Alencon Systems LLC launched its newest line of high voltage DC:DC converters with a clever acronym, the CUBE, to complement its existing line-up of galvanically isolated DC:DC optimizers, the SPOT and BOSS. The CUBE, which stands for Combined Universal Buck/Boost Power Electronics, is a highly compact, centralized DC:DC optimizer that can support both 1,000 and 1,500 volt DC:DC applications.
The CUBE is available in two modalities – the CUBE-PV for solar applications and the CUBE-ES for battery energy storage applications. Alencon says a differentiator of the CUBE is its level of power density, which is about five times greater than other non-isolated DC:DC converters in a similar power class. The CUBE achieves its power density via a silicon carbide-based power train.
For large scale PV plants, the CUBE-PV can increase energy yield for projects using larger central inverters. For such projects, the CUBE will step-up voltage to a central inverter and thus allow the inverter to operate at greater utilization. By doing so, large scale PV plants can be built with fewer power blocks and thus significantly lower cost.
Also, by operating at higher voltage and lower current, the CUBE-PV allows for less copper to be used in the balance of the system. The CUBE-PV allows PV plants to be “storage ready,” and can be a great tool for repowering older PV arrays.
For battery energy storage applications, the CUBE-ES is great for integrating batteries into DC coupled solar + storage projects and stepping up voltage from lower voltage batteries to higher voltage power conversion systems (PCS). As a result of its high switching frequency, the CUBE provides very little additional fault current contribution to a battery energy storage system.
“The addition of the CUBE to Alencon’s product line-up is consistent with our mission to become the premier supplier of high power, high voltage DC:DC optimizers to the alternative energy industry.”
As an example, the CUBE-PV can be paired with the Alencon BOSS, to create highly cost effective, fixed voltage DC bus solar plus storage projects.
The CUBE is currently patent pending with the United States Patent Office and built in Alencon’s Philadelphia-area factory.