Start-up develops electronics to increase efficiency of photovoltaics

September 10, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Photovoltaic systems have a fundamental problem if, for example, individual modules are shaded by trees or buildings. If only one twentieth of the surface of a solar panel lies in the shade, it can be virtually completely out of operation, i.e. it will lead to the same result as completely covering the module. The start-up company BRC Solar GmbH, founded by three students of the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, wants to solve this problem with its technology.

these three were students at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. Czarnecki and Brace studied electrical engineering and information technology; Ruisinger is the trio's business guy; he holds a degree in industrial engineering.

The solution to what problem has the trio developed now? The aim is to compensate for the loss in performance of PV systems caused by shading. "The modules of such systems are usually connected in series," explains Brace, "so if the current drops in one module, it drops in the entire system, so the shading of one module leads to a drop in the output of the entire system. There are already technical solutions on the market for this, "but these are either very expensive," says Czarnecki, "or they are not particularly efficient. This is exactly where BRC Solar's inventors come in with a small, patented circuit that offers many advantages: it is only attached to potentially shaded modules and is only active on such modules, which increases the efficiency of the overall system and reduces the investment required.

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