Inverter manufacturer Tabuchi invests in ground-mount developer Nuance Energy

Nuance Energy, the manufacturer of the Osprey PowerPlatform and a developer of distributed ground-mount solar projects, today announced it has received a $3 million investment from Tabuchi Electric Co. LTD.

The two companies already have a close working relationship. Nuance Energy, an early North American customer for Tabuchi, has installed the company’s commercial string inverters on several projects. Working together on these projects led Tabuchi Electric to discover the strategic advantages afforded by the Osprey PowerPlatform. The companies plan to continue working together to find synergies benefiting customers that use Nuance’s Osprey PowerPlatform and Tabuchi’s commercial products.

Tabuchi- Electric EIBSinverter crop

Tabuchi Electric made the investment in Nuance Energy to expand its learning and reach into the growing market segment of ground-mount distributed generation Solar+Storage. Tabuchi, already present in the residential Solar+Storage market with its EIBS, plans to expand its storage offerings to the commercial market and expects to gain valuable insights from the relationship with Nuance Energy to further drive innovation.

“As a leading provider of grid-friendly solar-plus-storage systems optimized for energy management and cost performance, we were early to recognize that Nuance Energy’s unique value proposition would give us a significant advantage in commercial applications,” said Harumi McClure, COO and pres-ident of Tabuchi Electric Company of America, LTD. “Together our companies will expand the available market for solar and open up more project opportunities for our mutual distributor and EPC contractor customers.”

Nuance Energy’s Osprey PowerPlatform is a modular ground-mount solar racking system that applies patent-pending technology to afford numerous advantages, including simplified engineering, adding modularity to the procurement process, and dramatically reducing construction costs and effort. The Osprey PowerPlatform employs a unique, minimal earth-penetrating anchor application process and a modular, scalable design that enables contractors, developers, integrators, and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms to achieve peak profitability through the industry’s lowest labor and installation costs and fastest time-to-revenue for available ground mounted system solutions.

What you need to know about 1500-volt inverters

Unlike conventional ground mount systems that require a detailed geotechnical report, extensive engineering effort involving the use of ground screws and pier foundations, and costly construction techniques that require heavy onsite equipment, the Osprey PowerPlatform enables field crews to install the solar arrays using only handheld tools. The design also eliminates the need for special inspections by facilitating simple field load testing in real-time soil conditions to assure compliance with applicable codes and regulations. This ability to deploy solar arrays on varied terrain under any type of soil condition helps make solar energy more practical and affordable at any scale, and creates more opportunities for agricultural, commercial, industrial and small utility-scale projects.

— Solar Builder magazine

Intersolar North America Showcase: Here’s what to see at this year’s trade show

APsystems: True three-phrase microinverters

APsystems YC1000

APsystems boasts an industry best-selling 3-phase solar microinverter and the industry’s first true 3-phase (phase-balanced & phase-monitored) unit, the YC1000-3. This model handles 208V or 277Y/480V grid voltages with 900 watts maximum output, 95 percent peak efficiency and comes with ZigBee communication and integrated ground. At 480V up to 11 units (44 modules total, 60- or 72-cell) can be linked in a single 15A circuit, and up to 14 solar modules (7x YC500s) in a string with a 20A breaker. Designed to operate from -40 F to 149 F degrees. Ten and 25-year warranties are available. Booth 9245.

Boviet Solar: Debuting two new solar modules

Boviet Solar

A new 290-W, 60-cell polycrystalline diamond-cut PERC solar module is one of the newest products from Boviet Solar’s full PERC production line completed in 2016. Also on display will be the new 300-W monocrystalline PERC Smart Module designed to harvest 25 percent more energy. In addition to free, 24-hour monitoring per module, the Smart Module also has module-level voltage shutdown to offer greater installer and firefighter safety. Booth 8317.

Ciel et Terre: Making floating PV happen in the U.S.

hydrelio floating solar

Ciel et Terre has completed large-scale floating PV systems in various market applications and countries, showcasing FPV as a real alternative to traditional PV in roof-top and ground-mounted systems. In the past year, the organization increased its U.S. reach with its first public utility project in Orlando, alongside its local Florida representative D3 Energy and in partnership with the Orlando Utilities Commission. Ciel et Terre installed a 31.5-kWp floating solar system on the OUC’s storm water storage reservoir, a dead water space at the facility, and is expected to generate up to 51,000 kWh per year. Booths 9744 and 9745.

