How Mass Customization Lets You Generate More Solar Energy

Clever Engineering and Manufacturing allows us to Harness more from our Renewable Resources

Alternative energy sources like wind and solar are great for so many reasons. For one, the actual energy source (fuel) is free – how great is that? And it’s renewable.  And it’s sustainable. However, when it comes to harnessing the power of the sun and the wind, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. The more nuanced we become in how we deploy these gifts mother nature gives us, as will inevitably be the case as the penetration of renewables increases, the smarter we must become in doing so. 

As a result, we here at Alencon Systems have applied a unique, scalable approach to maximizing the benefits of alternative forms of power generation like solar through the unique application of magnetics.  The Alencon SPOT is a DC-DC optimizer that takes four PV inputs (could be other inputs, like wind) at a given variable voltage level typically dictated by string length and outputs a fixed voltage across a pre-determined range required for a given application.  That voltage requirement can vary greatly depending on what you’re trying to achieve, whether it’s coupling storage to PV on the DC side, building a microgrid, retrofitting an older PV plant where an inverter needs replacing for another type with a different input voltage or any number of other applications you might dream up.  Actually, it's the "dream up" part we're finding particularly interesting, as we have alternative energy system designers approaching us with new applications every day.

We achieve this, technically, in our SPOT product line by placing an isolation transformer on each input inside each SPOT unit. By manipulating the copper windings on the transformer for a given set of circumstances, we can precisely control the output voltage relative to the input voltage. However, just achieving this feat and making it commercially viable are two very different matters.  With the help of our unique power electronics platform, proprietary magnetics design algorithms and a scalable, mass-customization focused manufacturing process, we can deliver alternative energy optimization solutions for a broad variety of applications while offering what is essentially a standardized, UL listed product line. This can also be done in today’s need it yesterday lead time requirements at a highly competitive price point that maximizes project ROI.

As the world looks to alternative energy sources to address more and more of its power requirements, such as the ones we face in rebuilding places like Puerto Rico in the face of their recent natural disasters, we here at Alencon are deploying technology to make doing so more flexible. Alencon’s SPOTS can make deploying the alternative energy topologies of tomorrow such as the efficient coupling of solar and storage or the construction of microgrids a reality, today.