Performance and Economic Analysis of Distributed Power Electronics in Photovoltaic Systems

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Distributed electronics like micro-inverters and DC-DC converters can help recover mismatch and shading losses in photovoltaic (PV) systems. Under partially shaded conditions, the use of distributed electronics can recover between 15-40% of annual performance loss or more, depending on the system configuration and type of device used. Additional value-added features may also increase the benefitof using per-panel distributed electronics, including increased safety, reduced system design constraints and added monitoring and diagnostics. The economics of these devices will also become more favorable as production volume increases, and integration within the solar panel?s junction box reduces part count and installation time. Some potential liabilities of per-panel devices includeincreased PV system cost, additional points of failure, and an insertion loss that may or may not offset performance gains under particular mismatch conditions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5200-50003


  • DC-DC power converters
  • mismatch
  • photovoltaic system
  • power optimizer
  • shading


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