UCF Technology Fuels Solar Panel Expansion

UCF Technology Fuels Solar Panel Expansion

Nov. 8, 2007 — By Barb Abney
A company that recently expanded next to the University of Central Florida's main campus is using UCF technology to simplify the design and reduce the costs of installing solar power.
Petra Solar, now headquartered in Somerset, N.J., received $14 million in venture capital funding in April for product development and global market expansion. As part of that expansion, the company opened an office in the University Tower building near UCF in August.

Issa Batarseh, a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UCF, developed innovative power electronics that will enable the conversion process needed to make the energy collected in solar panels compatible with domestic electricity grids. Traditional electric solar power systems are expensive to install and operate and require a specialized set of technical skills, Petra Solar electronics will enable simpler installation, at a reduced cost, and require less sophisticated skill sets to operate and maintain. They are also designed to operate more reliably than traditional systems.
"Petra Solar is addressing major challenges in the solar industry, and by leveraging our inventions, it is providing innovative designs that will provide users with sustainable, renewable and affordable solar energy through modular design of photovoltaic systems." Batarseh said.

Batarseh credits a team of his students with much of the work that led to the new technology. He said he is confident that Petra Solar will continue to be engaged in long-term research and educational collaboration with UCF.


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