Eaton: Control system to simplify microgrid deployment

Eaton microgrid system

Designed for critical applications requiring secure, efficient and reliable power, Eaton’s newest solution is engineered to deploy stand-alone power systems using existing and new assets with the adaptability to easily meet future needs. The system incorporates Eaton’s new Power Xpert energy optimizer controller and provides a modular, scalable approach to microgrid control, as well as accompanying services, such as microgrid feasibility studies, total system design, control system deployment, integration with existing third-party generation assets and critical loads, project implementation, commissioning and system start-up, and ongoing maintenance. Booth 8310.

EcoFasten Solar: New standing seam metal roofing application

EcoFasten

EcoFasten Solar has launched its newest product, SimpleBlock, a solution designed specifically for standing seam metal roofing applications. The versatile SimpleBlock provides a variety of options through compatibility with any rack manufacturer’s connection points (L-feet, posts), and will fit any double-lock standing seam. When used in conjunction with EcoFasten’s Mid-Clamp, SimpleBlock becomes a rail-free racking system featuring integrated bonding. The system meets and exceeds all known building codes and is UL 2703 listed, with product compliance determined through rigorous, uncompromised testing per UL 2703: First Edition. Due to such an overwhelming response to this innovative system, EcoFasten Solar is gearing up for high volume manufacturing to meet industry demand and will also be unveiling additional configurations for more seam options soon. Booth 9433.

Fronius: Offering its next generation solar solution

Fronius

Fronius introduces its next generation of solar systems to the industry, the Fronius Smart Solution. This satisfies all needs for residential and commercial systems: flexible system design, shade mitigation, NEC compliance, high performance and state-of-the art monitoring while keeping the number of components low and installation easy. The Fronius Smart Solution combines the benefits of traditional MLPE such as microinverters or DC optimizers with the ease of installation and cost-effectiveness of string inverters. The Fronius Smart Solution is the combination of cell-string optimized modules, the Fronius Rapid Shutdown Box, a Fronius SnapINverter, the optional Fronius Smart Meter and the Fronius Solar.web online monitoring portal. Check it out for yourself at the Fortune Energy booth. Booth 8519.

Heyco: A solution for every cable need

Heyco solar clips

Heyco’s new Edge Clips are ideal for use where holes cannot be used and adhesives are not acceptable due to temperature issues. If these won’t work, check out Heyco’s new SunRunner Vidrios, which are designed to mount directly onto the glass panel with compression force only — perfect for frameless PV modules. If neither of those pique your interest, check out Heyco’s SunBundler. Though not new to Heyco’s offering, the Heyco SunBundler has been receiving a lot of attention due to its 20 year warranty and unique design. Check them out at the CED Greentech booth. Booth 8311.

Ideal Power: The latest in power conversion innovation

Ideal Power

Ideal Power’s newest Stabiliti Series power conversion system is a grid-resilient 30-kW advanced power conversion system for system integrators and project developers who need to efficiently connect distributed energy resources to the grid. Stabiliti is the next generation of Ideal Power’s patented Power Packet Switching Architecture (PPSA) technology and incorporates numerous new features and benefits for commercial and industrial customers. The Stabiliti Series is available in two versions: dual port AC-DC bi-directional and multi-port AC-DC-DC bi-directional. Ideal Power’s John Merritt will be speaking on July 10 from 12-12.30 p.m. at the ‘‘Islands, Mini-Grids, Microgrids & Energy Storage’’ session. His talk will explain how solar-plus-storage systems can become microgrid-enabled with multi-port conversion technologies, creating energy resilience and reducing reliance on backup generators. Booth 8110.

JLM Energy: Patent-pending ‘microstorage’ technology

JLM Energy Phazr

Phazr, the first in JLM’s MicroStorage family of products, is mounted seamlessly behind the solar panel. Phazr is designed for large-scale, solar-plus-storage applications and is also perfectly suited for smaller residential and commercial installs. The simultaneous nature of electron flow is unique to JLM’s patent-pending technology. This is included in JLM’s energy technology bundle and is operated by Measurz software, which continually observes energy usage patterns and utilizes a variety of strategies to maintain a pre-set budget determined by the customer. Booth 8134.

