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Use conditions and efficiency measurements of DC power optimizers for photovoltaic systems

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2 Author(s)
Deline, C. ; Nat. Renewable Energy Lab., Golden, CO, USA ; MacAlpine, S.

No consensus standard exists for estimating annual conversion efficiency of DC-DC converters or power optimizers in photovoltaic (PV) applications. The performance benefits of PV power electronics including per-panel DC-DC converters depend in large part on the operating conditions of the PV system, along with the performance characteristics of the power optimizer itself. This work presents a case study of three system configurations that take advantage of the capabilities of DC power optimizers. Measured conversion efficiencies of DC-DC converters are applied to these scenarios to determine the annual weighted operating efficiency. A simplified general method of reporting weighted efficiency is given, based on the California Energy Commission's CEC efficiency rating and several input/output voltage ratios. Efficiency measurements of commercial power optimizer products are presented using the new performance metric, along with a description of the limitations of the approach.

Published in:

Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE), 2013 IEEE

Date of Conference:

15-19 Sept. 2013