Balancing solar PV module cost and efficiency: ROI with Schneider Electric

Andrew Swingler of Schneider Electric presented on power electronics during Solar Power International, covering shade-tolerant solar photovoltaics maxium power point tracking (MPPT) for string inverters.

October 20, 2011 — Andrew Swingler of Schneider Electric presented on power electronics during Solar Power International, covering shade-tolerant solar photovoltaics maxium power point tracking (MPPT) for string inverters.

Swingler speaks with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, at Solar Power International, this week in Dallas, TX.

The question Swingler addresses is a big one: “How do we extract the maximum amount of energy from a PV array under shaded conditions or mismatched module conditions?”

Schneider Electric has found that single-string inverters do a good job harvesting energy from shaded PV arrays. Module-based technologies may harvest a little bit more energy, but the return on investment (ROI) might not justify this increase.

String inverters are an option with low costs, “bankability,” and a reasonable efficiency in shaded applications.

Swingler also shares tips on determining your cost/efficiency balance with a solar photovoltaics installation.

More interviews from SPI 2011:

Skyline Solar unveils CPV technology at SPI, chats about subsidies

Solar Power Technologies: Using the cloud to achieve ROI

Suniva adds BOS components to PV offering

Canadian Solar makes a play for re-engineering solar economics

Paula Mints on Solyndra, PV grid parity

CA’s solar leadership today and tomorrow

CPV ramps to utility status

Heraeus nods to PV cost pressures with lower-silver pastes

Solar energy on the grid: Intermittency session at Solar Power International

Inside TSMC Solar’s CIGS fab strategy

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Follow Debra Vogler: twitter.com/dvogler_PV_semi.

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