Tigo solidifies rapid shutdown certified partnerships with more than 35 inverter types

tigo ts4 mlpe rapid shutdown

Tigo, pioneer of the smart modular Flex MLPE platform, has boosted its portfolio of international inverter partnerships to more than 35 inverter-types that are now Rapid Shutdown certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

SMA was first to adopt Tigo’s portfolio of Rapid Shutdown certified offerings. Additional commercial and residential inverter suppliers that also received the UL certification include:

  • ABB,
  • Fronius,
  • Ginlong Solis,
  • Kaco,
  • Sungrow,
  • Yaskawa – Solectria Solar,
  • and more.

Inverters ranging from 3kW to 30kW are certified with Tigo’s TS4 optimizers with UHD-Core technology and are shipping now. This brings the largest Rapid Shutdown solution offering with the widest adoption to market – providing Installers, EPC, and Owners the most cost-effective response to the NEC 2014 & 2017 code requirements.

“Customers looking for cost effective solutions that comply with strict safety regulations have a solution available. With Tigo’s UL Certification, our partners are exceeding these standards,” said Zvi Alon, CEO of Tigo. “We are excited to add more brands to the most diverse portfolio of approved partners in the industry.”

According to UL’s certification Rapid Shutdown Systems requirements for Distributed Generation Power System Equipment, the rapid shutdown protection is intended to reduce potential hazards and limit exposure to energized PV wiring and equipment to allow emergency first responders to perform work outside the energized area of the PV array. Also, these high reliability PV rapid shutdown systems have a higher system fault tolerance and reliability to perform their intended function under foreseeable single-point component and system failures. Only systems found to comply with these additional functional safety requirements are marked “High Reliability PV Rapid Shutdown System.”

— Solar Builder magazine

On the Scene: 11 cool things we saw at Intersolar 2017

Another Intersolar has come and gone, but the product innovations, large and small, are here to stay. At least until next Intersolar. If you missed the event, or didn’t have time to see all three floors, here are some products that stood out to us in the exhibit hall.

1. This quick driveline disconnect

Array Technologies Duratrack

Array Technologies is the market leader in central drive solar trackers. Array tries to minimize parts count wherever it can (150 MW of PV only needing 150 components total), and we stopped by the booth to check out some of the handy new tweaks made to its DuraTrack HZ v3. In addition to a built-in above ground wiring component, we thought this quick disconnect driveline was a smart, simple improvement for those who have always wanted a streamlined way to move the driveline for maintenance activities.

2. This simple tile mounting system

Ecofasten simple tile

Ecofasten maybe wins our award for variety of new solutions packed into one booth at Intersolar. Many of these items aren’t fancy – like partnering with Unirac on an install kit (packs of 10) – but as most of the names suggest, they are simple, which is often even better. Like this new (so new it isn’t officially named) Rail-Based Tile System. The flashing itself replaces one complete tile, so no cutting, drilling or grinding there. After the stud and simple seal bushing are fastened to the tile base, place the flashing over, pound it with a hammer to form a hole over the stud and then install the L-foot with a bonded washer and nut.

3. An AC module power couple

LG enphase AC module

Details on this here.

4. The concept of ‘Microstorage’

JLM Energy

JLM Energy launched a new energy storage product category called MicroStorage — a battery pack that couples directly to a corresponding solar panel, as you see here. JLM says the advantage of its Phazr’s microstorage approach is that a single solar panel can concurrently charge a battery and deliver energy to the grid. The simultaneous nature of electron flow is unique to JLM’s patent-pending technology. The Phazr is designed for large scale solar plus storage applications, and is also perfectly suited for smaller residential and commercial installs.

