A highly efficient and resource-saving solar inverter has been developed at the JOANNEUM Power Electronics Center of the Institute of Electronic Engineering. FH JOANNEUM’s micro solar inverter is as small as three matchboxes piled on top of each other and is able to feed electricity from ten solar modules into the grid.
Traditional inverters used to convert direct current from solar cells into alternating current are usually about the size of a small suitcase. FH JOANNEUM’s micro solar inverter, which was developed in the course of a project in cooperation with AT&S and EPCOS TDK, is as small as three matchboxes piled on top of each other and thus 250 times smaller than a comparable device – and thanks to its small size, extremely resource saving.
The higher switch frequency and a novel circuit board with 32 embedded gallium-nitride transistors (switches) are just two of the important innovations which the miniature solar inverter contains. Capacitors with extremely high power density allow for very compact line filtering, and the energy conversion takes place at very low loss. The small size means that the resource consumption during manufacture is dramatically reduced, thus lowering manufacturing costs in the medium term.
Research at the JOANNEUM Power Electronics Center
The inverter was developed at the JOANNEUM Power Electronics Center. In this project funded by the Research Studio Austria Programme of the FFG, FH JOANNEUM Kapfenberg is conducting research on innovative power electronics and higher energy efficiency with partners from industry.