Ampt LLC sent out a release noting that its string optimizers are being deployed in 600 volt PV solar systems at installed costs in cents per watt that rival that of 1,000 volt systems.
Ampt String Optimizers are DC-to-DC converters that are being deployed with 1,000 volt inverters at their full-rated power in 600 volt National Electrical Code (NEC)-compliant systems. These inverters are delivering 60 percent more power, translating to a 40 percent reduction in inverter cost. In addition, fewer inverters are used, so AC cabling costs and labor decreases proportionally.
Ampt’s patented String Stretch technology allows PV strings to be twice as long as in other NEC-compliant systems. Doubling the number of PV modules per string reduces the number of combiners, disconnects and associated labor by 50 percent.
Ampt’s combined savings on inverters and electrical costs lower total system cost.
600 volt systems continue to be deployed due to application type (like rooftops) or code adoption cycles across local jurisdictions. In some cases, 600 volt systems are used to take advantage of significantly lower cost 600 volt PV modules, or because they are grandfathered in under the 1603 Treasury Grant Program. Ampt significantly improves the economics of these systems.
“Our customers are choosing Ampt to remove 5 to 10 cents per watt in total system cost by deploying 1,000-volt inverters at their full-rated power in 600 volt systems,” said Evan Vogel, Ampt’s VP of sales and marketing. “This savings, coupled with increased energy generation from more granular MPPT, significantly increases their ROI.”
“Ampt has purposefully designed the String Optimizer to bring value to customers in a variety of applications and market segments,” said Levent Gun, Ampt’s CEO. “Whether integrators are creating 600-, 1,000- or 1,500-volt systems from small commercial to the largest utility-scale power plants, Ampt delivers the highest value.”
— Solar Builder magazine