Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Well with the holiday season here and with all the things that had to be done leading up to them, this blog seems to have been placed on the back burner. As this is regrettable, I have not been sitting idle for I ve been diligently working on up - my solar website at

Now that this is done, I have up-loaded it to the Web and am requesting you to please browse through it and send me your comments regarding how convenient or inconvenient it may be, and it you notice any areas which are not working correctly. Finally I would like to know what sort of information you feel needs to be addressed.

I am requesting this because I have put many hours into this site and I want it to supply the type of information and products that are important to those who are in need of Solar Energy Information. So any help would be greatly appreciated not only by myself but to those who use the Catalog as a resource.

Again I would like to remind you that if you have any subjects which you would like answered on this blog, please address them to

I trust that you are all having a good holiday season. No matter how you celebrate or don't celebrate this time of year, be safe and be happy. I wish you all a wonderful and rewarding 2010 and may your God be with you. And don't forget to light up you life with solar!!!

Terry R. Wolff

Monday, December 14, 2009


We just got a lead on this new product by National Semiconductor. These power optimizers allow you to get the maximum performance out of your PV solar strings.

Today’s photovoltaic arrays are defined as strings of series-connected PV panels, which are then paralleled together and converted to AC power through an inverter. The key challenge of these arrays is how a small amount of real-world mismatch with just a few of the PV panels can cut the power output of the entire array in half. This mismatch can come in the form of shading (e.g. trees, chimneys, overhead power lines, bird droppings, handrails, etc.), panel-to-panel mismatch, different panel orientations and tilts, or different string lengths.

As a result of these mismatches, system integrators are often forced to compromise their installation by various methods, such as reducing the size of the array to avoid shade, accepting a lower energy output per square meter, or adding extra panels in a different part of the array, all of which cost money, efficiency, and/or aesthetics for the system owner.

To maximize the energy output of each solar PV panel in the array, National Semiconductor has developed SolarMagic technology, which enables each solar panel to produce the maximum energy regardless of whether other panels in the array are under-performing due to mismatch. SolarMagic technology monitors and maximizes the energy harvest of each individual PV panel through advanced algorithms combined with leading-edge mixed-signal technology, thereby recouping up to 57% of the lost energy due to mismatches.

The SolarMagic power optimizer is designed to be installed quickly and easily within the traditional architecture of a solar array. Each power optimizer comes with a universal mounting bracket for easy attachment to a racking system. The output wires of each solar panel are simply series-connected to a power optimizer (positive wire to positive wire, negative to negative), with the power optimizer output wires correspondingly connecting into the next solar panel’s power optimizer.

The blocking diode is designed to block reverse current flow by allowing current to flow in one direction and disconnect the circuit if current attempts to flow in the opposite direction. Due to the interaction, strings with SolarMagic power optimizers installed – also referred to as assisted strings – will have varying voltage levels during energy production hours.

A single blocking diode must be installed in each assisted string to protect the SolarMagic power optimizers from damage.

All SolarMagic power optimizers come with a limited 20-year warranty, thereby ensuring the reliability of the panel-mounted electronics matches the panels themselves.

See Spec Sheet

You can order these items on-line by going to my solar site at my or go to and view all the Solar, Wind, and Hydro energy products I have available.

My 2010 on-line catalog is now available for your viewing. This year I have added more products as well as product and design information. Ordering on-line makes it easy for you to order what you need 24/7.

Until next time, I hope that this has been helpful. Starting in 2010 I will attempt to feature an energy product once a week and do an informational article every month. At least that is my intent. I will also attempt to be more regular on my Woodcarving Blog as well. With that said, lets hope that I am not promising too much. If I am, I will let you know and reschedule my plans.

Terry R. Wolff