Ampt delivers PV optimizer to the largest solar+storage project

Ampt PV system optimizer

Ampt has completed the delivery of DC optimizer to the largest solar+storage project in Latin America.

The 240 MW solar power plant uses Ampt String Optimizers to link the PV system to 560 MWh of DC-coupled energy storage. The optimized system sets a new standard for using longer-duration storage in transmission-level applications.

The PV+storage power plant, in Atacama Desert plateau, will supply a renewable source of energy to support the copper mining operations of Sierra Gorda SCM. It includes high-power bifacial PV modules to maximize production during the day, and 112 MW of lithium-ion batteries capable of supplying firm power to the grid for five hours.

The 240 MW power plant uses Ampt String Optimizers to connect the PV system to the energy storage system through a shared DC bus – commonly referred to as a “DC-coupled” architecture.

Ampt String Optimizers are DC/DC converters that are used in PV plants to lower the cost and improve performance of DC-coupled solar+storage systems. With Ampt optimizers, power is delivered at a high and fixed voltage rather than the variable and lower voltage of systems without Ampt.

The higher voltage operation allows the system to operate at a lower current for a given power. This reduces the costs of electrical components such as cables, battery converters, and inverters to lower the total capital cost of the power plant.

Ampt String Optimizers improve system performance by doing maximum power point tracking (MPPT) on each string of PV modules and then transferring that power to the DC bus at a constant voltage. The string-level MPPT increases lifetime energy production compared to the centralized MPPT of other systems. Ampt’s predictable DC bus voltage simplifies battery and inverter controls and improves grid responsiveness of the power plant.