Phase II year
1991 (last award dollars: 1991)
The positive impact of designing a power conditioner control system for photovoltaic applications with an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) as the main control element was demonstrated with detailed computer simulations in Phase I. Phase II of the project has four objectives that are intended to fulfill current needs in the DOE photovoltaics program. The primary effort in Phase I concerned a residential utility intertie inverter; completion of the design, building, and testing of three prototypes with different power semiconductors is the first objective. One of the semiconductor types is the "smart power" module being developed by JPL. The second objective is to provide a stand-alone inverter with battery-charging capability in the same product family. The third objective is to study and develop a much needed intermediate power level 50 kW three-phase power conditioner taking advantage of the ASIC and the complementary microprocessor sample data control system designed for single phase invert rs in Phase I. The fourth objective is to produce a central controller that can manage several of the 50 kW power conditioners at a utility power level. The advantage of modular design is that one failed power conditioner leaves an installation with most of its rating intact during the peak insolation time of year and sufficient rating to extract all of the available power during off-peak insolation periods.Anticipated Results/Potential Commercial Applications as described by the awardee:The ASIC controlled power conditioner provides the high reliability, high efficiency, and low cost needed for photovoltaic applications to enhance the confidence of potential users that the industry is mature and ready to supply and support the products needed from the residential power level to utility installations.