Application Examples
Schofield Barracks Inn, Hawaii The flexibility and ease of design is captured in this rooftop array at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. All of the PV-modules form a single DC bus that feeds a single inverter. There are no series string calculations and PV-modules are placed for convenience and design factors, not matching of series string length and orientation. A section of the PV-modules are equipped with water heating backing for pre-heating water used in the Inn. This changes the PV-module's MPPT. But, since each module has its own MPPT circuit, none of the other PV-modules are affected. As can be seen, there are modules facing in each of the prime directions. Also, string lengths do not need to be matched. The installation is also equipped with per PV-module communications, providing per PV-module operational data.
Big O Tire Center, California One of the first arrays to use the eIQ technology, this installation consists of three PV-module technologies: CdTe, CIS and crystalline silicon. What is remarkable is that all of the PV-modules feed a single high voltage DC bus which in turn is connected to a single, standard grid tied inverter (Satcon). This installation proves several key concepts: The independent operation of each vBoost equipped PV-module regardless of its technology, power level and quantity; the future proofing of PV-modules, meaning any module can be replaced regardless of its replacement's characteristics; a single DC bus can blend PV sources from disparate areas, such as rooftops, facades, carports and ground mounts.
Solar Powered Water Pump and Solar Powered DC Motors There are several ways to use solar power for applications such as water pumping or motorized appliances: Low voltage direct from paralleled PV-modules; higher voltage from series string PV-modules, or conversion of the DC to AC for AC powered motors. Low voltage direct requires conductors with sufficient ampacity which can significantly increase cost, especially over any distance. Series string, high voltage means a highly variable voltage presented to the device as the MPPT of the array changes constantly. Conversion to AC requires an inverter. A limitation of using solar power for these applications is that the devices only operate when the PV-modules are in sunlight. This means that all the work must be done during a portion of the day. In the case of water pumping, the water must be stored above ground for use outside of daylight time. This also means that sufficient water must be rapidly extracted sometimes resulting in dry wells when the well cannot be replenished at, or above the same rate as extraction. With eIQ technology, the PV can be sized only for the amount of power needed, with a high, constant voltage delivered to the motor. MPPT and impedance matching is performed at the PV-module so each module is an independent power generator. For constant operation (24x7) or operation on demand, the eIQ battery storage solution simply connects to the same bus as the PV-modules.
Cell Phone Tower Power The integration of renewable energy with utility grid or generators is rapidly evolving. This is being accelerated by the building of cell phone infrastructures in emerging countries as well as the replacement of cell phone towers cut off from grid power sources following natural disasters such as hurricanes, fires and such. Telecom towers are essentially picogrids and all available sources of power can be easily blended using the eIQ building blocks. For new installations, the use of DC is considerably more efficient than conversions to and from AC, plus the use of DC motors, DC lighting and DC power supplies greatly reduces the nameplate capacity requirements compared to the equivalent AC applicances.
Energy Storage This preliminary design for The Digital Microgrid Initiative is for use in energy arbitrage, back-up power, line quality mitigation or peak shaving. The AC power is received from the grid when prices are lowest and is converted to 380Vdc which is stored in the batteries. When power is needed from the batteries it is converted back to AC with the inverter. Additional power from solar, wind or generators can be blended in as desired.

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