STMicroelectronics, a provider of semiconductors, has unveiled the SPV1020 chip, which combines power-optimization and power-conversion functions for solar generators. According to the company, the product will allow multi-panel arrays, ranging from domestic rooftop-type equipment to larger installations, to deliver more energy at a lower cost per watt.
The SPV1020 chip allows distributed maximum power-point tracking (DMPPT) to be applied individually for each panel, which compensates each panel individually, in contrast to a centralized MPPT scheme that applies a best-fit compensation to all the panels in the array.
Implementing DMPPT usually requires a network of discrete components for each panel in an array. The SPV1020 replaces this network with a single chip and also integrates the DC/DC converter to step up the panel's low-voltage DC output to a larger DC voltage from which line-quality AC power is produced.
By integrating MPPT and the DC/DC converter, the SPV1020 dramatically simplifies design and reduces part count, making DMPPT economical for solar generators across a range of power ratings and price points, according to the company.
The SPV1020 is available in a 36-pin PowerSSO (PSSO-36) package. Engineering samples and evaluation kits are available, and volume production is scheduled for November.
STMicroelectronics: 41 22 9292929