Six solar industry storylines to watch from Solar Power International 2018

Q Cells

Photo of a cool booth setup.

Your Solar Builder editor entered the whirlwind of news, numbers and handshaking that is Solar Power International and emerged with a notepad filled with gibberish. What language is this? What secrets does it hold? We sent it to a forensics lab, the archaeological department at Oxford and the guy with wild hair on Ancient Aliens for their interpretations. After this thorough analysis, we believe these are the top solar story lines in a post-SPI world …

1. Focus shifts from federal politics to local action

You get the sense that the solar industry has finally punted on trying to waste much more time inching the message boulder up the current administration’s hill and is now putting those resources into local efforts. This is likely the better route to go anyway, and the initiatives announced at SPI could do the trick if developed.

Just before SPI kicked off, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation unveiled the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) initiative, which is the latest collective effort of the industry to streamline permitting. Reforms include: A safety and skills training and certification program that allows residential and small commercial solar and battery storage installers to attest that their projects are compliant with applicable codes, to eliminate traditional multi-step permitting processes; a standardized online platform provided to local governments at no cost, a list of established equipment standards and/or certified equipment for solar and storage projects installed through the proposed process and more.

There have been several attempts at this over the years, all of which fell short, but this one might have a shot because of the timing. The economic case for solar has never been better, and the technology and techniques are proven with copious examples to highlight.

Also, what local government would turn down the promise of a ton more jobs? To grow that base of skilled solar workers around the country, the Solar Training Network introduced AmericanSolarWorkforce.org, an online platform to help solar companies recruit qualified candidates; allow solar job seekers to find career and training opportunities; and help the entire industry build a strong and diverse solar workforce. Using this platform, which is free of charge, employers can post opportunities on a solar job board and connect with thousands of candidates looking for solar career opportunities. Employers can also create company profiles, review candidate applications, and communicate with potential hires.

2. Solar pros see the short-comings of the industry and are actively trying to address them.

Two key examples here. First is in grid services. Features for grid services are mentioned all of the time now, from inverter and optimizer products to the need for storage and other ancillary services. I take it as a sign that the relationship between utilities and solar companies is now evolving past an adversarial stage because there’s nothing left to prove about solar as viable generating asset. Now, solar has to prove how it will best integrate and play nice on a wide scale over the long-term. This was always the case, but it feels everyone is getting on the same page about pursuing solutions.

For example, of all the things bouncing around the mind of CJ Colavito, VP of Engineering at Standard Solar, these days, he most wants to find a way to sync third-party radar forecasts with smart inverters for advanced ramp rate control — to ramp down voltage slowly prior to cloud cover that will cause voltage flicker.

Solar Power International

SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper and SEPA CEO Julia Hamm discuss diversity as an important goal for their respective industries.

The second short-coming is a short-coming for most industries: diversity. Judging by comments during the opening session and the upcoming Solar Jobs Census, solar thought leaders realize the industry is in position to not just remake the grid, but the makeup of the American workforce – not just to be PC and nice but because there is value inherent in a diversified workforce with growth opportunities. Also, check out this initiative from SEIA to work with Historically Black Colleges.

3. The full solar life cycle needs more attention.

One area in the U.S. solar industry still in need of attention is the full sustainability of a solar project. For example, panel recycling is a fairly big can that keeps getting kicked down the road. A DNV GL report released at SPI listed stranded assets as a key question in its market mechanics. At some point we will run out of road and kick that can straight into a million tons of PV that needs to be put somewhere. This isn’t a crisis (at least not yet) because there are solutions, at least according to First Solar, which has developed a standard for doing so and been put its system in place. Solar is recycled fairly easily — and for a profit — in Europe and that model could be replicated here.

The next can soon to be kicked is in storage. Storage is basically the key to solar taking over the world, but storage is dirtier than solar on the clean energy scale. Cobalt is a safety hazard. Lithium needs to be mined and poses its own potential for fire. Lead-acid battery companies claim to have the most recyclable solution, but does it perform as well as the future needs? And also, it is comprised of lead and acid. This is stuff that needs to be fully considered within the grand plans.

