Cell-string optimiser enables PV panels to harvest 30% more energy

14th September 2016
Nat Bowers

Allowing PV panels to harvest significantly more energy, Maxim Integrated Products has announced new cell-string optimiser technology which simplifies design complexity for solar installation projects.

The cell-string optimisers are highly integrated DC/DC converters that replace the bypass diode and perform Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) deep inside the PV module. By replacing each diode with a MPPT device, the on-off response to performance mismatch is eliminated; every cell-string contributes maximum power without interfering with the power production capability of others. This enhanced degree of flexibility leads to increased energy production; eliminating collateral performance loss due to module mismatch, degradation, soiling, localised shading, and row shading loss mechanisms.

Based on the company’s industry leading power semiconductor technology, Maxim claims that its cell-string optimiser is the first integrated power IC to perform MPPT and first to be embedded within the PV module.

Seth Kahn, Executive Director, Solar Products, Maxim Integrated, commented: “The granularity of Maxim’s cell-string optimisers offers best-in-class shade mitigation, enables flexible system design without adding complexity and helps improve panel lifetime performance. Major PV module companies have recognised the advantages of this unique technology - the first integrated power semiconductor for MPPT - and are ramping it in volume production.”

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