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Suntech in deal with 4 firms for solar panels

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Azuray, Enphase, National Semiconductor and Tigo are the four companies

SAN JOSE, USA: In a move to enable 'smart panels,' the Chinese solar cell giant Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. has struck deals with four companies: Azuray, Enphase, National Semiconductor and Tigo to enable ‘smart panel’ solutions.

Reports said Azuray Technologies Inc is collaborating with Suntech Power to explore ''smart panel'' solutions.

According to CNet News the company has developed a direct current-to-direct current converter which can be fitted onto solar panels to increase the "energy harvest" of an array of panels affected by shading or a mismatch. With its system, output of an array of panels can be improved by as much as 25 percent.

"This cooperation with Azuray Technologies bolsters our commitment to innovate solar energy beyond today's standards of excellence," said Shijun Cai, senior vice president of Suntech. "Through collaboration with Azuray we hope to support solar installers and owners in their quest for greater power generation and faster returns on investment, in any environmental conditions."

The new 'smart panel' technology will draw on Azuray's exceptional maximum power point tracking (MPPT) DC to DC technology, Azurayn said in a statement.

Enphase Energy Inc., a supplier of microinverter systems, also said it will partner with Suntech Power Holdings to explore the development of smart panel technology. The collaboration is designed to explore the integration of Enphase microinverters into Suntech panels to simplify and accelerate solar system installation and maximize energy output, said a statement.

The third company, National Semiconductor Corp. also said it is collaborating with Suntech Power to develop "smart panel" technology by incorporating the SolarMagic power optimizer chipset into Suntech solar panels to improve the power output of solar systems.

"Suntech was one of the first companies to recognize the value that integrated high-performance microelectronics bring to a photovoltaic panel.  We are proud of our collaboration with Suntech to develop a next-generation product that will embed SolarMagic technology inside the junction box and ultimately boost the performance of solar arrays," said Michael Polacek, senior vice president, Key Market Segments and Business Development for National Semiconductor.

Meanwhile, Tigo Energy Inc. is collaborating with Suntech to develop ''smart panel'' technology for PV solar installations. The companies are developing technology that integrates the Tigo Energy Maximizer Solution into Suntech's solar panels to increase energy production up to 20 percent.

As part of the collaboration, the companies are developing technology that integrates the Tigo Energy Maximizer Solution into Suntech's solar panels to increase energy production up to 20 percent and bring new levels of intelligence, active manageability and enhanced safety to the solar panels, it said in a statement.

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