Fronius to debut the new Primo GEN24 inverter generation, which includes a hybrid, battery inverter

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Inverter specialist Fronius is taking solar to the next level by introducing innovative solar solutions at this year’s Solar Power International (SPI) trade show in Salt Lake City. In a completely redesigned booth (#2019), Fronius showcases new soft- and hardware solutions for residential and commercial solar applications, including an all-new single-phase inverter generation.

“We are looking forward to presenting more solutions to solar installers. Based on Adaptive System Design, our solutions adapt to the needs of individual customers, helping to take solar to the next level,” Adrian Noronho, President and CEO of Fronius USA says.

The highlight on the Fronius booth will be the new Fronius Primo GEN24 inverter generation, which provides all the benefits of the SnapINverter and additional features, such as being incredibly compact, easily scalable, quickly to commission via an app, and offering the fastest service solution on the market. This new generation also includes an all-in-one hybrid inverter that combines the functions of multiple devices in one compact device: battery charger, battery inverter, controller and the intelligence to be the operating system of your home’s energy supply.

At the center of the Fronius solutions is the Fronius Solar.web online platform, which not only provides state of the art monitoring and online troubleshooting, but also gives detailed insight into the energy situation of a customer. This enables installers to become the personal energy consultant to home owners. Customized solutions that adapt to the needs of individual customers and future upselling opportunities help Fronius installers to differentiate themselves.

The Fronius Symo Advanced three-phase inverter is the first SunSpec Rapid Shutdown certified inverter on the market. The integrated Power Line Communication (PLC) transmitter based on the SunSpec Communication Signal for Rapid Shutdown allows in principle for plug & play connection with SunSpec based modules or module electronics. This eliminates the need for any additional communication hardware and provides the most cost-effective option for code compliance. To better serve 208V three-phase applications, e.g. agricultural buildings, churches or municipal buildings, the Symo product line also includes 208V AC versions.

For single-phase applications, the Fronius Primo inverter is the ideal compact single-phase inverter. The sleek design is equipped with the SnapINverter hinge mounting system, which allows for lightweight, secure and convenient installation. The Fronius Primo 10-15 kW is the biggest single-phase power class in the market and allows for up to 1,000V DC – this makes it the first choice for non-residential single phase applications.

— Solar Builder magazine

The Fronius Symo Advanced inverter is the first to achieve SunSpec Rapid Shutdown Certification

Fronius symo

The Fronius Symo Advanced is the first inverter on the market to receive the official SunSpec Rapid Shutdown certification, according to the Indiana-based inverter manufacturer and the SunSpec Alliance. The three-phase inverter comes with an integrated Power Line Communication (PLC) transmitter based on the SunSpec Rapid Shutdown communication standard.

What’s this mean?

The SunSpec Certified program for Rapid Shutdown (RSD) verifies compliance to the SunSpec Communication Signal for Rapid Shutdown Functional Specification to meet the requirement established by National Electrical Code (NEC) 2017. 29 members of the SunSpec Alliance defined an open industry standard for communication between modules, inverters and string combiners to support module level rapid shutdown requirements.

This multi-vendor industry standard went through 34 iterations and was published in September of 2017.

“Adoption of the SunSpec Rapid Shutdown specification is continuing to mature,” said Thomas Tansy, Chairman, SunSpec Alliance. “The foundation was set by a large quorum of solar industry firms dedicating time to the development of a SunSpec open source communications interface to meet NEC 2017 requirements. Firms have moved product into the market with the RSD spec incorporated on a compliant basis. The next maturation phase is now underway with the Fronius product certification. SunSpec Certified Rapid Shutdown is a strong signal to installers, first responders and local authorities that solar power systems with this mark meet NEC 2017 communications requirements.”

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Fronius has been a driving force in developing this industry standard and was among the first ones to announce a product based on the standard. “We are excited to offer the first inverter that is officially certified for SunSpec Rapid Shutdown,” Richard Baldinger, Head of Marketing at Fronius USA says. “We believe in driving industry standards and supporting industry innovation to drive down cost and allow customer choice.”

In conjunction with SunSpec based components such as the Tigo TS4-F module-level electronics, solar installers get a simple and cost-effective solution for Module Level Shutdown. Featuring ten models ranging from 10 kW to 24 kW, the Fronius Symo Advanced is the ideal compact three-phase inverter for commercial applications. The light weight design, the SnapINverter mounting system and true field-serviceability allow for easy installation and highest reliability over the lifetime of a system.

— Solar Builder magazine

Fronius targets new competitive advantages for solar installers with Smart Solution

Fronius symo

As solar markets across the United States are getting more established, differentiation becomes increasingly important for solar installers. This is why inverter manufacturer Fronius is introducing a wide variety of new solar solutions at this year’s Solar Power International (SPI) trade show in Anaheim (Booth #1538) that are aimed at helping solar installers provide better solutions to home owners, businesses and other solar buyers.

The Fronius Smart Solution, the first adaptive systems design for solar, is designed to do just that: adapt to the specific needs of any system buyer. Installers have the ability to choose the components needed and optimize the entire system while maintaining a minimal design. This next generation of solar systems enables installers to offer tailor-fit solutions that are optimized between performance and cost, making solar more accessible and ready for mainstream markets.

Installer as energy consultant

As part of the Fronius Smart Solution, the online portal Fronius Solar.web allows installers and system owners to monitor their solar system and analyze energy consumption. This helps the installer to turn into an energy consultant for system owners. Based on the analysis, they can offer specific products and services to individual customers over the system’s lifetime – making a solar sale the start of a relationship, not just the closing of a sale.

RELATED: Keys to inverter service: Data granularity, remote updates, customer relations

With insights from the Fronius Solar.web portal, support from the online troubleshooting tool Fronius SOS and the field-serviceability of Fronius inverters, certified installers (Fronius Solutions Providers) are equipped to provide outstanding operation and maintenance services. The Fronius Solutions Provider program is unique to the industry and supports installers not only with technical training but also sales training, marketing support and more. Fronius will host Fronius Solutions Providers at the booth, so attendees can hear from their experience first-hand.

Commercial communication

For commercial rooftop applications, which are usually complex and environmentally demanding for solar installations, Fronius exhibits the Fronius Rooftop Solution. This cost-effective solution for commercial rooftops was launched earlier this year and helps to overcome the typical challenges of commercial rooftops, such as high ambient temperatures, obstructions or operation & maintenance (O&M) challenges.

The new Fronius Symo Advanced three-phase inverters provide additional value for states with Module Level Shutdown requirements. The integrated Power Line Communication (PLC) transmitter based on the SunSpec Communication Signal for Rapid Shutdown allows in principle for plug & play connection with SunSpec based module electronics. In a first step, the Tigo TS4-F cover is available. This eliminates the need for any additional communication hardware and provides the most cost-effective option for code compliance.

In addition to new products and services, Fronius will also be giving away a branded bicycle. Attendees are welcome to test out the bike and enter to win one of their own – Fronius will give away one bike per day.

— Solar Builder magazine

How to Increase your Competiveness with Adaptive System Design

Stand out from the competition

As solar markets are getting more established, the competition between installation companies increases. More players, both regional and national, are entering the market. While this is good for solar shoppers and the overall growth of the solar industry, installers might face tougher competition. As a result, differentiation becomes more important. This article shows how installers can stand out from their competition. Learn more.

— 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