Electrical Engineering Department
BS in Electrical Engineering
For every solar panel, there is an inverter which transforms the harvested DC electricity into AC electricity so that it can connect to the grid and power household appliances. In this project, we examined a tandem solar cell being designed by Iris Photovoltaics which has two layers with two distinct outputs, and we explored several solutions to create a microinverter which can handle dual inputs from the tandem PV and combine them into a single AC output. To examine the viability of such a microinverter, we designed and simulated the DC-DC combination portion of the specialized dual input microinverter, resulting in a working circuit simulation using flyback transformers which can take two DC inputs at different voltage and current levels and combine them together into a single high voltage on the DC bus, ready to be transformed into AC. We also purchased an already existing dual input microinverter and tested it by connecting it with two different solar panels and measuring its performance, however we could not obtain useful results because it did not function as intended. Overall the dual input microinverter is an interesting technology involving maximum power point tracking, DC combination, and power electronics. It has a multitude of applications, and it fits perfectly with the 4-terminal tandem solar module being developed by Iris Photovoltaics.