ArrayPower’s claim that is has produced a “sequenced inverter” design should be met with utter joy and a round of applause, since it’s exactly the kind of improvement the solar industry expected. Why? Because it reduces the cost of solar power by 10% and significantly boosts the efficiency of solar panels.
How does it do that? A familiar issue with solar panels is that they’re usually set up in series, so the current starts from one panel and is transferred to the next, until it reaches the end of the line. However, if one panels goes down or is shaded, the current’s transfer is compromised and the power output is brought down.
With these individual inverters, the problem virtually disappears. Instead of connecting all the inverters to one big inverter, each panel gets one “tenant” at its back. This one is equipped with a rectifier and a transistor to give the DC’s (direct current’s) voltage a push from 60 volts to the 208 volts needed by a grid.
The next step involves an inductor to shortly contain the current while the inverter pulsates alternating current. The mix up with the alternating current (AC) of another 3 panels is what allows the device to come up with the three-phase AC the grid tolerates.
In terms of money, this translates to $3.50 per watt, on average, installation included, which adds up pretty well – at the end of the day, it’s less than one third of what it should normally cost you. I think this is excellent news for the potential buyers – if this doesn’t appeal to them, I don’t know what would!