Intersolar News: Tigo Tops Off With $10M for Smarter Solar

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Tigo Energy, a startup that sells software and hardware to make solar photovoltaic systems more efficient, has raised $10 million in new funding. Based in Los Gatos, Calif., the startup announced this morning that it plans to channel this latest round — led by manufacturing partner Inventec Appliances, the Taiwan-based consumer electronics maker — into a rapid ramp-up in production of Tigo’s products.

Tigo’s system involves nodes embedded into each photovoltaic module. The idea is if a cloud or shade passes over the panels, traditional systems are at the mercy of the weakest module. But a Tigo-enabled system can maintain the maximum power output of the system more effectively, boosting the output of a solar array  by as much as 20 percent.

The startup’s co-founders, Ron Hadar and Sam Arditi (like the 25 people on this list), ditched infotech for cleantech. Hadar, Tigo’s President and chief operating officer, got his start in semiconductors working at Applied Materials (s AMAT), later assuming the chief executive role at Tenta Technology and MKS Instruments. Arditi, Tigo’s CEO, led a wireless and satellite systems company through an acquisition by Intel, where he then worked as VP and general manager for the cellular and handheld group.

Today’s announcement, arriving a day ahead of the massive Intersolar 2010 conference in Munich, Germany, comes as a bit of deja vu: On the day before Intersolar 2009, Tigo announced that it had raised a $10 million round. (We’ll bring you more news about the startups and innovations at this year’s show once it gets under way.) Founded in 2007, Tigo has now raised a total of more than $27 million.

With this latest round Tigo says it plans to expand manufacturing, international sales and logistics capabilities. Currently Tigo has offices in the U.S., Japan, Germany and Israel, and it launched an effort back in March to expand its sales in North Asia and Europe.

For more on cleantech financing check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):

Cleantech Financing Trends 2010 and Beyond

Image courtesy of Tigo Energy.

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