Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd announced June 22, 2016, that it has developed a compact PV inverter with an output of 1kW.
“Micro-inverter,” which is used for each solar panel, is being proposed in the US as an advanced version of compact/decentralized PV inverters, which recently started to be introduced. However, micro-inverters have problems such as a high cost, low conversion efficiency and insufficient compatibility with regulations related to grid connection, according to Murata.
In view of this, Murata developed the 1kW product, “Mini-inverter,” as a PV inverter that features the advantages of both mainstream large-capacity/centralized PV inverters and compact PV inverters used for each panel. The new product controls several panels.
Murata designed high-efficiency circuits so that they can be stored in a compact, thin, light-weight case. As a result, the company realized a high conversion efficiency of 97% and a compatibility for grid connection, like conventional centralized PV inverters, with the compact PV inverter.
The service life of the Mini-inverter is 20 years, and it can drastically cut maintenance cost, Murata said. Data on the amount of power generated, etc is wirelessly transmitted (frequency: 920MHz). As a result, it becomes possible to eliminate the need for communication cables and to make the PV inverter work in conjunction with an HEMS (home energy management system) and BEMS (building energy management system).
The input and output voltages of the new PV inverter are 80-250V and 200V, respectively. And its dimensions are 450 x 160 x 50mm. Murata plans to start volume production of the product in fiscal 2017.