Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
- Sep 20, 2019
- Key Largo
TL;DR: A 3 diode panel is 3 subpanels in parallel. If a part of a subpanel is in shadow, rather than other subpanels lose power the bypass diodes kick in. The maxim chip replaces the diodes and can even pull available power from the shaded subpanel (so more power and no overheating).
A few years back this article came out: Has Maxim Just Killed The Microinverter & DC Optimiser?
Although this article probably does a better job explaining it: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/solar-panel-optimisation/
It was big news at the time. Jinko “Eagle MX”, Hanwa "Q.Peak-G4.1/MAX", Trina " TrinaPeak", Suntech and ET Solar supposedly all adopted it, but there were reports the chips also caused TV reception issues.
NREL reported in 2014 the Maxim chips work: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/62024.pdf and the information is still on the maxim site https://www.maximintegrated.com/con...ing-maxim-solar-cell-optimizers-in-pvsyst.pdf so it seems like a real thing.