Fronius USA announces new President and CEO


Fronius USA, located in Portage, Indiana and leading manufacturer of welding and solar equipment, announces new leadership to serve as both Director of Solar Energy and overall CEO of the company.

During his Fronius career, Adrian Noronho has progressed in various leadership roles since joining the organization 7 years ago.

Prior to signing on with Fronius USA, Noronho held the position of Managing Director of Fronius Australia Pty Ltd, where he earned a reputation for being a transformational business leader helping steer the brand to the number one position in terms of market share and industry-leading service and support across both Australia and New Zealand. More recently he has been based in Austria at Fronius International GmbH as Head of Sales for Solar Energy with a focus on North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Central Asia.

Adrian Noronho“I am very grateful to be joining the team at Fronius USA. Our vision for taking on the greatest welding challenges to enable new and better technologies as well as transitioning our world to a 100% renewable energy supply, are missions I am very passionate about and have arguably the greatest potential here in the US. It is very exciting and motivating to think about the immense value we will create here over the next few years.”

Noronho’s empathetic leadership style, engineering background and extensive industry and international market experience will help Fronius USA realize the company’s long term strategic goals.

Sponsored: Top 5 ways to become 24 hours of sun on the new Fronius website

— Solar Builder magazine

What will solar systems look like in 2020? Fronius makes predictions

In just a few years, we will flip the calendar to a new decade. However, in a rapidly evolving industry like solar, a few years can mean significant changes. So what will solar systems look like in 2020? Fronius has some bold predictions they’d like to share, as well as a new website configuration, which you can check out here.

solar predictions

It’s 2020 and Texan solar installer Joe just closed a sale on a residential 5 kWp system. It was an easy sale to a family of four, since solar really became mainstream and customer acquisition costs came way down. Solar and its value proposition have reached the masses! This home owner’s roof is fairly complex in shape, but thanks to smart technologies, this is no longer an issue. There is no need for special designs or installation hassles to mitigate the effects of shading and different roof orientations – making it easier to provide solar to the masses to provide solar to the masses.

Installer Joe sometimes looks back on code changes and how concerned some of his colleagues have been – how can we comply with all this while staying cost effective, they were wondering? Code has always been one of the main drivers for change and strongly impacted how systems are built. Examples are Arc Fault Current Interruption (AFCI), which was introduced in the National Electrical Code (NEC) of 2011, or Rapid Shutdown in NEC 2014 and 2017. But code changes are also a driver for overall innovation, which leads to cost reduction and simplification of systems – letting installer’s concerns vanish.

When module level shutdown came up, new technologies evolved and provided new solutions. Every module in 2020 is a safe or smart module, coming with an integrated chip that replaces the classical bypass diode. These smart modules install like standard modules, but provide all functionality needed: Power Line Communication for rapid shutdown, DC optimization and more reliability. New technology start-ups are flooding the industry, supplying module manufacturers with better and better chips for smart modules, reducing cost and disrupting traditional MLPE. With smart modules based on an open industry standard, add-on boxes such as traditional DC optimizers, micro-inverters or rapid shutdown boxes are no longer needed in 2020.

The best part is that solar installers can choose between a variety of smart module brands, since they are all based on the SunSpec standard, which enables compatibility with any SunSpec based inverter. So customers can chose whatever module brand they like and combine it with whatever inverter they like – eliminating vendor locked-in solutions. Even though solar roof tiles are an option, most customers still prefer not to exchange their existing roof, but go with sleek modules attached to the roof.

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

Our Texan home owner got an inverter that is just a portion of the size of past inverters, while being more connected than ever. It communicates with smart modules via Power Line Communication and is connected to the web via cellular – the internet of things became a reality. Through this connectivity, data is shared with system owners, O&M providers, grid operators and utilities. The smart home and the smart grid have arrived. And yes, besides all the smart features, the inverter is still converting DC to AC.

Installer Joe had offered several storage and energy management options to the homeowner, but she decided to analyze her family’s energy production and consumption first, and then purchases a tailor-fit solution after a year or so. As an owner of an electrical vehicle, the family is also interested in a smart energy management system to allow charging of the car with solar power, even at night. The available storage options range from high-end solutions based on batteries (both AC and DC coupled versions) to more affordable ways of energy storage such as water heaters controlled in real-time, depending on available solar power. There is no one-fits-all, and customer choice helps the solar and storage industry to grow further.

