Maxim Integrated Products' cell-string optimiser technology allows photovoltaic panels to harvest more energy, while also simplifying design complexity for solar installation projects.

The cell-string optimisers are highly integrated DC-DC converters that replace the bypass diode and perform maximum power point tracking (MPPT) deep inside the PV module. By replacing each diode with a MPPT device, the on-off response to performance mismatch is eliminated; every cell-string contributes maximum power without interfering with the power production capability of others. This enhanced degree of flexibility leads to increased energy production; eliminating collateral performance loss due to module mismatch, degradation, soiling, localised shading and row shading loss mechanisms.

EETI Maxim solar Figure 1: Solar cell optimisers replace bypass diodes to maximise energy production and reliability. (Source: Maxim Integrated Products)

Based on the company's industry leading power semiconductor technology, Maxim's cell-string optimiser is the first integrated power IC to perform MPPT and first to be embedded within the PV module.

Key Advantages

  • Increases Energy Harvest: Offers best-in-class shade mitigation, providing 30% additional power over diodes
  • Extends Reliability: Eliminates hotspots and minimizes the impact of power degradation mechanisms
  • Enables Flexible Design: Higher degree of flexibility to incorporate multiple string lengths, multiple orientations, and expanding modules into partially shaded areas
  • Simplifies Operation: Fully integrated solution simplifies design by requiring no additional hardware, specialised inverters or data services