Pika Energy: Partnership with Panasonic on solar smart battery

Pika_MAY17_006_web

Panasonic Eco Solutions North America and U.S.-based inverter manufacturer Pika Energy Inc. are partnering to offer a DC-coupled solar smart battery — Harbor 10P/15P — that will begin shipping in late 2017 and is available for pre-order today. The solar-ready Harbor Smart Battery combines Panasonic’s Lithium-Ion battery modules and Pika Energy’s power electronics in a slim, floor-standing, wall-mounted enclosure to provides 10 kWh or 15 kWh of usable energy and up to 6.7 kW of continuous power. Booth 8318.

Preformed Line Products: Speeding up rail-less mounting

Preformed Line Products

Maneuvering mounting rails can be the most demanding part of installing rooftop solar modules. But now installers can avoid that — and mount modules faster and easier — with the POWER DISK rail-less mounting system from Preformed Line Products. POWER DISK is a unique roof attachment that can go anywhere on residential rooftops. It does not need to be secured to rafters. Install solar modules in four simple steps: 1. Snap chalk lines. 2. Mount POWER DISK bases anywhere on the roof deck. 3. Set solar modules in place. 4. Spin the disks to vertically adjust height to roof undulations. Booth 9449.

Quick Mount: New series for comp/asphalt shingle roofs

Quick Mount

Quick Mount PV engineered its patented Elevated Water Seal Technology into an integrated L-foot and flashing for cost-effective, super-fast, single-bolt installation with unparalleled waterproofing. The L-Mount Series comes in single- and double-slot options for maximum versatility and works with all leading racks. L-Mounts are designed for simple lag-bolt installation onto existing composition/asphalt shingle roofs. The L-Mount features a 9-in. by 12-in. aluminum flashing with alignment notches and rounded corners to easily slide under shingles and speed installation. No shingle cutting required. Like all Quick Mount PV products, the L-Mount meets or exceeds roofing industry best practices and comes with a 25-year warranty. Available in mill or black finish. Booth 9411.

RBI Solar: Ground mount, ballasted, roof mount and canopy solutions

RBI solar Logo

RBI Solar is one of the top turn-key solar mounting solutions suppliers in the United States for ground mount, ballasted landfills, roof mounts and canopy/carport structures. As a single-source provider for commercial and utility-scale PV projects, all responsibility for the design, engineering, manufacturing and installation of the most efficient PV Racking systems in the marketplace is completed in-house by the RBI Solar Team. Committed to providing value from conception to completion, RBI Solar’s customers receive cost-effective and durable racking solutions for each project site to aide in reducing the overall project costs. Booth L9008.

SimpliPhi: Plug-and-play storage

SimpliPhi - AccESS - 300 DPI

Developed in partnership with installers, SimpliPhi Power’s AccESS has been installed in a variety of locations, including a commercial “glamping” resort, Flying Flags, and is positioned for hundreds of residential installations in partnership with Civic Solar’s SGIP projects. The AccESS provides power security that is safe, reliable, non-hazardous and efficient. The fully integrated solution includes the SimpliPhi award-winning battery technology, Schneider Electric inverter charge controller, associated power electronics and overall system management. Pre-programmed software settings and performance monitoring complete the solution. Booth 8124.

Smappee Plus: New advanced energy monitoring

Smappee Plus

Now entering the U.S. solar market, Smappee Plus is the latest innovation from Smappee’s burgeoning energy monitoring solutions which have seen widespread adoption across Europe since 2012. The product combines Smappee’s patented NILM (Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring) technology with submetering clamps to measure real-time energy use from appliances throughout a user’s home including those with variable output or similar energy consumption patterns, giving previously undetectable transparency to energy use. Head to the Impress Lounge across the street from the Moscone Center for more info.

Solar-Log: Enhanced PV monitoring portal allows for more installer services

solar log pv monitoring

Solar-Log’s new WEB Enerest is an enhanced PV monitoring portal that works in combination with Solar-Log’s data loggers to offer better monitoring and more efficient optimization of solar power usage. The new Solar-Log WEB Enerest portal is available in three different service levels and price classes to respond even more precisely to the differing needs of individual customer groups. The most advanced XL package allows installers and service providers to centrally monitor their entire fleet from one portal. This premium version provides near real-time visualization of plant error messages which can be quickly evaluated and managed. The portal allows the operator to remotely configure the Solar-Log®device, customize the portal design, and define plant owners’ access to the yield and plant information. Automated reports, integrated weather data comparison and the option to combine several plants with one account are just some of the comprehensive functions. Booth 9121.

