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US DOE Selects PPS To Develop SiC Converter For Hydropower Applications

The firm will develop the system in order to reduce the cost of ocean and hydropower sources, while making them more efficient and more compatible with the existing electric grid.

Princeton Power Systems (PPS) was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science to develop an advanced power conversion system for commercial tidal, wave, and related hydropower applications.

Using a high-power (1.5MW) converter design and silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor switches, enabled by PPS' patented AC-link(TM) circuit topology, will allow for a much higher power-density.

Additionally, it will provide a direct connection to 12 kV or higher power lines without using a transformer. This will drastically reduce the space and logistic requirements for the power electronics in tidal, wave, and other hydropower systems.

Furthermore, the converter will increase the efficiency of transmitting power onshore and interconnecting with the utility grid. Ultimately, this system will reduce the cost of ocean and hydropower sources, while making them more efficient and more compatible with the existing electric grid.

Darren Hammell, Executive VP of Business Development, stated, "We are excited to expand the use of our technologies to the rapidly growing sector of grid-connected hydropower applications. Our history of providing rugged components for Navy applications will ensure that our designs can endure the unique environmental requirements of these systems."

Wave, tidal, and other hydropower generation systems are clean, non-polluting energy generation sources that have the potential to displace large amounts of polluting, non-renewable power plants.

Princeton Power Systems, founded in 2001, is a manufacturer of advanced power conversion products and alternative energy systems, with patented electronics that provide a more reliable and cost-effective means for converting electric power cleanly and efficiently. The company has solutions for renewable energy, distributed power generation, and military applications.
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