Module-Level Power Electronics for Utility-Scale Solar Installations
Category: Energy Generation — Region: Western
Darren Hau, Andrew Ponec and Daniel Maren | Co-founders
Elevator pitch: Dragonfly Systems is developing a unique power electronics solution for large-scale solar installations. Our patent-pending technology decreases day-one installation costs by increasing the length of strings, and provides recurring benefits in the form of increased reliability and module-level monitoring. The Dragonfly device costs an order of magnitude less than conventional products, making us ideal for commercial and utility-scale solar installations.
How we make a difference: This is an exciting time for the solar industry. Solar energy is at the tipping point of being cost-effective compared with fossil fuels, driven primarily by drastic decreases in solar module costs. Between 2008 and 2012, module prices went from being 70 percent of the total installed cost to a mere 30 percent. However, all the other costs of solar, grouped into a category called balance-of-systems, have not experienced the same cost reductions and now comprise 70 percent of system costs. By eliminating unnecessary hardware, increasing the reliability of modules, and streamlining operations and maintenance, Dragonfly Systems directly attacks the biggest remaining cost drivers. Our product offers the best opportunity to push solar past the tipping point, enabling it to grow from a $100 billion industry to a $1 trillion industry.
If we win? With the funding we have secured thus far, we will be able to move from product demos to 1-2 small-scale pilot projects with interested customers. However, a win at the Global Forum would allow us to greatly accelerate our development. We would expand the number of pilot projects and grow our, enabling us to ramp up manufacturing, reach more customers, and obtain revenue before the end of 2014.