Renewable energy equipment provider ET Solar has launched its latest module offering at PV Japan 2015.
The company has stated that it developed the new AC module in cooperation with Northern Electric and Power (NEP), a company that produces solar inverters.
The modules of ET Solar are fully integrated with the BDM-300 micro inverters of NEP. These micro inverters, which are 25mm thick, are touted as the thinnest-in-class globally.
The company has stated that its module system offers up to 25 percent more yield compared with conventional photovoltaic systems. The use of micro inverters leads to reduction in losses caused by shade on modules. Also, the system can be designed and installed at half the cost of other systems, ET Solar claims.
Patrick Guo, the vice president of ET Solar, believes the modules will sell well in Japan as the country is a growing solar photovoltaic market. Japan added about 10 gigawatts of new photovoltaic capacity in 2014, making it the second largest photovoltaic market in the world. “With NEP’s cutting-edge inverter technology our new generation AC modules will play a meaningful role in the Japanese PV market,” Patrick said.
Nakamura, the CEO of NEP Japan, says micro inverters offer greater safety to users of rooftop systems as they do not generate uninterrupted high DC voltage.
The inverter technologies used with solar modules offer different advantages to different types of users.
String inverters, which are also called central inverters, are suited for arrays that do not experience shading. They are suitable mainly for trackers.
Microinverters, in turn, offer greater freedom as they are mounted under each panel and plug directly into the junction boxes of panels. They help reduce the effect of shading because they are able to isolate each panel unlike string inverters. They also mitigate effects of panel mismatch and non favourable orientation.
Cost-wise, though, microinverters require higher upfront costs than string inverters. They require up to 40 percent more investment than string inverters.
However, in the long term they offer better return on investment owing to greater life. “String inverters usually will need to be replaced within 10-15 years. Micro inverters on the other hand have a projected mean time between failures (MTBF) of 331 years,” a report on www.solartrader.ca says.
Ajith Kumar S