Alencon Expands IP Portfolio with European Patent Award

Alencon’s unique technology for large scale power conversion receives pan-European patent protection

Alencon Systems LLC is proud to announce it has been issued a pan-European patent for its unique Harmonic Neutralization inverter design under European Patent Number EP2232691 (B1) ― 2019-03-27. This latest patent jurisdiction award follows a number of other countries that have granted Alencon patents on its unique approach to building large scale inverters that can be deployed in power blocks of 10 MW or more.  Other countries where Alencon holds patents on its large-scale inverter include the United States., China, Australia, Japan, Korea and Israel.

Alencon’s Grid Inverter Package – the GrIP – is a 10MW central PV inverter, the largest available on the market today. The GrIP uses Alencon’s Patented Harmonic Neutralization technology to shatter the barriers of price, reliability, efficiency and size of traditional PWM-based PV inverters.

“In an environment where traditional PV inverters have become commoditized, Alencon has continued to focus on strengthening its intellectual property position in order to be able to offer the market a unique solution at a highly compelling price point on a cents per watt basis,” commented Alencon President Hanan Fishman. “Though we are still a smaller player in the industry, we have developed a patented portfolio of IP that would be the envy of many, far larger organizations.”

Figure 1:  Alencon Systems has been issued European patent 2232691for the unique technology behind its 10 MW Harmonic Neutralization Inverter.

Alencon’s Harmonic Neutralization inverter design helps breakthrough the AC power-output ceiling found in the traditional, utility scale PV inverters that rely on the pulse-width-modulation (PWM) method of power conversion.

Harmonic Neutralization (HN) allows inverters to be built with several inverter modules on a common DC bus. Each inverter module is synchronized with the grid frequency, however with specifically calculated leading or lagging phase angles between output current and grid voltage, uniquely set for each inverter module in the system. The output AC currents are then summed on a phase shifting transformer to return the phases of all currents to a single combined output, with adjustable phase to the grid’s voltage. This maneuver sums the fundamental currents in all of the inverter windings into the grid winding but neutralizes the higher harmonics and prevents injection of those harmonics into the distribution grid. As a result, HN allows for a simpler solar array topology, lower initial installation costs, increased energy yields and lower power losses.

The HN approach to inverter design has a number of technical benefits over PWM, including, Smaller size, higher power density, and lower equipment cost per MW rating, High efficiency (99.5%) achieved through low (50/60 Hz) switching frequency and unsurpassed reliability from simplified construction: Several three phase heavy-duty inverter modules operate concurrently from the same DC source into the same load assuring that even the entire loss of one module only minimally affects power generation.

About Alencon

Alencon’s solutions for ALternative ENergy CONversion provide high modularity and scalability for systems from several megawatts to several-hundred megawatts. By helping to dramatically reduce balance of system costs, and increase power production through new inverter and energy harvesting technology, Alencon helps advance the state of the art and increase the financial viability of solar power.  Headquartered in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, has been building PV power conversion hardware since 2009, drawing on the combined decades of power electronics experience of its engineering team.