As the demand for greener appliances and consumer products soars across the globe, and energy savings becomes a global phenomenon (and necessity) in residential and commercial environments, solar and wind power technologies have begun to proliferate in cities and states around the world.
Concurrently, smart grid and smart meter deployments are also on the rise, enabling users to monitor in real time energy consumption and costs, connect/disconnect loads to/from the mains, and utilize the benefits of solar (or wind) power when the energy demand rises and re-route excess power to the grid. In fact, this renewable energy growth is further fueled by the recent economic stimulus package passed by the present administration, which calls for spending $45 billion on alternative energy including some $4.3 billion on smart electric grids. Now, in this transformation, energy efficient power converters and power management devices are playing a critical role.
Since its inception some 60+ years ago, International Rectifier’s mission has been to minimize power losses and to save power via efficient power conversion solutions. With that goal in mind, IR has pioneered many innovations over the last six decades, including commercial introduction of solar cells in the late fifties. These cells were used to power the initial fleet of American satellites, enabling for the first time weather monitoring and real time television global broadcasting.
Today, IR offers a large portfolio of high-performance power management products for the renewable energy industry. From string inverters for residential, commercial, and utility level applications to micro-inverters and DC-DC converters, IR has generated leading edge power semiconductor devices that are positively changing the photovoltaic (PV) inverter landscape. For instance, IR's state-of-the-art MOSFETs and insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) are dramatically lowering power losses while improving efficiencies in PV inverters. In addition, the company has developed application specific solutions for inverter topologies, such as H-bridge and 3-level converter, that are further augmenting the energy saving solutions.