Your article is a little over my head but from the financial stand point there are 3 points that I always consider when debating between central inverters and micro inverters. Micro inverters are preferred when you need module level monitoring (monitoring the performance of each individual solar module), when partial array shading occurs, or when the design is constrained by locating modules sections of the roof with different orientation. If non of the above are true I usually recommend a central inverter. You can compare prices anywhere online: http://webosolar.com/store/en/80-microinverters
until the cells get unbalanced and your 1% advatage quickly disapeers and micro inverters win on efficiency for both momentary cell inbalance (think clouds, bird droppings...) Or if a cell degrades or is mismatche power can actually drop in a cell in a series string.
You have stated “As the cell voltage rises, the current in the internal diode rises, leaving less of the photo current for the load”. This is not so. If you follow the panel I-V curve shown in Figure 6 when the cell voltage increases the cell current decreases. The maximum cell voltage is the open circuit voltage, Voc, where the current is zero.
The maximum power available from the panel does not change but the power that is actually extracted from the panel does change and it is a function of the load resistance RL. This maximum power point occurs when RL = Rs. The boost converter decreases the value of RL by adjusting its duty cycle. The input resistance seen by the panel is RL x (1-du)^2 where du is the duty cycle internally set by the SPV1020. The SPV1020 duty cycle is internally adjusted so that RL x (1-du)^2 equals the panel output resistance Rs.
RL will normally be much greater than Rs.
Interposing the SPV1020 boost converter between the panel and RL decreases the load resistance seen by the panel. The load resistance seen by the panel Rin = RL x (1-du)^2 where du is the duty cycle internally set by SPV1020. The duty cycle is set by the SPV1020 so that RL x (1-du)^2 = Rs, the source resistance of the panel.
Actually the microinverter method is less efficient than power optimizers and a large central inverter because 1) the voltage is higher and current lower which reduces I square R losses and 2) due to economies of scale there is less overhead and fewer number of components along with control circuits. The efficiency of the SPV1020 power optimizer is 98% and the efficiency of one large central inverter will be more than multiple microinverters.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.