SunModo: Debuting new solar awnings to shield windows, generate energy

sunmodo awning

The concept is simple: Replace traditional metal and fabric awnings with solar-power-generating panels that provide necessary protection from the elements while also replacing traditional electricity usage. That concept is coming to the marketplace as the SunShield awning system. It is being introduced by SunModo, a company that makes durable, easy-to-install professional racking systems. The SunShield awning system features a durable triangular aluminum frame as structural truss; and expands to a 35-degree tilt angle once installed. This compact triangle frame design easily accommodates both 60 and 72 cell solar panels. What’s more, SunShield opens the awning industry to 30 percent tax credits and provides a substantial new canvas for solar power generation. Booth 9539.

Tabuchi America: Expanded storage capacity

Tabuchi

Originally launched in the United States at Intersolar 2015, Tabuchi America is debuting the 2nd generation model of its Eco Intelligent Battery System (EIBS). Tabuchi’s all-in-one, easy-to-install system includes a 5.5-kW solar inverter and stackable 6-kWh lithium-ion batteries. The Tabuchi EIBS has the intelligence to maximize a homeowner’s savings in real time across different electricity tariffs. This DC-coupled system will meet advanced inverter requirements and will be 9540 compliant. Booth 8121.

Trojan Battery: AGM battery designed for solar installs

Trojan Battery

Trojan Battery Co. is launching a new line of maintenance-free, true deep-cycle absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries specifically designed for solar and other renewable energy applications. The new Trojan Solar AGM line is manufactured in the U.S. Offering a three-year warranty for stationary applications, and tested to an eight-year design life under IEC 61427 standard for solar batteries, this initial release includes a wide range of Trojan Solar AGM models. With its non-spillable design, the new Trojan Solar AGM batteries enable installers to customize the use and position of the batteries in customer applications. Booth 8128.

— Solar Builder magazine

Panasonic, Pika partner on DC-coupled solar smart battery

pika solar storage

Panasonic Eco Solutions North America and U.S.-based inverter manufacturer Pika Energy, Inc. are partnering to offer a DC-coupled solar smart battery with industry-leading performance specifications. The Harbor 10P/15P will begin shipping in late 2017 and is available for pre-order today, the companies announced.

The solar-ready Harbor Smart Battery combines Panasonic’s renowned Lithium-Ion battery modules and Pika Energy’s power electronics in a slim, floor-standing, wall-mounted enclosure. Powered by Panasonic’s Li-Ion battery technology, this smart battery provides 10 kWh or 15 kWh of usable energy and up to 6.7 kW of continuous power. Harbor 10P/15P can be used for clean back-up power, self-supply, time-of-use and other solar-plus-storage applications.

How it works

Harbor 10P/15P uses Panasonic’s innovative Lithium-Ion battery modules, which feature exceptional energy density and redundant safety protections. The smart battery is directly compatible with the award-winning Pika Energy Island, a single-inverter solution for grid-tied solar-plus-storage. Harbor 10P/15P is installed as a plug-and-play smart battery coupled with solar PV on a common DC bus that feeds the Islanding Inverter. This simple, efficient connection of solar and storage is enabled by Harbor 10P/15P’s internal DC/DC converter using REbus, Pika Energy’s patented nanogrid platform.

“As a world-leader in both the Lithium-Ion battery and solar modules, we understand the value in bringing innovative solar-plus-storage solutions to customers,” said Dan Silver, President, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “We’re very pleased to be working with Pika Energy to continue pushing the boundaries of performance and efficiency to unlock even greater benefits for users for a wide variety of applications.”

PV Pointers: How to future-proof PV systems with a storage-ready inverter

What sets it apart

For system integrators, the simplicity and price-performance of the Harbor 10P/15P Smart Battery set it apart from other grid-tied battery systems, said Ben Polito, Pika Energy’s President and Co-founder.

“A single technician can install and commission a Harbor 10P/15P in less than an hour,” Polito said. “Harbor is pre-wired for the Panasonic battery modules, making assembly incredibly fast and simple. Combined with our transformer-less inverter, the Pika Energy Island with Harbor 10P/15P offers a vast improvement over heavy wall-mounted battery systems and outdated multiple-inverter configurations that suffer from low efficiency, extraneous hardware and complex installations.”

