SolarEdge products ready to meet both NEC 2017 and Rule 21 Phase 3

 

SolarEdge

SolarEdge Technologies is ready for the implementation of both NEC 2017’s revision to the PV Rapid Shutdown System (PVRSS) requirements for 2019 and is prepared for the roll out of Phase 3 of Rule 21. The company offers solutions that comply with these regulations.

“By preparing our product lineup in advance of the soon-to-be implemented standards, we ensure that our installers can continue to meet installation demand without any delays or disruptions,” stated Peter Mathews, General Manager North America.

SolarEdge will continue to support increased solar proliferation with compliance to Rule 21 Phase 3. With the implementation in February 2019, some Rule 21 Phase 3 requirements will become mandatory. Accordingly, SolarEdge will provide an expanded feature set for smart inverters to support a more interactive and stable grid. Features like data monitoring, remote connection/disconnection, and max power controls will start to become the new industry standard.

All SolarEdge inverters sold in California will be certified for IEEE 2030.5, while already shipped SolarEdge inverters can be updated for compliance. To support the increasing need for cloud connectivity, SolarEdge will also offer a selection of flexible cellular data plans for all its inverters.

The newest provision of NEC 2017 (690.12), which reduces the shock hazard in PV arrays for enhanced firefighter safety, is set to go into effect in January 2019. Requiring no additional rooftop hardware, third-party vendor solutions, or changes to installation, SolarEdge offers residential and commercial power optimizers that meet the PV Rapid Shutdown System (PVRSS) 2019 requirements. SolarEdge’s fully integrated solution provides advanced safety compliance by controlling the system at the module level. Upon rapid shutdown initiation, SolarEdge’s power optimizers are designed to rapidly reduce the voltage inside and outside of the array.

— Solar Builder magazine

NEC 2017 Primer for Solar Installers: Manufacturers explain how their products meet the updated code

NEC 2017

Jan. 1, 2019, is almost upon us, which means the National Electric Code (NEC) 2017 is almost in effect. Not all jurisdictions will be up to speed (hell, some aren’t even up on NEC 2014 yet), but around 24 states will require compliance immediately. We asked a variety of manufacturers about their NEC 2017-ready products, how they work and any advice they have for solar installers to meet the new code.

This section is from our Nov/Dec issue of Solar Builder magazine. Subscribe for free right here.

Code to know

690.12 Rapid Shutdown of PV Systems on Buildings

PV system circuits installed on or in buildings shall include a rapid shutdown function to reduce shock hazard for emergency responders in accordance with 690.12(A) through (D).

(A) Controlled Conductors. Requirements for controlled conductors shall apply to PV circuits supplied by the PV system.

(B) Controlled Limits. The use of the term, array boundary, in this section is defined as 305 mm (1 ft) from the array in all directions. Controlled conductors outside the array boundary shall comply with 690.12(B)(1) and inside the array boundary shall comply with 690.12(B)(2).

1. Outside the Array Boundary. Controlled conductors located outside the boundary or more than 1 m (3 ft) from the point of entry inside a building shall be limited to not more than 30 volts within 30 seconds of rapid shutdown initiation. Voltage shall be measured between any two conductors and between any conductor and ground.

2. Inside the Array Boundary. The PV system shall comply with one of the following:

(1) The PV array shall be listed or field labeled as a rapid shutdown PV array. Such a PV array shall be installed and used in accordance with the instructions included with the rapid shutdown PV array listing and labeling or field labeling.

(2) Controlled conductors located inside the boundary or not more than 1 m (3 ft) from the point of penetration of the surface of the building shall be limited to not more than 80 volts within 30 seconds of rapid shutdown initiation. Voltage shall be measured between any two conductors and between any conductor and ground.

Know your signs

solaredge

SolarEdge’s SafeDC technology is embedded in its DC optimized solution and as such meets NEC 2017 without any additional components. The existing PV system AC disconnect is used as the initiator. Whenever the inverter or grid is turned off (i.e. AC power), then the DC voltage and current fall below the NEC 2017 thresholds within 30 seconds — each power optimizer is responsible for lowering its output voltage to 1 volt during rapid shutdown activation. This happens both in and outside the array boundary.

