Interest in photovoltaic (PV) systems has increased significantly over the past decade, and with the cost of modules continually dropping, more attention is being focused on the role of power-conversion and the ways it can improve overall energy capture. This talk will overview a system level comparison of traditional centralized inverter systems and more recent distributed conversion architectures, particularly the developments in microinverters and dc optimizers. The benefits and challenges of these distributed designs will be investigated at their present state and for future developments, including sub-module and cell-level configurations, as well as implications for the selection of PV cell materials.
Brandon received his Ph.D. and S.M. degrees in from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011 and 2006 respectively, and his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004, all in electrical engineering. After graduating from M.I.T. he worked for Enphase Energy as a senior design engineer, developing grid-tied power converters for distributed solar applications. His research focuses on the design of electronic systems, with particular interest in power electronics and their control. This includes applications in smart-grids, photovoltaic systems, electric vehicles, and high-efficiency circuits.