Partnership to bring DC String Optimizers to Japan’s PV Market

June 28, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Elechs Kyokuto, a solar services provider, and Ampt LLC today announced a strategic partnership to introduce Ampt's String Optimizer solution to Japan's photovoltaic market. This collaboration enables Elechs' engineering, procurement and construction (EPCs) customers to use Ampt's String Optimizer solution to lower the cost and increase the performance of mega-solar PV systems. Elechs' customers also receive customer support from local Elechs and Ampt experts.

Ampt String Optimizers are dc-dc converters that put dual maximum power point trackers (MPPTs) on each string to improve the system's lifetime performance and use Ampt's patented technology to double the number of modules per string - which removes 50 percent of the electrical balance-of-system (BOS) components from the system. Ampt also enables inverters to have a higher rated power and lower cost per watt.

"After seeing the value that Ampt String Optimizers provide, we wanted to make this technology available to our customers," said Masatsugu Miyake, CEO at Elechs Kyokuto. "Our partnership with Ampt is founded on a shared commitment to the environment, our customers and each other."

Elechs and Ampt recently deployed a 1.7MW solar plant in the Akita Prefecture with another 1.1MW installation under construction.

"Elechs is recognized for its leadership in advancing the PV industry by bringing the best solutions to customers," said Shigeki Kondo, Ampt Japan country manager. "We are honored that Elechs has chosen Ampt, and we look forward to working together to serve their customers."

Ampt has released three dc string optimizer product lines dedicated to Japan's solar market. They are V1000-JP, V750-JP and V600-JP, and correspond with common maximum system voltages. As an optional feature, customers can also deploy wireless communications for string-level data for enhanced operations and maintenance (O&M) capabilities. Ampt products use its patented technologies that enable optimal boundaries for voltage and current on the output of each optimizer - this uniquely allows Ampt optimizers to reduce BOS costs. Ampt is granted these patents in Japan as well as other PV markets.

Elechs' comprehensive O&M capabilities are an increasing value to its customers due to the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry's (METI) anticipated focus on feed-in-tariff (FIT) performance requirements.

"Japan has a key role in the global success of the PV industry," said Levent Gun, CEO of Ampt. "Our partnership with Elechs is part of Ampt's long-term commitment to advancing renewable energy in Japan."

Additionally, Elechs has joined Ampt in the HDPV Alliance. HDPV, or High Definition PV, is an industry-wide organization that uses defined standards, tested compatibility and shared best practices to enhance PV systems using dc power optimization.