Queen's University

Breakthrough solar technology developed by Queen's prof is approved for use


A breakthrough solar photovoltaic technology has been awarded certification for use in Canada and the United States.

The technology, a compact solar microinverter, enables more reliable, efficient power generation from solar PV systems. Microinverters are the heart of solar installations, converting direct current, harvested by the panel, into alternating current compatible with the electric utility grid.

“We are thrilled by this milestone. These approvals are the strongest possible endorsement of the quality of our product,” says professor Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering), who is also the president and CEO of SPARQ Systems Inc., a startup company at Queen’s PARTEQ Innovations. “With these certifications in hand, we are now fully equipped to address the rapidly expanding North American markets.”

The microinverter has been approved in the U.S. by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and in Canada by the Canadian Standards Association. The approvals certify that the company’s products meet recognized national standards for safety and performance in North America.

“This is a noteworthy achievement that speaks to Queen’s strength in energy conversion technologies and alternative energy research,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) . “We look forward to seeing the beneficial impacts of this technology as it is rolled out.”

The product’s design eliminates unreliable components such as electrolytic capacitors, which increases the lifespan of the microinverters threefold, giving homeowners at least 25 years of worry-free performance.

For more information visit the PARTEQ website. 

Dr Jain will be awarded the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) William E. Newell Power Electronics Award at an IEEE conference in Phoenix on September 21, 2011. For more information about this award--which is the highest IEEE Field Award in Power Electronics--please visit the IEEE website

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Last updated at 4:55 pm EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
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