ATLANTA, Ind. - Indiana-based research firm, Inventive Research Co., announced that it has invented a new way to generate ac power from a solar panel without using costly dc-to-ac power conversion equipment. When commercialized, the company said its new AC Solar Generator could not only revolutionize how solar power is generated but also make it practical to input solar power into the grid system competitively and profitably.

Inventive Research’s Jason Oliver is credited with developing the patent-pending process to obtain and generate alternating current (ac) power directly from solar cells through the company’s AC Solar Generator, which works on the same principle as existing generators. Inventive Research said the new invention has caught the interest of several companies who would like to develop the product for large-scale use.

For Oliver’s ac solar process, solar cells are arrayed in a circular pattern. Above them is a spinning disc with slots that alternatively allow light to shine on the panels to produce an ac waveform. The resulting voltage produced is sinusoidal or ac that can be configured to three-phase power usable with the national power grid.

In addition to developing a method to successfully and consistently generate ac power, the researchers also developed and patented a sensing technology to match the phase of the power from the AC Solar Generator to the phase of the power grid.

Oliver believes the product can bring about substantial power savings during peak daylight hours. “Many years of research, testing, and ultimately successful application has brought about the very real possibility of affordable, clean, and renewable energy to our fingertips now.”

The AC Solar Generator is a candidate for General Electric’s 2010 Ecomagination Challenge, a competition that awards funding to projects designed to improve energy use.

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Publication date:10/11/2010