The Solar Edge three-fold architecture consists of power optimizers which perform module-level MPPT, a highly reliable solar PV inverter, and a portal for module-level PV monitoring and yield assurance. The power optimizer is connected by installers to each PV module or embedded by module manufacturers, replacing the traditional solar junction box. The system features the following technological advancements:
A highly-optimized algorithm ensures that each module is constantly kept at maximum power point (MPP), preventing energy losses due to module mismatch or partial shading conditions. In addition to the energy benefit, module-level MPPT is faster than MPPT performed by a centralized inverter. This allows the modules to better react to changes in sun irradiance and temperature, thus minimizing power loss on cloudy days when changes in irradiance are frequent and fast, which leads to increased energy yield. The DC-DC conversion employed by each power optimizer is highly efficient with the highest known peak efficiency in the industry of 99.5%.
Fixed String Voltage:
A unique Solar Edge innovation, the string’s voltage is maintained at a fixed optimal point for DC to AC inversion, regardless of a strings length or environmental conditions. The fixed string voltage enables maximum design flexibility with uneven string lengths and strings on multiple facets for full roof utilization, optimal inverter efficiency, reliability and reduced installation cost.
All power optimizers continuously measure and communicate a range of module-specific status indicators. Performance data is transmitted from the power optimizer to the inverter over the existing DC power lines (PLC), eliminating the need for additional wiring. In the inverter, a built-in communication gateway with LAN and wireless connectivity options enable easy broadband connection to a remote monitoring server.
One key factor in increasing the efficiency and overall reliability of the power optimizer is the elimination of discrete components and their integration into Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). The high-voltage, high-current, analog blocks are implemented within the high-voltage Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) process, geared specifically for harsh-environmental conditions such as those of the automotive industry. The logic-based digital blocks are implemented within the mature, extremely high-yield process developed by the world’s largest semiconductor fabrication plant.