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Chinese firm develops solar energy modules with performance-enhancing US power tech

Upsolar launches smart modules integrated with Tigo Energy optimisers to boost performance and cut costs

The PV modules are integrated with power optimisers to increase performance

A Chinese PV firm has developed solar energy modules integrated with US smart technology to increase performance and reduce costs. Upsolar, an international solar PV modules provider based in Shanghai, has unveiled its smart modules, which include power optimisers from Californian technology firm Tigo Energy.

The optimisers have been embedded into Upsolar modules’ junction boxes to “increase” the power harvest of the modules and “mitigate” challenges. This aims to improve the performance and economics of solar for both “installers and customers.”

By integrating the two units, Upsolar said it can offer its customers seamless installation and lower operation and maintenance costs, while enhancing overall system performance. Additionally, users can remotely monitor performance at the module and system levels through Tigo Energy’s module-level monitoring software.

Tigo Energy said the optimisers “leverage proprietary impedance matching technology to increase the power harvest of each module and mitigate performance challenges.” These challenges relate to soiling, cloud-induced shading, module mismatch and temperature differentials.

The optimisers also enable a reduction in balance of systems costs through increased string lengths, as well as enhanced safety and fire protection through arc fault protection. The company said the product is suitable for both sloped and flat rooftops, as well as ground-mounted systems.

Stephane Dufrenne, chief technology officer of Upsolar, said: “The performance of Tigo Energy’s optimiser has exceeded our expectations, and we were eager to incorporate the company’s technology directly into our modules to improve the performance and economics of solar for both installers and customers.

“We’ve already seen strong demand for the integrated product across major markets and expect this trend to continue as we pave the way to cost-neutral installations for PV systems of all sizes and designs with module-level power electronics,” he said.

This is not the first time Upsolar and Tigo Energy have worked together. The two companies collaborated earlier this year with Chinese company Talmage Solar Engineering on a 2.2MW solar array in Sharon, Vermont in the US, which featured retrofitted optimisers.

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