To summarize, the future of solar is bright. By 2020 the solar industry has settled on open industry standards, enabling industry innovation to drive down cost and allow customer choice. Industry groups, leading technology providers, module and inverter manufacturers come together so that solar customers have access to a variety of cost-effective, simple-to-install and holistic options. Making solar in 2020 smarter, simpler, more affordable – and installers like Joe happier.

— Solar Builder magazine

Details on expanded Fronius Solutions Provider program

Servicing a Fronius inverter

Fronius is expanding its Fronius Solutions Provider (FSP) program, a network of solar installers that are certified and trained directly from the manufacturer. At the upcoming certification training in November, solar installers receive exclusive training to install and field-repair Fronius products, receive NABCEP continuing education credits and have the opportunity to join the recently revamped FSP program. Register now to become part of the leading solar installer program on the market.

Formerly known as Fronius Service Providers, the renamed loyalty and training program offers solar installers the ability to provide the best service to their customers in both installation and service. The Fronius Solutions Provider trainings now also include design and installation aspects of Fronius solutions in the residential and commercial segment. With this qualification, FSPs are able to provide their customers with high-quality solar solutions and can support them seamlessly over the lifetime of a system.

The unique O&M solution of the FSP program eliminates the need for inverter exchanges, which typically causes wait times for the new unit and potential re-wiring and re-inspection. Qualified installers can service inverters directly on site, with only one truck-roll, guaranteeing maximum system uptime as well as satisfied system owners.

In addition to providing better solutions to their customers, FSP certified installers receive a multitude of benefits, including higher reimbursements for warranty work, a direct phone line to Fronius technicians, regular visits from the Fronius team, continuing education and opportunities for beta testing of upcoming products. Fronius also supports FSPs with joint Marketing activities and sales trainings. “We want to grow together with our Solutions Providers and support them and their businesses in the best way possible – making a world of 24 hours of sun a reality together”, says Wolfgang Niedrist, CEO at Fronius USA, “we want solar installers to know that we at Fronius are with them for the long haul”.

Upcoming training at Fronius headquarters in Portage, Ind.

November 13 / Fronius Solutions Provider Legacy product, IG & IG Plus
November 14 / Fronius Solutions Provider Residential Solutions
November 15 / Fronius Solutions Provider Best Practices and Installation
November 16 / Fronius Solutions Provider Commercial Solutions

Solar installers are welcome to register for either all days of training or for specific products only. Course registrants are to arrange their own travel. The cost of the course includes the training, literature, meals, and a portion can be used as a credit towards an FSP spare part kit. The kit is a collection of the most common inverter spare parts and is highly recommended, as it allows the installer to fully utilize the benefits of the FSP program. To register, email your name, contact information and what days, if not all, you would like to attend.

— Solar Builder magazine

The Ultimate SPI Showcase: Here’s what to see at Solar Power International 2017

Big leap for microinverters

APsystems SPI

APsystems will unveil the YC600, a dual-module, smart grid and Rule 21 compliant microinverter at SPI in Las Vegas. A groundbreaking design in microinverter technology, the YC600 will offer the highest peak output power, faster transmission speed and more modules allowed per string than comparable microinverters. A wider MPPT voltage range will result in a greater energy harvest for homeowners.

You’ll want to get the full scoop at booth 1745.

Streamlined Shutdown


Fronius is launching a new generation of its Rapid Shutdown Box, which the company says will be the most convenient solution for NEC 2014 (690.12) and NEC 2017 compliance, while enhancing overall rooftop and firefighter safety. The new generation includes two versions: the Fronius Rapid Shutdown Box Duo and Quattro.
“Based on customer feedback, we implemented many improvements into this new generation of our Rapid Shutdown Box,” says Michael Mendik, head of solution management at Fronius USA.

Directly connected to the inverter through the same conduit as the DC homeruns and powered by the array, the Fronius solution minimizes the number of components and eliminates the need for an external power supply. The low-profile design and the multiple mounting options allow for installation underneath the modules, ensuring a clean system look. In addition, the NEMA 4X rating ensures the box is built for severe outdoor conditions. MC4 connectors, spring-loaded terminals and generous wiring space make the wiring a breeze. The Rapid Shutdown Box also acts as a combiner box, removing the need for additional hardware. Booth 3943.