4. So many storage solutions…

LG energy storage

The new LG energy storage system.

Speaking of storage, every turn on the trade show floor seemed to present a new energy storage system or bundle of products to solve all sorts of solar + storage equations, from simpler backup capabilities to time of use to peak shaving and on and on. Panasonic has a full solution pairing Pika’s islanding inverter with its batteries and modules. LG debuted its complete solar + storage system for the home. SimpliPhi has varied its case sizes and voltage range. Sonnen has gone full tilt into energy management + home automation – a long fantasized idea that is now real-life – that is more load shaping than load shifting.

It’s all very cool. The issue from installers we chatted with at the show is there’s no one software that can deftly handle all of the storage mathematics they need (those that are great for peak shaving can’t be used for resiliency, etc.). There’s more to figure out here, just like on the battery side, but each SPI feels closer and closer to the goal line.

5. Some cool C&I rooftop innovations.

The reigning champion for the “biggest solar opportunity with the biggest issues to solve,” the commercial and industrial rooftop, saw several big-time debuts to ease some of these headaches.

A ton of solar deals are off the table because of the commercial rooftop life cycle and price tag. The deals that do go through on a different timeline than the roof itself are going to be a huge headaches come roof replacement time. Headaches meaning stuff will for sure be broken when the solar system is removed, stored and put back on. Standard Solar and Carlisle Roofing teaming up to solve this at the outset with a bundled package — a new C&I silicone coating spray applied to the existing roof membrane (with optional insulating foam) that installed with the PV system. The deal is financed through a PPA agreement with Standard Solar, so the building owner is essentially paying for the new roof (good for 50+ years) during the 25-year PPA.

ESDEC rooftop solar mounting system

The ESDEC Flat-Fix

On the system side, available in the first time in the U.S., Holland-based ESDEC debuted its slick Flat-Fix commercial rooftop mounting system. The same lightweight design can be laid out in south-facing or east-west configurations and is built with one tool, keeping the SKUs at a minimum. The feet are adhered with glue (or a bolt if needed) and an optional ballast tray. The system is already proven but the team needed to make a few tweaks to launch in the U.S., mostly relating to cable management, all of which were cleverly designed like the rest of the system.

Remote C&I system design has never been easier thanks to Nearmap’s updates. Its digital surface and line of sight analysis produces a jaw-droppingly clear picture for 71 percent of the U.S. population that is updated 3 times per year. You can really tell the difference between obstruction or dirt, as well as accurately measure the pitch and dimensions of any surface. When combined with the newest version Aurora Solar’s software, Aurora estimates 10x performance upgrades for multi-megawatt, commercial-scale solar projects added with the ability to simulate the solar energy production of a PV system while designing, allowing real-time assessment of design choices and elimination of change orders. An enhanced “fill zone” functionality is also available to automatically optimize solar panel locations to maximize the number that fit within an available space.

6. The next big trend will emerge from the California solar mandate (and maybe it’s an old one?).

Consider a company like CertainTeed – been around for a long time, and didn’t have a lot new at its booth to discuss. Its solar products are focused mostly on roof-integrated options that are not as popular as traditional mounting + solar panels on an existing roof sold and installed by solar installers. But when all new homes in California are going to need to come with solar already on the roof, will builders and roofers favor something like this they can handle themselves? Or, consider SunFlare, a company with a flexible CIGs technology. In 2018 it seems like a niche product – can be installed on top of existing carports and other nontraditional areas, but it’s close to working with a high-end national homebuilder that liked its solar shingle because “it’s a roofing product, not a solar product,” thus allowing them to install new solar on a new house without contracting out. The president of ESDEC also mentioned that in Holland their mounting system is seen as so simple to install that HVAC companies are a big customer segment for them because they could easily add it to their service offering.

Will the mainstreaming of solar earlier in the building process end up cutting out companies and products that rule the day today? Maybe a wild thought, just remember to keep your hands and arms inside the solarcoaster at all times.

