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ABSTRACT

In this paper the concept of an Optiverter is proposed as a novel class of photovoltaic (PV) module level power electronics systems. Functionally, the Optiverter is a hybrid technology that combines the ultrawide maximum power point tracking (MPPT) voltage window of the PV power optimizers with the direct AC connectivity and inherent safety of the PV microinverters. Thanks to the advanced multimode control with variable DC-link and the shade-tolerant MPPT algorithm, the proposed Optiverter ensures efficient energy harvest from the PV module in different shading scenarios. To justify the superiority of the concept, the performance of a 300 W prototype of the PV Optiverter was experimentally compared to that of the industrial microinverters in different operation conditions, including an extreme case with opaque shading of two out of three substrings of the PV module. Solar Optiverter – A Novel Hybrid Approach to the Photovoltaic Module Level Power Electronics