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-- These projects are inactive --

Through the Solar Electric Grid Integration – Advanced Concepts (SEGIS-AC) program, DOE is funding solar projects that are targeting ways to develop power electronics and build smarter, more interactive systems and components so that solar energy can be integrated into the electric power distribution and transmission grid at higher levels.

The SEGIS-AC projects focus on one of two topics:

Topic 1: Smart-Grid Functionality

As photovoltaic (PV) technologies become more ubiquitous, these systems may potentially impact grid reliability on both the distribution systems (e.g., voltage fluctuation) and transmission systems (e.g., variability). This may cause utilities to severely limit PV installations or severely increase integration and interconnection costs. The Topic 1 projects will develop and demonstrate cost-effective technologies to mitigate these issues with advanced functions, such as voltage control functions that are developed in compliance with the Electric Power Research Institute Smart Inverter Initiative and utility communication protocols, and that maintain or reduce the costs of power electronics to $0.10 per watt.

Topic 2: Using Power Electronics to Address Balance of System Costs

Power electronics can be used to increase the net efficiency of PV systems, effectively reducing the need for PV modules or balance of system (BOS) equipment. Power electronics may also be used to enhance safety. The Topic 2 projects will develop new technologies that deliver PV power to the grid with high efficiency, while reducing power electronics and BOS costs to meet the goals of the SunShot Initiative. For small PV systems, the projects will develop new ways to harness more energy by mitigating the effects of issues like PV module mismatch and shading on microinverters. For large PV systems, the projects will develop new ways to reduce the amount of copper wiring in the system using high-voltage approaches.

The SEGIS-AC program aims to fund projects that will:

  • Develop technologies in power electronics that reduce the overall cost of PV systems
  • Allow high penetrations of solar technologies onto the grid (e.g., reactive power, energy storage, advanced functionalities)
  • Enhance the performance, reliability, and safety of PV systems
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of these technologies in the field, thereby directly supporting the SunShot Initiative 2020 goal to reduce the costs of solar energy systems to approximately $0.06 per kilowatt-hour