ABB offers new code compliant inverters for residential solar installers

ABB Tigo

Following the new SunSpec communication protocol, ABB offers a unique configuration that ensures design flexibility and compliance with 2014 & 2017 NEC 690.12 requirements. The robust energy production of a single-phase string inverter, the rapid shutdown function and an optimizer option provides installers a stronger solution to code compliant solar installations.

“Finding inverters that can perform under the demands of challenging roof configurations and comply with the latest code requirements can be difficult,” said Mario Thomas, string inverter product manager, ABB’s Solar business in the US. “With these new code compliant options from ABB, installers have more options to choose from.”

The UNO-DM-PLUS-US family of single phase solar inverters deliver high performance with excellent power density giving end users the maximum amount of energy production. This flexible inverter comes with embedded connectivity and an efficient communication protocol, which enables the UNO-DMPLUS-US to be easily integrated within any current or future device for smart building automation, smart grid integration and with third party monitoring and control systems. The UNO-DM-PLUS-US also comes with remote Over-the-Air (OTA) firmware upgrade for inverter and components to enable remote software upgrades.

For jurisdictions that have not migrated to 2017 NEC 690.12, ABB’s string-level Rapid Shutdown 2.0 device provides a simple and cost-effective solution to implement. This product mounts directly to the PV mounting rail or PV module, and lay parallel to the roofing surface. It provides a fail-safe solution for emergency responders. Available in two configurations (single and dual), this rapid shutdown device requires no extra conduit, which minimizes additional material cost and associated labor. Shutdown occurs at the rooftop box when the utility power is lost or when the PV system’s AC disconnect switch is opened.

RELATED: Rapid Shutdown and Beyond: Inside NEC 2017 and the effort to streamline PV design

Tigo partnership

In conjunction, ABB and Tigo formed an operational compatibility between ABB’s inverter line UNO-DM-PLUS and Tigo’s TS4 optimizer platform. The combined ABB and Tigo module solution is now available. Combining ABB’s world-class inverters with Tigo’s TS4 Platform offers a flexible and scalable solution to meet all the different needs of installers and end customers. The connectivity package of the UNO-DM-PLUS allows for built-in smart grid capabilities such as dynamic feed-in control, which manages the energy fed into the grid, and uses SunSpec-compatible open communication protocols to ensure compliance with future grid codes and maintain off-the-shelf interoperability with other devices in the system.

Advantages of this system

The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certified third-party solutions offer Rapid Shutdown and optional MLPE configuration with string inverter power generation as well as the following advantages:

• Module-level Monitoring – Predicting and conducting maintenance on solar installations is critical to ensure that they last beyond their expected 25-year lifetime. With full visibility of a system’s performance through module-level monitoring in 2 -second increments, solar fleets can maximize system up-time, identify performance issues, and control operations and maintenance (O&M) costs.

• Safety – The UL-certified module-level Rapid Shutdown Solutions provide installers, EPCs, and PV plant owners the most cost-effective response to safety regulations like the National Electric Code (NEC) 2014 & 2017 requirements. For installations unencumbered by shading, the MLPE option provides the necessary safety and monitoring services to ensure systems meet local fire regulations and performance expectations.

• Optimization of Energy Harvest – With optimized modules, more roof space can be used to max-imize energy production. This fixes module mismatch and increases design flexibility by optimiz-ing each module when shade drops their performance. It addresses system-level inefficiencies and age tolerance while also benefiting from the module-level monitoring and safety features.

Once the inverter is installed, operators can turn to a smartphone to commission the unit via a simple, built-in web user interface. This enables them to gain access to features such as advanced inverter con-figuration settings and Aurora Manager, which facilitates OTA firmware updates (remote software up-dates).

— Solar Builder magazine

GE Power ships 40-MW of Brilliance solar inverters to project in Japan

GE Brilliance inverters

GE Power recently successfully delivered and commissioned its Brilliance Solar Inverters to Pacifico Energy Osaki GK for the 40.32-megawatt alternating current (AC) mega-solar project in Furukawa, Japan. GE’s Brilliance Solar Inverters meet the customer’s requirements both for reliability and cost competitiveness. Along with the inverters, GE also supplied ring main units and recombiners, all of which are preassembled onto skids for ease of transportation and installation at the site.

As part of the agreement, GE also will provide a 20-year long-term service agreement to manage the maintenance and service of the GE equipment to support the availability of the inverter systems throughout the lifetime of the project. These attributes are vital to the overall performance of the Pacifico Energy Furukawa Mega Solar Plant given the shrinking local feed-in-tariffs.

RELATED: Large-scale PV wiring trends are leaving behind DC combiners, cables 

“We are glad to successfully deliver the solar project and help the country expand its solar footprint in the midst of a growing clean energy ecosystem,” said Patrick Fetzer, Solar CEO, GE’s Power Conversion business. “We are committed to delivering existing and new technologies to benefit our customers worldwide. The successful delivery of this solar project is a testament to Pacifico Energy Osaki GK and ourselves as we continue to pursue a cleaner energy future,” said Azeez Mohammed, president & CEO, GE’s Power Conversion business.

