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how to improve the power generation efficiency of PV systems by utilizing microinverters and power optimizers?

Solar power systems rely on solar panels to generate electricity, however the inverter is what converts this DC power into usable AC power. The traditional way of generating electricity is to connect the solar panels directly in series, and then connect them to a string inverter, which is connected to the power grid for use by other devices.

In this case, a decrease in the power generation efficiency of any one solar panel due to shadowing or other problems will result in a decrease in the overall power generation efficiency of the system, as shown in Fig. Moreover, remote monitoring of a single panel is difficult to realize. Therefore, this method is gradually being replaced by better solutions.

The use of a power optimizer allows individual solar panels to work independently, minimizing the effects of shading shadows, etc. As shown in the figure below, the power optimizer (P.O.) can remotely monitor the power generated by each solar panel, and quickly shut down in case of an emergency to prevent fires. However, the entire system still requires an inverter to convert the DC power into AC power into the grid.

ITECH Test Solution

In order to verify these scenarios, we simulate two solar panels in series with two IT-N2121 Solar Array Simulator. When the two configurations are the same, the conversion efficiency of the microinverter is up to 99.9%. When the two configurations are different, i.e., when one solar panel is simulated to be covered by shadow, the conversion efficiency of the microinverter decreases.

Same configuration

Different configurations

In order to verify the improvement of the overall power generation efficiency by the power optimizer, we connect two IT-N2100s with different configurations to the power optimizer respectively, then connect them to the microinverter, and find that the system efficiency is increased to 99.8% again, which shows that the use of the power optimizer can significantly improve the overall power generation efficiency of the system.

Through experiments, it can be seen that the tracking speed of IT-N2100 can perfectly match microinverters with fast MPPT algorithms when simulating solar arrays.

The IT-N2100 series solar array simulator is equipped with standard multi-channel PV software, with nf-grade output capacitance and extremely low ripple noise. Its 500kHz current loop is suitable for the DUT under high-speed MPPT algorithms, while the DC-to-ground withstand voltage is up to 1500V, which is especially suitable for series testing needs. The series has been well received on the client side for testing microinverters and power optimizers, and can also be used for testing small-scale photovoltaic storage power generation and other devices.

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