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United Kingdom

Overview: Solar Power in the United Kingdom

Solar power represented only a very small part of electricity production in the United Kingdom (U.K.) until the 2010s when it increased greatly. The sudden and rapid increase of solar power can be attributed to the fact that most of the new installations in that decade were subsidized with a feed-in tariff (FIT), as well as the fact that the cost of photovoltaic panels was — and has been — rapidly falling.

As of 2019, the installed capacity in the U.K. has been over 13 GW. With the 72 MW (DC), Shotwick Solar Farm is the largest solar project in the U.K., but its peak generation was only less than 10 GW. Since panels have a capacity factor of around 10% in the U.K. climate, the average annual generation is roughly the installed capacity multiplied by 1000 hours, being slightly under 13 TWh in 2018 which is somewhat under 4% of the U.K. electricity consumption.

Power Optimizers used for below projects in United Kingdom

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Power Optimizers

What are Power Optimizers for Solar Inverters?

Power optimizers are additional devices used in Solar Power generation to convert DC to DC (that’s right, not a typo, DC to DC). Power optimizers tune the performance of individual panels in the Solar power plant. 

Optimizers are required because the photoelectric effect does not produce the same energy in all the panels equally. Factors like the shading of panels due to clouds and dust can result in non-uniform distribution of power.

What are the types of Power Optimizers for Solar Inverters?

Module-level Power Optimizer: Power optimizers at each module level optimize the energy distribution to negate the effect of peculiar conditions.

Sometimes the panels don’t operate at the optimal power efficiency. In that case, the module measures the maximum power point tracking. MPPT helps to optimize the DC characteristics to get the maximum possible power output.

In Solar Power plants, the panels get connected in series. Therefore the reduced output from a few panels can lead to the reduced power output power of the whole system. 

Sometimes up to 50% of power is lost. Power optimizers become critical for not only optimizing the output DC power. But also save the system from power loss of up to half of the capacity.

How do the Power Optimizers for Solar Plant work?

Large Solar plants face an efficiency dip in power production and delivery of the power to the load. Solar Inverters convert DC to AC for the consumers. 

The DC input to the inverters is not consistent without an optimizer. Power optimizers use maximum power point tracking to make the DC power output from panels optimal.

This optimal DC power is fed to the Solar Inverters to get the efficient flow of current at optimal levels. Smaller DC voltage is hard to convert into AC voltage. Power Optimizers are necessary, especially for big Solar power plants.

What are some top brands of Power Optimizers for Solar Inverters?

SolarEdge produces high quality PV modules for Power Optimization in the Solar Inverters.

Latest technology in Power optimizers is presented by the following brands.

  • Alencon
  • Tigo
  • APsystems
  • SunSepc