MUNICH, May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- INTERSOLAR, National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: NSM) today announced it is shipping its SolarMagic(TM) power optimizers, a new product that dramatically improves the performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems impaired by real-world conditions. SolarMagic power optimizers are available now to customers in Europe and North America.
Built upon National's analog power management circuits, SolarMagic power optimizers give back PV system owners much of the power they currently lose to real-world conditions including partial shade, panel aging, and irregular array designs. Field-testing has shown SolarMagic recoups up to 57 percent of power losses.
For installers, SolarMagic technology provides additional benefits:
-- Greater flexibility in PV array design -- Improved reliability of the entire PV system -- High-value retrofit option for existing installed base -- More potential business (solar-suitable site growth of up to 25 percent)
National Semiconductor has earned a reputation for product reliability in its 50 years as a leader in analog power management and energy efficiency. SolarMagic power optimizers are backed by a 20-year warranty.
"By finally making shade and irregular array design non-issues, National Semiconductor's SolarMagic expands the market for installers to include homes they once thought were ineligible for solar," said David Katz, CEO, of AEE Solar. "SolarMagic frees installers from the traditional rules of designing new solar installations and returns to system owners energy they may not even known that they had lost. In addition, SolarMagic gives dealers a real reason to discuss retrofitting their installed base with a new technology their customers will embrace."
"SolarMagic power optimizers offer an innovative solution to the problem of panel mismatch that has plagued the solar industry since its inception," said Hans Wimmer, CEO of HaWi. "What has been particularly impressive is its ease of integration. Being module agnostic, our installers throughout Europe can easily incorporate SolarMagic into new and existing installations regardless of panel brand."
National will demonstrate its SolarMagic power optimizers at its Intersolar booths in Hall A2, Booth #271 (indoors) and in FG350 (outdoors). The exhibition, in Munich, Germany, runs May 27-29, 2009.
The Problem: Small Obstructions add up to Big Power Losses
Today's PV architecture is especially sensitive to real-world conditions. Small obstructions to incoming light, such as partial shade or leaves on just a few panels, can cause surprisingly disproportionate losses of energy output from the entire array. A 10 percent obstruction can cause an entire array to lose 50 percent of its power output.
Obstructions are cumulative in their effect on PV systems and can worsen over time. A residence with a mature tree may have partial shade, seasonal leaves and other debris, and intermittent bird droppings, which can add up quickly to a significant obstruction. This cumulative effect can cause very large reductions in overall power output. SolarMagic technology can recover up to 57 percent of this lost power.
Retrofits: SolarMagic Technology Compensates for Changes in the Array Over Time
Panel mismatches may not even be present when a solar system is first installed. Trees grow up, and panels age, creating imbalances that didn't exist when a system was first installed. Today, even years after an array was first installed, SolarMagic technology can be used to easily retrofit these installations and improve their energy output.
Flexibility: SolarMagic Technology Enables Flexibility in Array Design
In addition to recovering lost power for PV system owners, SolarMagic technology provides installers with unprecedented flexibility in designing new PV systems. Previously, system designers were wasting time and money precisely matching the configuration and output of each string while avoiding structural shading elements leading to smaller, and sometimes unsightly, array designs. Using SolarMagic technology, system designers can now optimize the power output and the aesthetics of a new system by implementing different string lengths, mixing and matching panel manufacturers, or making use of odd-shaped panels, if desired.
Accessibility: SolarMagic Technology Grants More People Access to Solar Energy
By recouping lost energy in challenging real-world conditions, SolarMagic technology makes solar energy a feasible solution in more locations. Many sites that are evaluated for solar are rejected for their challenges. By providing a way to mitigate these challenges, SolarMagic technology effectively expands the solar market by making solar a more practical solution accessible to more people.
Reliability: SolarMagic Technology Improves Overall System Reliability and Performance
After decades of designing and manufacturing analog and power management integrated circuits (ICs), National has the proven ability to provide an exceptionally reliable product in SolarMagic. National currently produces billions of ICs a year and has an exceptionally low defect rate of one defective part per million, creating products for extremely demanding applications such as aerospace, automotive and defense. It has applied that rigor to its SolarMagic power optimizers, which have an industry-leading mean time between failures (MTBF) rate of 455 years. This makes National's SolarMagic power optimizer one of the most reliable electronic photovoltaic (PV) system components available.
SolarMagic's reliability and performance dramatically improve how photovoltaic systems function. By conditioning the power coming from the panels to the inverter, many of the potential reliability issues of existing PV systems, such as over voltage, are eliminated. This makes PV systems outfitted with SolarMagic technology more reliable over time. In addition, by maintaining the DC-to-AC conversion as a centralized function, this conversion operates at a voltage range where it can achieve an optimal efficiency level. This means more power for the same number of panels.
SolarMagic power optimizers are currently available to customers through distributors and installers in Europe and North America with an MSRP of US$199 per unit. SolarMagic power optimizers will be available through solar dealers and distributors in North America and Europe. For more information, visit www.solarmagic.com or email Email Contact.
About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor is a leader in analog power management technology. Its products include easy-to-use integrated circuits, PowerWise products that enable more energy-efficient systems, and SolarMagic products which improve the energy output of solar arrays. The company celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., National reported sales of $1.89 billion for fiscal 2008. Additional information is available at www.national.com.
Media Contacts: LuAnn Jenkins Edward Sullivan National Semiconductor Antenna Group (for National Semiconductor) (408) 721-2440 (415) 977-1931 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Web site: http://www.solarmagic.com/