SolarMagic Power Optimizer Helps You Get the Most Power out of Your PV Array
SolarMagic Power Optimizer Recoups up to 57 Percent of Power Losses
National Semiconductor showcased their SolarMagic power optimizer at the 2009 Solar Power International conference. Built upon National’s analog power management circuits, the SolarMagic power optimizer gives back PV system owners much of the power they currently lose to real-world conditions including partial shade, panel aging, and irregular array designs. Field-testing has shown that the SolarMagic power optimizer recoups up to 57 percent of power losses. The Buildaroo News Team interviewed Genevieve Vansteeg about the SolarMagic power optimizer. Watch the video above to see this product and hear what she had to say.
Because of their sequential wiring, power mismatch between PV modules within a string can lead to a drastic and disproportionate loss of power from the entire solar array, in some cases leading to complete system failure. Shading of as little as 9% of the entire surface array of a PV system can, in some circumstances, lead to a system-wide power loss of as much as 54%.
Obstructions are cumulative in their effect on PV systems and can worsen over time. A residence with a mature tree may have partial shade, seasonal leaves and other debris, and intermittent bird droppings, which can add up quickly to a significant obstruction. This cumulative effect can cause very large reductions in overall power output.
SolarMagic power optimizer technology can recover up to 57 % of PV panel lost power. Some important points:
Retrofits: SolarMagic Power Optimizer Technology Compensates for Changes in the Array Over Time
Panel mismatches may not even be present when a solar system is first installed. Trees grow up, and panels age, creating imbalances that didn’t exist when a system was first installed. Today, even years after an array was first installed, SolarMagic power optimizer technology can be used to easily retrofit these installations and improve their energy output. And installation is quick and easy.
Flexibility: SolarMagic Power Optimizer Technology Enables Flexibility in Array Design
In addition to recovering lost power for PV system owners, SolarMagic power optimizer technology provides installers with unprecedented flexibility in designing new PV systems. Previously, system designers were wasting time and money precisely matching the configuration and output of each string while avoiding structural shading elements leading to smaller, and sometimes unsightly, array designs. Using the SolarMagic power optimizer technology, system designers can now optimize the power output and the aesthetics of a new system by implementing different string lengths, mixing and matching panel manufacturers, or making use of odd-shaped panels, if desired.
Accessibility: SolarMagic Power Optimizer Technology Grants More People Access to Solar Energy
By recouping lost energy in challenging real-world conditions, SolarMagic power optimizer technology makes solar energy a feasible solution in more locations. Many sites that are evaluated for solar are rejected for their challenges. By providing a way to mitigate these challenges, the SolarMagic power optimizer technology effectively expands the solar market by making solar a more practical solution accessible to more people.
Reliability: SolarMagic Power Optimizer Technology Improves Overall System Reliability and Performance
After decades of designing and manufacturing analog and power management integrated circuits (ICs), National Semiconductor has the proven ability to provide an exceptionally reliable product in the SolarMagic power optimizer. National currently produces billions of ICs a year and has an exceptionally low defect rate of one defective part per million, creating products for extremely demanding applications such as aerospace, automotive and defense. It has applied that rigor to its SolarMagic power optimizer, which has an industry-leading mean time between failures (MTBF) rate of 455 years. This makes National’s SolarMagic power optimizer one of the most reliable electronic photovoltaic (PV) system components available.
The SolarMagic Power Optimizer's reliability and performance dramatically improves how photovoltaic systems function. By conditioning the power coming from the panels to the inverter, many of the potential reliability issues of existing PV systems, such as over voltage, are eliminated. This makes PV systems outfitted with the SolarMagic power optimizer technology more reliable over time. In addition, by maintaining the DC-to-AC conversion as a centralized function, this conversion operates at a voltage range where it can achieve an optimal efficiency level. This means more power for the same number of panels.
The SolarMagic power optimizer is currently available to customers through distributors and installers in Europe and North America with an MSRP of US$199 per unit. The SolarMagic power optimizer will be available through solar dealers and distributors in North America and Europe.