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



  • 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:


For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
Bingsen Wang