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OMRON Receives METI Minister's Prize in New Energy Grand Prix Program
- KP[]K Series Power Conditioner for Photovoltaic Systems -

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  • January 25, 2013

Kyoto, Japan - OMRON Corporation has received the highest Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize (METI Minister's Prize) in the Excellent Products/Services Category of the 2012 New Energy Grand Prix program in recognition of its KP[]K Series of Power Conditioners for Photovoltaic Systems. This award program was hosted by the New Energy Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

In recent years, photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems that convert solar energy into electricity have been attracting growing attention. In the case of PV systems connected to the utility grid, safety considerations make it essential to detect the so-called islanding1 condition in PV systems in the event of outages or other electrical accidents. But in cases in which PV systems are installed on adjacent roofs, multiple systems are connected to the same power line. Under this situation of so-called "grid-connected multiple PV systems2" interference between systems may prevent islanding from being detected.

To prevent this situation from occurring, tests have to be conducted to verify that interference problems would not occur in the case of grid-connected multiple PV systems. Moreover, because islanding detection over a wide area was difficult, PV installations were limited by safety regulations to approximately 10% of the sites in each area. This has been a "hidden" bottleneck that slowed the popularization of PV systems.

OMRON's KP[]K series of power conditioners equipped with its proprietary AICOT® technology is an ideal solution for interference problems in grid-connected multiple PV systems. AICOT® can detect an islanding condition more quickly than conventional methods - less than 0.2 seconds. AICOT® can also eliminate the need for interference tests, while also removing limitations in PV installations thanks to its wider-area detection capability.

Over the course of several years during the development process, OMRON succeeded in making AICOT® a Japan Electrical Safety and Environmental Technology Laboratories (JET)-certified standard based on the results of demonstrative testing at "Solar Town." Last autumn, the AICOT® method was also publicly specified as an industry standard method by the Japan Electrical Manufacturers Association (JEMA).

Use of AICOT®-equipped power conditioners removes the necessity for safety verification tests for concentrated PV installations, and eliminates limitations on the number of installed systems. This is expected to greatly contribute to the popularization of PV system installations.

The recent achievement of the prize was due to recognition of the value of this advanced technology and related activities.

Following the KP[]K series (indoor type), last autumn OMRON added the outdoor type KP[]M series to its range of AICOT®-equipped power conditioners for PV systems, in its efforts to promote further popularization of renewable energy sources.

OMRON will continue to support generation, storage, and smart usage of energy through its energy generation-related products and services, as well as energy conversion and control technologies, in order to contribute to maximum efficiency of energy usage by customers.

  • 1 Islanding: When one or more distributed generators are connected to a utility grid, a grid-connected system may continue feeding power to the electrical grid even in outages or electrical accidents in which power from the utility is no longer present. This presents a potential hazard for utility workers checking or repairing lines.
  • 2 Grid-connected multiple PV systems: Grid connection refers to connecting the output of distributed generators to a utility grid.

About the New Energy Grand Prix

The New Energy Grand Prix program promotes the implementation of new energy resources by publicly soliciting projects concerning the development of devices, deployment of equipment, and popularization and awareness enhancement, relating to renewable energy, and commending outstanding projects based on strict and fair examination of entries.

About OMRON

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation. Established in 1933, Omron has more than 37,000 employees in over 35 countries working to provide products and services to customers in a variety of fields including industrial automation, electronic components, social systems, healthcare, and the environment. The company has regional head offices in Singapore (Asia Pacific), Beijing (Greater China), Amsterdam (Europe, Africa, and the Middle East), Chicago (the Americas), Gurgaon (India), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). For more information, visit OMRON's website: http://www.omron.com/

Media Inquires
Arlo Cook,
Corporate Communications Department,
OMRON Corporation
Tel: +81-3-6718-3430

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