Awards Registry

An application-specific integrated circuit to improve reliability and power quality and to reduce the cost of power conditioning subsystem control
Profile last edited on: 10/16/07

Program
SBIR
Agency
DOE
Total Award Amount
$539,998
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
George A O'Sullivan
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Abacus Controls

80 Readington Road Po Box 893
Somerville, NJ 08876
   (908) 526-6010
   N/A
   www.abacuscontrols.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   07
County:   Somerset

Phase I

Phase I year
1990
Phase I Amount
$44,998
Power conditioners currently used in photovoltaiccogeneration installations do not use large scale integrationtechnology. The objective in Phase I of this project is todetermine the feasibility of improving the accuracy, speed ofresponse, and the reliability of a power conditioner by using acommercially available application specific integrated circuit(ASIC). Manufacturing costs will be significantly reduced with theASIC-implemented sample data control system. Detailed design ofthe software to fabricate an ASIC will be the end product of theproject. TMs design will be supported with a computer simulationto prove its suitability.Anticipated Results/Potential Commercial Applications as described by the awardee:The successful completion of the planned projectwill provide a high reliability power conditioner for renewableenergy project that will surpass DOE cost goals. Prototype unitswill follow in Phase II, and production tooling for single-phaseand three-phase product lines will be accomplished in Phase M tobring the product to market.

Phase II

Phase II year
1991 (last award dollars: 1991)
Phase II Amount
$495,000
The positive impact of designing a power conditioner control system for photovoltaic applications with an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) as the main control element was demonstrated with detailed computer simulations in Phase I. Phase II of the project has four objectives that are intended to fulfill current needs in the DOE photovoltaics program. The primary effort in Phase I concerned a residential utility intertie inverter; completion of the design, building, and testing of three prototypes with different power semiconductors is the first objective. One of the semiconductor types is the "smart power" module being developed by JPL. The second objective is to provide a stand-alone inverter with battery-charging capability in the same product family. The third objective is to study and develop a much needed intermediate power level 50 kW three-phase power conditioner taking advantage of the ASIC and the complementary microprocessor sample data control system designed for single phase invert rs in Phase I. The fourth objective is to produce a central controller that can manage several of the 50 kW power conditioners at a utility power level. The advantage of modular design is that one failed power conditioner leaves an installation with most of its rating intact during the peak insolation time of year and sufficient rating to extract all of the available power during off-peak insolation periods.Anticipated Results/Potential Commercial Applications as described by the awardee:The ASIC controlled power conditioner provides the high reliability, high efficiency, and low cost needed for photovoltaic applications to enhance the confidence of potential users that the industry is mature and ready to supply and support the products needed from the residential power level to utility installations.