Darren Hau was one of the founders of Dragonfly Systems, a solar energy power electronics company that was later sold to Sunpower, a company centered around solar sustainability. Darren is also a past Social Impact 360 student and mentor.
The first idea for Dragonfly came from an introductory course at Stanford University called Green Electronics, taught by NVIDIA chief scientist and Stanford professor Bill Dally. Darren’s team began work as a research project, eventually patenting the technology. With a $20,000 award from the Department of Energy, they kickstarted their business the following summer.
Darren and his colleagues invented a device that connects directly into a solar panel and manipulates the panel’s voltage in order to never exceed a predetermined limit. By doing so, a solar installation can accommodate 30% more panels per string. This created a new and innovative way to save on solar energy, which makes a direct social impact in our communities.
“The best way to make sure your social impact is sustainable is to make sure it’s financially sustainable as well,” Darren said.
The SI360 Connection
By joining Social Impact 360, Darren gained first-hand exposure to individuals who were effecting meaningful change. This exposure is invaluable for removing the myth that one must be an Elon Musk or a Steve Jobs before tackling daunting challenges.