Murata develops 1kW mini-inverter for solar power generation

Murata has developed a 1kW mini-inverter concept for solar power generation.

Compared to the string inverters (power conditioners) commonly used today for solar power generation, the new mini-inverter features a compact size, a long life, and high generating capacity and also makes it possible to reduce overall system costs as a result of simplified installation and maintenance.

Background

The string inverters generally used for solar power generation have a number of issues, including complex string designs and the need for complicated wiring installation; low environmental tolerance, including susceptibility to effects from shadows; reduction or cessation of power generation; and short lifespans. Micro-inverters, which address these issues, are becoming increasingly common in the United States, but they also have a number of issues, including high cost, low conversion efficiency, and inadequate compliance with grid-connection regulations.*2
In response, Murata developed a mini-inverter that combines the advantages of both string inverters and micro-inverters. By adopting a compact, thin and lightweight design that uses our unique high-efficiency multi-level circuit technology*3 as well as a sealed structure, the mini-inverters require a smaller space than general string inverters, thus expanding installation flexibility. Furthermore, the new mini-inverters ensure an output of 1kW despite their small size, facilitating optimal distributed system structures, management on a detailed level, and responses to installation and failures. They also achieve high efficiency and high generating capacity, an issue for micro-inverters. Mini-inverters reduce overall photovoltaic system costs, including related equipment and materials, installation, and maintenance, contributing to solutions to global environmental issues.

Features

-Long life: The design life is 20 years, the same as photovoltaic panels, substantially reducing maintenance costs.
-High efficiency: High conversion efficiency compared to micro-inverters.
-High generating capacity: The mini-inverters avoid reductions in output as a result of effects from shadows and angle and reduce effects from panel failures.
-Easy installation: Installation on the back of or near panels is possible, eliminating the need for long-distance DC wiring, junction boxes, and step-up units.
-Monitoring functions: Monitoring is possible on a detailed level, making it easy to identify failures of panels and other equipment.
-Environmental resistance: The sealed structure, compact and waterproof design, and wide operating temperature range expand the scope of possible installation locations.
-Wireless communications: Equipped with 920 MHz communications functions and links with HEMS and BEMS are possible. Communications wiring is not needed.

Applications

-Photovoltaic panels integrated with building materials (wall and roof materials)
-Solar power generation where the angle is complex or there are effects from shadows
-Mega solar systems without detailed monitoring and single points of failure*4
-Distributed and compact photovoltaic panels installed on carports, verandas, etc.
-Photovoltaic kits