Unified Solar is aiming to help the solar industry recover lost capacity and reduce power optimizer costs by offering a unique solution that makes dual use of solar cells – for both energy generation and power balancing.
Unified Solar is developing a disruptive integrated circuit solution for maximum power point tracking with cell-level granularity. Our patent-pending technology roughly doubles the average energy capture improvement for less than a third of the price compared to the available solutions today. We achieve this by incorporating the solar cell parasitics into the power electronics and eliminating the need for external energy storage components. A solar panel employing our technology effectively behaves as a single “super-cell” rather than a series string of solar cells, hence solving the weakest-link problems due to partial shading, dirt collection, and manufacturing process variation.
Arthur Chang, the inventor of Unified Solar’s core technology, is working towards his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Finance at MIT (expected 2014). For the past 3 years, he has worked on all aspects of photovoltaic power generation, from maximum power point tracking to grid-tie inverter optimization and protection. He is a former National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellow and a recipient of the ISSCC Analog Devices Outstanding Student Designer Award. He holds M.S. and B.S. degrees, both in Electrical Engineering, from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA.
Jinyeong Moon is current pursuing a Doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering at the MIT Laboratory of Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems (LEES). His research interests include energy harvesting, low power sensor nodes, and high efficiency power conversion circuits. Prior to attending graduate school, he worked as a senior research engineer at Hynix Semiconductor, Inc., from 2007 to 2011, designing voltage regulators, data peripheral circuits, reliability and power saving features, such as CRC, DBI, and MPR, and testing software for DDR4 SDRAM. He holds a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and has authored 17 registered US and international patents.
Jorge Elizondo is a Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering at MIT working on control techniques for Microgrids to enhance stability and economic viability. He is the current Vice President of the MIT Energy Club, where he has served several leadership positions. Before MIT, he co-founded a start-up company that develops small wind turbines and renewable energy projects. He has won several awards in Mexico such as the Santander Business Innovation Award, and has received mentorship for business plan development for start-ups. Jorge holds a M.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Physics from Tecnologico de Monterrey, in Mexico.
Anas Al Bastami received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at Qatar in 2012. He is currently a member of the Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems (LEES) at MIT, where he is pursuing his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees, both in Electrical Engineering. His research interests include analog and digital circuit design, power electronics, control and optimization of industrial electronics and renewable energy systems. He has research experience primarily in techniques for power monitoring in integrated circuits, as well as in the design of power conversion systems. Anas is also affiliated with the Qatar Foundation Research Division.
Bessma Aljarbou is currently an MBA candidate and Sloan Fellow at MIT. From 2010 to 2012, she was in charge of business development for First Solar across the Middle East region, responsible for managing all key relationships with governments, utilities, and research institutes. Prior to this, she worked in the firm’s corporate development division, managing the execution and integration of company-wide acquisitions and joint ventures. She has eleven years of corporate experience and is a graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. In addition, she founded MIT Joules, MIT’s community for women in energy, under the leadership of the MIT Energy Club.