Ampt string optimizers deployed in world’s largest solar+storage peaker power plant in Hawaii

Wednesday February 27, 2019 Tags: Fort Collins, Ampt, Ampt String Optimizers, Levent Gun

FORT COLLINS -- Ampt LLC, the world's No. 1 DC optimizer company for large-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems, today announced Ampt String Optimizers are powering a record-breaking PV peaker power plant that has 28 megawatts (MW) of solar PV and 100 megawatt-hours (MWh) of DC-coupled energy storage.Ampt_logoUSE

Ampt String Optimizers are DC/DC converters that are used in the PV array to lower the cost and improve the performance of utility-scale PV+storage systems.

The Lāwa'i Solar and Energy Storage Project in Kauai, Hawaii, completed in January, became the world's largest operational solar PV+storage peaker plant and is responsible for delivering 11% of Kauai's power while providing mission critical grid support during peak demand periods.

The completion of this system allows the utility to deliver up to 40% of the island's evening peak power using stored solar energy.

To meet the demanding operational needs of a clean energy peaker plant while being cost competitive, the project developer chose to use a DC-coupled storage architecture based on Ampt String Optimizers for its cost and performance advantages.

DC-coupled energy storage systems charge batteries using energy from the DC solar array rather than the AC grid.

Ampt String Optimizers decrease the total cost of the entire power plant. Ampt's unique features lower the cost of all the power electronics, including the inverter and battery converter, and save in electrical wiring of the PV array, the company said.

Moreover, Ampt String Optimizers maximize the performance of the PV system by managing power on each string of PV modules rather than across the whole array at a central point. This increased granularity mitigates system degradation to deliver more lifetime energy. DC-coupled storage systems based on Ampt operate at a higher efficiency and capture energy that would otherwise be lost.

The power plant includes the wireless communication feature of Ampt optimizers to enhance operations and maintenance (O&M) effectiveness with high-accuracy synchronous string-level data.

"The Lāwa'i project sets the standard for PV+storage system design," said Levent Gun, Ampt CEO. "We are pleased that Ampt technology played a key role in achieving this industry milestone and we look forward to being part of follow-on projects in Hawaii."