Photovoltaic systems provide a very modular way to install a power generating unit – from a single household to the plant level. But as with wind, the use of solar energy entails the major challenge of balancing supply and demand. Depending on weather conditions, the power supplied by photovoltaic (PV) modules fluctuates heavily. That’s why the efficient combination of solar panels and energy storage systems with the help of semiconductor technologies is one effective way of synchronizing supply and demand.
Another technical challenge: Solar modules supply power in the form of direct current (DC), which has to be converted to alternating current (AC) before you can feed it into the grid, use it or transmit it to the point of use. Power semiconductors and solar inverter technologies need to convert DC to AC and transmit the power with minimal losses.
Depending on the exact point at which the inverters are used, e.g. at the PV cell or in the battery, these inverters are categorized as micro-inverters, power optimizers, string inverters or central inverters. For example, batteries need a constant voltage level for charging. That means the voltage of the solar module has to be lowered or raised without losing energy. Special microchips work like a switch in this case, providing the battery with just the right voltage.
Application site: Solutions for solar energy systems
More information on solar: Whitepaper and application presentation