Fronius inverters now California Rule 21 compliant

Fronius USA received UL certification for California’s Rule 21 inverter requirements, which are required in California for new Net Energy Metering (NEM) applications from September 8.

Fronius summer promotion

What’s Rule 21 again?

Rule 21 refers to the generator interconnection requirements of each California Investor-Owned Utility (IOU). A years-long process has been underway to update Rule 21 with “smart inverter” requirements. Rule 21 requires inverters to have new grid support functions and a new certification under UL 1741 SA. Each new inverter also gets a new nameplate label that identifies it as a “Grid Support Utility Interactive Inverter.”

How California’s Rule 21 inverter requirements expand grid capacity, limit energy (revenue) generation

New smart functions, such as voltage and frequency ride-through or soft start ramp rate, will pave the way for further solar penetration into the California grid and help to better manage the fluctuations caused by distributed energy resources (DER). These new functions have a stabilizing effect on the grid as more DER is added to it. Fronius has always been a driving force when it comes to inverters’ Grid Support Functions and has years of experience from highly solar-penetrated markets such as Germany or Italy.

The proper Rule 21 settings on Fronius inverters are easy to apply for installers, who simply select the “CAL” setup upon commissioning. “While adding more and more functionalities to the inverter, we want to make the adoption of Rule 21 as easy as possible for our installers”, says Michael Mendik, Head of Solution Management at Fronius USA.

Fronius has received certification for the Fronius Primo 3.8 – 8.2 kW residential inverters, and Fronius Symo 10.0 – 24.0 480V commercial inverters. These inverters are available with Rule 21 compliant software as of August 14th. The Fronius Primo 10 – 15 kW inverters as well as the 208V version of the Fronius Symo will be certified in Q4. Fronius will announce these dates as soon as possible.

— Solar Builder magazine

Alencon Systems updates its large-scale solar DC-DC optimizer

Alencon Systems LLC is debuting latest generation of its DC-DC optimizer, the SPOT, at Solar Power International 2017, Sept. 10 – 13, 2017 in Las Vegas in booth #1115. Alencon’s SPOT X2 has been specifically targeted at two, in demand PV applications: PV retrofits and DC-coupled Solar + Storage.

alencon solar optimizer

SPOT X2 improvements

  • The SPOT X2 is lighter and easier to install than previous models, while at the same time offering more power and higher efficiency than ever before.
  • The SPOT X2 features significantly improved on-board firmware to ensure greater energy yield. Headlining the software improvements in the SPOTX2 is an improved maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm that assures optimal PV power harvesting under fast changing weather conditions.
  • The SPOT X2 takes its name from the improved printed circuit board (PCB) design of this newest version, which features two rugged main boards to drive the product’s four PV string inputs.
  • The SPOTX2 carries by ETL certification by Intertek for UL1741 (U.S.), CSA C22.2#107.1 (Canada) and IEC 62109-1 (European Union).

The SPOT X2 has been recast in a manner to make it easier to install to minimize the ‘soft’ costs – such as labor and ancillary installation materials – associated with PV retrofits. Minimizing installation costs is key to achieving the highest rate of return on PV retrofits.

“With a number of PV assets now changing hands as PV plants get older and PV fleets get consolidated, we are seeing a great deal of interest in retrofitting PV plants to improve energy yield. The SPOT X2 makes performing larger commercial and industrial or utility scale PV retrofits much easier than ever before,” explains Alencon Systems President Hanan Fishman. “Retrofitting a PV plant with Alencon’s SPOT can significantly increase PV yield by introducing more granular MPPT while at the same time improving safety and decreasing on-going O&M costs. Visitors to the Alencon booth at SPI will be able to see first-hand just how easy the Alencon’s SPOT PV retrofit solution is to deploy.”

 

— Solar Builder magazine

New platform launches to fund small, medium-sized solar projects

Small and medium-sized commercial projects remain the toughest nut to crack for the solar industry, but a new proprietary online process hopes to change all that. The Braggawatt platform, from Braggawatt Energy, is specifically built to address financing needs of this underserved market segment. By focusing on a partner-driven model, the platform streamlines opportunity evaluation and project conversions through a set of origination, credit review and financing enablers that unlock immediate and long-term energy-cost savings from clean onsite energy solutions for non- and for-profit clients.