— Solar Builder magazine

Six solar industry storylines to watch from Solar Power International 2018

Q Cells

Photo of a cool booth setup.

Your Solar Builder editor entered the whirlwind of news, numbers and handshaking that is Solar Power International and emerged with a notepad filled with gibberish. What language is this? What secrets does it hold? We sent it to a forensics lab, the archaeological department at Oxford and the guy with wild hair on Ancient Aliens for their interpretations. After this thorough analysis, we believe these are the top solar story lines in a post-SPI world …

1. Focus shifts from federal politics to local action

You get the sense that the solar industry has finally punted on trying to waste much more time inching the message boulder up the current administration’s hill and is now putting those resources into local efforts. This is likely the better route to go anyway, and the initiatives announced at SPI could do the trick if developed.

Just before SPI kicked off, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation unveiled the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) initiative, which is the latest collective effort of the industry to streamline permitting. Reforms include: A safety and skills training and certification program that allows residential and small commercial solar and battery storage installers to attest that their projects are compliant with applicable codes, to eliminate traditional multi-step permitting processes; a standardized online platform provided to local governments at no cost, a list of established equipment standards and/or certified equipment for solar and storage projects installed through the proposed process and more.

There have been several attempts at this over the years, all of which fell short, but this one might have a shot because of the timing. The economic case for solar has never been better, and the technology and techniques are proven with copious examples to highlight.

Also, what local government would turn down the promise of a ton more jobs? To grow that base of skilled solar workers around the country, the Solar Training Network introduced AmericanSolarWorkforce.org, an online platform to help solar companies recruit qualified candidates; allow solar job seekers to find career and training opportunities; and help the entire industry build a strong and diverse solar workforce. Using this platform, which is free of charge, employers can post opportunities on a solar job board and connect with thousands of candidates looking for solar career opportunities. Employers can also create company profiles, review candidate applications, and communicate with potential hires.

2. Solar pros see the short-comings of the industry and are actively trying to address them.

Two key examples here. First is in grid services. Features for grid services are mentioned all of the time now, from inverter and optimizer products to the need for storage and other ancillary services. I take it as a sign that the relationship between utilities and solar companies is now evolving past an adversarial stage because there’s nothing left to prove about solar as viable generating asset. Now, solar has to prove how it will best integrate and play nice on a wide scale over the long-term. This was always the case, but it feels everyone is getting on the same page about pursuing solutions.

For example, of all the things bouncing around the mind of CJ Colavito, VP of Engineering at Standard Solar, these days, he most wants to find a way to sync third-party radar forecasts with smart inverters for advanced ramp rate control — to ramp down voltage slowly prior to cloud cover that will cause voltage flicker.

Solar Power International

SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper and SEPA CEO Julia Hamm discuss diversity as an important goal for their respective industries.

The second short-coming is a short-coming for most industries: diversity. Judging by comments during the opening session and the upcoming Solar Jobs Census, solar thought leaders realize the industry is in position to not just remake the grid, but the makeup of the American workforce – not just to be PC and nice but because there is value inherent in a diversified workforce with growth opportunities. Also, check out this initiative from SEIA to work with Historically Black Colleges.

3. The full solar life cycle needs more attention.

One area in the U.S. solar industry still in need of attention is the full sustainability of a solar project. For example, panel recycling is a fairly big can that keeps getting kicked down the road. A DNV GL report released at SPI listed stranded assets as a key question in its market mechanics. At some point we will run out of road and kick that can straight into a million tons of PV that needs to be put somewhere. This isn’t a crisis (at least not yet) because there are solutions, at least according to First Solar, which has developed a standard for doing so and been put its system in place. Solar is recycled fairly easily — and for a profit — in Europe and that model could be replicated here.

The next can soon to be kicked is in storage. Storage is basically the key to solar taking over the world, but storage is dirtier than solar on the clean energy scale. Cobalt is a safety hazard. Lithium needs to be mined and poses its own potential for fire. Lead-acid battery companies claim to have the most recyclable solution, but does it perform as well as the future needs? And also, it is comprised of lead and acid. This is stuff that needs to be fully considered within the grand plans.

