Fronius, Maxim collaborate on new string inverter, DC optimization solution

Fronius string inverters optimizers

Inverter manufacturer Fronius and semiconductor company Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. have expanded their collaboration to provide new levels of DC optimization for solar solutions. You’ll want to visit Fronius at this year’s Solar Power International in Las Vegas (booth #1521) to learn more, but here is the early scoop.

Multiple orientations, module mismatch, degradation or soiling are reasons why solar installers choose module level power electronics (MLPE) for their installations, but there are tradeoffs to working with traditional optimizers or microinverters, such as additional cost, longer install times and service difficulties. Therefore, it’s time for the next step in DC optimization.

Through close collaboration, Fronius SnapINverters and Maxim solar cell-string optimizers are now able to deliver new levels of seamless integration and high performance. Fronius has a long history of working successfully with Maxim and has committed significant engineering resources into the collaboration.

“Our engineers conducted long-term testing and focused on both stability and performance of systems with Maxim optimizers”, says Tristan Kreager, Director of Solar Energy at Fronius USA. “Fronius’ collaboration with Maxim demonstrates both companies’ commitment to providing flexible system design and ease of installation with this new generation of solar optimization.”

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The Maxim chip-based cell-string optimizer replaces the traditional bypass diode and equips each solar module with three optimizers, each independently performing maximum power point tracking (MPPT) – resulting in the best-in-class solution for shade mitigation, string mismatch and soiling. Furthermore, the solution offers a ton of design flexibility. It accommodates multiple orientations, different modules and shading or asymmetric designs with up to 20 percent difference in string length. The tolerance for shading allows for the tightest of row spacing in commercial rooftop systems without any limitations.

“As a leading inverter manufacturer and trusted brand, Fronius is a great collaboration partner for Maxim. Together we can provide the market with a reliable, cost-effective, and high-performing solution for solar optimization,” says Seth Kahn, Executive Director, Solar Products, Maxim Integrated.

Since off-the-shelf Fronius SnapINverters (Galvo, Primo and Symo lines) work seamlessly with Maxim cell-string optimizers, the installation process is identical to any standard system. There are no additional hardware components to install, no extra settings to make and no communication hassles on the roof. The deeply embedded optimizer eliminates the need for any extra installation step, which aligns with Fronius’ strong focus on best user-experience.

Modules with Maxim’s optimizer technology are available now and work seamlessly with off-the-shelf Fronius SnapINverters, which are fully available on the market.

— Solar Builder magazine

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