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Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block

Sandia National Laboratories

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PDF Document Publication
Market Sheet
(499 KB)

Technology Marketing Summary

This technology provides a fully integrated and self-containing alternating current (AC) photovoltaic (PV) Building Block device and method that allows photovoltaic applications to become trueplug-and-play devices.


The Building Block combines, contains, and integrates almost all of the electrical and mechanical elements of a PV system while eliminating the traditional DC voltage concerns of today’s PV systems. The building block consists of an innovative module and method by which AC PV power is generated in the form of direct current (DC). Furthermore, the DC will be converted to AC and power will be exported through one or more power conversion and transfer units attached to the module. The Building Block can be used as a PV power source that has only AC power out and can be used alone or in an array.

  • Compatible with all known PV module technologies
  • Eliminates DC voltage concerns by placing elements inside structure
  • Environmentally & structurally sound
  • Unique plug-and-play technology
Applications and Industries
  • Solar energy generation
  • Energy storage
  • Power sources
  • Satellites
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 6,750,391
Aternating current photovoltaic building block
A modular apparatus for and method of alternating current photovoltaic power generation comprising via a photovoltaic module, generating power in the form of direct current; and converting direct current to alternating current and exporting power via one or more power conversion and transfer units attached to the module, each unit comprising a unitary housing extending a length or width of the module, which housing comprises: contact means for receiving direct current from the module; one or more direct current-to-alternating current inverters; an alternating current bus; and contact means for receiving alternating current from the one or more inverters.
Sandia National Laboratories 06/15/2004
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
SD#6968Prototype - Sandia estimates this technology at a Technology Readiness Level 4. Key elements of the technology have been proven to work as expected in the laboratory environment.Available11/03/201611/01/2016

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