5. A totally new approach to ground-mounts

Nuance Energy

This could be a gamechanger for ground-mount installations. Nuance Energy has a new solution, inspired by an old solution: anchoring. Nuance Energy wants to lessen the amount of steel needed on a site by not driving any into the ground at all. Using the pieces you see above, a hole is drilled, the anchor is driven down 40 inches into the soil and pulled by an uplift device. As the anchor turns and is pulled there is a natural ballasting that occurs using the earth itself. Utility poles are anchored using this strategy. This could drastically save on traditional installation, and even created a new “lift and shift” category, where a portable unit is fixed into place on a drilling or mining site and then removed once the project has ended.

6. This wall-mounted 100-kW inverter

solaredge

The combo EV charger / inverter maybe received the most buzz on the floor, but we gravitated to its new wall-mounted 100 kW inverter. Yes, a wall-mounted 100 kW inverter. This prewired three box setup looks like (and installs like) three string inverters, but is commissioned as one inverter. Installing 1 MW in half a day is a possibility.

7. The wire management on this tracker

SF7 Soltec Bluxome party

Soltec made a splash at Intersolar this year as it tries to do more business here in the U.S. There is a lot to like about their product, like the amount of panels you can mount in one row (which makes for a more energy dense field), but it was the little things that stood out most. Specifically how the wire management of the system is housed inside the torque tube.

8. The potential of this smart home device for solar installers

smappee solar storage

I have no live photo of this (it was the afternoon of Day 3 and I forgot — give me a break, already.) but the Smappee is the coolest thing we saw the entire week. Attach it to the cable coming into the house, and the Smappee will listen to everything – what’s turning on and off, how much standby power there is, how much PV is being generated, and on and on. This gives homeowners much deeper (and easy to follow) insight into their home energy consumption and, at the same time, provides solar installers another touch point for customer follow ups and service. The low price point (under $400) makes it potentially an easy first foot in the door. Right off the bat, a homeowner is likely to save 12 percent on their utility bill, just through awareness and optimization tips from the app. From there savings could approach 45 percent.

9. This stepped-up decentralized tracker

solar flexrack tracker turnkey

Solar FlexRack launched its TDP Turnkey Tracker about this time last year. The update for this year is a newer, longer single row tracker (90 modules with 2 to 4 more posts), adjusted by a larger motor that will open up larger, utility-scale projects. The torque tube is offset to achieve better balance. The attention to detail is big for Solar FlexRack, which is why “turnkey” is built into this product’s name – its slew of engineers are involved in their installations to avoid adding their company name to the list of growing tracker system failures out in the field.

10. This tripod tile mount

Sun Modo tile

Sun Modo tripod

The last few years has seen a flood of great tile roof mount solutions enter the market. The TopTile Mount that SunModo debuted at Intersolar is an entirely above-the-tile system – no need to deconstruct the tile roof. The tripod mounting stanchion can be mounted on a tile ridge independent of rafter position. This could cut your install time in half, compared to a more conventional approach.

11. Smart surge software

Tabuchi Americas

Now with a two-battery system setup, Tabuchi Americas continues to improve upon its solar+storage system (now more than 20,000 installs worldwide). Thanks to an integrated transfer switch, everything needed to get a PV + storage system up and running is included in the package, which means at least $1,000 soft cost savings over an unbundled system. In fact, this is one of the first UL 9540 certified systems – the certification specifically for solar + storage systems. Updates to the system’s intelligence has also improved its defenses against power surges from things like water pumps.

— Solar Builder magazine

SMA and Cypress Creek enter into 10-year Master Service Agreement

SMA America recently signed a 10-year Master Services agreement with Cypress Creek Renewables, under which it will perform inverter preventive maintenance services for a portfolio of projects, primarily located in North Carolina.

SMA O&M services

Cypress Creek is a leading solar development company. Working in close partnership with local communities, Cypress Creek develops, builds, finances and operates local solar farms across the country. Cypress Creek has operating facilities in eight states and is actively developing projects in more than a dozen states.

“We are thrilled to enter into this agreement with Cypress Creek and begin a long-term collaboration,” said Chuck Smith, executive vice president of Service for SMA. “The SMA Inverter Preventative Maintenance program goes above and beyond the manufacturer’s recommended maintenances, and proactively addresses potential inverter issues that could result in unnecessary downtime.”

