STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and a leading provider of solutions for photovoltaic systems, will showcase its cutting-edge solutions at PV Japan 2011 under the theme "Smart Semiconductors from the Sun to the Grid." With the increasing importance of renewable energy, ST is contributing to the deployment of power-generation systems optimizing the use of solar energy with highly efficient solutions that combine advanced technologies and system know-how.
Major solutions to be highlighted at the ST booth
- ST will showcase a new concept device, called a "smart junction box" that maximizes the power generation of photovoltaic systems. Conventional junction boxes are equipped only with bypass diodes, while DC-DC converters and 32-bit microcontrollers or DSPs capable of adding intelligence and control to the system are relegated to upstream power conditioners. In these traditional systems, a single power conditioner optimizes the power generated by multiple solar panels. In such systems, if the power generated by a single panel drops, the output power of other panels also drop.
- Under ST's new concept, microcontrollers, DC-DC converters and communication ICs are distributed to each junction box of the photovoltaic system to maximize power generation as well as to enable remote monitoring and control. ST's smart junction box allows maximum power-point tracking (MPPT) to be separately set for each panel so that a drop in power generation from one solar panel has little effect on overall system power generation. Additionally, the built-in 32-bit microcontroller and PLC SoCs enable users to assess the status of each panel and control them in real-time. The efficiency of ST's smart junction box allows quick recovery of the initial investment, while reducing maintenance and management costs and improving the overall safety of the photovoltaic systems into which it is installed.
- ST will also introduce its microinverter concept for plug-in PV modules, which can further accelerate the adoption of small-scale distribution-type photovoltaic systems. Normally, deploying photovoltaic systems to households is expensive. With ST's new concept, a complete small-scale photovoltaic system can be realized by installing one microinverter per solar panel, enabling consumers to easily begin photovoltaic generation.
This microinverter is equipped with ST's power MOSFETs, ARM Cortex-M3-based 32-bit microcontroller, and SiC diode, which together deliver better than 95% power efficiency.
At the booth, ST will also demonstrate the SPV1002 cool bypass switch, which integrates low loss MOSFETs and precision controllers to allow each solar panel to deliver more electricity with the same capabilities as bypass diodes, and SPV1040, a battery charger IC for mobile battery charger that is equipped with a solar panel.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2010, the Company's net revenues were $10.35 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.