HiQ Solar teams with Outback Power on inverter technology

HiQ Solar teams with Outback Power on inverter technology

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

OutBack Power will sell and support HiQ’s TrueString inverters through its global installer network. 

Founded in 2009, HiQ Solar raised $11m in Series A funding in September 2015 to roll out its rugged 3-phase 208 V and 480 V “plug and play” 8kW roof-mounted inverters. This architecture saves considerable time and money for commercial installers, with rapid-shutdown capability built-in. The design is intended to be deployed in areas that traditionally prove challenging for solar, such as coastal, desert and high altitude locations.

“Our unique technology makes commercial solar ‘plug-and-play’ feasible,” said HiQ Solar’s chairman and CEO, Lutz Henckels. “Our inverter is designed to accommodate storage and, with OutBack Power’s expertise in storage solutions, we truly complement each other. This adds up to a unique solar value proposition for OutBack Power’s customer base, which includes some of the most skilled and knowledgeable installers in the industry.”

Outback Power, which is based in the US and has a sales office in Barcelona, Spain, has developed a Nano-Carbon battery line to accept frequent and partial charges and discharge cycles in applications such as solar. “This new advanced technology battery is a game changer. It’s a strong, resilient battery that’s built to be a workhorse,” — said Ray Barbee, Director of North American Sales for OutBack Power. “If you want energy storage specifically designed for the day-to-day abuse many grid-tied and off-grid systems need, this is it.”

The Nano-Carbon cell uses an enhanced negative active material (NAM) that is more than just a carbon additive. The high surface area carbon is a specially formulated additive for improving the NAM in lead-acid batteries. Carbon increases conductivity and adds additional capacitance to the battery. Nano-Carbon improves charge efficiency and allows partial state of charge (PSoC) operation with improved deep discharge recovery.

Maintaining the battery capacity in a 30-80 percent state of charge can maximize overall cycle life by up to 44 percent over a traditional VRLA deep cycle battery, and the Nano-Carbon battery offers 95 percent round-trip efficiency, allowing for the more efficient charging and discharging needed in solar storage applications.

“As two solar innovators focused on separate, but complementary markets, this is an ideal alignment,” said Harvey Wilkinson, general manager of OutBack Power. “OutBack’s expertise lies mainly in residential, light commercial and off-grid PV systems with energy storage, in single and split-phase configurations. HiQ Solar is emerging as a leader in the 3-phase commercial/industrial grid-tied market. This alliance will introduce OutBack’s core customers to a new opportunity and add to their business portfolios, and we are thrilled to partner with HiQ Solar to make that opportunity possible.”

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