Power & Energy Solutions

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Storage is key to the solar industry

Chip Palombini, Director of Energy Storage at Dynapower Company, LLC, Vermont US, was full of enthusiasm when PES caught up with him. Customers value their complete energy storage solutions, which they deploy world wide to commercial and utility-scale companies.

PES: Welcome to PES Solar/PV magazine, it’s great to talk with you. would you like to begin by explaining a little about the background of Dynapower and the importance of the solar/PV industry to you?

Chip Palombini: Dynapower is a fifty-five year old power electronics company, headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, with equipment installed worldwide. Over the last decade independent power producers [IPP], utilities, solar developers, and integrators have been relying on Dynapower to design, build, and deploy more than 425 MW of energy storage inverters for projects ranging from 100 kW microgrids to 40 MW. We’ve been fortunate to be involved in a number of groundbreaking solar plus storage projects including the United States first utility-scale solar plus storage installation with Green Mountain Power in Rutland, Vermont. We worked with Tesla, and what was then Solar City, to help the island of Tua in American Samoa transition from diesel power to 100% solar power 24/7. Most recently we commercially deployed the industry’s first DC-DC converters for utility-scale solar plus storage with installations with two of the United States largest IPPs.

Customers come to us for our technical capabilities and our flexible scope ranging from inverters to integrated systems. These customers value our expertise, bankability, responsiveness, and flexibility

As solar plus storage continues to grow, we recognize the need for reliable technologies that enable cost effective pairing of solar with battery energy storage. That recognition led to our much-heralded DC-DC converters which we were able to take from concept to reality in a very short period of time.

To date, we’ve deployed our UL listed DC-DC converters in solar plus storage applications and recently launched an OEM partner program. The OEM partner program gives central inverter manufacturers immediate access to Dynapower’s patent-pending DC coupling technology. Dynapower is particularly proud to be at the forefront of driving solar plus storage innovation. Our view is solar plus storage is of tremendous value to our customers as well as the growth of our business.

PES: We have been hearing a lot recently concerning DC-DC converters and would like to know more. How do they differ from previous models and what are the benefits to the customer/end user?

CP: Dynapower deployed our first-generation DC-DC converter as part of a solar plus storage installation several years ago at an island resort. We took learnings from that project as well as those from several hybrid solar plus storage projects Dynapower designed and built to develop our DPS line of DC-DC converters. Since our first DPS was deployed as part of a utility-scale solar plus storage project in late 2017, the response has been tremendous. The industry really recognizes the economic advantages that DC-coupled solar plus storage presents.

Customers use Dynapower’s DC converters to increase PV energy generation, and revenue, of utility-scale installations while also reducing the cost to couple energy storage alongside solar. In the United States DC-coupled solar plus storage systems are also eligible for significant tax incentives that deepen the economic benefits of DC-coupled solar plus storage. The National Renewable Energy Lab in the United States recently released a report showing the DC-coupled approach is the most economically advantageous for solar plus storage.

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