EPIC to partner on SunShot grant with startup firm

Friday, November 1, 2013

The University’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center is a partner on a $620,000 federal grant to develop a molecule inverter that mounts on solar panels.

EPIC will work with clean-energy startup SineWatts, according to an article in the Charlotte Business Journal.

SineWatts will open an office in Charlotte. It is likely to be a tenant UNC Charlotte Portal Building when the facility opens in early 2014.

Johan Enslin, EPIC director, stated in the CBJ story, “This is an important win for Charlotte.” EPIC will provide SineWatts with a team of post-doctorate fellows and students to assist in the development of the molecule inverter.

SineWatts was founded in 2011 in Palo Alto, Calif. CEO Shiba Bhowmik relocated to Charlotte earlier with month to work with EPIC, the article stated. He will serve as an adjunct faculty member at EPIC.

According to the CBJ, the SineWatts inverter is designed to be installed in the solar panel itself and to be more efficient than traditional inverters, bringing miniaturized hand-held electronics to utility-scale solar operations. Inverters take direct current produced by solar panels and convert it to alternating current.

The $620,000 federal grant funding this research is from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Incubator Program; it is designed to fund startup businesses with high-growth potential in breakthrough technology.