DC Optimizer

A DC optimizer, or more commonly known as a power optimizer, is a DC to DC converter technology used to optimize the energy production process of renewable energy sources. These are mostly used to maximize the energy harvest from wind turbine or solar photovoltaic systems. Optimizers achieve overall optimization by tuning the performance of all the solar panels or wind turbines on an individual level. The principle on which they work on goes by the name of maximum power point tracking. However there is another governing principle too, that seems to be somewhat less popular. It is called isolating panels method.

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT):

This is a very popular concept among the enthusiasts of solar power. An energy storage battery stores energy in chemical reactions, thus it takes time to store energy. So, the rate at which power is drawn from the cell is limited by the rate at which energy is stored in the cell. Thus there exists a complex non-linear relationship between voltage, current and the total amount of power being produced, the I-V curve. In order to optimize collection, modern solar arrays use a technique known as maximum power point tracking (MPPT) to monitor the total output of the array and continually adjust the presented load to keep the system operation at its peak efficiency point

Isolating Panels:

This approach suggests that in order to maximize the performance of the whole system, every individual solar panel must be monitored and optimized. This idea was strongly backed by the overwhelming efficiency displayed by introduction of micro-inverters.

In the solar field, DC optimizers resemble the behavior of micro-inverters. Both systems are similar to each other in the sense that both strive to optimize the performance of individual panels in order to have an effect on the overall efficiency of the system. However, there exists a distinguishing feature in both the systems. A micro-inverter combines a power optimizer with a small inverter in a single case that is used on every panel, while the power optimizer leaves the inverter in a separate box and uses only one inverter for the entire array.

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