In 2008, I came across a slide deck circulating among VCs on Sand Hill Road from a PV panel electronics firm with an interesting patent, four unsalaried employees, and no funding. The buzz called it an “inverterless inverter.”
Fast forward five years and millions of VC dollars later: ArrayPower, which aimed to commercialize an innovative “sequenced inverter” for solar panels, is closing up shop and selling its assets.
Wendy Arienzo, the CEO of the firm, told GTM, “We are ramping the operation down. The good news is that we have a U.S. acquirer of the assets. Hopefully, the software-defined inverter will be resurrected and find a place in the solar ecosystem in the future.”
In October 2011, the 35-employee ArrayPower came out of stealth with investors including DFJ, Firelake Capital, Partech International, and Trident Capital. Board members include representatives of those VC firms, as well as Solaria’s Daniel Shugar, Jon Bonanno and Kevin Surace, formerly of Serious Energy.
Bonanno has since formed Empower Micro Systems, an inverter technology company raising money on Gust, an angel-investor/crowd-funding platform. (New times and new technologies require new investing models.)
As we wrote in an earlier article, ArrayPower’s direct current to pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) current converter system consists of distributed power modulators tied into an array controller. The PAM technology “senses the grid and synchs its pulse output” to the amplitude of the 50 Hz or 60 Hz grid waveform. Each unit’s waveform is slightly shifted in time. When combined, those rough waveforms yield a grid-quality signal.
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