Tigo debuts its most cost-effective rapid shutdown solution yet

Tigo TS4 rapidshut down

Tigo released its new TS4-F (Fire Safety) to join the current TS4 Platform of integrated and retrofit/add-on junction box covers. As the most cost-effective rapid shutdown solution in the TS4 Platform, the TS4-F will accompany the family of products in the form of integrated PV modules by manufacturers worldwide. Consult your preferred PV module supplier or visit Tigo’s website for the new “integrated TS4-F” or “retrofit/add-on TS4-R-F,” available in Q1 2018.

As part of the TS4 Platform, the TS4-F utilizes the Ultra-High Definition Core (UHD-Core) and supports any PV module up to 475W with voltage up to 90V and current up to 12A. Furthermore, TS4-F uniquely supports the SunSpec Alliance signaling specification with powerline communication (PLC) and will work with any SunSpec-compliant rapid shutdown initiator. Tigo tested compatibility with multiple inverter suppliers – including SMA – and will continue to expand its compliant inverter portfolio .

The highlights of TS4-F include:

• NEC 690.12 2017 Rapid Shutdown solution
• Compatible with all modules up to 475W
• Supports SunSpec Alliance rapid shutdown specifications
• Compatible with all SunSpec initiators
• Module-level deactivation
• Automatic or manual shutdown
• Over-temperature and over-voltage protection
• Patent protected
• Easy installation
• Ultra-High Definition Core (UHD-Core) technology for superior performance
• UL-certified pending
• Available as a PV module integrated and retrofit/add-solution

“TS4-F was developed to offer our customers the first patent-protected MLPE in the market that supports SunSpec Alliance signaling specifications,” says Zvi Alon, CEO at Tigo. “For PV system owners who wish to address only the mandatory shutdown needs and do not require optimization or monitoring, the TS4-F provides a certified, cost-effective rapid shutdown solution with all the safety features of the TS4 Platform.”

What’s the difference between TS4-F and TS4-S?

Tigo’s TS4-F and TS4-S are both rapid shutdown devices, however TS4-F is a PLC SunSpec-compliant signaling while TS4-S uses wireless signaling. TS4-F requires an initiator to comply with the rapid shutdown requirements while TS4-S uses Tigo’s CCA and Gateway to transmit a rapid shutdown signal. TS4-F cost-effectively targets rapid shutdown while TS4-S includes module-level monitoring with rapid shutdown. Both TS4-F and TS4-S are patent-protected.

Tigo’s TS4-F is ready to ship as an integrated solution with module manufacturers worldwide. For price and delivery call +1.408.402.0802 ext. 1, email sales@tigoenergy.com, or visit www.tigoenergy.com.

— Solar Builder magazine

Modules and integration: Four reasons why AC, smart modules are on the rise

The LG NeON 2 ACe

The LG NeON 2 ACe debuts at Intersolar 2017.

At Intersolar 2017, the industry’s newest power couple made its engagement announcement: LG and Enphase have teamed up on an AC module. Known as LG’s NeON 2 ACe, the new product combines LG’s NeON 2 technology with Enphase’s IQ6+ microinverter.

“This changes the basic architecture of an install — the goal is to see the inverter go away and to go plug-and-play,” LG noted at the press event. “This also makes warehousing easier by reducing part count.”

But wait, there is more. Also around Intersolar, Boviet Solar Technology finalized an agreement with SolarEdge Technologies to include SolarEdge power optimizers with its 60-cell mono smart solar modules. Boviet is just one example in a growing list of manufacturers to setup such an arrangement with SolarEdge.

“This new arrangement with SolarEdge gives our customers a single source for both solar panels and power optimizers, which means less equipment to stock and transport to the jobsite,” says John Bereckis, president of the Boviet Solar USA Module Division.

These are just the two most public announcements of MLPE and module marriages — putting faces on a trend that’s been evolving the last few years, whether it is a power optimizer-embedded smart module, a microinverter-embedded AC module, or maybe just a souped-up junction box. Here are some reasons to consider an integrated module, MLPE solution:

1. Streamline purchasing and installation

LG PresentationSolar installers commonly source their solar modules from one vendor and match solar power optimizers supplied by another. By bundling the power optimizer with the module, installers only have to work with a single supplier, which results in savings in both product sourcing and installation. In addition, purchasing solar modules with MLPE pre-installed ensures turnkey functionality and shortens installation time.

“By incorporating MLPE in the module, we eliminate the need to install separate boxes on modules, reducing labor costs,” says Gautam Ghose, senior product marketing manager at Trina Solar. “This enables efficient design and also reduces shipping, inventory tracking and storage costs.”

