Conventionallysolar panels mounted on any rooftop and connected together in seriesand their combined DC output is fed into an inverter which converts DCpower from the panels into AC power for use in a household. However,since the panels are connected together, any decrease in the output ofeven a single panel, which could be due to a bird sitting on top of thepanel or due to a leaf blowing, shows its results in the overall outputof the combined system. Enphase Energy,a startup from Petaluma, CA, has developed a new micro-inverter systemthat increases the output of solar energy and keeps the cost minimal.
Thecompany solves the problem of an overall output decrease by installingunique micro-inverters for each panel. These devices convert the outputof each panel and the collective AV output is then fed into the home’smains. Thus if any panel is in shade, only its output decreases withouthaving any effect on the collective output of the system. The companyclaims that the devices will increase a PV system’s efficiency by 5 to25 percent and decrease the cost of solar power. The company has raisedmore than $20 million in its latest round of funding and has alsoteamed with solar module manufacturers to bring their micro-inverter toyour rooftop soon.
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