on the combined decades of power electronics experience of its engineering team.

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