- EGP and CEA-INES have developed a DC/DC MPPT electronic solution to improve solar system performance
- It comes with a maximum power of 500W at module level while limiting the voltage output to remain in the low voltage range of <1500Vdc
- They claim a pilot site installed since July 2021 showed a gain of 1% of energy produced, compared to a conventional system equipped with a conventional inverter
- Plan is to now deploy the solution on a very large power plant on a 1 MW scale in Catania to enable a pre-industrial version to be tested and technical and economic gains to be refined
Enel Green Power (EGP) and the National Solar Energy Institute (INES) at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) have developed a DC/DC Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) to allow an increase in the number of panels in a string to be increased, thus improving solar power yield.
The electronic solution comes with a maximum power of 500W at module level while limiting the voltage output to remain in the low voltage range of <1,500Vdc.
A total of 36 prototypes of the electronic solution were installed on a CEA demonstrator site in Cadarache, France in July 2021, to test the product in real operating conditions. The team was able to compare the results of solar power system equipped with the solution versus a conventional plant equipped with a conventional inverter.
“The results show that the developed solution would allow a gain of 1% of energy produced,” stated the project partners.
According to the team, the new solution helps compensate the output voltages of the converters well, without losing power production at the level of those that remain intact. Similarly, in the event of partial shading of a module, there is a loss of production for the affected module and does not impact the performance of other modules in the string.
EGP and CEA-INES are developing high efficiency bifacial solar panels to target large scale ground mounted solar panels. They have developed this DC/DC MPPT, calling it an ‘electronic shepherd’ for solar panels that ensures that the ‘slowest sheep does not slow down the whole flock’.
They attempt to demonstrate that the addition of an energy conversion system as close as possible to the panel makes it possible to reduce the impact of certain defects linked to the installation site and increase the overall power of the plant.
Now the partners are planning to deploy the solution on a very large power plant on a 1 MW scale in Catania, Italy to enable a pre-industrial version to be tested and technical and economic gains to be refined.
With the support of European Commission (EC), EGP is expanding its Catania located solar module fab from 200 MW to 3 GW to roll out heterojunction (HJT) solar modules. It recently unveiled the 1st look of its new solar module with an output of up to 680W at the 8th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC) (see Enel Green Power Unveils Heterojunction Solar Module).