“New signs are required to inform emergency responders of the equipment meeting NEC 2017. NEC 2017 requires that equipment used as rapid shutdown devices be listed for rapid shutdown and evaluated according to stringent standards. Installers should check to ensure all equipment is properly listed. For example, inverters and combiners that are used inside or outside the array boundary as rapid shutdown devices must be listed for rapid shutdown in the event that they are used for that purpose,” says Lior Handelsman, founder, VP of marketing for SolarEdge.

HellermannTyton Don’t skimp on labels

HellermannTyton offers a line of NEC 2017 code compliant labels that have been tested to actual real-world conditions for over seven years and through accelerated aging tests, which show the labels will survive decades of exposure [see example of one that did not on the right]. Because of the extensive testing of these solar-compliant labels, HellermannTyton offers a seven-year warranty on all adhesive labels that include the HT check mark and a 25-year warranty on any aluminum labels.

“Many municipalities are very concerned about label life. In this age of OSHA and ANSI compliance, there is increased liability on installers and inspection services. If a label only remains visible for a few years, and if someone gets injured or killed in the process of interacting with the equipment, there can be substantial fines or costly litigation that can affect on-going business,” says Todd Fries, product category manager – identification for HellermannTyton.

Watch for SunSpec certification

sunspec

If you’re unfamiliar with the SunSpec Alliance, it’s time you became familiar. This trade alliance of more than 100 solar and storage stakeholders has been working on information standards for plug-and-play PV system interoperability, but its communication solution for meeting module-level power control and safety (rapid shutdown) with any panel and inverter combination might be its crowning achievement. Look for the logo to the left to find products certified to the SunSpec RSD Specification. Here’s a list of early adopter companies involved in the collaboration and rollout.

• ABB
• Adesto Technologies
• Canadian Solar
• Celestica Inc.
• Chint Power Systems –
North America
• Delta Products
• Enphase Energy
• ER Solar
• Fronius International
• Ginlong-Solis
• Hansol Technics Co.
• HiQ Solar
• Itek Energy
• Ingeteam
• JA Solar
• LERRI Solar Technology
• Maxim Integrated
• Mersen Electrical Power
• Midnite Solar
• Neo Solar Power
• Omron Global
• OutBack Power
• Phoenix Contact
• SMA
• Samil Power
• Seraphim Solar USA
• Semitech Semiconductor
• Silfab Solar
• Solartec
• ST Micro
• Sungrow
• SunPower
• Sunrun
• Sunpreme
• Suntech Power
• Talesun Tesla
• Texas Instruments
• Tigo Energy
• UL LLC
• Yaskawa Solectrica
• Yingli Solar

sunspec

This is a diagram of how the SunSpec Communication signal for module-level rapid shutdown works.

froniusCompliance doesn’t mean cost

“It is important to know what the actual requirement is and then getting to code compliance in the simplest, most cost-effective way to not put extra financial burden on the customer. We believe that industry standards and innovation will drive down cost and allow customer choice,” says Richard Baldinger, head of marketing for Fronius.

The Fronius Symo Advanced three-phase inverter combines the benefits of the Fronius Symo with the convenience of an open industry standard. Featuring 10 models ranging from 10 kW to 24 kW, the Fronius Symo Advanced meets NEC 2017 compliance in conjunction with the Tigo TS4-F cover via the integrated Power Line Communication (PLC) transmitter that uses the SunSpec communication signal for rapid shutdown. This eliminates the need for any additional communication hardware and provides the most cost-effective option for code compliance.

tigoTigo Energy’s TS4-F (Fire Safety) is a UL-certified multivendor rapid shutdown solution for commercial PV systems that complies with NEC 2017. The TS4-R-F is a simple add-on that retrofits a regular standard solar module with a module-level rapid shutdown device and is compatible with the power line-based SunSpec communication signal for rapid shutdown. Using the existing DC wires between the inverter and module-level electronics as a communication channel significantly reduces installation time.

midnite solarMidnite Solar’s MNLSOB line, in both 600-volt and 1,000-volt models, utilize one transmitter and multiple receivers per system. This product can be used for string or module-level shutdown by using one receiver per string or one per module. They plug directly into the MC4 connectors on your module and, because the MNLSOB transmitter induces a PLC signal into the PV Positive line, there is no additional or new wiring to be done between the transmitter and the receivers. Midnite Solar will be introducing a new SunSpec-compliant MNLSOB by January.