Trina Solar is currently working with Maxim and Tigo, but says it is pursuing other partnerships as we speak. The integrations are available in the company’s Trinasmart, Trinaswitch and Trinapeak models.

System owners receive the same type of design and efficiency benefits with smart modules that have embedded power optimizers as with the add-on power optimizers. The power optimizers offer MPPT per module, which allows for flexible installation design with multiple orientations, tilts and module types in the same string.

2. Safety

No fretting about meeting any Rapid Shutdown requirements. A smart or AC module is ready to comply right off the bat.

Module Evolution: What big-time PV improvements will boost panel efficiency?

3. More monitoring, less mismatch

Incorporating MLPE into the module at the outset ensures module-level monitoring in each system to help pinpoint system performance issues, resolve those issues and minimize downtime over the life of the system.

“Using smart modules offers a variety of benefits, such as faster installation for labor savings, simplified purchasing and inventory, and easier site logistics,” says Lior Handelsman, VP of marketing and product strategy at SolarEdge.

“With the optimization in Trinasmart and Trinapeak, you increase the energy produced by your PV system by minimizing mismatch losses caused by partial system shading or the varying degradation rates of individual modules,” says Parjanya Rijal, product marketing manager at Trina.

If problems are discovered, each manufacturer notes the simpler serviceability for field replacement in addition to the more granular degree of optimization. The strategy here is to maximize the energy produced from each cell in a module and increase durability by eliminating hotspots.

For example, the NeON ACe provides an integrated web-based solution. Monitor power generation through the internet, anywhere and anytime and utilize an automatic problem diagnosis function. With the LG AC Module mobile app, it’s possible to set up all monitoring configuration steps.

4. Install flexibility

Tigo seems to work with every company on both the module and inverter side to ensure smooth integration of its Flex MLPE TS4 Platform. Tigo emphasizes the importance of selective deployment with its Flex MLPE TS4 platform because different functionalities can be used together in the same system by using different TS4 covers.

“Diodes, monitoring and safety (TS4-D, TS4-M and TS4-S) can be selectively deployed on any size system,” the company notes. “Predictive IV is a feature of the TS4-O and TS4-L, which uses analytical data about the module itself to predict optimal performance conditions. This data is used in conjunction with Tigo’s impedance matching technology, allowing for selective placement only on shaded modules.”

Optimization also enables wiring flexibility: Longer strings, uneven string lengths, layouts and orientations, shade mitigation and so on.

“For example, a residential customer might combine strings of modules of different lengths or tilts. Customers can also have modules at different orientations on the same string,” Rijal says.

In addition to fitting more modules into tight spaces, one can easily add additional panels in the future as power needs increase. These features boost the aesthetic and technical advantages of rooftop solar.

When working with SolarEdge inverters, SolarEdge power optimizers automatically maintain a fixed string voltage, allowing installers even greater flexibility with longer strings and strings of different lengths in order to design optimal PV systems. This means more modules can be installed on the roof for increased system size and longer strings for decreased BoS costs.

This article appeared in the Sept./Oct. issue of Solar Builder magazine. Not a subscriber? It’s free! Get on the list today.

— Solar Builder magazine

Tigo releases SMART app to streamline PV design, commissioning, monitoring

Tigo just streamlined the install and servicing possibilities of its PV systems with Tigo SMART, a mobile application that integrates with its online monitoring portal. Using the SMART app, Tigo’s solar installer partners can design, lay out, register, configure, commission and monitor customers’ PV systems from the field. The app provides the PV system owners with insight into energy generation as well as the PV system installers with the ultimate set of asset management features – all at their fingertips from a mobile phone.

tigo smart app

The new Tigo SMART 3.0 app is downloadable for iOS and Android through Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Notifications will be pushed to existing Tigo app users once the next generation updates are automatically completed. Learn more about the SMART App features on Tigo’s Resource Center.

Tigo SMART app features

• Intuitive Commissioning – In five minutes, select the solar equipment, design the system, scan the components, and complete end-to-end commission all on the SMART App.

• Barcode Scanning – Scan the PV system components’ codes directly into the design with a mobile phone camera.

• Bluetooth (BLE) 4.0 Connection – The SMART App automatically detects and communicates with Tigo’s Cloud Connect Advanced (CCA) (the universal datalogger); connects without changing the Mobile phone settings; and eliminates the need to manually switch to Wi-Fi.

• Prompted Configuration Steps – The installation time for installers is minimized thanks to the SMART App’s prompted configuration steps during the layout process.

• Production Tracking – With the highest granularity and visibility in the market, users monitor the module-level production in real-time, day, week, month, year, and lifetime.

