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Bypass diode upgrade boosts solar panel efficiency

STMicroelectronics (ST) announces an innovation for solar panels aimed at allowing more of the energy from each cell to reach the power grid. The innovation replaces the simple bypass diode with an intelligent device that enhances efficiency and offers the same package outline.

ST’s new SPV1001 contains a low-loss power switch and a precision controller. Directly replacing bypass diodes, which are used to prevent hotspot effects, the SPV1001 protects the energy normally lost in each diode. Compared to the use of diodes, the integrated power switch provides negligible leakage current when the photovoltaic (PV) panel is producing energy. ST’s BCD6 chip fabrication process provides the key to this advance by integrating highly efficient power components with logic control circuitry.

In addition to package options enabling one-for-one replacement of bypass diodes in the solar panel’s junction box, the SPV1001 is available in an MLPD package that can be laminated directly into the panel, due to the device’s ultra-low-profile and minimal power losses. This will simplify electronic design and assembly while also boosting system reliability.

Major features of the SPV1001:

  • Low conduction losses when operating in bypass mode
  • Low leakage current minimizes losses in bypass stand-by mode
  • Lower operating temperature optimizes junction box design
  • High robustness to surge and lightning currents
  • Integration of power and control functions
  • TO-220 or D2PAK packages, pin and outline-compatible with existing bypass diodes
  • Optional ultra-low-profile Power MLPD package for in-panel assembly
For more information, contact STMicroelectronics, 1000 E. Bell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85022. Phone: (602) 485-6100.

TAGS: Solar
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