Solmetric To Develop PV Layout & Estimation Software Tool For National Semi SolarMagic Power Optimizers

May 17, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

National Semiconductor Corp. announced a partnership with Solmetric Corp., a developer of test and measurement tools for solar installations. Solmetric has developed a software tool to estimate the energy production of solar arrays, including installations outfitted with National’s SolarMagic™ power optimizers.

National’s SolarMagic power optimizers enable solar panels to produce maximum energy regardless of whether other panels in the array are under-performing due to shade, debris, panel mismatch and aging. To help determine how much benefit an installation will gain by using SolarMagic power optimizers, PV installers and designers can capture site-specific shade information with Solmetric’s SunEye™, a handheld measurement instrument, then create a PV system design on the site with the new photovoltaic (PV) layout and estimation software.

The system uses data collected from real-world installation sites and enables a solar system designer to experiment with different array configurations, with and without SolarMagic power optimizers. Designers can compare different hardware and different roof layouts, and visualize shade over the array area. The system estimates the resultant energy production, resulting in more confidence in a PV design in less time. Solmetric is offering a technology preview of the PV Simulator, which can be downloaded for a 30-day trial starting in late May 2009 by visiting the company website. The final release of the PV Simulator will be available to SolarMagic and Solmetric customers in August 2009.

To maximize the energy output of each solar PV panel in the array, National Semiconductor has developed SolarMagic power optimizers, which enables each solar panel to produce the maximum energy regardless of whether other panels in the array are under-performing due to mismatch. SolarMagic technology maximizes the energy harvest of each individual PV panel through advanced algorithms combined with leading-edge mixed-signal technology, thereby recouping up to 57% of the lost energy due to mismatches.