Solar Panels Portfolio

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is seeking partners to further develop this suite of solar power technologies. These innovative solutions, developed by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Philip Krein, enhance the functionality of solar panel systems by increasing power production efficiency while preventing the development of destructive conditions such as hot-spotting and reverse current flow. 

This portfolio of seven patented technologies is available for ready-to-sign licensing. The technologies within this bundle can also be licensed individually.

Power Processing for Optimizing Energy Production from Solar Cell or Panel Arrays (TF10176)

Conventional solar panel systems process energy from a collective group of solar panels, which lowers the efficiency of the system and prevents the system from operating at the maximum power point. The proposed invention allows each individual solar panel to operate at or near the maximum power point to effectively increase the overall efficiency of the system. Because this invention allows for the processing of only small energy differences, it may also be applicable for use on individual solar cells, which has not been successfully accomplished with known energy processing methods.

To license this technology individually, click here

Commutation Technique for an AC-to-AC Converter Based on State Machine Control (TF04172)

A system for controlling a commutation of a load current is provided. The system comprises of an AC-to-AC converter that includes a plurality of switching elements, an energy source that provides an oscillating voltage and is connected to the converter, an electrical load connected to the converter, and a controller that controls the converter and monitors the oscillating voltage and the load current delivered to the electrical load. The controller determines a plurality of machine states of the converter, each of the plurality of machine states representing a corresponding conducting set of the plurality of switching elements, and controls switching between the plurality of machine states based on polarity commutations of the load current in the electrical load and polarity commutations of the oscillating voltage.

To license this technology individually, click here.

Methods and Devices for Input Waveform Control in Switching Power Supplies (TF04057)

This invention recognizes that filter size can be reduced substantially as power factor is permitted to deviate below unity in systematic ways. Preferred methods of the invention provide specific, computable waveforms that permit use of a minimum filter size given a desired target power factor. 

To license this technology individually, click here.

Method and Apparatus for Starting Power Converters (TF03109)

A startup circuit for starting a power converter for converting an input voltage to an output voltage includes a switch connected in series with a resistive element. The startup circuit is connected in parallel with a trigger switch in the power converter for enabling the power converter to generate the output voltage. When closed or activated, the switch in the startup circuit charges an energy storing device in the power converter. The energy storing device activates the trigger switch as the charge is released.

To license this technology individually, click here

Dynamic Current Sharing DC-DC Switching Power Supply (TF03085)

A power supply in an embodiment of the invention includes a plurality of DC-DC switching power converters, each of which has its input isolated from its output. The power converters are arranged with their respective inputs being series connected and their respective outputs being parallel connected in an embodiment of the invention. In another embodiment, the inputs are parallel connected and the outputs are series connected. Each power converter includes an input filter in each of said DC-DC switching power conveters and an output filter. Each power converter includes a sensorless current mode control circuit controlling its switching duty radio. 

To license this technology individually, click here.

Multiple-Input Buck Boost Power Converter (TF03072)

This invention includes apparatuses and methods for converting a plurality of DC input voltages from a plurality of voltage sources to at least one DC output voltage. A respective current-conducting-bidirectional-voltage-locking switch is in an electrical path from each of the voltage inputs. A magnetically inductive device is in an electrical path from each of the current-conducting-bidirectional-voltage-blocking switches. A voltage output is in an electrical path from the magnetically inductive device.

To license this technology individually, click here.

Systems and Methods for Pulse Width Modulation (TF01032)

A method for generating a pulse width modulated control signal that has the steps of providing a base carrier waveform, segmenting the base carrier waveform into a plurality of carrier waveforms, and providing at least one modulating signal. The first and second waveforms are compared to at least one modulating signal to produce first and second comparator outputs, which are then mathematically combined to produce a pulse width modulated control signal.

The technology is a process that can be applied to DC-AC power converters (i.e., inverters) that use pulse width modulation (PWM) to provide two features: 

  1. It allows inverters to use a high-frequency AC link bus instead of the conventional DC; and
  2. It allows multiple signals to be put onto the same PWM carrier or data stream for delivery to multiple switches.

To license this technology individually, click here.