Make no compromises

“There are no additional design requirements to implement shutdown functionality. A designer can build a project for maximum energy harvest, optimal ROI, or with any other goal in mind and simply choose the most cost-effective MLPE to address his or her needs. The shutdown functionality is built into these solutions and does not impact other project considerations. Installers should also be aware of the upcoming release of UL Standard 3741 as another way to comply with NEC 201 690.12 without requiring module-level shutdown by using equipment listed as ‘PV Hazard Control Arrays,’” says Brad Dore, director of marketing for SMA America.

SMA’s Sunny Tripower CORE1 meets the shutdown requirements of NEC 690.12 when paired with a TS4-R-F module-level device. The inverter and MLPE retrofit unit operate on the new SunSpec Power Line Communication (PLC) signal for module-level rapid shutdown. This solution is the most cost-effective way to achieve module-level shutdown. The solution operates on a simple “stay alive” signal broadcast from the inverter over the existing DC wires. The TS4-R-F units will operate while AC power is present, and if AC power is cut via the AC disconnect, the MLPEs lose the “stay alive” signal and de-energize in accordance with code.

Streamline to ground

Section 690.43 states that “Exposed noncurrent-carrying metal parts of PV module frames, electrical equipment, and conductor enclosures of PV systems shall be grounded in accordance with 250.134 or 250.136(A), regardless of voltage.”

brilliant rack

Brilliant Rack racking systems feature mounting connections with serrated bolts that ensure the most effective metal-to-metal contact for proper bonding connections. These connections are essential for dispersing any electrical charge, providing multiple pathways to soil in compliance with Section 250.92 B. This reduces the danger of equipment damage or human injury should the rack become electrically charged through equipment malfunction, human error or lightning strike. Independent testing has demonstrated Brilliant Rack systems are capable of dispersing higher currents through the system into soil, and that the serrated bolt and nut are likely to maintain this connection better over a long period of time than WEEB clips.

sunmodo

SunModo’s ground lug, self-bonding clamps and self-bonding rail splices meet the requirements found in NEC 2017. The basis of the self-bonding system is its patented stainless-steel floating bonding pin, which is designed to be captive in the mounting components and provides a bonding path from the PV panel frames to the rails and rail splices and finally to the ground lug. The Ground Lug is compliant with both UL 467 and the equipment grounding requirements 690.43. The self-bonding system is for use with PV modules that have a maximum series fuse rating of 30A.

 

 

Rooftop Adder Table removed

quick mount pv

“The Rooftop Adder Table that has affected the ampacity calculations for conductors that are run at a specified distance above a rooftop has been deleted. This table generally hasn’t been well accepted by electrical personnel since its addition to the NEC several years ago. Because of the deletion, if raceways are kept at least 7/8 of an inch above the rooftop, there should no longer be a need for upsizing conductors and increasing costs,” says Randy Barnett, safety compliance professional for the NFPA.

Quick Mount PV has two NEC 2017-ready products in its classic conduit mount and conduit mount for tile. When used in conjunction with a standard off-the-shelf conduit hanger, the conduit is raised in excess of the minimum 7/8-in. off the roof surface, which is new in NEC 2017. These mounts are designed to lift electrical conduit off the roof to protect wiring from overheating. These mounts use Quick Mount’s proprietary waterproofing technology to seal the roof penetrations, and aluminum and stainless steel parts are used to secure the electrical conduit for the life of the system.

— Solar Builder magazine

SolarEdge’s EV-charging inverter named Product of the Year in the BIG Awards for Business

 

SolarEdge

SolarEdge Technologies, a global leader in smart energy, won the New Product of the Year Award in the Energy Category of the 2018 BIG Awards for Business for its EV-charging inverter (above). Founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world, the Business Intelligence Group awards companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

SolarEdge developed the world’s first EV-charging solar inverter which offers the fastest AC EV charging rates by supplementing grid power with PV power. The Level 2 EV charger offers charging of up to six times faster than a standard Level 1 charger with its innovative solar boost mode. SolarEdge’s inverter with HD-Wave technology integrated with an EV charger enables PV production and EV charging from a single inverter and monitoring and management platform. The combined solution allows EV owners to charge their vehicles with renewable energy and offers considerable cost savings on both hardware and installation.

