SMA hosting utility-scale solar, storage forum during SPI 2017

utility-scale storage

Following large-scale storage forums in San Francisco and Kassel, Germany, as well as several smaller storage events worldwide, SMA will host another forum in Las Vegas during Solar Power International. The Utility-Scale Storage & PV Forum is geared toward solar professionals focused on utility-scale storage and solar, and will highlight cutting-edge solutions for utility-scale projects. The event will take place Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino.

“Our customers and stakeholders are eager to discuss utility-scale solutions with integrated storage and learn more about today’s evolving solar market,” said John Susa, executive vice president of sales for SMA America. “The upcoming forum in Las Vegas will be a great opportunity for discussion and education about the current landscape.”

Topics to be covered during the program include challenges and solutions for high-penetration PV networks, the value and uses cases for storage and how to achieve maximum ROI. It will also will highlight SMA’s full power class lineup of UL listed storage solutions for 1,000 and 1,500 V applications.

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. Seats are limited, and early registration is encouraged.

Head here to register.

— Solar Builder magazine

Schneider Electric to supply back up power for Iron Edison batteries in new California solar project

Schneider Electric inverters

Iron Edison Battery Co., a Nickel Iron and Lithium Iron Phosphate battery system supplier for solar energy storage, selected Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, to supply back up power as part of a solar installation in California.

This project utilizes Schneider’s Conext XW+ inverters in a system that will provide a residence with 61.2kW of continuous backup power and 166kW-hours of total energy storage capacity. and is a testament to the versatility and scalability of the Conext XW+ platform. The 61.2kW Conext XW+ Multi-cluster consists of nine Conext XW+6848 inverter/chargers configured to 120/208V 3-phase, which happens to be the same as the utility feeder for this 45,000 square foot residence.

The Iron Edison LiFePO4 batteries are compatible with the custom charging profile provided by the Conext XW+ system. The batteries are kept full and ready for a power outage in this AC coupled system. The grid-tie micro inverters allow PV to reduce the demand from the utility grid, and can produce power to the critical loads even after the grid goes down.

“We have been working with Schneider Electric for years,” said Brandon Williams, co-founder and CEO of Iron Edison. “They offer terrific solutions for residential battery-based customers, both large and small. From an installation standpoint, the Conext XW+ inverter and charge controller are great to work with. Everything is labelled for easy installation and the power distribution panel is the best in the business. In my opinion, the best part about working with Schneider Electric is the technical support team. They are always helpful, positive, and willing to help solve the exciting technical questions that arise during an install like this.”

When is the solar-plus-storage era going to get here?

This large residential project was designed by Manfred Thyssen, System Designer from OnTime Energy Solutions, a California based, family-owned and operated business. OnTime has been providing Southern California residents with reliable HVAC and solar energy services for over 20 years.

“My decision to partner with Schneider Electric on this project was a simple one,” said Thyssen. “I have had a successful relationship with great customer service for over ten years with various divisions of Schneider Electric on several large residential and commercial projects. Schneider Electric has a great off-the-shelf product that could be expanded to fit the needs and demands of this project. A project of this scale will have certain challenges, but luckily the support and engineering team at Schneider are always available and ready to provide exceptional service.”

“Schneider Electric is delighted to work with Iron Edison and OnTime Energy on this exciting project,” said Evan Vogel, Director of Marketing, Schneider Electric Solar Business. “We have seen off-grid solar make a difference in locations such as California, and know it really changes lives for the better in so many locations in developing nations where it replaces costly diesel generated energy.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Case study: New solar, storage-powered air conditioning unit installed in Hawaii school

Waialua School Sign

Students at Hawaii’s Waialua High and Intermediate, on the island of O’ahu, are returning to school this year to solar PV and energy storage-powered air conditioned classrooms from project partners SimpliPhi Power, Ameresco Solar and Haleakala Solar. As part of the statewide Heat Abatement Program, schools in Hawaii can receive hybrid solar air conditioning units and implement other cooling strategies to bring relief to students currently enduring sweltering educational environments that can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and make learning a challenge. The solution of classroom AC powered by solar and energy storage helps to control energy costs for schools, which until now has been a major barrier to adding AC to classrooms.

Waialua Energy Storage Cabinet open front

“Bringing sustainable cooling relief to students in Hawaii was a problem we knew required innovation on several levels, including how to manage the up front and long-term costs of these systems and how to work with the limited electrical infrastructure on these campuses,” said Richard Dean, senior account executive for Ameresco Solar, a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. “We designed a modular cabinet and energy production system housing power generation and storage technologies to be located right next to the electrical load, with one to two classrooms running off one cabinet. This is a major cost advantage over a centralized system, as is the power system’s ability to expand as future energy needs change. Using non-toxic SimpliPhi energy storage is essential as we can simply add more batteries in the system without duplicating other aspects, unlike with the other storage options available on the market.”

