The Elgar brand TerraSAS solar array simulators from AMETEK Programmable Power are designed as a fully integrated solution for the design, development and production testing of inverters and micro-inverters in domestic and industrial solar energy systems.
TerraSAS solar array simulators simulate photovoltaic (PV) dynamic solar irradiance and temperature characteristics over a range of weather conditions from clear to cloudy over a specified time interval to produce the current/ voltage (IV) characteristics for the specified PV arrays for the specific conditions.
The system’s simulation engine can download data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Solar Advisor Model database defining key parameters such as open circuit voltage (Voc), short circuit current (Isc) and maximum power point voltage (Vmpp) at 25°C and 1000 W/m² irradiance so that the IV curve can be calculated according to a standard solar cell model for virtually any fill factor or solar material.
Multiple PV panel IV curves can be entered manually. Systems with multiple panels with different characteristics resulting in ‘multiple hump’ IV curves also can be simulated. In addition, the TerraSAS is capable of simultaneously simulating up to 24 parallel channels for use with micro-inverters.
Eric Turner, AMETEK product manager for TerraSAS says that an essential part of this testing is to provide the inverter under test with accurate simulation of the PV array response to its maximum power point tracking (MPP) 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.
Key features of the TerraSAS solar array simulators:
- Modular and rack-mounted system
- Application of high-speed switching power supplies and advanced DSP signal processing enables superior MPP tracking response without bulky and expensive linear power supplies
- One or more programmable DC power supplies with optimised, high-speed output response available in 1 to 15 kW increments
- Controller module and simulation engine for implementing 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 and the complete range of AMETEK Programmable Power products are available in Australia directly from TRIO Test & Measurement.