Module-level power electronics (MLPE) represent the future of solar module optimization. Direct current (DC) power optimizer and micro inverters are one of the fastest growing market segments in the solar industry. MLPE technologies are rapidly gaining popularity and market share as their costs have come down. More than 55% of all residential solar systems installed in the U.S. in early 2014 used MLPE technologies. The areas of potential energy loss can benefit from the installation of MLPE devices.
The foremost reason of its popularity is that they reduce energy loss from panel shading by 20%-35%
Optimizers and microinverters respond to decreases in voltage and current in the solar array by adjusting the voltage to ensure the system is producing its maximum output. Microinverter converts at the module level. Hence shading on other modules does not affect each individual module’s energy output. Typical string inverters are limited by the current produced by the weakest module. That one module can then decrease the entire output of the string.
Also, these days, most modern MLPE products also include Web-based monitoring that allow system owners and technicians to remotely assess system performance and health at the module level.
Some PV module manufacturers have begun to investigate submodule-level power electronics in which the DC optimization circuitry is embedded in the module itself.
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