GE has deployed the first 1,500-VDC (volts, DC current) open circuit (OC) central inverter for utility-scale solar power plants. The company says its solar inverter will help reduce overall system costs, which is important to making solar power a more economical alternative to fossil fuel technologies.
GE Energy’s Power Conversion business developed, built and delivered its 1,500-VDC ProSolar central solar inverter technology to solar power plant system integrator Belectric. The company installed GE’s advanced central solar inverter at its new solar power plant in southern Germany, utilizing Padcon’s 1500 VDC System Technology.
“GE’s ProSolar central solar inverter system is designed to help efficiently stabilize the power grid with defined active and reactive power around the clock. This is extremely important when it comes to countering the intermittent availability of solar energy,” said Bernhard Beck, CEO of Belectric.
The 1,500-VDC OC central solar inverter is designed as an outdoor version and offers a number of benefits. Most notably, it allows operation at high DC voltages on panel level with lower DC currents while increasing the rated power for solar inverters. This can result in significantly lower costs for the technical DC infrastructure as well as the overall balance of system costs. Since the power of the solar inverter system is limited mainly by the current, the power can be substantially increased by increasing the operating voltage, and this means additional cost savings.
Due to higher operating DC voltage and higher output with the same size as conventional ProSolar 1,000-VDC OC solar inverter units, the 1,500-VDC OC solution offers higher power density with the same small footprint that means optimized and flexible site layout. The liquid-cooled and improved power electronic topology ensures high efficiency, especially in partial load operations and is developed in Berlin.