IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp., a leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, has introduced the world's first solar bypass solution capable of increasing power generation efficiency in photovoltaic (PV) solar module applications.
The breakthrough solution will be demonstrated at the American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Conference, May 20 through May 22, 2010, in Phoenix, Arizona.
A leader in PV solar solutions with its discrete and power modules for solar inverter offerings, Microsemi has expanded its solar portfolio to include the LX2400 IDEALSolar(TM) bypass solution.
The LX2400 is an integrated circuit solution based on technology developed by Microsemi in conjunction with Spelsberg ELS, an expert in connection systems for photovoltaic modules, and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (ISE), the largest solar energy research institute in Europe.
Microsemi's LX2400 implements the company's patented CoolRUN technology, which increases power-generation efficiency and significantly reduces operating temperatures while slashing the operational expense, reliability problems and associated warranty costs of traditional Schottky diodes.
"Microsemi is excited to bring this new, ground-breaking technology to the solar PV industry," said Tom Kapucija, director of marketing with Microsemi's Analog Mixed Signal Group.
"With the lowest forward voltage drop in a bypass solution, the LX2400 will be the first of its kind to address thermal reliability, operational cost, and power-generation efficiency challenges that are common in solar installations. By adapting and refining our expertise in satellite PV module applications, where high reliability is a must, we have developed a solution that can provide system operators with improved profitability, a faster break-even time, and improved energy efficiency."
According to market research firm Gartner in a December 2009 press release, "the US solar power purchase agreement (PPA) market will grow to reach an estimated $8 billion in new photovoltaic (PV) solar power generation installations by 2013, up from an estimated $700 million in 2009."
"Solar PPAs are expected to reach 3 Gigawatts of installed systems in 2013 in the US alone, representing $8 billion," said Al Velosa, a research director at Gartner. "Semiconductor technologies can help cut operational expenses for these PPAs, particularly for insurance, warranty and in-field recall and replacement costs. This will have a clear impact on PPA profitability, and the potential to significantly accelerate market development."
Microsemi's LX2400 device will be used in junction boxes supporting both existing and next-generation high-power solar modules serving industrial, commercial, and solar PPA applications. With its extremely low typical forward voltage drop of 50mV under 10A load currents, the LX2400 operates with negligible heat generation, resulting in a temperature rise of only 10 degrees C (typical).
It is designed with Microsemi's high-reliability, 40-year design rule methodology to enable support for industry warranty requirements and extreme environment survivability. The LX2400 is fully functional from -65 degrees C to +165 degrees C, passes 1.4Joule lightning tests and is compliant with IEC61215, Section 10.18.
The LX2400 is sampling to Microsemi's lead customer and general samples will be available starting in July 2010 with production volumes available later in third quarter of 2010.