Harbor 10P/15P enables customers to take full advantage of the Pika Energy Island’s built-in operational modes for solar-plus-storage. In islanding mode, the Harbor 10P/15P seamlessly powers heavy loads like well pumps and refrigerators without a grid connection, providing customers with a superior backup power system. When grid-connected, its 10kWh (model 10P) or 15kWh (model 15P) capacity provides self-supply of local loads during evening hours when energy rates are highest.

“The smartest, simplest way to build solar-plus-storage systems is by combining batteries and solar PV on a common DC bus,” said Polito. “The Panasonic-powered Harbor 10P/15P Smart Battery brings that concept to life, without compromising power output, scalability or flexibility. As solar PV adoption continues to boom, the grid needs smart, distributed storage. We’re thrilled to be working with Panasonic to offer what we believe is the solar-plus-storage solution the industry has been waiting for.”

— Solar Builder magazine

SMA America hosting utility-scale solar, storage forum in July

SMA central inverter

SMA America is hosting a special event for solar professionals, particularly those focused on utility-scale storage and solar, that will highlight cutting-edge solutions for utility-scale projects. The Utility-scale Storage & PV Forum will take place July 12, 2017, at the Hotel Zetta in San Francisco.

The forum will address challenges and solutions for high-penetration PV networks as well as the value and uses cases for storage, and will highlight SMA’s new large-scale storage solution, the Sunny Central Storage 2500-EV-US. The program will include a wide-range of expertise presented from SMA and Siemens Energy Management Solutions.

“There is a great need for utility-scale solutions with integrated storage in today’s evolving solar mar-ket,” said John Susa, executive vice president of sales for SMA America. “We value the opportunity to discuss these topics with our customers and stakeholders, and we hope they’ll attend this forum and come away with additional knowledge and a better understanding of opportunities in the current landscape.”

The Sunny Central Storage 2500-EV-US is SMA’s power conversion system for large-scale battery stor-age systems. These systems enable the integration of large amounts of intermittent renewable ener-gy into the utility grid while maintaining grid stability. Sunny Central Storage is compatible with differ-ent types of leading battery technologies.

The forum will begin at 8:30 a.m. and run until 1:30 p.m. In addition to educational sessions, the event will provide valuable industry networking. The event is so cool and exclusive that it’s already at capacity. Be on the lookout for the next SMA

— Solar Builder magazine

iDemand says new charge controller eliminates AC loss from solar+storage systems

solar storage charge controller

iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3) has developed a single conversion charge controller that they say will shorten the time needed for electrical current to travel from solar panels to storage batteries, and in so doing, save energy. The idea is to take voltage coming in and convert it efficiently to low voltage, high amperage.

“You need high amps because batteries charge in amp hours,” iDemand’s Chief Operating Officer Raymond Trejo said. “Now everyone’s using standard PV inverters to convert solar energy to usable AC energy, and then they use a secondary hybrid inverter to take that AC and convert it back to DC.”

The problem with this method, according to Trejo, is a loss of efficiency, anywhere from 25 to 35 percent of the energy.

“Our approach was to develop a high voltage charge controller that takes the high voltage solar energy and converts it to low voltage, high amperage DC to charge the batteries,” he said. “So, it’s all DC energy dumped straight into the batteries. Other companies aren’t looking for a solution to the conversion problem because they design battery storage solely as a backup system. But our battery is capable of being fully grid-independent.”

PV Pointers: How to future-proof PV systems with a storage-ready inverter

Under development for nearly a year and a half, the new charge controller, which eliminates AC loss, is expected to go on the market in mid-June. It is best suited for large scale commercial and industrial operations that use a vast amount of electricity.

“Since this product doesn’t require a second inverter, it will save customers money,” Trejo added.
He pointed out that while the U.S. branch of Mercedes-Benz Energy recently announced a partnership with solar installer Vivint to sell backup storage, and SolarCity has merged with Tesla to do likewise, neither appear to be developing storage systems with a level of extended functionality equal to that of the new iDES3 charge controller.

iDemand_New_Charge_Controller-01 (002)

iDemand’s battery lineup includes the 9-36 kilowatt hour Echo Indoor series suitable for most residential needs, the 9-72 kWh Echo Outdoor and 36-108 kWh Indoor/Outdoor Alpha. Commercial systems include the 36-108 kWh Indoor/Outdoor Alpha, and the Mega, the smallest of which comes in at 500 kWh, and can be customized in 108 kWh increments. They are all comprised of fifth-generation lithium iron phosphate, LiFePO4, prismatic cell technology, which is safe and will not self-ignite.

— Solar Builder magazine