— Solar Builder magazine

Sungrow SG60KTL solar inverter earns VDE 4120 compliance

sungrow string inverter

Sungrow Power Supply Co. has received VDE 4120 compliance for its string inverter SG60KTL, becoming the first PV pure player to receive this certificate in the string inverter segment worldwide.

VDE-AR-N 4120:2015 fulfills the technical conditions necessary for the connections and operations of the Sungrow SG60KTL to the high voltage network. Sungrow has teamed up with leading global quality assurance and risk management company DNV GL on certification of the SG60KTL, one of the company’s bestselling products in Europe.

DNV GL has issued a Type Certificate for Sungrow’s PV inverter SG60KTL demonstrating compliance with the German guideline VDE-AR-N 4120 [Technische Bedingungen für den Anschluss und Betrieb von Kundenanlagen an das Hochspannungsnetz (TAB Hochspannung)].

The SG60KTL is a compact 66 kVA three-phase inverter with a maximum efficiency of 98.9% in a very compact and light weight design for easy installation.

RELATED: What you need to know about 1500-volt inverters

“We are very proud having received VDE 4120 compliance,” said Stefan Froboese, Technical Director for Sungrow EMEA. “Product safety and compliance are paramount for the success of Sungrow and our customers likewise. With this certification, we have shown once more that we are taking the lead in product compliance in all relevant markets. Third-party independent verification with regards to all applicable technical standards is required in today’s markets and we have taken the necessary steps accordingly.”

— Solar Builder magazine

SMA Utility Power Rack solution comes pre-assembled, possible 40 percent cost savings

SMA's Utility Power Rack

SMA is now taking orders for its Utility Power Rack 5000/5500, a highly integrated, turnkey solution that offers up to 40 percent integration cost savings over alternative solutions. It is completely pre-assembled for easy set up and commissioning, reducing time-consuming labor processes in the field and minimizing installation risk.

Compatible with both Sunny Central and Sunny Central Storage 2500-EV(-US) and 2750-EV(-US) inverters, the Utility Power Rack is the ideal building block for large-scale PV plants. It offers true 1,500 V technology, which means more reliable stack design and long-term, trouble-free operation. The design is based on more than 10 GW of field-proven Sunny Central inverters in North America, and is backed by more than 35 years and 65 GW of proven experience from SMA globally—meaning reduced risk for PV plant investments.

The Utility Power Rack can be used with multiple storage options from SMA, providing a standardized process for integrators who are working on both PV and storage projects. It also includes a multitude of configurable options to meet the needs of any plant.

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“This newest solution sits atop SMA’s North American utility-scale portfolio and enables faster installation and reduced labor costs, as well as the flexibility to integrate storage,” said Boris Wolff, executive vice president for SMA’s Utility business unit. “By making all critical connections in the factory rather than in the field, we further reduce risk during the installation process.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Details on ABB’s new residential inverter series now available in the U.S.

ABB UNO-DM family

The new UNO-DM-PLUS-US series from ABB is now available for immediate shipment in the U.S. Available in five power ratings, from 3.3 to 6.0 kW, these solar inverters have a compact design that delivers high performance with excellent power density enabling maximum energy production. They are designed with digital intelligence and technical sophistication that optimizes the performance of residential PV installations.

Code compliance is not a problem with this family. The UNO-DM-PLUS-US series is Rule 21 phase 2/UL1741-SA and is SunSpec Certified. The UNO-DM-PLUS-US series is compatible with ABB’s string-level Rapid Shutdown. The ABB RSD 2.0 unit is available in single and dual channel connections and installs to the panel in a snap, literally.

“The UNO-DM-PLUS’s new design wraps ABB’s quality and engineering into a lightweight and compact package; meanwhile, it embraces the digital advances and code requirements the industry requires,” said Mario Thomas, product manager for string inverters at ABB’s Solar business in the U.S.

This flexible inverter design comes with embedded connectivity and efficient communication SunSpec Protocol, which enables the UNO-DM-PLUS-US to be easily integrated within any current or future device for smart building automation, smart grid integration and with third party monitoring and control systems. The UNO-DM-PLUS-US also comes with remote Over the Air (OTA) firmware upgrade for inverter and components.

Once the inverter is installed, operators can turn to a smartphone to commission the unit via a simple, built-in web user interface. This enables them to gain access to features such as advanced inverter configuration settings and Aurora Manager, which facilitates OTA firmware updates (remote software updates). Further efficiencies gained, with installation times greatly reduced due to an easy commissioning wizard, which simplifies the configuration process resulting in lower installation time and reduced costs.

— Solar Builder magazine