Large-scale PV DC optimizer company Ampt hit a company milestone of 5 GWh of DC-coupled energy storage projects installed this week. Ampt is a key technology provider for PV+storage systems, so this seemed like an opportunity to catch up with what they have to offer.
Ampt is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., and has sales and support locations in North America, Europe, and Japan as well as representation in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. Its String Optimizers are DC/DC converters that lower costs, increase performance, and improve grid response of DC-coupled energy storage systems. Tier-one PV power plant developers and owners are deploying Ampt products in mission critical applications including peak shifting and peaker plant replacement, renewable energy firming, and grid support. Projects with Ampt range from 20 to 200 MW of PV solar coupled with up to 6 hours of battery energy storage.
One of Ampt’s key PV+storage differentiators is the high fixed-voltage DC bus (HFVB) which significantly lowers capex costs by increasing the power density and efficiency of both the PV plant and battery energy storage system. Ampt’s HFVB also simplifies system controls so that DC-coupled systems can achieve a level of grid responsiveness historically associated with AC-coupled systems which are more expensive and less efficient.
Other advantages of systems with Ampt include string-level maximum power point tracking (MPPT) which increases lifetime performance by capturing energy that would otherwise be lost due to electrical imbalances in the system. Ampt also allows higher DC/AC ratios (up to 3:1) which means that more PV power is deployed on inverters and transformers. This reduces overall equipment costs and achieves longer energy storage durations.
“Low-cost solar with battery energy storage is a clear path toward revolutionizing our grid and saving lives by replacing legacy fossil fuel infrastructures with dispatchable clean energy. Ampt is working with leading project developers and solution providers to accelerate this transition,” said Levent Gun, Ampt CEO. “Ampt is committed to realizing this future through continued innovation.”
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