Engineers at Morgan Solar use Altium technology to create innovative solar energy solutions that are disrupting the status quo.
Morgan Solar: Reinventing Solar Technology
The solar energy industry has experienced exponential growth over the past decade, with an increasing demand for sustainable, renewable energy sources on a global scale. Worldwide climate change commitments and the initiative to go “green” have prompted solar energy ventures to come up with sophisticated yet attainable solutions to meet these growing demands. That’s where Morgan Solar comes in.
Morgan Solar was founded in June 2007 with the vision of making unsubsidized solar energy more competitive, accessible and cost-effective for a global market. Their proposed mission is to make solar energy the most widely used and affordable power source in the world, and their patents on state-of-the-art solar panels and solar tracking systems are doing just that. Taking a less conventional approach with the their business model, the company has created a unique space for unsubsidized solar energy, meaning every decision made must be economically backed — creating more value for the consumer. Their efforts have resulted in the production of market-disrupting solar energy solutions that are not only durable and highly efficient, but low cost.
Morgan Solar’s flagship product, Sun Simba™, is an optical system that represents a completely new and innovative category of solar panel. Sun Simba replaces the silicon solar cells of traditional panels with advanced optics that harness sunlight via multi-junction solar cells which convert sunlight into electricity. This technology was originally developed for the space industry, with cells that are twice as efficient as silicon. Morgan Solar’s sister product, Savanna™ PV, is a solar tracking system that keeps modules continuously focused directly on the sun, maximizing energy production. Together, these products represent a giant step forward in a new generation of solar power.
An Industry Moving at the Speed of Light
In an industry that is becoming more competitive each year, solar energy ventures like Morgan Solar have had to consistently think outside of the box by developing technologies that push the boundaries of solar energy production. Product costs have decreased significantly over the past decade thus increasing the urgency to develop and patent newer, more ubiquitous solar energy solutions. “The solar market has changed dramatically — it is moving very, very fast. Compared to where we started in this company, prices have dropped about tenfold, so we’ve had to constantly innovate to keep up and to try to stay ahead of the curve,” said Dr. Stefan Myrskog, VP of Control Systems at Morgan Solar.
Tools that help accommodate less forgiving production timelines and increase product turnover play a critical role for engineers, and Morgan Solar has turned to Altium software to achieve this. With Altium Designer®, engineers have significantly increased design productivity with tools that are easy to learn, easy to use, and help streamline everyday design workflows. Among them is the ability to optimize component placement and create their own set of rules in the schematic. “You can select the components in the schematic and in a particular order, then you can reposition them”, said Gurdarshan Tiwana, Lead Hardware Design Engineer at Morgan Solar. “It’s wonderful — for the logical placement it makes a lot of sense.” Automated routing technology like ActiveRoute® gives his team the freedom to route boards quickly and accurately without worrying about variances in voltage, current density, or determining how much space is needed for clearance. The Find Similar Objects dialogue also gives designers the ability to easily set up search criteria that uses the attributes of target objects as a reference for finding similar objects, saving engineers considerable design time.
A New Frontier for Sustainable Energy
Sun Simba is a prime example of next-generation technology that exemplifies cutting-edge, low-cost solar energy that is easy to implement and globally accessible. This groundbreaking optical system will offer the industry’s highest energy yields in some of the world’s hottest and driest climates. The Sun Simba CPV system will also present a lower Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) than any other PV technology with DNI levels over 5.5kWh/square meter/per day, offering versatility and unique deployment opportunities of the company’s patent-pending tracking system.
Savanna represents an entirely new approach to dual-axis tracking and eliminates many of the installation costs associated with traditional tracking systems. Its functionality is based on a simple, ‘drop-in-place’, human-height frame which is a highly modular and repeatable building block that can be scaled for various projects. The Savanna tracker has been proven to pass over 300 years of accelerated life testing with over five years of field deployments. Morgan Solar has multiple patents pending on their tracker technology.
Taking the Lead in Solar Energy Innovation
By incorporating Altium Designer into their workflow, Morgan Solar has been able to increase design efficiency, reduce their time to market, and deliver consistent, high-quality solar energy products. Their engineering team has fine-tuned their design process to optimize the production of high-efficiency solar tracking systems and state-of-the-art solar modules that are not only disrupting the market, but significantly impacting the way we generate and consume electricity. For electronics designers at Morgan Solar, ease of use and tools that drive design productivity are key in helping to fulfill their brand vision. “You have to deliver, and working for a company of this size it’s very important to deliver something on time”, said Tiwana. “In the end, all of these features [in the design tool] make the life of the engineer easier, the time to market faster, and give you a trouble-free product.”