We at Solar Builder try to present stories about products and practices that can make installers’ jobs easier. We’ve known about Fronius USA’s new SnapINverter line of inverters for the last year, but with two new models entering the U.S. market before the end of the year, we thought it was time to take a closer look. Does their “snapability” really speed along installation and save on costs? Fronius’ Martin Beran, head of system support group, and Thomas Enzendorfer, director of solar energy, gave us the lowdown and allowed us to answer in the affirmative to that burning question.
First, the SnapINverter product line is geared toward residential and commercial solar system sizes ranging from 1.5 kW to 2 MW. The Fronius Galvo (out since last year) and Fronius Primo (to be released by the end of the year) are single phase, 240-V inverters, perfect for residential installations. The Fronius Symo (to be released in Oct. 2014) is a three-phase string inverter, ideal for distributed commercial rooftop, carport and ground-mount installations.
The SnapINverter units snap to the wall, speeding along the mounting process. The inverters are lightweight, compact and easy to handle, something Beran and Enzendorfer say installers have especially liked so far with the Fronius Galvo. The mounting base separates from the actual inverter compartment, and the inverter is swiveled/snapped into position. The reduced install time saves costs during the initial setup, and later maintenance and servicing is quick with the easy separation of the inverter compartment from the wall — all wiring stays connected to the mounting plate. Fronius says a successful install can be completed in less than 15 minutes.
These new inverters are also Wi-Fi enabled and smart-grid capable. They’re set up for existing and upcoming code and safety requirements, including rapid shutdown and arc fault detection.
Fronius has made some useful changes to its new inverters simplifying the installation process. With inverter mounting done in a snap, installers can quickly move on to the next job. Check out photos and videos of the Fronius Galvo, Primo and Symo SnapINverter products through the company’s YouTube channel and at snapinverter.com.
— Solar Builder magazine