4. So many storage solutions…

LG energy storage

The new LG energy storage system.

Speaking of storage, every turn on the trade show floor seemed to present a new energy storage system or bundle of products to solve all sorts of solar + storage equations, from simpler backup capabilities to time of use to peak shaving and on and on. Panasonic has a full solution pairing Pika’s islanding inverter with its batteries and modules. LG debuted its complete solar + storage system for the home. SimpliPhi has varied its case sizes and voltage range. Sonnen has gone full tilt into energy management + home automation – a long fantasized idea that is now real-life – that is more load shaping than load shifting.

It’s all very cool. The issue from installers we chatted with at the show is there’s no one software that can deftly handle all of the storage mathematics they need (those that are great for peak shaving can’t be used for resiliency, etc.). There’s more to figure out here, just like on the battery side, but each SPI feels closer and closer to the goal line.

5. Some cool C&I rooftop innovations.

The reigning champion for the “biggest solar opportunity with the biggest issues to solve,” the commercial and industrial rooftop, saw several big-time debuts to ease some of these headaches.

A ton of solar deals are off the table because of the commercial rooftop life cycle and price tag. The deals that do go through on a different timeline than the roof itself are going to be a huge headaches come roof replacement time. Headaches meaning stuff will for sure be broken when the solar system is removed, stored and put back on. Standard Solar and Carlisle Roofing teaming up to solve this at the outset with a bundled package — a new C&I silicone coating spray applied to the existing roof membrane (with optional insulating foam) that installed with the PV system. The deal is financed through a PPA agreement with Standard Solar, so the building owner is essentially paying for the new roof (good for 50+ years) during the 25-year PPA.

ESDEC rooftop solar mounting system

The ESDEC Flat-Fix

On the system side, available in the first time in the U.S., Holland-based ESDEC debuted its slick Flat-Fix commercial rooftop mounting system. The same lightweight design can be laid out in south-facing or east-west configurations and is built with one tool, keeping the SKUs at a minimum. The feet are adhered with glue (or a bolt if needed) and an optional ballast tray. The system is already proven but the team needed to make a few tweaks to launch in the U.S., mostly relating to cable management, all of which were cleverly designed like the rest of the system.

Remote C&I system design has never been easier thanks to Nearmap’s updates. Its digital surface and line of sight analysis produces a jaw-droppingly clear picture for 71 percent of the U.S. population that is updated 3 times per year. You can really tell the difference between obstruction or dirt, as well as accurately measure the pitch and dimensions of any surface. When combined with the newest version Aurora Solar’s software, Aurora estimates 10x performance upgrades for multi-megawatt, commercial-scale solar projects added with the ability to simulate the solar energy production of a PV system while designing, allowing real-time assessment of design choices and elimination of change orders. An enhanced “fill zone” functionality is also available to automatically optimize solar panel locations to maximize the number that fit within an available space.

6. The next big trend will emerge from the California solar mandate (and maybe it’s an old one?).

Consider a company like CertainTeed – been around for a long time, and didn’t have a lot new at its booth to discuss. Its solar products are focused mostly on roof-integrated options that are not as popular as traditional mounting + solar panels on an existing roof sold and installed by solar installers. But when all new homes in California are going to need to come with solar already on the roof, will builders and roofers favor something like this they can handle themselves? Or, consider SunFlare, a company with a flexible CIGs technology. In 2018 it seems like a niche product – can be installed on top of existing carports and other nontraditional areas, but it’s close to working with a high-end national homebuilder that liked its solar shingle because “it’s a roofing product, not a solar product,” thus allowing them to install new solar on a new house without contracting out. The president of ESDEC also mentioned that in Holland their mounting system is seen as so simple to install that HVAC companies are a big customer segment for them because they could easily add it to their service offering.

