Smart DC solar module to optimize power output, wireless communication

Suntech DC solar modulesWuxi Suntech Power Co., produces solar products for residential, commercial, industrial and utility applications and has delivered more than 30 million PV panels, or 9 GWs, of installed capacity to more than 1,000 customers in more than 80 countries.  The company’s latest innovation is a new smart solar DC module that integrates the Tigo modular TS4 platform. The new application will enhance Suntech’s smart DC module system’s performance through the accessibility of wireless communications, the optimization of power output, and the availability of real-time monitoring, while ensuring a reduction in the overall maintenance costs.

Suntech plans to integrate the TS4 to a variety of its modules that cater to both rooftop and commercial markets in Europe and Australia.

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“2015 has been an exciting year for Suntech, with the launch of several new products that we’ve brought to the solar market,” says Victor Xiong, president of Suntech. “This smart DC module design eliminates module-level or cell string mismatch, reduces the chance of module malfunction, and increases the overall cell performance. The Tigo TS4 is a remarkable new product application that we’re adding to many of our existing modules, particularly the HyPro module. The smart DC module offers increased safety, flexible system design, reduced O&M costs, and real-time monitoring. This new module enriches Suntech’s portfolio by differentiating its products from others in the market.”

Tigo is a Silicon Valley company founded in 2007 by a team of experienced technologists. Combining a unique systems-level approach with expertise in semi-conductors, power electronics and solar energy, the Tigo team developed the first generation Smart Module Optimizer technology for the solar industry.

The TS4 Platform replaces the traditional junction box, allowing customers to install different functional covers to their solar panels. The covers currently offer a range in functionality from diodes and rapid shutdown to full functional long string and optimization – all providing unique, customized unprecedented capabilities. These personalized covers are selectively deployed on each module at different price points, utilizing predictive IV (PIV) technology to maximize energy harvest at minimal cost.

Compared to a traditional module, the smart DC module provides system with greater connectivity, efficiency and output. By providing shade tolerance at the cell level, the Suntech smart DC modules will produce more energy than modules equipped with the leading DC optimizers or micro-inverters. Increasing power output in constricted installation spaces, the Suntech smart DC module offers up to 30% longer strings which reduce system BOS cost.

“Tigo is distinguished in the industry as being the sole company to offer a modular platform where customers can cater their PV Module behavior according to their needs by simply replacing the covers,” says Zvi Alon, Tigo CEO. “We are focused on partnering with tier 1 solar companies in order to focus on spreading our innovation and energy optimization. By combining our leading technologies with Suntech, we will be able to provide the solar market with the finest solar energy generation products and management systems.”

— Solar Builder magazine



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