Lightweight, flexible power conversion

Ideal Power

Ideal Power invented a new kind of power conversion architecture that delivers on flexibility, allowing you to enable or disable any features depending on project needs. At SPI, check out its 30-kW Stabiliti Series power converters. These multiport, compact converters are smaller, lighter and dramatically reduce installation costs while increasing return on investment. Ideal Power recently partnered with NEXTracker to implement it in various PV sites throughout North America. Booth 1433.

A top rail clip to rule them all

Heyco solar rail clips

Heyco has been busy this summer, introducing several new clips and wire management accessories for the solar market. Newest to the lineup are the SunRunner 4-2 and SunRunner 4-2U, which are top rail clips for various racking manufacturers such as Unirac, Ironridge, Everest, SnapNRack, Solar Mount and other similar racking profiles. The SunRunner 4-2 and SunRunner 4-2U are suitable for the new Enphase Q Cable. At the booth, you can also enter for a chance to win a Google Home. Booth 4762.

Drive down carport costs

Baja Carports InterSolar 2017 Booth Models

Baja Construction always has a standout booth, and this year its in-house construction team will be installing its signature Baja Solar Support System design, the “Braced Single Post Support,” built with high-tensile light gauge steel to support 24 solar modules (7.8 kW). Included in the structure is an EV Station for the hot red Tesla parked underneath. Meet Baja’s in-house designers, engineers and project managers and also make certain to visit Baja’s sponsored lobby lounge for food and beverages. I’m sure you’re already there. Booth 4155.

Improve your grip strength

Ace Clamp solar mount
AceClamps are factory-assembled clamps with patented design features that allow strong connections to standing-seam roof panels without the use of set screws or any other loose parts that could damage the surface of the roof panel. AceClamp designs have been vibration tested during the development stage and incorporate special locking features to ensure that the bolts do not back out when subjected to vibratory loads from wind flutter and light seismic activity. Booth 809.

OMG Roofing solar mount

OMG Roofing Products has introduced PowerGrip Universal for mounting solar racking systems on commercial roofs. PowerGrip Universal is designed to reduce or eliminate ballast in solar racking systems, so there’s less weight, material handling and labor on the roof. Made of heavy-duty cast aluminum, PowerGrip Universal offers 3,300 lbf of tensile strength, 2,500 lbf of shear strength and 2,000 lbf of compressive strength. It’s one of the strongest anchors on the market. Booth 629.

Solar Connections

The Standing Seam Power Clamp from Solar Connections can attach to virtually any standing seam profile and draws its strength from patent-pending WaveLock Technology with optional two, three and five points of attachment. The top can be custom drilled and tapped to fit any bolt configuration. Offering ease of installation, the Silver Bullet set screws include a rounded bullet tip to maximize strength while also keeping the paint finish and seam free from harm. Additionally, the Standing Seam Power Clamp is available in standard mill finish aluminum material, making it an item you can easily keep in stock when the need arises. Booth 1569.

Reinventing the ground mount

Nuance Energy

Nuance Energy’s patent-pending Osprey PowerPlatform could revolutionize ground-mounted solar projects. This earth anchor foundation system satisfies permitting requirements for virtually any site and soil type without the need for geotechnical reports or special inspections. It eliminates the need for heavy equipment or cement by enabling small, unskilled crews to install the entire platform quickly and easily using only handheld tools. Booth 2108.

Meet the 4G platform

Ginlong Solis inverter

Ginlong Technologies is now shipping its Solis 4G Platform. What you can see at SPI this year in booth 2427 is the Solis-1P(2.5-10K)-4G-US single phase string inverters, with high switching frequency; 2, 3 and 4 MPPTs designs; 97.8 percent peak efficiency (97.5 percent CEC); fan-less NEMA 4X / IP65 design, integrated AFCI; web-based and smartphone app monitoring, all under 44 lbs. The Solis 25K-66K-US three phase inverters are designed for all commercial and utility-scale installations with four MPPT designs and ultra-low start up volume that maximizes energy harvest. Booth 2427.

Five trackers to, um, track

SunLink TTD

SunLink’s TechTrack enables efficient load redistribution and allows the system to handle extreme wind with less steel, fewer foundations and lower cost. Now, TechTrack’s intelligent control system also delivers equally responsive control modes for snow, flood and O&M. The result is system level benefits, visible in SunLink’s Vertex data monitoring system. Rigorous testing to UL3703 further reduces permitting risk. Booth 3319.


