Jun 052011
 

A switching trick makes it possible to cut the losses of a series-production inverter in half and increase the efficiency from 96 to 98 percent.

The HERIC®-topology makes it possible to achieve a world-record efficiency of more than 99 percent.

“It was a matter of minutes,” Dr. Heribert Schmidt remembers the day in spring of 2002. To find opportunities for improvement, he had often pondered about the switching plan of an inverter while in his office at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany. A sudden flash of inspiration — and a solution that was ingeniously simple came to his mind. He immediately went to get an inverter from the laboratory, laid a few new strips and installed two additional semiconductor switches. “Then it required only a little bit of work on the controls — and we already had the proof!” This is how the electrical engineer, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering, described the revolutionary step in brief: the losses could be halved and the degree of effectiveness could be increased from 96 to 98 percent.

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