SolarEdge Technologies has raised a round of money from General Electric.
The company's CEO Guy Sella declined to disclose the amount, making it difficult to gauge the impact of this fundraising effort. Israel-based SolarEdge plans to use the money for sales and boosting the production of its electronic devices for solar energy systems.
Founded in 2006, SolarEdge has developed a set of chips paired with the electrical wiring for tracking the output and ferry electricity from each panel to the rest of the system. This device, which the company calls PowerBox, would replace the conventional junction box.
SolarEdge also makes inverters, which convert the direct current from an array of solar panels to alternating current for use onsite or feeding the power to the grid. It also offers software for monitoring the performance of each panel and system.
The company is one of a growing cadre of businesses that aim to improve the performance of each solar energy system through better monitoring and problem detection.
The hardware and software make it possible to adjust voltage to maintain the optimal setting for energy production. Because solar panels are connected in a series, the declining performance of one of them could affect the output of the rest.
Other players in this field include Tigo Energy, National Semiconductor, Green Ray Solar and Enphase Energy.
SolarEdge has signed several product development deals with solar panel makers such as Schott Solar, BP Solar and Isofoton. SolarEdge also has lined up Gehrlicher Solar, an installer in Germany, as its customer.
The company raised $23 million for a B round last year and $11.8 million for the A round. Investors included Vertex Venture Capital, Walden International, Opus Capital and Genesis Partners.
The company has 20 megawtts in outstanding orders for its products, Sella said. For 2010, Sella said he expects the company to book 60 megawatts of orders and ship 50 megawatts.
GE has invested in a number of solar companies, including PrimeStar Solar, a maker of cadmium-telluride solar panels in Arvada, Colo.