APsystems launches QS1 Four-Module 1200W AC Microinverter

AP Systems qs1

If you’re at Solar Power International this week, APsystems is unveiling something you’ll want to see: the QS1, a four-module, single-phase microinverter for residential applications (booth 2838). A new design for APsystems, the QS1 offers 75% faster installation time, while offering the highest peak output power and up to 3X faster data transmission speed than PLC. A wider MPPT voltage range will result in a greater energy harvest for homeowners.

The QS1 is designed to accommodate today’s high output PV panels up to 375W, offering 300W AC output per channel, the highest among microinverters. The unit also significantly reduces installation time and costs, taking the place of four conventional microinverters per each QS1 installed while still providing four independent MPPT.

The QS1 utilizes a common AC trunk cabling with the dual-module YC600, offering flexible mix-and-match compatibility on the same circuit to enhance site design capability and maximize circuit capacity. Both microinverters also utilize the same gateways; installers can choose from the ECU-R, for single or multi-residential installations, or the ECU-C, for applications requiring consumption monitoring and advanced contact/relay features.

sb-econference-web-post

“Compatibility with the existing YC600 microinverter system gives the QS1 an unprecedented advantage,” said APsystems Chief Technology Officer Dr. Yuhao Luo. “Mixing dual and quad microinverters in the same system adds design flexibility while offering a strong inventory and installation labor advantage over conventional microinverters.”

Today’s solar systems require a more robust communication architecture to manage significantly more data points and in-field software updates. A 2.4GHz wireless Zigbee mesh network offers enhanced data transmissions speed, up to three times faster than conventional powerline communication (PLC).

— Solar Builder magazine

APsystems to debut four-module, 1,200 W microinverter at Solar Power International

AP Systems qs1

APsystems will unveil the QS1, a four-module, single-phase microinverter for residential applications at the Solar Power International trade show in Anaheim. A new design for APsystems, the company says the QS1 offers 75 percent faster installation time, while offering the highest peak output power and up to 3x faster transmission speed than conventional microinverters. A wider MPPT voltage range will result in a greater energy harvest for homeowners.

The first of its kind, the QS1 is designed to accommodate today’s high output PV panels, offer enhanced capability and significantly reduce installation time and costs while providing an unprecedented level of power with four independent MPPT per channel. Common AC trunk cabling with the dual-module YC600, offers flexible mix-and-match compatibility on the same circuit and with the same gateway (ECU-R or ECU-C).

The unit also builds on the successful APsystems line of multi-module microinverters, offering reduced logistics costs and integrated communication and connection features.

For more info on the newest inverters on the market download our free 2018 Inverter Buyer’s Guide

— Solar Builder magazine

Data Drivers: Inverter monitoring system trends in the residential market

data monitoring inverters

This is an excerpt from the 2018 Inverter Buyer’s Guide. Be sure to download the full free report, complete with specs on 136 inverters at the bottom of this page.

Don’t let the hard, boxy exterior fool you — today’s inverters are all about transparency. A key in inverter selection is knowing just how transparent it is: What portals are set up for you and your customer to use? What do they show? And when? Just after it’s failed or maybe just as it sees something’s wrong? How do the alerts work? Can you make adjustments? Will it make its own adjustments?

Basically: How well can you see inside that box?

We asked each inverter manufacturer to share with us how their inverter monitoring system works and what came back was a variety of strategies, from increased flexibility and visibility for the operator and homeowner to innovations in predictive analytics and automated processes. Some come standard, some are subscription-based, but all are slick, boost PV performance and improve your company’s O&M services.

Here are the trends among the manufacturer-provided inverter monitoring systems on the market.

Download the 2018 Inverter Buyer’s Guide

Apps for that

Mobile-friendly platforms are fairly common now, with differences coming in how much data is presented and what remote capabilities are offered.

APsystems provides complimentary module-level monitoring through its cloud-based EMA service for both homeowners and installers. With the EMA app, users can see the energy their system is producing at the panel level, so if the app shows that a particular PV module is underperforming, the owner knows to check for shading issues, debris, damage, etc. The online EMA portal also emails alerts to the installer if a system or unit is operating outside its standard parameters. This is particularly handy when a PV module fails or is somehow disconnected.

Some solar customers invest in a PV system because they want to fully take ownership over their energy bills. They are hands on and want insight into what’s happening and how the system is performing. There are more options than ever for providing this service.

Enphase comes with MyEnlighten for homeowners, which presents system energy production, overall health, historical performance and energy equivalents all on one mobile-friendly display. Real solar enthusiasts can take advantage of a paid upgrade to per-panel monitoring, which is available via the installer who activated the system.
The flipside for the solar installer is the Enphase Enlighten Manager, which provides: fleet management, upgrade management for existing fleets (based on production and consumption data) and simplified repeat-business generation tools to reconnect with existing customers through additional services like battery management, EV charging solutions and system upgrades.

Diagnostics and remote updates

Fronius software updates

The free Solar.web platform from Fronius offers remote diagnostics and alerts such as proactive notifications in a variety of dashboards.

At Fronius, the free Solar.web platform offers remote diagnostics and alerts such as proactive email notifications concerning performance and state codes, as just two examples, to help determine whether a truck roll is necessary or not. Remote Update via Fronius Solar.web eliminates another category of O&M complexity and cost. In just a few clicks, any Fronius SnapINverters is updated remotely from any web-enabled device.

