Microchip's Grid-Connected Solar Micro Inverter Reference Design Lowers the Cost and Improves the Efficiency of Solar Power Systems

Microchip Grid-Connected Solar Micro Inverter Reference Design

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, today announced a fully digitally controlled Grid-Connected Solar Micro Inverter Reference Design with an advanced, high-efficiency topology.

Microchip: Grid-Connected Solar Micro Inverter

The solar power industry is evolving to meet the requirements of a changing landscape, as it moves from a cottage industry to mass production. Solar design engineers are being challenged to optimize energy harvesting, reduce installation costs, and improve system reliability and efficiency while standardizing their designs. This reference design enables them to achieve these goals through digital power conversion techniques, supported by the unique features of Microchip’s dsPIC33F ‘GS’ series of digital-power Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs). The reference design connects to any standard solar panel and converts the panel’s DC output into AC power, which can then be fed into the public power grid. In a real-world application, multiple units can be connected together to achieve the desired power output.

“This reference design will help the solar power industry to quickly improve its inverter technology, through the use of more flexible and efficient digital power conversion techniques,” said Sumit Mitra, vice president of Microchip’s High Performance Microcontroller Division. “The transition to digital power will enable solar energy conversion to be maximized, while reducing the installation and overall costs of solar systems.”

Key Features:

  • Peak efficiency of 95%
  • Output current THD < 5%
  • Power factor >0.95
  • Maximum power point tracking
  • Grid voltage and frequency tracking
  • Protection against various current and voltage faults
  • Night time power consumption <1W
  • System Islanding to detect grid failure
  • Full Digital Control

Specifications:

  • Micro Inverter for individual PV Module up to 220W
  • Wide PV Panel voltage : 25V to 55V DC
  • Maximum Power Point Tracking voltage: 25V to 45V
  • Maximum DC short circuit current : 10A
  • Grid Frequency range :
    • 47 – 53 Hz for 220V systems
    • 57 – 63 Hz for 110V systems
  • Grid voltage range :
    • 90V – 140V for 110V systems
    • 180V – 264V for 220V systems

This reference design works with any photovoltaic (PV) panel that supplies a maximum 220 watts output, and it comes in two versions supporting either 110V or 220V power grids. Both versions of this reference design are implemented using a single dsPIC33F ‘GS’ digital-power DSC, which provides fully digital control of the power-conversion and system-management functions.

Package Contents:

  • PV Micro Inverter board with cables
  • Documentation CD consisting of: Source code, Schematics, PCB, BOM and Test files

microchip.com

1-4 Layer PCBs $2

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