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Will solar power optimizers gradually replace microinverters?

The history of the global PV industry is defined by innovation. Now Solar Power industry’s continued growth and ongoing health has enabled companies to invest in R&D more than ever before. From technology startups to global electronics companies offering marginal improvements or game-changing solutions with new components, the efficiency and performance of global PV systems remains an ADVA technology innovation.

One of the characteristics that unites the innovators in the solar industry is an unwavering commitment to optimizing solar PV systems, always seeking higher yields, lower operating and maintenance costs, and a higher return on investment for system owners. As a result, recent years have seen a significant increase in the use of module-level power electronics (MLPE), such as power optimizers or miniature inverters, which is perhaps not surprising. As the name implies, MLPEs place power electronics on the components of a PV system with the goal of isolating individual panels to improve the overall performance of the system.

The introduction of MLPEs marks a shift from traditional PV system designs where inverters would be responsible for handling many of the functions and processes that PV plants need to perform. the expansion of MLPEs is driven in part by the strong and sustained level of growth in the residential PV sector in recent years. The increased flexibility facilitated by MLPEs means that they are increasingly being incorporated into residential PV systems, given the great diversity of customer needs and the different residential layouts that need to be accommodated.

The two main MLPEs currently used in the solar industry are microinverters and power optimizers. Microinverters are smaller inverters that are placed on each solar module and can be integrated into panels or placed on panel mounts. Since PV systems use microinverters, there is no need for separate string or centralized PV grid-connected inverters because the DC current generated by the array is converted to AC at the panel location. Power optimizers are also installed at each panel, although instead of converting DC energy to AC, they increase the power output of the modules before sending the optimized DC voltage to the system inverter for conversion. They do this by tracking the maximum power point of each module, fixing the voltage of the DC energy so that the inverter can convert it to AC more efficiently, making full use of the roof and eliminating limiting problems.

The increased use of MLPE can also be attributed to well-informed customers who want to get the most out of the solutions they have. In the age of fitness applications, where monitoring steps go to the smart meter every day to monitor energy usage in real time, customers want more detail in many aspects of their lives, as is the case with the solar industry. MLPE helps facilitate module-level monitoring, providing customers with the ability to evaluate module performance, thereby maximizing efficiency and improving ROI.

So, as with many aspects of today’s PV systems, MLPEs offer installers and owners another choice as to which technology to choose. However, a recent analysis from IHS Markit shows that power optimizer solutions have begun to be favored by PV installers over microinverters, and one of the main reasons is the flexibility of the system design they support. For installers and customers, the benefits of a flexible residential system are clear. Being able to offer solutions that they know will meet the entire market demand means they no longer need to purchase multiple solutions from different suppliers, which helps to significantly reduce operating costs.

Foshan Sunpv Technology Co., Ltd. specializes in the manufacture of solar micro inverters, solar power optimizers and rapid shutdown. Our factory has over 10 years of experience in manufacturing precision electrical products. Our high quality solar related products are sold well in many countries around the world. We have certifications from various countries and are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality products and services! We warmly welcome new energy companies from all over the world to establish long-term cooperation with us!

Contact: Mark

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