New Product: TwentyNinety’s MLC technology improves photovoltaic array performance

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Product Briefing Outline: TwentyNinety has launched its ‘Active Array’, Module Level Control (MLC) technology that is claimed to offer a low cost wireless application for improved performance and increased safety for arrays of photovoltaic (PV) modules.

Problem: Independent calculations that TwentyNinety have commissioned have revealed that, over the lifetime of a PV array, use of the intelligent monitoring and control provided by Active Array will give up to a 20% performance gain compared to an ‘untended’ PV array installation.

Solution: The Active Array system enables the tracking of performance at PV module level, identifying problems to allow early intervention, optimising architecture and monitoring warranty data. It identifies and isolates a poor performing or shaded module, and thus improves string performance. Active Array also tackles fire and electrical safety concerns by providing remote data and control over every module. Intelligence at the module level gained wirelessly by the Active Array system provides a complete picture of the PV array, enabling the early diagnosis of potential problems and providing the ability to bypass a module remotely without requiring access to unsafe environments. In an emergency situation, the user or fire officer can remotely isolate any individual module, string of modules, or the whole array. Overheating caused by electrical problems within a junction control box causes the module to be isolated automatically, immediately reducing a fire risk.

Applications: Manages up to 8 strings of Active Array modules

Platform: The core technology of Active Array is the Active Tag, a small low cost device integrated into the junction box of each PV module which monitors the performance and condition of the module. It transmits this data wirelessly to the Active Combiner which analyses the data from each module and string and is able to automatically intervene on danger conditions or simply alert the user for less serious performance or safety problems. The Active Combiner is a multi-channel device, able to manage up to 8 strings of Active Array modules down to two outputs with full intelligent reverse current protection.

Availability: Currently available.

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