Home > AMETEK’s TerraSAS Solar Array Simulators Enhance Micro-Inverter Testing

AMETEK’s TerraSAS Solar Array Simulators Enhance Micro-Inverter Testing

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article image Elgar TerraSAS Solar Array Simulator

The Elgar brand TerraSAS solar array simulator from AMETEK Programmable Power is a fully integrated solution for the design, development and production testing of inverters and micro-inverters in domestic and industrial solar energy systems.  

Designed to simulate photovoltaic (PV) dynamic solar irradiance and temperature characteristics over a range of weather conditions and over a specified time interval, TerraSAS solar array simulators produce current/ voltage (IV) characteristics for the specified PV array for specific conditions.

The IV curve can be calculated according to a standard solar cell model for virtually any fill factor or solar material with the system’s simulation engine downloading data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Solar Advisor Model database to define key parameters such as open circuit voltage (Voc), short circuit current (Isc) and maximum power point voltage (Vmpp) at 25ºC and 1000 W/m² irradiance. Other PV panel IV curves can be entered manually.  

Systems with multiple panels of different characteristics that result in ‘multiple hump’ IV curves can also be simulated. TerraSAS solar array simulators are additionally capable of simultaneously simulating up to 24 parallel channels for use with micro-inverters.

Eric Turner, AMETEK product manager for TerraSAS comments that an essential part of the testing is to provide the inverter under test with accurate simulation of the PV array response to its maximum power point tracking (MPPT) function. To perform this task, the power source must accurately process the PV array's IV curve without filtering the low frequency ripple voltage produced by the inverter to track MPP.

The application of high-speed switching power supplies and advanced DSP signal processing allows the TerraSAS to attain superior MPP tracking response without the need for bulky and expensive linear power supplies.

Key features of the modular, rack-mounted Elgar TerraSAS solar array simulators: 

  • Designed for micro-inverter testing
  • One or more programmable DC power supplies with optimised, high-speed output response available in 1-15 kW increments
  • Controller module and simulation engine for implementing the sequencing of the PV panel’s IV curves
  • Power supplies can be configured master/auxiliary to provide high power systems
  • User-friendly keyboard and Graphical User Interface (GUI) display
  • Relays for output isolation and polarity reversing

The Elgar brand TerraSAS solar array simulators is available in Australia directly from TRIO  Test & Measurement.

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