GaN transistors maximize FlexGrid inverter’s power efficiency while minimizing size and weight
OTTAWA, Ontario, April 26, 2017 – GaN Systems’ gallium nitride (GaN) transistors are being used by power inverter design engineers to increase power efficiency, and to reduce inverter size and weight. These performance advantages have compelled SolPad™, designer of state-of-the-art sustainable personalized energy systems that integrate solar power conversion with battery storage, to use GaN Systems’ 650V GaN transistors in their revolutionary and customer-friendly FlexGrid™ inverter.
Using a unique, intelligent design capable of compensating for diverse power environments, the FlexGrid inverter is seamlessly integrated into two devices, SolPad Home™ and SolPad Mobile™, creating a revolutionary new category of “smart energy” products. SolPad Home is a built-in “solar micro-storage” system that can power your entire home or business with electrically-optimized power efficiency. SolPad devices have the built-in intelligence to automatically charge from converted solar energy or the local utility grid, depending on changes in sun intensity. When daytime utility rates are high, SolPad switches to battery power, and then switches back to grid power when rates are low.
The FlexGrid inverter is also integrated within SolPad Mobile, in a unibody enclosure that houses solar power generation, energy storage and communication in one integrated product. This device delivers enough high power to operate heavy-duty power tools such as leaf blowers and skill saws. SolPad Mobile provides two universal outlets that output grid-quality, pure sine wave AC. When in direct sunlight, the device’s three fast-charging USB ports provide unlimited power to smartphones. For additional power requirements, multiple SolPad Mobile units can be linked via a standard IEC power outlet. Using PLC and wireless technology, SolPad Mobile communicates, monitors and controls power with a user-friendly mobile application.
SolPad Mobile’s unique features are built into a very compact, lightweight and elegant design. Knowing that neither silicon nor SiC solutions would provide the required inverter performance, SolPad selected GaN Systems transistors. The 650 V GaN transistors played an indispensable role in obtaining the desired inverter operating characteristics by delivering performance 5 times better than the best silicon or silicon carbide products, and by enabling the inverter to be reduced to a significantly more compact package. GaN transistors also help to provide system stability across a wide range of power levels, aided the high level of inverter integration, and facilitated stable device expandability.
Commenting on the process of developing the FlexGrid inverter, SolPad CEO Chris Estes remarked, “GaN Systems transistors were easy to use and their economics are suitable for consumer products. They were instrumental in reducing the size, weight, number of FlexGrid inverter parts and increasing the inverter’s efficiency. GaN transistors allowed SolPad to develop the world’s thinnest, lightest and most efficient portable AC Micro-grid solar product. Now, whether customers need 60 W or 6000 W, SolPad Mobile can be linked easily to safely provide mobile, grid-quality power wherever needed.”
GaN Systems VP of Sales and Marketing, Larry Spaziani, reflecting on SolPad’s accomplishments, said, “We are extremely proud that our GaN transistors enable the development of revolutionary consumer products, like SolPad Mobile. We are also pleased that forward-thinking customers like SolPad see the electronic system benefits that GaN transistors offer electronics systems over traditional silicon transistor solutions.”