A common question we field regarding Grid-Tie inverters goes something like "Can I interface to a 480V grid with a 680V DC Link?". To answer this question, lets consider a typical Grid Tie Inverter or Active Front End application as illustrated in the figure below.
We have the habit here at Oztek of using the term "active front-end" (AFE) and grid tie inverter (GTI) interchangeably. On more than one occasion discussing our grid tie inverter controller, I’ve caught myself somewhere mid-conversation inadvertently switch to using the term active front-end. It's of no concern internally, but quite frequently its cause for confusion when speaking with customers. Earlier this week I received a call from a customer that was pretty certain an AFE would not work in his GTI application. This got me thinking, "What exactly is the difference between an active front-end and a grid tie inverter?"
This week Las Vegas is hosting the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, a trade show where hundreds of consumer oriented companies annouce their new products. While I'm not there, I am paying close attention to all of the news coverage.
One interesting product that has popped up is from Fulton Innovation's eCoupled product line. Their demo in Las Vegas includes wirelessly charging a Tesla Roadster. I believe that wireless charging of Electric Vehicles will greatly increase their adoption in the US. If I can pull into my garage every day, and let the car charge on its own, I'd be much more likely to make the switch to Electric Vehicles. Nothing to plug in - just park and walk away.
President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 on Friday, December 17th, 2010. This will extend the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program.