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.
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
SMA America has officially entered into a purchase agreement with Sunrun, one of the top residential solar installers in the industry, to be a key supplier for its residential PV solutions.
“We are honored and excited to enter into this long-term partnership with Sunrun,” said Pierre-Pascal Urbon, CEO of SMA Solar Technology AG. “SMA is committed to building on its reliable Sunny Boy-US line of inverters and developing the best possible technology for the residential market, which continues to be an essential component of the U.S. solar industry. We look forward to providing everything from smart inverters to home energy management and residential storage solutions for Sunrun and its customers.”
SMA will supply Sunrun with Sunny Boy-US inverters, SMA’s Power+ Solution and Sunny Boy Storage-US inverters as one of several preferred inverter vendors.
“Residential solar and storage will increasingly become a key contributor to America’s future energy system. As households adopt our Brightbox home battery service, we want to ensure they are enabled with the industry-leading and smart technology,” said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. “Sunrun selected SMA as a key supplier because of its long history of reliable and high-quality products, as well as the company’s ongoing pursuit of the best and most advanced inverter technology.”
In recent months, SMA has unveiled several new developments in residential solar technology. For example, all Sunny Boy inverters are now equipped with SMA Smart Connected, a new, state-of-the-art service technology for automatic monitoring. Additionally, the Power+ Solution combines the proven Sunny Boy-US inverter with the TS4-R Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE) to create a solution that cost-effectively optimizes residential PV systems and ensures higher energy yields. And, using intelligent inverter technology with Sunny Boy-US inverters and Sunny Boy Storage inverters, SMA can create smart homes where homeowners can produce and manage their energy to match their needs. SMA has also remained a pioneer for safety and reliability, having its Sunny Boy-US line of inverters certified to the latest UL 1741 SA standard ahead of state requirements.
— Solar Builder magazine
SMA and Tigo have announced a new rapid shutdown solution for the commercial market, which will be available in the second half of 2018.
“Since we introduced the Power+ Solution, we have received feedback from installers who are looking for a more cost-optimized way to achieve rapid shutdown in commercial installations,” said Nick Morbach, executive vice president of SMA’s Residential and Commercial Business Unit. “This new offering gives our commercial customers an SMA branded option to comply with the NEC 2017 rapid shutdown requirement, and gives them the specific functionality they need.”
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The new rapid shutdown solution will fulfill UL 1741, NEC 2014 and NEC 2017 requirements – particularly the stricter module-level shutdown requirements 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 drastically reduce installation time. Mechanically, it will be compatible with Tigo’s existing TS4 platform.
The product will offer outstanding system safety thanks to full integration with SMA’s world-leading AFCI function. It joins SMA’s portfolio of products that comply with rapid shutdown requirements, including the Power+ Solution and the Rapid Shutdown System.
“We are pleased to work with SMA to develop an option that meets the needs of commercial installers,” said Zvi Alon, CEO of Tigo Energy. “The rapid shutdown solution will be compatible with a variety of modules, and we anticipate that commercial integrators will widely adopt the module-integrated platform.”
— Solar Builder magazine
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:
- Ginlong Solis,
- 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
Tigo’s adding a few more options to its UHD-Core optimizers lineup announced last March. Joining the TS4-L (Long Strings) and TS4-O (Optimization) will be TS4-M (Monitoring) and TS4-S (Safety). The UHD-Core TS4-M is a cost-efficient MLPE monitoring device that produces a high sampling rate. The TS4-S adds to TS4-M’s functionality by providing module-level deactivation capabilities. The company says this release completes its TS4 platform featuring an enhanced design architecture and component rating.
TS4 optimizers explained
Tigo TS4 optimizers with UHD-Core technology support more module types than any other optimizer on the market for three reasons. First, the maximum input voltage at standard testing conditions has improved to 90V which allows for compatibility of modules with up to 96 cells. Second, the maximum input current has increased to 12A which enables the use of the highest efficiency and bifacial modules on the market. Third, the power capacity has upgraded to 475W to support the world’s most powerful modules. These enhanced electrical characteristics of the UHD-Core technology result in higher energy harvest for any module up to 475W.
“The demand for our innovative UHD-Core technology in the TS4-L and TS4-O optimizers was so impressive that we have expanded the offering to include TS4-M and TS4-S,” said Zvi Alon, CEO of Tigo. “Our commercial and utility customers will be pleased with lower O&M costs, safer solutions, and expanded inventory. Now that our TS4 platform has the highest accuracy in remote module-level monitoring, we plan to bring more superior communication solutions to the market in the near future.”
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This TS4 UHD-Core platform is fully monitored through Tigo’s Cloud Connect Advanced (CCA) data loggers with remotely upgradeable firmware. The high definition sampling rate technology also allows the highest accuracy remote monitoring of voltage and current available in the market – including remote access to individual module information (i.e. panel type, barcode, manufacturing origin, location, and production date). All Tigo TS4 platform products are autonomous and feature selective deployment. They can be fitted to new or existing installations on any string or sub-string size, driving the optimization cost as low as 2 cents per watt. They are compatible with most of Tigo’s inverter partners and any module type including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film, and bifacial.
— Solar Builder magazine