Solar micro inverter development kit provides complete hardware and software

May 19, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
For high-performance solar power systems, and based on the real-time control C2000 Piccolo F28035 microcontroller (MCU), this kit completes TI's range of solar solutions for a broad range of solar power applications.

To simplify design for rapidly growing solar power applications, Texas Instruments' C2000 Solar Micro Inverter Development Kit implements a complete grid-tied solar micro inverter based around TI's C2000 Piccolo TMS320F28035 microcontroller (MCU). Solar micro inverters are an emerging segment of the solar power industry. Rather than linking all solar panels in an installation together to a central inverter, solar micro inverter systems place smaller, or "micro," inverters at the output of each individual solar panel. This configuration lends itself to many benefits, including elimination of partial shading conditions, increased system efficiency, improved reliability and greater modularity. The C2000 Solar Micro Inverter Development Kit provides a platform to design highly efficient and reliable grid-tied solar micro inverters.

While a solar micro inverter yields many benefits, it also poses complex challenges to designers. Designers must grapple with non-linear characteristics of the solar panel power output, devise technical maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms to maximise the energy delivery, and understand complex power stage design and control. This kit is intended to introduce designers to a fully suitable MCU and to address the application challenges by breaking down the development process into manageable pieces. Users can evaluate the design initially through a simple graphical interface without the need to dive into code development. When ready to explore in further depth, detailed theory-based documentation guides users step by step through the software and hardware implementation by incrementally building from open loop to closed loop operation of the solar micro inverter.

Features of the kit include:

Implements control of an active clamp flyback DC/DC converter with secondary voltage multiplier, MPPT and a grid-tied DC/AC inverter, comprising the power conversion stages of the solar micro inverter.

Supports panel voltages of 28 to 45V at input as well as universal power output at up to 280W for 220VAC and up to 140W for 110VAC, making it suitable for the diverse requirements of worldwide solar markets.

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