PV Electronics Market Heats Up

06 May of 2011 by

microchips PV Electronics Market Heats Up

Power-One (Nasdaq:PWER), the world’s second largest central PV inverter firm,just announced the launch of a new 300 watt microinverter as well as aDC/DC power optimizer — marking the first entry in the distributedelectronics space of an established central inverter player.

There will soon be more firms entering the fray, according to our sources.

We’ve covered the potential benefits of distributed electronics at length in our solar coverage at Greentech Media. There are potentialenergy harvest gains, potential design flexibility, and potentialreliability gains. There is some question as to whether the microinverter solution or the DC-to-DC power optimizer architecture is the way to go.  Power-One avoids that argument by introducing a product for each of those architectures.

Power-One claims efficiency ratings of up to 95.5 percent and amicro-inverter that is electrolyte-free. That would mean that Power-Oneis avoiding the use of electrolytic capacitors, which can come withreliability risks if designed by engineers who don’t know how to designwith electrolytic capacitors. Enphase, the leading microinverter firm, uses electrolytic capacitors and hasshipped about half a million units. Other microinverter firms like Solar Bridge use more reliable film caps in their designs.

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