1-Solar: 2007 CCTO Renewables Award Winner Profile
1-Solar, Inc. (http://1-solar.com/) CEO Tranh Nguyen was able to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule meeting with Venture Capitalists (VCs), investors, and customers to discuss his 2007 California Clean Tech Open (CCTO) Renewables Award winning company.
First, Mr. Nguyen said the following about the 1-Solar inverter design:
The main reason for the small size, reduced weight, and long life of our 1-Solar inverter design is our patent-pending Push-Push™ inverter topology. This Push-Push topology converts DC (Direct Current) to AC (Alternating Current) in a single step compared to the two steps required in conventional High Frequency (HF) inverters.
Current flows from the input to the output through only three (3) semiconductor devices instead of the six (6) devices used in conventional HF inverters. We modulate the voltage according to a sine wave at high frequency by using a small transformer size with very low modulation losses. Our design eliminates the need for an intermediate high voltage DC bus and its associated storage capacitors thus increasing reliability.
The control circuit for the inverter uses a small Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) yet it is re-usable for Push-Push inverters designed for various power ratings.
Here is Mr. Nguyen’s Bio from the 1-Solar business plan submitted for the 2007 CCTO:
Tranh Nguyen, Founder and CEO. Mr. Nguyen has been involved in power systems, power supplies, and general power electronics for the last 25 years. Prior to 1-Solar, he founded Nphysics/NuForce Inc., of which he was Chairman/CTO. His NuForce Reference 9 amplifier received the 2006 “Amplifier of the Year” and “Product of the Year” awards from audiophile magazines. Mr. Nguyen received his MSEE (Master of Science in Electrical Engineering) from Faculty Polytechnic of Mons Belgium (Faculté Polytechnique de Mons), and his MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Golden Gate University. He holds 7 US patents, and many more pending.
- Chief Electronics Engineer of an aerospace company, [chief designer of the power system for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile]
- Engineering manager of Power Supply Dept of a division of Harris Corp.
When asked about 1-Solar funding requirements, Mr. Nguyen said:
Our funding is coming along as usual. Our aerospace background helps us design long life inverters but our new topology is the key factor to their long life.
|Tranh Nguyen (seated) with Casey Ng and Jason Lim|
By googling the keywords Tranh amplifier, many reviews of Mr. Nguyen’s award-winning audiophile Class-D amplifiers will be found. Mr. Nguyen mentioned that Class-D amplifiers and inverters are cousins.
Based in Rohnert Park, California USA, the 1-Solar website landing page features a pair of high impact videos from the 2007 California Clean Tech Open Final Awards Event Gala by a certain progressive Photovoltaic Blogger.