Will the mainstreaming of solar earlier in the building process end up cutting out companies and products that rule the day today? Maybe a wild thought, just remember to keep your hands and arms inside the solarcoaster at all times.

— Solar Builder magazine

Top Solar Projects of the Week (Nov. 14 – Nov. 18)

Adhesives company shows solar commitment with display panel

chemique adhesives solar projectThe 30 kW solar installation created by Velo Solar on the roof of Chemique Adhesives in Kennesaw, Ga., has begun operation. The array sits atop the North American headquarters of Chemique Adhesives, a company with revenues of about $17.5 million per year and customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America. Chemique, based in the U.K., makes industrial adhesives, sealants and adhesive application equipment.

The solar installation designed and built by Atlanta-based Velo Solar will reduce Chemique’s CO2 emissions by 30.6 tons annually, the equivalent of planting 784 trees.

In addition to the solar panels on the roof, the system installed by Velo Solar at Chemique Adhesives in Kennesaw includes a display panel in the lobby that will show the real-time output of the solar resource through the proprietary PowerEnfo analytical platform. Developed by Velo Solar’s parent company, PowerEnfo provides a constant information stream on energy consumption to facilitate effective energy management. It tracks asset performance and issues alerts on unusual events to keep them from becoming costly.

RELATED: Report: Rooftop solar provides even more value than retail rate metering 


New York auto dealer adds rooftop, carport

Yonkers, NY-based auto dealer Smith Cairns Ford Lincoln Mazda Subaru is turning to solar to save on its energy bills. Working with leading solar energy company, Standard Solar, the dealer installed a 1,272 panel, 394 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system. In addition to the 253kW array on its rooftop, the system also features two solar carports totaling 141 kW. The system was completed in October.

The rooftop and carport arrays, expected to produce approximately 472,000 kilowatt-hours of power per year, cover 100 percent of the dealer’s energy needs. The V-shaped carport arrays are rain and snow-proof, protecting the dealership’s auto inventory and providing a clean and dry environment for prospective buyers. The project also includes an electric vehicle (EV) charging station to support its EV inventory and EV customers.

RELATED: Best practices for constructing cost-effective carport projects 

 


Cool solar+storage microgrid solution gets up and running

solar+storage microgrid

Pure Power Solutions has completed a plug-and-play approach to solar+storage microgrids for remote locations with a system using standard shipping containers and energy dense, non-toxic battery technology from SimpliPhi Power. The first system is now operational at Vacherie Ranch, a 450-acre agricultural and recreational retreat located in Western Sonoma County, Calif.

Get all the details and look at a bunch of photos here.


Solect’s latest commercial install in New England

North Atlantic Corp (NAC), one of the largest millwork distributors and custom manufacturer of windows, doors, kitchens and stairs to the residential and commercial markets in New England, has partnered with Solect Energy of Hopkinton, Mass., to install a 1551 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system on the roof of its Somerset location. The solar array is projected to cover 90% of North Atlantic Corp’s annual electricity bill and will contribute to substantial savings on the company’s energy expenditures.

The installation comes at a particularly important time in NAC’s development, as their energy demands were expected to rise steeply with the completion of a 45,000 sq. ft. addition to their manufacturing facility. Now, they expect to see solar offset that increase dramatically.

RELATED: Northeast Solar Boom: Untapped commercial deals are about to pay off in New England 


EnterSolar to develop ground-mount for insurance giant

EnterSolar, a provider of solar photovoltaic solutions to the commercial marketplace, has been selected by Swiss Re to develop a 2-MW ground mounted solar system for the wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. Construction will begin this fall with expected completion in the spring of 2017.

The system is designed to offset 60% of the power utilized by the Armonk campus, and will provide significant environmental benefits to the Westchester County community.

RELATED: The value of a team approach to fixed-tilt ground-mount projects 


 

Idaho’s new community solar push

Idaho community solar

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is approving an Idaho Power application to build a 500-kilowatt community solar project in southeast Boise. The $1.16 million single-axis solar project on the southwest corner of Amity and Holcomb roads will allow up to 1,093 residential customers and 470 non-residential customers to buy one or more subscriptions (one subscription is a 320-watt panel) for the solar farm’s anticipated 25- year life.

