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Barre Company Develops Power Breakthrough

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A key factor in harnessing renewable energy is how efficiently the DC power can be converted to AC power for homes and businesses. A Vermont company, SBE Inc. in Barre, focused on a single component of this process and developed a product that is now in demand around the world.

In today’s most advanced wind and solar energy systems, SBE’s Power Ring Film Capacitors™ are the DC link capacitors used in inverters and other power conversion systems. The reason is simple. The breakthrough ring shape of these capacitors provides longer life and increased performance compared to conventional ones. As a result, SBE customers often achieve a 30 – 40% cost reduction or a doubling of power and/or lifetime if spending levels remain the same.

The Power Ring was originally designed to use in electric vehicles and SBE is currently working with clients in China and Canada to provide more efficient drivetrains for new lines of EV and hybrid busses.

Originally a part of Sprague Electric, the company has been making capacitors since 1946. The Power Ring is showing so much potential that SBE is devoting all of its manufacturing capacity to this single product while positioning itself to serve the growing needs of this sector.

According to the company’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Michael Brudbaker, “SBE is very excited to support next generation power conversion for alternative energy using our unique capacitor technology.”

SBE’s headquarters, engineering and product development center, and manufacturing operation are located in Barre.