Suntech announces multiple collaborations aimed at developing smart panel technology

The company, which produces crystalline silicon solar panels has joined forces with Tigo Energy, Azuray Technologies, Enphase and National Semiconductor Corp. The goal is to integrate “intelligent technology” into Suntech’s panels, in order to optimize performance.

Under the Tigo-Suntech partnership, the companies have said they are developing technology, which integrates the Tigo Energy Maximizer Solution into the PV panels. It is hoped this will increase energy production by up to 20 percent, “and bring new levels of intelligence, active manageability and enhanced safety to the solar panels”.

On the other hand, Azuray and Suntech will reportedly collaborate to use Azuray’s maximum power point tracking (MPPT) DC to DC technology, which, say the companies, yields up to 25 percent greater solar energy harvest from panels affected by shading, mismatch or “other real world conditions”.

The collaboration between Suntech and Enphase is designed to explore the integration of Enphase microinverters into Suntech’s panels to "simplify and accelerate solar system installation and maximize energy output".

Finally, National Semiconductor will work with Suntech by incorporating its SolarMagic power optimizer chipset into the PV panels. It is hoped this will improve power output.

"Smart panel technology is an important innovation that will help customers harvest more energy from their solar systems,” commented Mr. Shijun Cai, senior vice president of Suntech.