ABB’s Aurora Vision Plant Management Platform and Plant Viewer lets homeowners get a real-time view of how much energy has been harvested along with dashboard views for fleet-wide performance management through reports, diagnostics, analytics or event alerts. ABB inverters also come standard with a wireless connection that enables system monitoring and over-the-air upgrades to ensure units are operating with the latest functions.

Satellite monitoring

Recently, SolarEdge added satellite performance ratio and mismatch reporting to its cloud-based, module-level monitoring platform (free for 25 years). The company says this satellite performance ratio service eliminates the purchasing, installation and O&M of sensors. The mismatch report helps to streamline the process of identifying underperforming modules by comparing each module’s peak power and energy production to the average of all modules in the site, and presenting each module’s mismatch as a percentage above/below the average.

Storage integration

The plus sign in a “solar + storage” system says all you need to know about the monitoring system capabilities — there are more added in.

Magnum Energy provides data monitoring through the MagWeb line of monitoring kits. The MagWeb provides live internet monitoring of the inverter, battery monitor and automatic generator start module. Using an internet connection, MagWeb makes live and historical conditions available through a web browser at data.magnumenergy.com. The MagWeb GT provides an integrated dashboard of the MicroGT system engineered for PV + storage systems. With the MagWeb GT, the production data from the array and the battery bank status of the storage system are accessed via your local network from one simple dashboard.

Tabuchi provides data monitoring via the Tabuchi Cloud. Here, customers can monitor PV generation, household consumption, the amount of power bought and sold to and from the grid and the battery charge. It also allows customers to compare data hourly, daily, monthly and yearly. The service is included with purchase of the Eco Intelligent Battery System (EIBS). Tabuchi Cloud allows installers to make sure everything is working as intended, while the simple interface allows homeowners to quickly see how they are saving on energy costs.

Automation

The next evolution in system monitoring is taking all of this data and having the system apply its own fixes. Pika Energy‘s REview Dashboard is provided to the customer with every Pika system to view performance metrics in comprehensive real-time reports, but its biggest advances come from system automation. While some inverters may notify users that grid or environmental conditions have changed, the Pika Energy Island acts automatically to meet these new conditions. When peak rate periods set in, local demand spikes or the grid goes down, the Pika Energy Island manages energy flows to keep system owners powered up and saving money.

SMA’s latest development in monitoring and alerts is SMA Smart Connected. Now available with the Sunny Boy-US residential line of inverters, SMA Smart Connected is a proactive service package integrated into Sunny Portal that automatically detects and evaluates system events and initiates remediation or repair activities. This decreases truck rolls, lengthy service calls and system downtime. Once it is operating, SMA Smart Connected will actively monitor a residential system at all times through Sunny Portal’s intelligent monitoring technology.

For more info on the newest inverters on the market download our free 2018 Inverter Buyer’s Guide

— Solar Builder magazine

APsystems improves its EMA portal, here are four new features

APsystems.jpg

APsystems has released new system monitoring alert capabilities within its online EMA portal. The new alerts will improve communication regarding any production and communication issues with an enhanced email alert protocol, giving installers and homeowners further insight into any potential issues affecting their systems.

While the APsystems EMA has always provided system production reports and alerts, the new alerts will be more targeted, more frequent and more informative. Enhancements include:

1. System alerts will notify an installer if one of their installed systems has an inverter that ceases producing energy.

2. Registration alerts are issued in the case of inaccurate or incomplete system registration.

3. Communication interrupt alerts will notify installers in cases where their ECU gateway ceases communicating properly with the EMA online monitoring system which could indicate an interruption of communication between inverters, ECU and/or EMA; or simply a local internet, ISP or router issue.

4. Production alerts will notify installers of unusually low power production at the individual inverter level, giving them an opportunity to check status online and verify proper operation.

APsystems microinverters now on Sunnova’s approved vendor list

These alerts offer installers a more refined tool for notification and troubleshooting of potential system issues. As with any apparent issue, APsystems always recommends contacting our technical support team if you suspect a problem. Most issues can be reviewed and resolved online and without a trunk roll.

Changes made to the EMA are seamless and will be automatically available to all new registered systems and over 31,000 existing APsystems installations worldwide.

— Solar Builder magazine

APsystems microinverters now on Sunnova’s approved vendor list

APsystems

APsystems joined the approved vendor list for Sunnova, one of the leading U.S. residential solar and energy storage service provider. The agreement brings APsystems advanced microinverter technology to Sunnova’s portfolio of  solar services. Sunnova offers an array of solar lease, lease-to-own, and power-purchase options for customers all across the United States.

“Sunnova has earned a strong reputation for easy, no-nonsense solar packages for consumers,” said Jason Higginson, Senior Director of Marketing for APsystems USA. “We’re glad to bring our solar microinverter technology to their platform, to help more homeowners nationwide enjoy energy self-sufficiency and savings.”

“Our goal is to offer our customers a brilliant choice for energizing their lives,” said John Santo Salvo, SVP of Channel Operations and Chief Procurement Officer at Sunnova. “We believe APsystems’ advanced microinverter offering is an ideal addition to our customer-empowering portfolio of solar solutions.”

APsystems is listed on Sunnova’s 2018 Approved Vendor List and is now an option in their system solution platform.

— Solar Builder magazine