Doughty aims for the sun

Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures has led a €4.8m funding round in Sustainable Energy Technologies, a Canadian solar technology company with its primary sales offices in Europe.

Doughty Hanson invested €2.9m, and has the ability to invest a further €1m in the next six months. Unnamed investors made up the balance.

The capital injection will enable the company to launch the next generation of it “SUNERGY II” platform in Europe and North America, which changes the direct current (DC) power generated by solar modules into the alternating current (AC) power required by the power grid.

The SUNERGY II approach differs from others on the market by using something called “massively parallel” architecture, which keeps all solar panels in a system operating at optimum levels even if one of the solar panels is partially shaded or obscured from the sun, which is what happens with the typical “series” architecture in common use.

George Powlick, a partner at Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, who will join the board of the company, said: “We’ve been studying the limitations of conventional serial inverter technologies for more than two years and believe that the parallel system architecture has the potential to accelerate solar PV as a mainstream power source. Sustainable Energy’s approach is the only one we have seen with the ability to increase the energy output of a solar PV system while bringing down costs at the same time.