SMA debuts new monitoring, control platform — Data Manager M

SMA-Solar

As the future of energy management becomes today’s reality, SMA is investing in efforts to digitize commercial energy management and bring greater energy independence to customers. The company has introduced a new, future-proof generation of monitoring and control solutions with the Data Manager M.

In combination with Sunny Portal powered by ennexOS, an IoT platform that manages all energy generation sources and data on a single platform, the Data Manager M is the ideal solution for commercial system owners and operators alike. It optimizes communication, monitoring and control of decentralized PV systems for up to 50 devices, and with a new, highly efficient user interface, the Data Manager M is easy to set up and commission. The modular design allows for a gradual expansion of the integrated functions for new business models in the energy market of the future.

For more info on the latest in inverter monitoring trends, download our free 2018 Inverter Buyer’s Guide

— 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.

On the Scene: We went to the Eaton Experience Center to see the grid’s future

“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 7.5-MW solar project at Sacramento International Airport

SMA Inverter at SMF

The Sacramento International Airport (SMF) added 7.9 MW of solar energy generation across two sites: A 15-acre plot near the airport’s economy parking lot, and a 20-acre location north of the runway. Borrego Solar, a top commercial solar company that specializes in designing and constructing solar and energy storage projects, constructed the project with financing from NRG, which will own and operate the facility. NRG will sell electricity to SMF under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The SMF project consists of two SMA Sunny Central 2200-US inverters integrated with a Medium-Voltage Block, and three Sunny Central 800 CP-US inverters.

“We are pleased to partner with Borrego Solar to bring renewable energy to the Sacramento International Airport, which holds special meaning because our U.S. headquarters is located in the Sacramento region,” said Jim Crossen, general manager for SMA America. “With Sunny Central inverters delivering reliable, robust performance, we are confident that the airport –and those who utilize it –will see the benefits of solar energy.”

The system will offset 30 percent of SMF’s electricity use, providing cost savings of up to $850,000 per year over the 25-year PPA, and will also help the airport achieve environmental leadership in the region.

“SMA is a valuable partner, and we were glad to utilize the company’s exceptional technology and local expertise for this PV system,” said Aaron Hall, president of Borrego Solar Systems. “With the Sunny Central’s reliable performance and power production, we are confident the airport will see great savings with it solar investment.”

The project was completed and commissioned in December 2017.

— Solar Builder magazine

SMA America further simplifies its Power+ MLPE inverter solution

SMA inverters

With speed as a top priority for solar professionals in today’s market, SMA has revealed an improved Power+ Solution, which builds on SMA’s MLPE solution to provide even more speed and simplicity. The UL-listed Power+ Solution, which the company claims is the fastest residential PV system to install, is currently available through its Authorized Distributor network.

“With the introduction of the improved Power+ Solution, we are addressing the need to accelerate and simplify the installation process,” said Nick Morbach, executive vice president of SMA’s Residential and Commercial Business Unit. “This includes fewer components, reduced labor and a single, simple monitoring platform. We are excited to introduce this next-generation solution to solar installers.”

One of the most significant improvements to the Power+ Solution is a major reduction in system components within a new Rooftop Communication Kit. This means faster installation, fewer potential points of failure throughout the system, and less equipment to service.

Additionally, a single plug-and-play communication connection speeds installation and reduces labor. The new Power+ Solution offers 50% faster commissioning within Sunny Portal, which was ranked the number one monitoring platform worldwide by GTM Research in 2017. SMA was also ranked number one in residential monitoring and energy management in 2017 by Navigant Research.

The Power+ Solution now also features SMA Smart Connected, a proactive service solution that can decrease truck rolls, lengthy service calls and system downtime, saving installers time and money and maximizing a homeowner’s power production.

Solar professionals looking for technical training can attend The New Speed of Solar Tour, where they will receive valuable instruction and gain access to SMA personnel. Installers will also benefit from training provided by solar sales and design expert Aurora Solar at select stops.

— Solar Builder magazine

SMA, Tigo offer new unit just for module-level rapid-shutdown

Tigo rapid shutdown SMA

SMA and Tigo have announced support of a new SunSpec compatible module-level rapid shutdown unit, the TS4-F (Fire Safety). The solution joins the current TS4 platform with a focus on emergency responder safety. It uses proven MLPE technology from SMA and Tigo to provide a rapid shutdown compliant platform, strictly focused on NEC compliance.

Two options

Tigo and SMA are offering two options for installation: The TS4-F is integrated into a smart module. The TS4-R-F retrofits a regular standard module with a module-level rapid shutdown device and is available through SMA.

“We have learned that commercial installers often need rapid shutdown capability but may see less need for optimization or module-level monitoring. Thus, they are looking for a cost-effective solution to provide the necessary safety functions,” said Nick Morbach, executive vice president of SMA’s Residential and Commercial Business Unit. “The new TS4-F and TS4-R-F units in combination with our SunSpec compatible string inverters will meet their needs, offering a high-quality option to comply with the NEC 2017 rapid shutdown requirements.”

The new rapid shutdown solution is a cost-effective way to fulfill UL 1741, NEC 2014, and NEC 2017 requirements – especially the stricter requirements for inside the array boundary that will be effective in January 2019. It will be compatible with the power line-based SunSpec Communication Signal for Rapid Shutdown, making it simple and robust. Using the existing DC wires between the inverter and module-level electronics as a communication channel will significantly reduce installation time.

The full system safety is enhanced by the integration with SMA’s arc fault detection (AFCI). They join SMA’s portfolio of products that comply with rapid shutdown requirements, including the Power+ Solution and the Rapid Shutdown System.

“We value SMA’s collaboration to offer this solution for residential and commercial installers,” said Zvi Alon, CEO of Tigo Energy. “We are confident that the safety features and cost-effectiveness of the TS4 platform will meet the needs of many customers.”

SMA is planning for its U.S. string inverter portfolio to be fully SunSpec Rapid Shutdown compliant in time for customers to meet the module-level rapid shutdown requirements of NEC 2017, which will become mandatory in most states by January 1, 2019.

— Solar Builder magazine