SF7 is the next-generation horizontal single-axis solar PV tracker from Soltec. Soltec says the SF7 enables up to 5 percent greater MW per acre than other trackers and does that with 54 percent fewer piles-per-MW, 15 percent less parts count and 58 percent fewer screw type connections than leading competitors. SF7 standard features include short tracker site-filling options, unique steep-slope tolerance of 17 percent NS, efficient self-powering and innovative cable management solutions for combining, fusing and protecting PV source circuits more economically. Booth 3640.

Solar FlexRack TDP 2 Turnkey Solar Tracker_2017

Solar FlexRack is launching its TDP Tracker with a new BalanceTrac design to increase energy yield and reduce balance of system costs. This TDP 2.0 Solar Tracker with BalanceTrac, optimized for 1,000- and 1,500-V modules, has greater rotational range of up to 120° and enables more modules per row (up to 90). The robust design delivers autonomous tables that increase site flexibility to maximize land use. Booth 2538.

AllEarth Renewable

AllEarth Renewables is showing off its new Gen 4 tracker which will be self-powered, to guard against the grid going down and will have expanded communication options, such as Wi-Fi, cellular and SD card enabled. It will come as a complete, pre-engineered system for easy, efficient shipping. Booth 626.

Array Technologies

Array Technologies is revealing the results of a recent TÜV Rheinland-backed independent report focused on solar tracker reliability. Array’s latest single-axis tracker, the DuraTrack HZ v3, is often touted for its reliability and lower cost of ownership. Array says DuraTrack HZ v3 is proven to be 300x less likely to experience catastrophic failure during wind events than more stow-reliant, single-row competitors. Booth 2919.

Page two has new on big-time collaborations, products for boosting performance, installing on shingles and more.

— Solar Builder magazine

Fronius unveils new generation of rapid shutdown boxes

Fronius launches a new generation of its Rapid Shutdown Box, offering the most convenient solution for NEC 2014 (690.12) and NEC 2017 (Array Disconnect) compliance, while enhancing overall rooftop and firefighter safety. The new generation includes two versions: the Fronius Rapid Shutdown Box Duo and Quattro.


NEC 2014 requires PV system conductors away from the array to be brought down to a safe level so that firefighters can have assurance that they will not be exposed to potentially lethal voltage during firefighting operations. The National Electrical Code instructs us that the DC “homerun” conductors must be at no more than 30V and within 30 seconds of rapid shutdown initiation. The same requirement is in effect for NEC 2017 (Array Disconnect, until January 1st of 2019).

We hosted a webinar on this very system — which you can still listen to here.

The second generation of the Fronius Rapid Shutdown Box provides installers with an even more convenient solution for this code requirement. “Based on customer feedback, we implemented many improvements into this new generation of our Rapid Shutdown Box”, says Michael Mendik, Head of Solutions Management at Fronius USA. “The low-profile design, as well as installer-friendly mounting and wiring options, make this solution the most convenient and cost effective one on the market”.

Directly connected to the inverter through the same conduit as the DC homeruns and powered by the array, the Fronius solution minimizes the number of components and eliminates the need for an external power supply. The low-profile design and the multiple mounting options allow for installation underneath the modules, ensuring a clean system look. In addition, the NEMA 4X rating ensures the box is built for severe outdoor conditions. MC4 connectors, spring loaded terminals and generous wiring space make the wiring a breeze. The Rapid Shutdown Box can also act as a combiner box, replacing a standard junction box, keeping the number of components low.

The new generation consists of two version. The smaller Fronius Rapid Shutdown Box DUO, for up to two strings, and the bigger Fronius Rapid Shutdown Box QUATTRO, for up to 4 strings. Both versions are compatible with all Fronius SnapINverters in systems up to 600 V (excluding the Fronius Symo 15.0 208 V).

Shipping of the Fronius Rapid Shutdown Box Duo (for up to 2 strings) starts as of now. The Fronius Rapid Shutdown Box Quattro (for up to 4 strings) starts shipping in November. Fronius continues to offer the existing Rapid Shutdown Box Multi (also for up to 4 strings) until the new Quattro version is available.

— Solar Builder magazine