KRNLPWR consults and advises clients in solar energy resources, solar power technology and intellectual property, solar power generation operating within electric power transmission and distribution systems. Edward C. Kern, Jr., Ph.D. is the managing member of KRNLPWR LLC.
Dr. Kern has forty plus years experience working with photovoltaic systems and their interconnection to electric power systems. He has participated in photovoltaic system research, development, and engineering projects across the United States and internationally since the mid-1970s. He worked with the International Finance Corporation to design and install the first megawatt-scale PV system in a developing country. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank Group in the area of sustainable energy and infrastructure.
He is also active in the field of solar power resources assessment, system design, and system performance modeling. His former instrumentation company, Irradiance, Inc., manufactures Rotating Shadowband Radiometers, a field instrument for measuring global, direct and diffuse solar radiation, that he invented in the early 1990s. Since 2006 Irradiance has provided these instruments to customers in Spain, Australia, Mexico, Israel, Jordan, India, China, Chile, Italy, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada, Uruguay, Brazil and the United States, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Radiation Research Laboratory. As founder and president of Ascension Technology (1987-1999) he worked with electric utility companies, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Electric Power Research Institute and oversaw the design and installation of over 200 grid-connected photovoltaic systems, many of which were the first to be interconnected to power grids in US states.
Before founding Ascension Technology in 1987, Dr. Kern was a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and research staff. During the mid-1970s he taught fluid mechanics and studied the dynamics of engineered structures exposed to ocean waves, including floating barriers designed to contain oil spills. In 1977 he joined a newly formed Energy System Group at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory whose charter was to develop terrestrial applications for solar photovoltaic technology. As a leader in this Group, he developed and managed the US Department of Energy’s program to develop residential roof-mounted solar PV systems.
Dr. Kern is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Fellow of the American Solar Energy Society. He was a founder and first president of the Solar Energy Business Association of New England. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and its Thayer School of Engineering. He earned his Ph.D at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.