Power Electronics

Chipmaker Enters Photovoltaic Market

National Semiconductor has entered the photovoltaic market with new technology designed to increase the overall energy output of solar-electric power generating systems. National’s SolarMagic technology extracts the maximum power efficiency of each photovoltaic panel, even when some panels in the array are compromised by shading, debris or inherent panel-to-panel mismatch.

“National’s entry into the photovoltaic market is a natural extension of our focus on energy efficient systems,” says Brian L. Halla, National’s chairman and CEO. “Our technologists solved this real-world problem and are enabling consumers to produce more energy under adverse conditions and reduce the payback time of their investment with an environmentally friendly source of power.”

National has entered field trials with its SolarMagic technology. REgrid Power, one of the largest solar installers in California, has begun system testing of National’s SolarMagic technology.

“We are impressed with National’s SolarMagic technology in our field trials and have seen a significant performance improvement in our solar installation,” says Tom McCalmont, president and chief executive officer of REgrid Power, Inc. and founder and executive chairman of SolarTech, a Silicon Valley consortium. “We have observed energy output improvements of up to 44% during shaded conditions and 12% overall versus the same system running without SolarMagic technology.”

Several additional solar companies are slated to join the field trials over the next several months, and National will expand field trials to include installers in other countries with high adoption rates of solar. Later this year, National plans to introduce SolarMagic products for solar installers and system providers to include in their installations. For more information, please visit www.national.com/solarmagic.

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