The Internet of Things and energy

In the cleantech and utility worlds, it’s called “the smart grid” and “energy efficiency.” In the broader tech realm, it’s called the “Internet of Things.” Let’s bring these two ideas together, because the Internet of Things will play a crucial role in making systems more efficient.

Stealthy eIQ Raises $10M, Launches Solar Power Optimizer

eIQimageMost solar panels are strung together like Christmas tree lights, so that if one panel stops working, performs poorly or ends up in the shade, the whole string is affected. To address this problem, 2-year-old startup eIQ Energy came out of stealth mode Monday night and announced it has raised $10 million in funding from NGEN Partners and Robert Bosch Venture Capital, for a system that helps connect solar panels in parallel instead of in a series. The San Jose, Calif.-based company says its Parallux system can make solar systems both cheaper to install and more efficient.
The system connects each individual panel to a high-voltage DC-to-DC power converter, which harvests the electricity from each panel and turns it into the ideal voltage for the inverter. An inverter (used for all solar systems) then converts the DC power into AC power used by household appliances more efficiently and more reliably. CEO Oliver Janssen tells us that this architecture can maximize the power from each panel and boost the total energy harvested by 5-30 percent.
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