Sustainable Energy

Power Booster

  • June 23, 2009

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.

Product: Solar Magic
Cost: $199
Source: www.solarmagic.com
Companies: National Semiconductor

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.