Braggawatt

The non-residential solar market has primarily been financed by a few retail electricity providers, independent power producers and niche investors. However, these options don’t address the true potential within the sizeable and established SME market. Braggawatt developed a partner-centric business model that streamlines the project value integration and drives significant scale through financing certainty and optimization of economic value for end-customers, installers and investors alike.

Braggawatt’s free end-to-end online platform is designed for simple navigation, creation of financing proposals and automation of credit reviews and financing contracts to implement reliable onsite energy solutions that uniquely address the needs of SME customers.

“Unlike disjointed software platforms or standalone financing providers, Braggawatt’s platform streamlines the origination, development and financing of distributed energy solutions for SMEs,” said Trey Ramsey, co-founder and CEO of Braggawatt. “We connect the dots between local installers, solar-ready businesses and the financing necessary to make it all happen,” Oleg Popovsky, Braggawatt’s co-founder and CCO added.

With the platform, project integrators can:

• Gain 24/7, autonomous access to a complete suite of actionable financing options.
• Evaluate and optimize installation pricing to improve profitability and end-customers’ value.
• Print unlimited customized financing proposals to uniquely address project needs.
• Achieve financing certainty for incremental, smaller and medium-sized projects.
• Enhance cash flow management with effective milestone payments.
• Rely on fast, hassle-free end-customer credit review and project contracts.
• Use platform free of charge, with no fees or strings attached.

The platform offers investors:

• Strong deal flow from a proven aggregation platform built on industry best-practices.
• Project-specific, risk-adjusted pricing via agile scoring framework.
• Comprehensive, asset-risk specific and transparent credit policy.
• Superior risk-adjusted IRRs.
• Streamlined financing process to fund energy projects at scale.

— Solar Builder magazine

CertainTeed boosts rated power of its Apollo solar systems

CertainTeed

CertainTeed Solar has increased the rated power in its Apollo II and Apollo Tile II solar roofing systems. Apollo II now offers 63 watts of rated power, improving on both the performance and the economics of CertainTeed Solar roofing systems.

“The power increases to our Apollo II line reflect CertainTeed’s continuous commitment to the improvement of our products,” said Mark Stancroff, director of CertainTeed Solar. “Plus the low-profile appearance of these integrated systems lets installers offer solar solutions to customers who may be deterred by aesthetics of rack-mounted systems.”

Apollo II and Apollo Tile II modules are manufactured in the United States using foreign and domestic components and are backed by the strongest warranty in the solar industry which covers the products and the professional installation of the system for up to 25 years.

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

— Solar Builder magazine

Sherex Fastening Solutions debuts new wedge locking washer

Sherex Fastening Solutions, a global leader in engineered fasteners, tooling, and automation, is pleased to announce the launch of a new wedge locking washer product line.

sherex washers

“The TEC Series product line adds another fastening solution to our portfolio, continuing our 35 year tradition of developing innovative, lowest total installed cost fastening solutions for our valued customers,” says President Adam Pratt, “TEC Series washers are a high quality, high performance, cost-effective solution to the challenge of securing joints that experience severe vibration and load.”

Sherex’s March 2016 acquisition of Disc-Lock International, the originator of wedge locking technology, laid the foundation for the development of the TEC Series product line. Sherex leveraged its world-class R&D team, global manufacturing capabilities, and seasoned technical sales professionals, to build off of the Disc-Lock technology to develop this new product line.

This launch is the first step in a multi-year development program, and comes from a technical team with over 100 years combined experience in the development and sale of wedge-locking technology.

TEC Series washers were tested extensively on Junker vibration machines throughout the development process, and consistently protected joints under severe vibration and load. “We are thrilled to report that TEC Series washers meet or exceed the performance of current offerings in the marketplace, ”says Pratt.

TEC Series washers will be stocked in strategic locations throughout North America to provide short lead times to customers.

“Our customers have come to expect best-in-class performance, quality, availability, and value,” says Pratt, “and we look forward to introducing additional innovative solutions in the near future.”

TEC Series washers are available in standard and large outer diameter styles in carbon steel and stainless steel, in sizes from M3 (#5) through M72 (3”). Sherex’s engineering and technical sales team is available to custom design products with special dimensions, materials, and coatings.

With locations in the USA, Mexico, and Taiwan, Sherex products are manufactured to the highest quality standards in accordance with TS16949 and AS9100 certifications and ISO 9001:2008 accredidation. Sherex Fastening Solutions leverages engineering capabilities to meet customer specific needs and provides exceptional customer service and support throughout the sale.

— Solar Builder magazine