National SemiconductorCorp. announced a partnership with Solmetric Corp., an innovativedeveloper of test and measurement tools for solar installations.Solmetric has developed a software tool to estimate the energyproduction of solar arrays, including installations outfitted withNational’s SolarMagic power optimizers.
National’s SolarMagicpower optimizers enable solar panels to produce maximum energyregardless of whether other panels in the array are under-performingdue to shade, debris, panel mismatch and aging. To help determine howmuch benefit an installation will gain by using SolarMagic poweroptimizers, PV installers and designers can capture site-specific shadeinformation with Solmetric’s SunEye, a handheld measurement instrument,then create a PV system design on the site with the new photovoltaic(PV) layout and estimation software.
The system uses datacollected from real-world installation sites and enables a solar systemdesigner to experiment with different array configurations, with andwithout SolarMagic power optimizers. Designers can compare differenthardware and different roof layouts, and visualize shade over the arrayarea.
The system estimates the resultant energy production,resulting in more confidence in a PV design in less time. Solmetric isoffering a technology preview of the PV Simulator, which can bedownloaded for a 30-day trial starting in late May 2009. The finalrelease of the PV Simulator will be available to SolarMagic andSolmetric customers in August 2009.