SAN ANTONIO and FORT COLLINS, Colo., | April 15, 2015 — KACO new energy and Ampt LLC announced the recent deployment of projects with their solar solution that lowers the cost and increases the performance of commercial PV systems.

The solution, which combines KACO new energy’s blueplanet 50 TL3 SM solar PV inverter in Ampt Mode™ with Ampt’s String Optimizers, increases the allowable number of modules per string to lower system costs while distributing MPP tracking throughout the array to increase energy production. Together, these benefits generate higher rates of return for their system owners.

Deploying this solution allows up to 20 modules (with 72 cells each) in a string, compared to 11 modules without Ampt in a 600 volt system. The longer strings lower system costs by reducing the amount of electrical balance-of-system (BOS) components and by fully loading the inverter to deliver over 50 percent more power.

The joint solution also increases the MPP tracking resolution by a factor of 20, compared to traditional designs. The higher resolution MPP tracking increases energy production and allows for the greater design flexibility that’s needed for commercial rooftops, canopies/carports and some ground mount systems.

“We’ve seen an increase in demand for solar power solutions that have more granular MPPT and provide greater system footprint utilization,” said Jurgen Krehnke, CEO of KACO new energy Americas. “Combining our inverter with Ampt’s String Optimizers improves system performance and offers the layout flexibility needed to maximize coverage ratios.”

“Our customers are realizing 1,000 volt system value using 600 volt components,” said Evan Vogel, vice president of sales and marketing at Ampt. “In addition to the cost savings, customers building commercial rooftop and carport systems are benefiting from the simplified design offered in the KACO new energy-Ampt solution.”

The KACO new energy-Ampt Solution in Action: Recently Deployed Projects

Three projects in California, a 350 kW ground mount system and two carport installations totaling over 200 kW, selected the KACO new energy-Ampt solution over competing designs. The solution saved approximately 3 cents per watt on electrical BOS costs in each of the projects. Performance models used to finance the projects showed an increase in energy generation ranging from 2-5 percent among the three PV systems when using the KACO new energy-Ampt solution. Actual energy production since commissioning these projects has outperformed these production estimates.

In another recent project, located in Costa Rica, this new solution made project economics viable on a multiple pitch rooftop. The more granular MPP tracking mitigated mismatch losses and provided the flexibility needed to maximize the system footprint amid near and far shading obstructions.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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