• Intelligent Alerts – Review detailed alerts at the touch of a button, and receive recommended correct actions.

• Localized Weather Conditions – Daily weather displays help define production errors due to clouds, snow, etc.

• Personalized Imagery – Customize a system’s portal with photos of the PV installation.

Keep Watch: How the PV monitoring landscape is evolving

— Solar Builder magazine

New stuff from Tigo: three Duo covers, partnership with SMA

Tigo, a pioneer of the smart modular Flex MLPE platform, is always announcing new products and partnerships. Here are the latest:

Three new Duo covers

Tigo MLPE

These three new “Duo” covers are  add-on / retrofit solutions for its TS4 platform:

  • TS4-R-O-Duo (Optimization),
  • TS4-R-S-Duo (Safety), and
  • TS4-R-M-Duo (Monitoring).

The TS4-R-X-Duo brings smart module functionality to standard PV modules, adds smart features to new PV installations and upgrades underperforming PV assets. With UHD-Core technology and expanded specifications, the Duo supports two PV modules connected in series with a combined power of up to 700W and a combined voltage of up to 90V.

With a universal base and a range of covers containing flexible module-level power electronics (Flex MLPE), Tigo’s Duo increases freedom of choice when selecting features for a particular project and budget. All three Duo covers work with any inverter and any module within its electrical specifications.

Partnership with SMA

Tigo and SMA are joining forces to deliver total compliance with the newly released SunSpec Alliance specifications regarding Rapid Shutdown adoption for PV plants. SunSpec Alliance, certifier of PV components and communication standards, has defined the specifications of the powerline-based PV transmitter signal covering varying installation types and regions.

Tigo and SMA’s partnership brings the first transmitter and receiver offering that represents interoperability between the inverter and the PV module’s MLPE. SMA’s full line of US string inverters will be supporting the new SunSpec standard to fulfill the tightened module-level requirements in National Electric Code (NEC) 2017, becoming mandatory in January 2019. Tigo will expand its current offering to include a SunSpec Rapid Shutdown and add this capability to its TS4 Flex MLPE product line. The new addition is 100% compatible and certified by about 40 PV module suppliers currently using the TS4 platform – including Trina Solar, Itek, and Sunpreme. The new offering is also available for add-on or retrofit applications.

2017 Solar Inverter Buyer’s Guide

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Tigo Skill connects your PV system to Amazon’s Alexa (enter to win one)

Tigo is now offering its customers the benefits of Amazon Alexa technology via the new Tigo Skill, available on Alexa-enabled products. The Tigo Skill integration allows English- and German-speaking Tigo customers to use their voice to inquire about their PV production or other information collected by Tigo’s SMART website.

How does it work?

Using the Tigo Skill, residential and commercial customers with monitored PV systems can request tailored information from Alexa, the cloud-based voice service by Amazon. For example, simply saying “Alexa, ask Tigo how much power my PV system generated today,” will report a day’s worth of power without the need to log in to Tigo’s SMART website. Other voice commands include: Alexa, ask Tigo…

  • what is my [Daily/Monthly/Yearly] Production Summary?
  • what is my System Total Production Summary?
  • what is my [Average/Peak] Energy Production?
  • what is an optimizer?

“Within seconds, you can know how well your PV system is producing – without logging on to a computer or climbing on the roof,” says Maxym Makhota, Tigo’s VP of Software Development. “Tigo Skill is the first to bridge the gap between solar, artificial intelligence, and the Smart Home mentality in which information is always available.”

Tigo customers now have three options to monitor their PV system: use their voice with Tigo Skill via an Alexa-enabled device; log in to Tigo’s SMART mobile app; or log in to Tigo’s SMART website. Automated monitoring emails with production notifications and reports are still sent to customers using TS4 with monitoring capabilities. The Tigo Skill is available in North America and Europe on Alexa-enabled devices including Amazon’s Echo Dot, Echo, Tap, and via the voice remote on Fire TV. Users can acquire the Tigo Skill by simply searching for and enabling the Tigo Skill in the Amazon Alexa mobile app available on iOS, Android, and Fire tablets or by enabling the Tigo Skill directly from Amazon’s website.

Enter To Win Amazon Echo Dot Giveaway From Tigo

Tigo is giving away a limited number of Amazon Echo Dots to its customers with monitored solar arrays to experience the full benefits of Tigo Skill. This unique opportunity provides PV system owners the additional value of combining Smart Home technology with Smart PV energy. Owners of PV systems utilizing Tigo’s products activated between August 9, 2017 through September 30, 2017 are eligible to participate.

— Solar Builder magazine