By Cameron Chai
STMicroelectronics, a global provider of semiconductor solutions, will highlight its innovative solutions at the PV Japan 2011 event with the theme titled, “Smart Semiconductors from the Sun to the Grid.” It will be displaying its products at Booth No. P10-403.
The company’s microinverter concept for plug-in PV modules has the ability to increase the adoption of small photovoltaic systems of the distribution-type due to its comparatively lower costs. Typical deployments of photovoltaic systems for residential purposes are expensive. The novel ST concept can help consumers to commence photovoltaic generation by installing just one microinverter for each solar panel. The microinverter consists of an ARM Cortex-M3-based 32-bit microcontroller, SiC diode and power MOSFETs, which lead to a power efficiency of 95%.
ST will highlight its “smart junction box,” a new device that optimizes power generation of photovoltaic systems. Typical junction boxes contain bypass diodes. Higher power conditioners contain 32-bit microcontrollers, DSPs and DC-DC converters. A single power conditioner is used for optimizing the power that is produced by multiple solar panels. When a single panel’s power generation decreases it affects the other panels and the power generated by the other panels also decreases.
In ST’s “smart junction box,” communication ICs, DC-DC converters and microcontrollers are provided to every photovoltaic system junction box. This facilitates remote controlling and monitoring and also maximizes generation of power. A maximum power-point tracking can be set for individual panels, which prevents power generation droppage in one solar panel from affecting the overall power generation.
In addition, ST will be showcasing its SPV1002 cool bypass switch and SPV1040 battery charger IC. The SPV1002 enables individual solar panels to generate more power, while the SPV1040 IC is for mobile battery chargers that have solar panels.