Waialua Energy Storage Cabinet interior

Each cabinet is built to house seven or 10 SimpliPhi PHI 3.4kWh batteries as part of a hybrid, solar powered off-grid system for two or four ton air conditioners, respectively. Ameresco designed the systems to hold up to 16 batteries to streamline future expansion.

“With solar saturation on Hawaii’s electrical grid, integrating energy storage is essential to getting these systems online faster for these students in need,” said Jim Whitcomb, CEO of Haleakala Solar, a major solar integrator in Hawaii with over 14,000 solar systems installed on the Islands. “Our decades of experience have shown us that not all batteries are created equal. Indoor real estate at these schools to house batteries is next-to-none, so we absolutely needed a battery that is proven to be reliable and safe from fire when installed outdoors in the full Hawaiian sun – without the hassle of adding separate AC or cooling mitigation. The SimpliPhi batteries surpass all these requirements and more.”

SimpliPhi CEO Catherine Von Burg added, “Our batteries are deployed in some of the harshest environments on the planet, such as the rugged front lines with the Department of Defense, and we have a zero failure rate due to overheating, thermal runaway and fires. This is even more critical when we are talking about systems that are installed within five feet of the closest student. Safety is paramount and should not be negotiable for anyone; especially our children.”

Waialua Energy Storage Cabinet closed

In addition to this first project to be installed in Waialua, the companies have another 1.4 MWh of SimpliPhi storage lined up for school AC projects across Hawaii.

— Solar Builder magazine

RGS Energy now offering Sonnen battery storage options

RGS Energy

RGS Energy and Sonnen, Inc., say they are immediately offering U.S. manufactured battery storage options to U.S. residential solar customers.

“We believe battery storage provides great value for our residential solar customers,” said Chris Gorski, RGS Energy’s director of Special Projects. “We chose Sonnen because of the safety, stability and long lifecycle of their lithium-iron phosphate batteries, and the fact that they have more than 20,000 sonnenBatterie systems installed worldwide. Battery storage is at the forefront of the solar industry as customers are seeking solutions to minimize the impact of power outages and the high cost of time-of-use power rates charged by an increasing number of utilities.”

A sonnenBatterie system provides a variety of services to solar homeowners, including back-up power during utility outages and a reduction in expensive peak energy draws from the power grid. In 2016 alone, there were over 3,800 power outages in the U.S. The addition of a battery storage system allows solar systems to continue to function independently of the power grid, enabling solar homes to provide their own power day and night during an outage to keep key home appliances running, such as lights, refrigeration, security systems and sump pumps.

Primer for buying, installing residential solar+storage systems

“Energy storage is still in the early stages of adoption in the U.S., but smart systems, like the sonnenBatterie, are the key to creating a foundation for clean and reliable energy for all,” said Blake Richetta, SVP of sonnen. “RGS is an ideal partner for sonnen as we both value high quality standards, have a history of proven performance and view our capability to innovate as the best options for customers.”

RGS Energy is a residential and small business commercial solar company since 1978 which has installed more than 25,000 solar power systems that is now a Sonnen certified installer and expects to begin deploying sonnenBatterie systems this fall.

— Solar Builder magazine

New IQ energy storage system from ElectrIQ earns UL 9540 listing (highest for storage safety)

ElectrIQ power

ElectrIQ Power is introducing a new home energy management system to handle solar + storage that is now UL and CSA certified and meets National Electrical Code (NEC) 2017 listing requirements for residential and commercial use.

IQ System components include a UL 1741/C22.2 #107.1, NEC 2017 solar substring optimizers, 8-kW split phase residential or 11.4-kW 3-phase commercial hybrid solar inverter, and stackable UL 9450 compliant 10 kWh energy storage modules. This allows easy storage expansion up to 90 kWh and solar to 10 kW. The IQ System also meets IEEE 1547, CA Rule 21, Hawaii TrOV and FVRT requirements.

ElectrIQ began shipping units in Q3 2017. Each comes with everything needed for a sub 4-hour installation and enables customers to optimize home energy production and consumption for sustainability, affordability and reliability from Day 1.

The Holistic Home: We peer into the future of home energy generation, usage

Some other features include

• AC or DC-coupled, allowing homeowners and solar installers flexibility to easily integrate with retrofits and new PV systems alike.
• Highly efficient hybrid inverter with 93% round-trip efficiency.
• Integrated home energy IoT platform to reduce energy costs and data analytics enable deeper long term savings.
• Doesn’t require solar or other renewable energy resources to function.
• Microgrid, PV Self-Consumption and Economic Optimization.

— Solar Builder magazine