National Semiconductor has announced a partnership with Solmetric, an innovative developer of test and measurement tools for solar installations. Solmetric has developed a software tool to estimate the energy production of solar arrays, including installations outfitted with National's SolarMagic power optimizers.
National's SolarMagic power optimizers enable solar panels to produce maximum energy regardless of whether other panels in the array are under-performing due to shade, debris, panel mismatch and aging.
To help determine how much benefit an installation will gain by using SolarMagic power optimizers, PV installers and designers can capture site-specific shade information with Solmetric's SunEye, a handheld measurement instrument, then create a PV system design on the site with the new photovoltaic (PV) layout and estimation software.
The system uses data collected from real-world installation sites and enables a solar system designer to experiment with different array configurations, with and without SolarMagic power optimizers. Designers can compare different hardware and different roof layouts, and visualize shade over the array area.
The system estimates the resultant energy production, resulting in more confidence in a PV design in less time. Solmetric is offering a technology preview of the PV Simulator, which can be downloaded for a 30-day trial starting in late May 2009 by visiting their official site. The final release of the PV Simulator will be available to SolarMagic and Solmetric customers in August 2009.