A solar inverter or photovoltaic (PV) inverter, is a voltage converter that converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. The inverter is the key component in any solar energy system. It is often the single most expensive item and is becoming more complex as new semiconductor technologies deliver fast switching frequencies and higher power densities. Inverter designers continue to innovate and bring down cost, while maintaining key attributes for a solar energy system (reliability, efficiency and features such as data monitoring), in order to drive more PV penetration. System designers need to maximize efficiency by reducing power losses inside the electronics that handle power conversion control.
Rogers provides solutions in increasing the efficiency, performance and reliability of solar inverters.
Reliability is a critical challenge of the solar industry and paramount to its long-term success, particularly because these devices are installed to maximize solar capacity. For the solar inverter, that means thermal management is key. Heat dissipation is particularly important in concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems to allow the solar panel to operate at low temperatures and optimize efficiency and energy output. Dense arrays, in particular, require active cooling solutions.
Within the semiconductors of these devices, power substrates provide interconnections and cool components. curamik® ceramic substrates are designed to carry higher currents, provide higher voltage isolation and operate over a wide temperature range.
Rogers’ ROLINX® busbars serve as power distribution “highways.” In solar inverters, these busbars are the connection between the power source and capacitors, resistors, integrated circuits (ICs), integrated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) or complete modules.