Korean mid-size companies are introducing “new technology” one after another that increases the efficiency of solar PV power generation.
According to the industry, by tracking the maximum power point, RTS Energy, LDT, and others have developed products to improve the power generation efficiency of solar PV modules, and they have started to market. Departing from the existing solar PV companies which have focused on the “efficiency of photo transformation of solar battery”, it is a technology to increase the volume of power generation by reducing the power loss in a module. RTS Energy developed a smart junction box, “Solar Forte” that recovers the power generation efficiency which gets lower by shadow or dust. The method is to find the maximum power point by installing the device in each module. This solves the existing problem of one module affecting the other connected modules when the power generation falls in one module. It also has the existing junction box function like preventing the current to flow in opposite direction and transferring the electricity to outside,
According to RTS Energy, Solar Forte can reduce the loss in electrical power by 10~30%. Considering that the output from a module can drop up to 70% due to shadow and others, it can improve up to 21% of the total output.
RTS Energy, using zigbee (short distance wireless communication technology), developed a remote monitoring system, Forte Manager to check in real time the power generation data and operation status of a module using web. An effective maintenance is possible because it can check an entire solar power generation complex as well as individual module.
Cho Hogil (Senior Researcher at Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)) revealed, “RTS is a resident at Business Incubator Center in Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, and they have developed products through the customized technology support program from the Korea Research Council for Industrial Science & Technology (IskK).” Cho stated, “Solar Forte and Forte Manager have differentiated advantages like the management control using wireless network.”
Also, LDT developed and started to market Power Plus which is a distributed tracking device for finding the maximum power point. This device improves the generation efficiency by recovering the loss in electricity generation by a solar PV module. LDT developed dedicated integrated circuit (IC) based on proprietary IC design technology and related algorism; thus, they have acquired the price competitiveness through system optimization. It can precisely track the maximum power point by systematically analyzing the input-output powers and the surround situations. The key advantage is that the installation can be done without changing the structure of existing solar PV equipment.
A person related to the industry stated, “Starting from 2010, there are heighten interests about the distributed max-power output tracking device from overseas. Tigo Energy from the United States and SolarEdge from Israel are expanding their sales to Europe, China, and the USA.”