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Herzliya, Israel-based startup SolarEdge gave its first press interview earlier this month and closed on a $23 million Series B round of financing. So why has the company — which has raised a total of $34.8 million in venture capital from Vertex Venture Capital and Genesis […]

Herzliya, Israel-based startup SolarEdge gave its first press interview earlier this month and closed on a $23 million Series B round of financing. So why has the company — which has raised a total of $34.8 million in venture capital from Vertex Venture Capital and Genesis Partners of Israel and the U.S. firms Walden International and Opus Capital — been hiding behind a stealthy cloak these last two years?

SolarEdge says its technology can boost solar panel efficiency by 15-20 percent using semiconductors and software. The company’s approach, similar to that of National Semiconductor and Tigo Energy, involves monitoring individual solar panels with embedded integrated circuits. The idea is to sidestep the problem of partial shading, which can keep typical inverters from harvesting enough voltage to feed usable electricity (alternating current) into a connected power grid.

The Wall Street Journal gets into the nitty-gritty of inverters here. But the main point, as National CEO Brian Halla explained earlier this month at Actel’s EcoChip forum (the company’s SolarMagic device also tackles partial shading), is that shade, dirt or shadow on just a few cells of a solar panel can disproportionately reduce energy output. According to California’s public utility and energy commissions, the solar cell with the least light typically determines the operating current for all cells wired in that series — more so for crystalline modules, and less for thin film. Using semiconductors and software, SolarEdge would allow unshaded cells to harvest energy at full throttle despite sullied neighbors.

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  1. 22 Israel-related headlines from the week of December 28, 2008 (Gaza operation edition) : Israel Innovation 2.0 Sunday, January 4, 2009

    [...] 7. Israel’s SolarEdge Raises $23M to Crush Shady Solar [...]

  2. Intersolar News: Tigo Raises $10M for Solar Module Efficiency Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    [...] solar systems’ output lost due to shade and debris. And expect some big news out of the show from SolarEdge, a startup which makes hardware and software to monitor individual solar panels with embedded integrated [...]

  3. Intersolar News: SolarEdge Snags BP Solar Deal Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    [...] Written by Josie Garthwaite No Comments Posted May 27th, 2009 at 12:00 am in Startups When we first wrote about Herzliya, Israel-based SolarEdge late last year, we knew the company was gunning to tackle [...]

  4. Intersolar News: SolarEdge Snags BP Solar Deal | Save Energy, Save Money Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    [...] When we first wrote about Herzliya, Israel-based SolarEdge late last year, we knew the company was gunning to tackle what’s called partial shading — a problem whereby shade, dirt or shadow on just a few cells of a solar panel can disproportionately reduce energy output. Like National Semiconductor, SolarEdge had laid out a scheme for using electronics to monitor individual solar panel cells and boost efficiency. The idea is to allow unshaded cells to harvest energy at full throttle regardless of whether neighbors are compromised by shadow or other factors. [...]

  5. Intersolar News: Tigo Raises $10M for Solar Module Efficiency | Save Energy, Save Money Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    [...] solar systems’ output lost due to shade and debris. And expect some big news out of the show from SolarEdge, a startup that makes hardware and software to monitor individual solar panels with embedded integrated [...]

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