If just one solar panel in a rooftop array falls under shade, the performance of all of the panels typically drops. That’s because an array’s electrical voltage and current are usually set at just one point: the inverter that changes direct current to alternating current. The settings the inverter can choose are determined by the worst-performing solar panel. National Semiconductor of Santa Clara, CA, has developed power management circuitry that adjusts the voltage on each panel to match its power output. Field tests show that the gadget can reduce losses from unshaded panels by 57 percent.
Courtesy of National Semiconductor
Product: Solar Magic
Company: National Semiconductor
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The record for high-temperature superconductivity has been smashed again
Chemists found a material that can display superconducting behavior at a temperature warmer than it currently is at the North Pole. The work brings room-temperature superconductivity tantalizingly close.
Climate change’s highest cost: Overheated employees too miserable to work
The US economy could lose $221 billion annually by 2090 as people stop working as much or as hard.
Cutting emissions could prevent tens of thousands of heat deaths annually
And that’s just in the United States.