Get the inside scoop here.

— Solar Builder magazine

Check out this solar+storage microgrid housed in a shipping container

Pure Power Solutions has completed a plug-and-play approach to solar+storage microgrids for remote locations with a system using standard shipping containers and energy dense, non-toxic battery technology from SimpliPhi Power. The first system is now operational at Vacherie Ranch, a 450-acre agricultural and recreational retreat located in Western Sonoma County, Calif.

solar plus storage microgrid

solar+storage microgrid

 

Prior to the solar microgrid installation, the enterprise relied primarily on diesel generation to power its agricultural and recreational operations. In the search for a better solution, extending electrical transmission lines to the ranch was deemed cost-prohibitive. The rugged, highly efficient and reliable SimpliPhi batteries combined with solar allow the ranch to be powered by a clean, reliable microgrid that saved the enterprise well over half a million dollars compared to an extension of grid power.

solar plus storage microgrid

“SimpliPhi’s solutions offer a high level of certainty in terms of economics, lifetime throughput, available capacity and non-toxicity,” said Rody Jonas, co-founder and president of Pure Power Solutions. “Without heat generation, the thermal stability and resiliency around a wider thermal window than other batteries significantly reduce catastrophic failure. Additionally, SimpliPhi reduces or eliminates the need for additional costly and potentially complicated battery management systems as well as always-available critical space conditioning equipment. These issues, typically associated with cobalt-based lithium batteries, are particularly important, more reliable and cost effective for remote locations where we so often work, such as Vacherie Ranch.”

More on the SimpliPhi technology here.

said Rody Jonas, co-founder and president of Pure Power Solutions.

solar+storage microgrid

For this project, Pure Power Solutions used a containerized solution to build out Vacherie Ranch’s solar+storage microgrid system consisting of 22 kW of solar PV and 85kwh of non-toxic SimpliPhi Power PHI 3.4 batteries. Since the system was pre-installed and configured inside the shipping container, allowing for extremely quick on-site deployment, the farm had power the same day the system was delivered. Additionally, the system is scalable, with the ability to easily expand as energy needs grow at the ranch.

“Solar installers who are looking for alternatives to toxic and maintenance-heavy lead acid batteries are finding our Lithium Ferrous Phosphate solutions provide the reliable access to power they are looking for,” said CEO of SimpliPhi Power Catherine Von Burg. “From the improved cycle life, depth of discharge and efficiency charge and discharge rate, to the decreased footprint and lack of temperature regulation requirements, SimpliPhi opens new possibilities for innovative storage applications like the one Pure Power Solutions developed for Vacherie Ranch.”

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar energy storage product roundup 2016

Residential

Enphase-21. Enphase Energy

Enphase offers an AC plug-and-play system based on a lithium iron phosphate battery from Eliiy Power, with a 10-year warranty on two cycles per day. The battery offers greater than 95 percent depth of discharge. In October, the microinverter maker began offering its Home Energy Solution, an integrated solution combining solar generation, energy control and energy storage to Australian homeowners, the first country in its global roll out.

For more information, visit www.enphase.com.

Orison2. Orison

Orison, based in San Diego, recently announced that its residential, 2.2-kWh storage systems may be ordered for summer delivery via crowd-funding platform Kickstarter at a price of $2,000. The Orison system, based on Tesla lithium ion batteries, uses cloud communications to analyze utility rates, peak demand charges, weather, blackout alerts, local usage, as well as internal monitoring.

For more information, visit www.orison.energy.

3. OutBack Power

OutBackOutBack Power’s FLEXpower Radian preconfigured system is built around the company’s Grid/Hybrid inverter/charger that includes programming, charge control, networking and other BOS components for solar energy storage. The system also can be paired with sonnen’s energy management software. OutBack’s system utilizes Nano-Carbon batteries that combine absorbed glass mat/valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery chemistries with cycling and performance characteristics that are more fault-tolerant and function in partial state-of-charge applications.

