UNC Charlotte Collaborating on SunShot Initiative Project

Date Published: 
October 29, 2013

CHARLOTTE. NC  - Oct.29, 2013:  SineWatts Inc., a cleantech startup based in Charlotte,NC and Palo Alto, CA, in collaboration with UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) as its primary research partner has won a U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative award.  The DOE awards SunShot cooperative agreements to early stage startups with high growth potential that are accelerating solar innovations across a range of technologies.

Founded in 2011, SineWatts is developing its patent pending PV inverter architecture and with UNCC’s expertise in power electronics is designing its Inverter Molecule™ product.  “We are excited to have won one of the most prestigious DOE awards,” said Shiba Bhowmik, CEO of SineWatts.  “This is a validation for the R&D team that we have been able to bring together.  We are confident on building upon the fundamental partnership with UNC Charlotte and EPIC to transform the PV inverter landscape,” added Dr. Bhowmik who is also an adjunct faculty at EPIC.

As the primary research partner, EPIC’s power electronics team consists of post-doctoral fellows, doctoral candidates, graduate and under-graduate students.  The team will be led by principal investigator Dr. Babak Parkhideh and the Director of EPIC, Dr. Johan Enslin both professors of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The William States Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte.  “This is a great opportunity for our researchers to bring our expertise to the development of a potentially industry-transforming solar inverter technology.  Our students will be gaining valuable experience as they make a real contribution to the future of power conversion,” said Dr. Enslin.

“The SineWatts Inverter Molecules™ form the smallest building blocks of a grid supportive and highly reliable PV power plant,” explained Dr. Parkhideh.  “Our industry transforming architecture allows semiconductor innovations that have enabled miniaturized hand-held electronics to be brought to utility scale applications for the first time”, Dr. Enslin highlighted.

The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center at UNC Charlotte is a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort that is uniting the academic and research expertise of the university with the great wealth of energy engineering talent in the Charlotte region. Focused on growth and advancement in the energy industry, EPIC is integral to and supported by the numerous companies of the Charlotte energy hub. EPIC educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate level emphasize the application of engineering skills on energy challenges. Collaborative research areas include power distribution and grid management, intelligent management, manufacturing of large power generation equipment, renewable energy, and environmental impacts.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour.  To learn more please visit http://www.energy.gov/sunshot.


For more information please contact:

Dr. Shiba Bhowmik, CEO, SineWatts, Inc. at shibashis.bhowmik@sinewatts.com

Dr. Johan Enslin, Director, Energy Production & Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at 704-687-5397 or JEnslin@uncc.edu