Ampt introduces 70 kW output solar string optimizer


Colorado-based Ampt announced it has released the i50 String Optimizer, a DC optimizer that builds on the company’s i32 model. The i50 supports up to 70 kW of output power.

The optimizer supports system voltages between 600 V and 1500 V, output currents between 32 A and 50 A, and output power between 15 kW to 70 kW. A full spec sheet can be found here.

Ampt’s string optimizers are designed to boost solar output and can support major utility-scale projects. The i32 model has been used in a 380 MW solar-plus-storage in California and a 390 MW project in Chile, the largest solar-plus-storage plant in the nation. 

The company’s string optimizers are DC/DC converters that deliver power from the PV array at a fixed voltage. A high fixed voltage allows the system to operate at lower current for a given power, thereby reducing the cost and quantity of electrical components like cables, energy storage, inverters and transformers.

Ampt String Optimizers have two inputs and one output back to the inverter. The optimizers are located between the PV source circuits and the combiner box on a PV system. The optimizer performs maximum power point tracking on each input and delivers full available power to the output at a voltage set by the inverter. This is done without requiring communication between the inverter and optimizers.

The optimizer also has maximum power point tracking on each of its two input strings of PV modules. This mitigates or eliminates mismatch losses to deliver more energy under changing environmental and system conditions over the lifetime of the power plant.

Image: Ampt

“We’re proud to present the new i50 String Optimizer to the market, which is designed to improve the economics of today’s largest, most advanced PV power plants and solar-plus-storage systems,” said Levent Gun, chief executive officer, Ampt.

The 70 kW output allows a single power optimizer to be deployed on each solar tracker. By enabling higher input currents, paralleled PV strings, and flexible string lengths, designers can boost the utilization of each solar tracker without typical string sizing constraints, said Ampt.

Ampt string optimizers include a technology called V-match to automatically match the DC bus voltage while delivering full available power from the solar array. This increases system design flexibility, simplifies controls, and unlocks value across diverse applications.

The optimizers also include a direct-to-battery feature which allows them to connect directly to the battery and follow its state-of-charge voltage while delivering full power from the PV array. The optimizer, battery, and battery inverter share the same DC bus without using battery converters.

Ampt will be exhibiting at RE+ in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 12-14 at booth #1746.

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