Typically, PV power plants are spread out over several acres of land far from residences, towns or cities. Up until now, central inverter manufacturers have not had to deal with noise emissions from the central inverters in and near such large industrial PV farms. In collaboration with the Rheinisch-Westfälischen Technischen Hochschule Aachen (RWTH University Aachen), SMA Solar Technology AG carried out comprehensive and complex testing to identify the sources of noise and ways to reduce it. We found that because noise emissions behave logarithmically, a 10dB reduction will cut the central inverter’s noise emissions by half.
“We’ve been asked to look into reducing the noise generated by our central inverters, especially those in the more densely populated regions in Japan,” said Aaron Gerdemann, Global Product Manager at SMA Solar Technology AG and expert for the Japanese market. As more and more major PV power plants are operating near residential areas, villages and towns, there is a growing demand for quieter central inverters. The findings of the tests have already lead to implementing the first noise reduction measures, and a retrofit kit is available now for central inverters already in operation.