Cypress Creek has grown its portfolio of solar projects while managing operation and maintenance tasks in-house. To maximize the value of its projects, Cypress Creek has selected SMA to lend its expertise in inverter technologies to manage inverter risk. This will allow SMA and Cypress Creek to leverage each other’s core competencies to maximize plant life and profitability.

SMA Service currently has more than 2.5 GW of solar assets under operation and maintenance (O&M) agreements, which are monitored from SMA’s NERC compliant Solar Monitoring Centers located in California and Germany.

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

— Solar Builder magazine

Details on LG, Enphase panel partnership that debuted at Intersolar

Module-level electronics are being integrated into panels by OEMs more and more to streamline installations and reduce costs. At Intersolar 2017, the solar industry’s newest power couple announced its debut: LG and Enphase.

LG Enphase ACE panel

Meet LG’s NeON 2 ACe – an AC module that combines LG’s NeON 2 technology with Enphase’s IQ6+ microinverter.

“This changes the basic architecture of an install – the goal is to see the inverter go away and to go plug-and-play,” LG noted at the press event. “This also makes warehousing easier by reducing part count.”

Product Details

LG enphase AC module

  • With this setup, you are able to connect the AC modules without an additional trunk cable, which minimizes cable complexity on the roof.
  • Minimize installation time by reducing connecting work. The DC connection and operation are tested during manufacturing.
  • In view of environment, water-proof capability of the junction box has been improved with an IP 68 Rating
  • Beyond the physical enhancements, the NeON 2 ACe provides an integrated web-based solution. Monitor power generation through the internet, anywhere and anytime and utilize an automatic problem diagnosis function.
  • With LG AC Module mobile app, it’s possible to set up all monitoring configuration steps. A gateway automatically detects and registers AC module through Broadband PLC line once it is connected to powerline.
  • Along with ease of installation, going all low voltage AC means a safer installation too as well as automatically complying with NEC 2014/2017, Rule 21(CA), Rule 14H(HI), UL 1741SA.

Why high-efficiency modules are the best value for installers, homeowners

— Solar Builder magazine

SolarEdge unveils inverter-integrated electric vehicle charger at Intersolar

At Intersolar North America, SolarEdge Technologies unveiled the world’s first inverter-integrated electric vehicle (EV) charger. By supplementing grid power with PV power, SolarEdge says the Level 2 EV charger offers charging up to six times faster than a standard Level 1 charger with its innovative solar boost mode.

solaredge EV inverter

SolarEdge’s HD-Wave inverter, once integrated with an EV charger, will not only provide the existing management and monitoring of solar production, but will also enable EV charging from a single inverter and dashboard. The combined solution will offer considerable cost savings on both hardware and labor by eliminating the need for an additional conduit, wiring, and breaker installation. The solution will also eliminate the need for an additional dedicated circuit breaker, which saves space and a potential main distribution panel upgrade.

Based on patent-pending technology, the EV charger is embedded into SolarEdge’s HD-Wave inverter and leverages its solar boost mode. This mode utilizes both grid and PV to charge at 9.6kW (40 Amp) Level 2 charging, which is up to six times faster than standard Level 1 charging. If PV is not available, the inverter-integrated EV charger will use grid power to charge at 7.6kW (32 Amp) Level 2 charging, which is up to five times faster than standard Level 1 charging.

With a 12-year warranty, the inverter-integrated EV charger offers potential future operating modes, such as demand-response and charging at off-peak hours to optimize Time-of-Use (TOU) rates. The inverter-integrated EV charger is expected to be available in the last quarter of 2017.

Intersolar North America attendees are invited to visit the SolarEdge booth, #9421, to meet with local and global management teams, learn more about SolarEdge’s new product offerings, and participate in training sessions.

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

— Solar Builder magazine