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Disruptive Technology Developed for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) modules

Microsemi Corporation, a leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, and Spelsberg, in conjunction with its partner, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE,announced the development of a disruptive new technology for photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. The technology was demonstrated at InterSolar 2010, July 13-15, 2010, in San Francisco, California. Spelsberg ELS is a German based expert in connection systems for PV modules, and Fraunhofer ISE is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe.

Microsemi has worked with Spelsberg ELS and Fraunhofer ISE to develop a breakthrough solar bypass technology that significantly increases reliability while reducing power dissipation in the critical bypass diode by up to ninety percent as compared to today’s typical solutions. Microsemi products based on the technology will implement Microsemi’s patented, ultra-low-power CoolRUN(TM) technology that enables increased power generation efficiency and significantly reduces operating temperatures while slashing the operational expense, reliability problems and associated warranty costs of traditional solutions using Schottky diodes.

“Microsemi is excited to bring this new, ground-breaking technology to the solar PV industry,” said Paul Pickle, General Manager of Microsemi’s Analog Mixed Signal Group. “Our new solar bypass solution will be the first of its kind to address thermal reliability, operational cost and efficiency issues common in solar installations, which will enable improved profitability, a faster break-even time, and improved energy efficiency. Our successful demonstrations at the Photovoltaic Symposium in Bad Staffelstein, Germany, ASES National Solar Conference, and InterSolar shows in Munich and San Francisco are key steps toward deployment of this breakthrough technology.”

“Spelsberg is pleased that our partnership with Microsemi has resulted in this breakthrough product offering,” said Holger Spelsberg, Managing Director. “We selected Microsemi for their expertise and experience developing solutions for the photovoltaic industry as well as high reliability, aerospace and satellite solutions. Our pooling of unique Microsemi and Spelsberg intellectual property enabled this groundbreaking development.”

“We are pleased that Microsemi’s new solar bypass solution leverages our system-level knowledge and intellectual property,” said Dr. Heribert Schmidt of Fraunhofer ISE. “By combining Microsemi’s IC design expertise with our knowledge of solar-energy scientific fundamentals, prototyping, and demonstration-system development, we have achieved a key milestone on the road to significantly more reliable and power-efficient PV modules.”

Microsemi’s newly developed technology will be used in solar modules for commercial, residential and industrial applications. The technology, in conjunction with Microsemi’s high-reliability, 40-year design rule methodology will enable support for demanding industry warranty requirements and extreme environment survivability.

Microsemi and its partners believe that this breakthrough diode technology will have a particularly significant impact on the economic models of large-scale solar-energy providers in the power purchase agreement (PPA) market. The resulting reduction in thermal dissipation greatly improves reliability essential to solar powered systems’ operational expenses and return on investment.

About Microsemi

Microsemi Corporation, with corporate headquarters in Irvine, California, is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of high performance analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, high reliability semiconductors and RF subsystems. The company’s semiconductors manage and control or regulate power, protect against transient voltage spikes and transmit, receive and amplify signals.

Microsemi’s products include individual components as well as integrated circuit solutions that enhance customer designs by improving performance and reliability, battery optimization, reducing size or protecting circuits. The principal markets the company serves include implanted medical, defense/aerospace and satellite, notebook computers, monitors and LCD TVs, automotive and mobile connectivity applications. More information may be obtained by contacting the company directly or by visiting its website at

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