Eclipse Solar Inverters
- D2 - Design and Developement
The Eclipse series of solar inverters were designed in Australia for Australian conditions. The unique design attributes required apply not only to the end customer but also to the utility ‘customer’ that purchases the power from the user.
Performance and Cleanability
Most inverters on the market ‘hide’ the heat sinking functionality behind the unit. In Australia, this degrades the performance in high temperatures and creates an ideal environment in northern states for nesting insects to build homes, further degrading the performance and mostly going unknown to the customer.
Following a ‘voice of the customer’ survey undertaken as background to the design process, the primary benefits set as a goal were high ambient performance and easy cleaning/maintenance capability.
Flexibility in Size
By creating and designing the housing from a number of custom extrusions (both tooled and produced locally) enables the same sections to be used in various length sets, with common end caps, to produce a range of products requiring different thermal cooling capability.
A major design challenge in bringing the heatsinking to the front aspect was to not have it look like a piece of industrial power electronics. Customers in the survey had indicated that there was a real need for a stylish product that could be mounted at the front of a dwelling. Many inner-city terrace housings and older and historic houses do not have the availability to mount inverters ‘out of site’ on side walls or at the rear. Other products on the market with garish red and blue colours look highly out of place beside the front door. A stylish modern look that could also work with such applications was required.
End Cap Design
A unique design was created for the end caps that both ‘integrates’ with the linear cooling fin lines while also incorporating complex curves to help blend the overall design look. With various options for connections required, a mix of aluminium injection molding and post machining was developed to realise the best economics.
Reactive Power Control
Grid network stability is challenged by the ever increasing penetration of all forms of distributed power generation, and especially those relating to renewable energy sources. Early research of the utilities showed that including reactive power control in the inverter would allow applications in grid network areas where it would otherwise not be possible.