Power Source Inverter for Use with a Photovoltaic Solar Panel

 

Executive Summary

 

Photovoltaic (PV) developers desire to make PVs more efficient and cost effective. PVs generate power as direct current, however to power a home or connect to the grid, the power must be converted to alternating current using an inverter. Micro-inverters are typically mounted on the solar panel, making maintenance and replacement of worn components very difficult and expensive. PVs typically possess a 30 year life span, while the capacitors used in most micro-inverters have a lifetime of around 5 years. A micro-inverter with a lifetime comparable to that of the PV panel it services would be an advantageous design. It would be especially beneficial if it did not sacrifice performance aspects of the micro-inverter or PV panel.

 

Description of Technology

 

Michigan State University has developed an improved circuit design for a micro-inverter.  An inductor in a third loop allows the use of a capacitor with approximately 100 times less capacitance. This allows for use of a non-electrolytic, longer lifetime capacitor that reduces the cost of maintenance and replacement capacitors.  Additionally, this configuration eliminates fluctuations in the Photovoltaic output voltage, and increasing overall efficiency. This circuit design utilizes a six-switch bridge, a commonly manufactured switch board that could reduce manufacturing costs

 

Key Benefits

  • Lower Maintenance Costs
    • Non-electrolytic capacitors have a longer lifetime
    • Eliminates costs for replacement of capacitors
  • Smaller Size
    • Non-electrolytic capacitors smaller in size
    • Allows for flexibility in circuit design
  • Better PV Efficiency
    • Inductor loop eliminates double-frequency ripple in DC output
    • Improved efficiency

 

Applications

  • Residential or commercial solar PV arrays with micro-inverters
  • Applications with larger, single inverter

       

Patent Status:

 

US Patent US2014-0328102

 

Licensing Rights Available

 

Full licensing rights available

 

Inventors: Bingsen Wang

 

Tech ID: TEC2013-0031

 

Patent Information:

Category(s):

For Information, Contact:

Raymond DeVito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
devitora@msu.edu
Inventors:
Bingsen Wang
Keywords: