This week’s conversation on Nature of Business was with Harvey Wilkinson, General Manager, at OutBack Power. OutBack is a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced power electronics for renewable energy, back-up power and mobile applications including solar, wind, micro-hydro, and battery-based energy systems. We spoke about his company and their product applications, the size of the power electronics field, the state of renewable energy, and more.
OutBack was started 11 years ago because its founders believed that the renewable energy industry was at the cusp of unprecedented growth driven primarily by the emerging need for sustainable alternative sources of energy. Today, its products have been installed worldwide in homes, businesses, industrial and government facilities and run the gamut from highly sensitive government applications where durability and reliability are essential to homeowners and business owners who rely on solar and wind power as their primary source of energy.
Wilkinson talked about the solar panel as an example. OutBack makes everything (inverters, charge controllers, batteries) that converts the electricity/energy from the solar panel from DC to AC as well as regulates the amount of DC power coming out of the solar panel to the batteries. In other words, everything but the solar panel itself.
As for the renewable energy field, Wilkinson is highly optimistic about its continued growth. He highlights that although the public often hears about the companies that fail, the industry is alive and well and that the power electronics market, a several billion-dollar market, has no plans to go anywhere anytime soon. In fact, OutBack plans to take things to another level by building greater awareness for the potential of renewable power solutions.