As previously discussed, most modern sine wave inverters employ a voltage source topology and are referred to as voltage source inverters (VSI). Depending on the type of feedback and control scheme that is employed, the VSI topology can be used to implement inverter solutions for a wide variety of applications, including motor drives, grid-tie, and AFE/active rectifiers, as well as Voltage Mode Inverters (VMI).
VMI’s are also referred to as stand-alone or off-grid inverters. They are designed for remote stand-alone applications or off-grid power systems with battery backup where the inverter draws its DC power from batteries charged by some other power source, such as a PV array. Applications for VMIs include solar home systems, rural electrification, and village electrification in remote areas where the utility grid is not available.
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.