Power Electronics in Photovoltaic Systems Workshop

ARPA-E and EERE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) held a two-day workshop to address the role of power electronics in PV systems on February 8 - 9, 2011 in Arlington, VA.   ARPA-E led the first day’s events – “Solar ADEPT” (a continuation of ARPA-E’s Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology program) - and SETP hosted the second day’s events – “Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems-Advanced Concepts (SEGIS-AC).”  While the Solar ADEPT workshop addressed the challenges and opportunities associated with incorporating advanced power electronics into photovoltaic sources of electricity generation, SEGIS-AC focused on system-related issues such as grid-integration. The workshop aimed to bring together some of the world’s foremost experts in PV technology as well as leaders from industry, academia, and government with diverse perspectives to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the generation of solar power.    ARPA-E sought to examine innovations in modules and power electronics, and system integration.  The primary objectives of the Solar ADEPT workshop were to:   1. Identify the most challenging technological barriers to low-cost, high-performance power conversion for photovoltaics and promising R&D paths to meet such challenges; 2. Develop a realistic set of quantifiable metrics for evaluating progress towards these goals and assessing R&D success; and 3. Identify power electronics innovations that create modular converters or centralized inverters at a significantly reduced cost (~10 ¢/W) using novel materials and circuit architectures.   View the workshop agenda (pdf). Proceedings from the meeting are summarized below.    Day 1: Solar ADEPT   Speakers and Presentations: 1. Welcome - Arun Majumdar, Director, ARPA-E & Ramesh Ramamoorthy, Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) Program Manager, Office of Electricity & Energy Reliability 2. Balance of System for Utility Scale Photovoltaics - Al Goodrich, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 3.  Balance of System for Building Photovoltaics (pdf) - Sam Newman, Rocky Mountain Institute  4. Module Packaging and Interconnection (pdf) - Doug Rose, SunPower 5. Opportunities and Challenges for Power Electronics in PV Modules (pdf) - Sarah Kurtz, NREL    6. Workshop Technical Overview and Introduction of Breakout Sessions - Rajeev Ram, ARPA-E 7. Impact of Commercialization of GaN Based Power Devices on PV Solar Power Generation (pdf) - Tim McDonald, International Rectifier 8. Magnetic Nanocomposites for Inductive Components in Power Electronics (pdf) Michael E. McHenry, Carnegie Mellon University 9. Ultra High Voltage SiC Bipolar Devices for Reduced Power Electronics Complexity (pdf) Ranbir Singh, GeneSic Semiconductor 10. Advances in SiC Molecules - H. Alan Mantooth, University of Arkansas 11. 15 Kv SiC IGBT Modules for Grid-Scale Power ConversionSubhashish Bhattarchaya, North Carolina State University   Breakout Sessions: Sub-module Integrated Converters (pdf) Inverters for Rooftop PV (pdf) Advanced Interfaces for Utility-Scale PV (pdf)   Day 2: SEGIS-AC   Speakers and Presentations: 1. Welcome Remarks - Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Program Manager, SETP, Kevin Lynn, DOE, SETP 2. Smart-Grid Functionality: Where We Are Today? (pdf) - Ward Bower, Sandia National Laboratories 3. Installed Solar System Prices (pdf) - Al Goodrich, NREL 4. Interconnecting Smart-Grid Inverters: Benefits and Barriers - Leon Roose, Hawaii Electric Company 5. Results from the Inverter Reliability Workshop (pdf) - Stan Atcitty, Sandia National Laboratories 6. EPRI/SNL Inverter Communications Project (pdf) - Al Hefner, National Institute of Standards and Technology 7. Workshop Overview and Introduction of Breakout Sessions (pdf) - Kevin Lynn, SETP   Breakout Sessions: Inverter Technology: Smart Grid Functionality & Performance Added Value of Power Electronics to the PV System with regards to Safety, Performance, and Cost Defining Performance Metrics Metrics for Smart Grid Functionality Metrics for Power Electronics and the PV System