DC Power Optimisers
Tigo and SolarEdge both offer DC optimisers, that allow homeowners to gain better solar generation through optimisation. So what does that mean exactly? Well, system optimisation is one of the best solutions to reduce power loss through shading or panel mismatch. By installing power optimisers you can install your panels in different angles, locations and orientations. Allowing for greater design flexibility and improved home aesthetics. DC power optimisers are a cost-effective way of adding functionality to your solar panel system with unmatched performance.
In this blog we will review the pros and cons of both Tigo and SolarEdge optimisers in order to find out the best solar solution! Unravelling the truth behind the little box that goes underneath your panel.
Reasons to Get a DC Optimiser Installed
Whereas with a SolarEdge optimiser you have to also install a SolarEdge string inverter, Tigo optimisers work with any inverter. This is because Tigo’s TS4 optimisation technology works independently of the PV inverter itself. Using Tigo’s couldn’t be easier. You simply connect your Solar panels to a very small box that is clamped under the frame and then wire the panels together. The optimised output from the strings is then fed into any normal string inverter.
How Does a Tigo Optimiser Work?
Tigo uses a clever concept known as “impedance matching“ to help improve the power output of the array as a whole. Tigo adds more resistance, in parallel to the individual panels. In doing so it gives the power two possible paths it can take. One through the panel and one through a bypass tunnel around the shaded module. This is great as if one panel goes down the Tigo can cut it out of the string, however a potential issue is if one Tigo goes down so will the entire string.
Tigo also use Predictive IV technology, in order to predict the module’s optimal setting. By carefully controlling the resistance at every panel, you are maximising the amount of power being taken from the array as a whole.
Unlike SolarEdge, Tigo optimisers don’t have to be applied in every panel in the system. You only need to optimise the panels that are effected directly by shading. In other words, if a tree shadows just a single panel, it will only be that panel that requires a Tigo Optimiser. This makes Tigo’s solution a lot more cost effective.
Since the system operates at the string level, someone has to control it. Tigo’s MMU box, uses a Gateway to oversee the optimisers. As this connection is wireless, communications are sent every so often, meaning that system’s will struggle with temporary effects such as individual clouds.
The Tigo system can work with or without monitoring. All depending on which Tigo Optimiser you choose to install. To enable the monitoring feature, one must connect the Modules Optimizers, Tigo Access Point (TAP), and the Cloud Connect Kit. The Cloud Kit is not needed if it is already integrated into the inverter.
The Final Verdict on DC Power Optimisers
Both brands provide high quality and safe DC optimisation solutions. The Tigo solution is simple, flexible, and cost effective. On the other hand, SolarEdge is complete and robust. Either option is guaranteed to excel your solar system’s performance.
If you are looking at a Tigo or SolarEdge solution for your Solar PV Project and want to debate further, get in touch with our Green Team! You can reach us directly on 01322 479369, or by clicking the “Enquire Now” button.