For more information, visit www.outbackpower.com. (or check out this article)

Simpliphi4. SimpliPhi Power

SimpliPhi Power utilizes safe, non-toxic lithium ferrous phosphate chemistry in its 3.4-kWh optimized energy storage battery. The 3.4-kWh battery is available in 24V and 48V and features proprietary architecture and a Battery Management System (BMS) that delivers a long cycle life without generating heat. A built-in accessible 80 amp DC breaker on/off switch increases safety and simplifies installations. Compatible with all industry standard inverter/chargers SimpliPhi’s LFP batteries are safe, non-toxic and require no AC or toxic liquid cooling.

For more information, visit www.simpliphipower.com.

5. sonnen

sonnensonnen Inc. has almost 10,000 storage systems installed globally. With products that are engineered in Germany and made in the United States, sonnen’s goal is to provide clean, affordable energy for all. The sonnenBatterie eco system, coupled with solar, supplies homes with up to 100 percent of their energy needs, in addition to providing backup power for homes and taking advantage of different tariff structures for off-peak vs. on-peak use.

For more information, visit www.sonnen-batterie.com.

6. Tabuchi

Tabuchi-ElectricTabuchi’s EneTelus Intelligent Battery System (EIBS) is a solution that houses both an inversion unit and a battery as well as the transfer switch, which is usually something you’d have to mount separately. The battery has its separate box, but it is all developed together, which enhances the functionality of the entire unit. Tabuchi says the advantage of the system is its lithium ion battery. After looking at about 20 different brands, Tabuchi decided on working with Panasonic, which has a battery that can be cycled approximately once a day for 10 years — which is the length of the warranty.

For more information, visit www.tabuchiamerica.com.

telsa-new7. Tesla

Tesla, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is offering its own lithium ion battery packs in the much-anticipated Powerwall, a 7-kWh configuration for $3,000, and 10 kWh for $3,500. The system offers 3.3 kW of continuous power and carries a 10-year warranty. The system is designed for either a daily cycle or a weekly cycle. Tesla is working with SolarEdge, Fronius and SolarCity, among other companies, for its national rollout.

For more information, visit www.teslamotors.com.

8. Trojan Battery

TrojanAddressing the impact of partial state of charge (PSOC) on batteries, Trojan Battery offers Smart Carbon as a standard feature in its Industrial and Premium flooded battery lines. Smart Carbon is a proprietary Trojan formula that provides improved performance when the batteries operate in PSOC, enhancing overall battery life in off-grid and unstable grid applications where the batteries are undercharged on a regular basis. Along with increased life in a PSOC, Trojan’s Smart Carbon proprietary formula also provides improved charge acceptance and faster recharge in PSOC applications.

For more information, visit www.trojanbattery.com.

Commercial

Ideal-Power 1. Ideal Power

Ideal Power’s Grid Resilient 30-kW Multi-port Power Conversion System (30B3-4DF) utilizes the company’s patented Power Packet Switching Architecture in an AC/DC/DC configuration to directly integrate solar+storage, serving both grid-tied and off-grid applications. PPSA also provides transformerless isolation resulting in significant savings in equipment weight and size compared to conventional PV + battery solutions, dramatically lowering installation costs, while also dramatically improving operating efficiencies.

For more information, visit www.idealpower.com.

Princeton-Power2. Princeton Power

The GTIB-100 G1.2 is a three-phase, 100-kW four-quadrant converter utilized in microgrid applications. Launched in 2009, it was the world’s first commercial-scale microgrid converter certified to UL-1741 safety standards. It is designed for advanced batteries, solar, on-grid and off-grid applications. The GTIB-100 is capable of operating autonomously in on-grid mode, detecting grid outages and transitioning to off-grid (island or microgrid) mode and transitioning back when the grid returns. Power quality in on-grid and off-grid modes meets IEEE 1547 guidelines.

For more information, visit www.princetonpower.com.

 

 

— Solar Builder magazine