SolarEdge

Inverters Matter when Converting Solar Power to Usable Energy

You might be thinking, why this matters to you. I get it, many companies count on you not knowing there are differences in the technology to convert the sun’s amazing energy to power. You could have a huge system, but not get the output you invested in if you inverter is old technology. Solar energy inverter systems have evolved. It has improved from what was good technology 10 years ago to companies and technologies like SolarEdge that lead the way in getting the most from your solar installation. Many companies in the Texas area still use the older string technology that is cheaper, but limits the home owner in amount of panels that can be placed on the house, the safety of the modules, and the energy generated.

 

Traditional Inverter

  • MPPT per entire string – all modules receive the same current, regardless of their individual MPP
  • Weak modules reduce the performance of all modules in the string or are bypassed
  • Power losses due to module mismatch

SolarEdge Solution

  • MPPT per module – current & voltage adjusted per module
  • Maximum power from each module individually
  • More energy from the sun

 

According the wiki page, “Traditional photovoltaic systems (PV systems) are typically characterized by a centralized inverter or string inverter architecture*. In this topology the inverter performs Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) for large quantities of solar panels as a whole. Since the solar panels are connected in series to form strings, the same current must flow through all the modules, so the solar inverter continuously adjusts the electric current in the system to find the average optimal working point of all the modules. As a result, potential power may be lost whenever a mismatch exists between modules.* Panel mismatch is unavoidable in many cases, due to panel manufacturing tolerance, partial shading,[4] uneven soiling, or uneven tilt angle. In addition, power may also be lost due to slow tracking of dynamic weather conditions caused by moving clouds,[5] and on extremely hot or cold days when the system DC voltage may exceed the inverter’s permissible input voltage range*. These factors cause small losses in yearly yields, but they are present. Other drawbacks of traditional PV systems include:

  • System design is constrained by the need to match all strings’ length and orientation
  • Monitoring visibility and fault detection are limited to the inverter (or in some cases, to the string level)
  • High DC voltage is present as long as the sun is up, posing a possible risk of electrocution to installers, maintenance personnel and firefighters*

These drawbacks, however, can be mitigated by newer string inverters with advanced electronics and features such as dual maximum power point tracking, shade tolerant MPPT and improved MPPT tracking.”

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