Technology used in GE’s wind turbines, known for proven performance and reliability, is now bringing similar benefits to large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems

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Building on a platform of power electronics, monitoring and controls that enhance wind energy grid integration, GE has developed a 600 kW solar inverter, which includes grid-friendly features to deliver performance in large-scale solar installations similar to conventional power plants.

Based on the proven design of the power converters that GE manufactures for its fleet of 12,000+ 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, the new solar inverter is suited for use in the multi-megawatt solar projects that are becoming an increasing percentage of new installations.

GE’s wind converters include control functions that enhance integration—a requirement to meet grid codes. SunIQ, GE’s suite of solar plant monitoring and controls, can manage voltage in a similar way.

While some software changes were needed to modify GE’s wind converter technology for solar applications, the hardware has remained nearly the same, enabling GE to leverage its expertise in the manufacture of its extremely reliable wind converters. Engineering and design were completed at GE’s controls center of excellence in Salem, Va. The company already makes 4,000 wind converters annually and has increased production at the Salem facility to include solar. In addition to experience, GE offers the global resources necessary to effectively maintain high levels of performance in large-scale installations, including a global services organization, 24/7 remote monitoring and diagnostics centers and parts support.

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