Microsemi announces breakthrough solar bypass solution

Microsemi Corp., a leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, hasintroduced the world’s first solar bypass solution capable of increasing power generation efficiency in photovoltaic (PV) solar moduleapplications.

The breakthrough solution will be demonstrated atthe American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Conference, May 20through May 22, 2010, in Phoenix, Arizona.

A leader in PV solarsolutions with its discrete and power modules for solar inverterofferings, Microsemi has expanded its solar portfolio to include theLX2400 IDEALSolar(TM) bypass solution.

The LX2400 is anintegrated circuit solution based on technology developed by Microsemiin conjunction with Spelsberg ELS, an expert in connection systems forphotovoltaic modules, and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (ISE),the largest solar energy research institute in Europe.

Microsemi’s LX2400 implements the company’s patented CoolRUN technology, whichincreases power-generation efficiency and significantly reducesoperating temperatures while slashing the operational expense,reliability problems and associated warranty costs of traditionalSchottky diodes.

"Microsemi is excited to bring this new,ground-breaking technology to the solar PV industry," said Tom Kapucija, director of marketing with Microsemi’s Analog Mixed Signal Group.

"With the lowest forward voltage drop in a bypass solution, the LX2400 willbe the first of its kind to address thermal reliability, operationalcost, and power-generation efficiency challenges that are common insolar installations. By adapting and refining our expertise in satellite PV module applications, where high reliability is a must, we havedeveloped a solution that can provide system operators with improvedprofitability, a faster break-even time, and improved energyefficiency."

According to market research firm Gartner in aDecember 2009 press release, "the US solar power purchase agreement(PPA) market will grow to reach an estimated $8 billion in newphotovoltaic (PV) solar power generation installations by 2013, up froman estimated $700 million in 2009."

"Solar PPAs are expected toreach 3 Gigawatts of installed systems in 2013 in the US alone,representing $8 billion," said Al Velosa, a research director atGartner. "Semiconductor technologies can help cut operational expensesfor these PPAs, particularly for insurance, warranty and in-field recall and replacement costs. This will have a clear impact on PPAprofitability, and the potential to significantly accelerate marketdevelopment."

Microsemi’s LX2400 device will be used in junctionboxes supporting both existing and next-generation high-power solarmodules serving industrial, commercial, and solar PPA applications. With its extremely low typical forward voltage drop of 50mV under 10A loadcurrents, the LX2400 operates with negligible heat generation, resulting in a temperature rise of only 10 degrees C (typical).

It isdesigned with Microsemi’s high-reliability, 40-year design rulemethodology to enable support for industry warranty requirements andextreme environment survivability. The LX2400 is fully functional from-65 degrees C to +165 degrees C, passes 1.4Joule lightning tests and iscompliant with IEC61215, Section 10.18.

The LX2400 is sampling to Microsemi’s lead customer and general samples will be availablestarting in July 2010 with production volumes available later in thirdquarter of 2010.