1500V DC Power Supply Topology for Integrated In-field Measurement of Solar System Data
Modern power electronics have made possible 1500VDC solar inverter systems. For some large scale systems, however, AC lines and data communications conduit are still being run for sensors installed in large scale solar systems. This paper presents a use case for a family of high voltage (1500VDC IN) power supply systems, safely supplying operating power to a full field suite of IEC-61724 compliant sensors, including a weather station, module temperature sensors, and Pyranometers. As well as inverter communications, if they are nearby.
This topic is important because the cost of solar is going down, putting pressure on the BOS costs associated with SCADA and monitoring systems. Using an in-field 1500V power converter topology to run the required in-field sensors and data acquisition equipment saves substantial costs on conduit installation for data lines and power lines in large sites. This topology offers the promise of fully-standalone sensor suites, powered by the 1500VDC arrays themselves, via an extra fuse in an existing combiner box.
This is relevant because many standard SCADA system designs are based on traditional power system supply topology for their sensing needs. The immediate application is for when you lay out your next field, you can specify your pyranometers, weather stations, and module temperature sensors to be installed where they NEED to be, without any concern about the extra cost of conduit and trenching to get them there.
The target audience is design engineers struggling with instrumentation placement, as well as commissioning and testing staff who need to know that the Right Instrumentation gets installed at the Right Place. Having a power topology that runs only on the DC side means that this data can be made available prior to AC energization of the equipment, which could have substantial scheduling benefits for large scale system construction.