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Optimisation of converters for building integrated photovoltaic systems



The aim of the project is the development of configurations and techniques leading to the design and manufacture of efficient and reliable grid connected PV systems for building integration, at a lower cost than using currently available technology. The R&D will be based on an assessment of the most appropriate methodology for the implementation of network connection of photovoltaics and a system approach to the power conversion, quality and safety issues.

Inverting elements are to be designed to be distributed throughout the array so as to reduce power wiring costs. It is believed that a combination of distributed inverters and a centralised grid interface, including protection equipment will be the most effective and cost effective. In addition it offers further possible benefits in terms of harmonic cancellation which would improve the power quality and thus increase the acceptability of the system to the local electricity supply company.


The project will be carried out in a two-years time span with the combined efforts of three high qualified partners in the European Community : SEI in Italy, CREST in UK and CIEMAT in Spain.
In the frame of this project the following points will be investigated in deep details :
1. The inverter, 2. The interface, 3. Maximum Power Point Tracking, 4. Safety, 5. Quality
The project is focused in particular to the :
- reduction of semiconductor losses by means of soft switching, - reduction of the dimensions of passive components by the use of high switching frequency,
- use of advanced power components (IGBT),
- innovative circuit technologies combining MPPT and ac conversion. Complementary targets are the achievement of a very high reliability, safety, efficiency of islanding protection, compliance to the general regulations, low harmonic content and good power factor.

The project will take benefit from the large technical and industrial experience of SEI combined with the scientific know how and equipment of the other two partners.


The output of this project will be the definition of a cost effective and reliable power supply based on the large scale use of renewable energy sources at individual building level.
The environmental protection is also a side benefit from this project as the diffused local production of photovoltaic energy will reduce the request of power from the grid thus avoiding its increasing in dimensions and reducing the relevant pollutant material production.
The potential market is foreseen very interesting as of today and will be verified and stimulated by the three partners in close cooperation during the exploitation phase, once the advantages of the achieved performance, reliability and safety will be made clear.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Sistemi Energetici Integrati Srl
Via S. Jacopo 32
50047 Prato Firenze

Participants (2)

Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas
04200 Tabernas
United Kingdom
Ashby Road
LE11 3TU Loughborough