Solar inverters, which are used to convert the direct current (DC) power generated by a solar panel into the alternating current (AC) power used on the grid, are one area that hasn’t seen a lot of innovation since the early days of solar power, at least not at a dramatic scale. But that’s changing. In the last 10 days, we’ve seen some good announcements out of companies working on new inverters (and other electronics) that help solar panels connect to the grid. In part, this spurt of activity is driven by the capital efficiency of investing in inverters rather than panels; but it’s also part of the bigger push to make our electrical grid smarter.
Apollo Solar, a Bethel, Conn.-based manufacturer of electronics for renewable energy devices, has raised $4.5 million in a private offering. Electronic components for solar technology are a fast-emerging investment category.