“The BIG awards recognize truly innovative thinking that leads to both business excellence and industry breakthroughs,” said Maria Jimenez, Chief Nominations Officer of Business Intelligence Group. “By combining EV charging with solar energy, SolarEdge has joined two formerly separate sectors and potentially helped accelerate the adoption of both.”

“Dedicated to developing innovative solutions for increasing the use of renewable energy and cost savings for our customers and end users, SolarEdge is re-defining the way we power our homes and lives,” stated Lior Handelsman, VP of Marketing and Product Strategy, Founder of SolarEdge. “We are honored that our EV-charging inverter is selected as the New Product of the Year in the Energy category by the BIG Awards for business.”

SolarEdge’s EV-charging PV inverter is already available in the United States and is expected to be available in other parts of the world at the beginning of 2019.

— Solar Builder magazine

SolarEdge acquires stake in South Korea lithium-ion battery cell provider

 

SolarEdge

SolarEdge Technologies Inc. keeps preparing for the solar + storage energy future, entering into definitive agreements to acquire a majority stake in Kokam Co. Ltd. Headquartered in South Korea and founded in 1989, Kokam is a provider of lithium-ion battery cells, batteries and energy storage solutions. SolarEdge develops “smart energy solutions,” including a DC-optimized PV inverter solution.

“The acquisition of Kokam will enable us to grow our offering, adding already proven battery storage to our product portfolio,” says Guy Sella, CEO, chairman and founder of SolarEdge. “Our technological innovation, combined with Kokam’s world-class team and renowned battery storage solutions, will enable seamless integration with our current solutions, taking us a further step toward making solar installations smarter and more beneficial.”

The acquisition of approximately 75% of outstanding equity shares of Kokam reflects an aggregate investment of approximately $88 million, including related transaction expenses. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the coming weeks.

Over time, SolarEdge intends to purchase the remaining outstanding equity shares of Kokam, resulting in Kokam’s becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of SolarEdge.

— Solar Builder magazine

Panasonic teams with SolarEdge for new optimized HIT S Series module

Panasonic

Panasonic Eco Solutions of North America and SolarEdge Technologies are introducing the HIT S Series Module, a new premium smart module for the U.S. residential market optimized by SolarEdge. Expanding Panasonic’s photovoltaic high-performance HIT portfolio, the HIT S Series Module with a SolarEdge power optimizer is designed to generate more solar power in all conditions, including high temperatures, as compared to leading competitors, due to Panasonic’s industry-low temperature co-efficient. Attendees at Solar Power International 2018, Sept. 24 – 27, will be among the first in the world to see the new high-performance HIT S Series smart module on display in Panasonic booth #1520.

“As states across the U.S. follow in California’s footsteps to incentivize and require solar module installations, energy storage and energy-efficient upgrades, industry leaders like Panasonic and SolarEdge must continue pushing boundaries in solar technology innovation,” said Mukesh Sethi, General Manager, Solar and Energy Storage Division, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “Bolstered by a SolarEdge power optimizer, the new HIT S Series smart module represents the latest advancement for our Photovoltaic HIT portfolio, offering industry-leading premium power in even the highest temperatures, while yielding homeowners more cost savings and enhanced protection.”

Vote for our 2018 Solar Project of the Year!

The new HIT S Series smart module with a SolarEdge power optimizer offers simplified logistics to accelerate installation. Designed to specifically work with SolarEdge inverters, the module offers all the SolarEdge benefits of increased energy production for faster return on investment, improved design flexibility for enhanced aesthetic and optimal rooftop design, module-level monitoring of real-time system performance, as well as enhanced safety with SafeDC technology for module-level shutdown. Additionally, the SolarEdge inverter, which works with the HIT® S Series smart module, is future-ready to upgrade to StorEdge or EV-charging, helping homeowners increase energy independence.

The HIT S Series smart module is covered by Panasonic’s 25-year TripleGuard warranty that provides module protection, including performance, workmanship and parts. With a guaranteed 90.76 percent rated power output after 25 years, homeowners can achieve more energy savings year over year. SolarEdge’s power optimizer warranty is for 25 years and its inverter warranty is for 12 years, extendable to 20 or 25 years. The SolarEdge solution includes remote and module-level monitoring free for 25 years.

— Solar Builder magazine