I admit it: I can’t keep up with all of the Tigo news these days. Here’s the latest two announcements (not including this partnership with Solectria), which complement one another: The new Tigo Access Point (TAP) and Mesh communication architecture.
TAP wireless communication
TAP is a new wireless device for communication between the Cloud Connect Advanced (CCA) universal data logger and the TS4 units. With TAP, Tigo wants to improve the data management of residential, commercial, and industrial solar systems by wirelessly communicating with smart modules.
Each TAP collects data from up to 300 TS4 units (~100 kW systems) or up to 600 modules using TS4-R-X-Duo (~160 kW systems). It also greatly improves safety with module-level deactivation for Rapid Shutdown. When paired with a CCA, the TAP provides unparalleled visibility into solar installations. Similar to the Tigo’s legacy Gateway product, the TAP is small in size with a wider range and increased module capacity.
“The new TAP was developed in response to the growing demand for reliable Rapid Shutdown solutions,” says Zvi Alon, Chairman & CEO at Tigo. “Our main goals were to improve visibility, simplify installation and ensure safety in a communication device that can now individually collect data from hundreds of smart modules. Tigo’s commercial and industrial project partners with large PV systems especially benefit from this cost-competitive solution in time for NEC 2017 to take effect.”
The Tigo system has three components. First, the TAP which wirelessly communicates with the smart modules and is hardwired to the CCA via an RS485 cable. Second, the smart PV modules that are equipped with integrated (TS4-X), retrofitted/add-on (TS4-R-X), or retrofitted/add-on for 2 modules (TS4-R-X-Duo). Third, the CCA which collects data from all PV system components – including modules, inverters, revenue-grade meter, etc. – and sends system information to the cloud.
Mesh is a new communication architecture to simplify the solar design process and accelerate commissioning steps. With Mesh and TAP, customers eliminate the need to address any roof obstruction or orientation constraint. The software that allows each TS4 unit to act as a relay station for signals, Mesh extends the wireless range of communication up to 230ft (70m). Mesh also allows data collection from up to 300 TS4 units (~100kW systems) using a single TAP or from up to 900 TS4 units (~300kW systems) using a single CCA. Most importantly, Mesh supports multiple communication paths between TS4 units to minimize packet loss, improve data integrity, and increase reliability at high speed.
“Mesh is the groundbreaking communication technology that makes Tigo’s TS4 Platform and communication accessories the most flexible, cost-effective, and robust solution for solar arrays around the world,” says Maxym Makhota, VP of Software Development at Tigo. “We are thrilled to roll out this software simultaneously with the new TAP so our customers can build and maintain efficient systems with as few costs as necessary.”
Mesh must be paired with Tigo’s CCA, TAP (or legacy Gateway), and UHD-Core TS4 units – integrated (TS4), retrofitted/add-on (TS4-R), or retrofitted for 2 modules (TS4-R-Duo).
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— Solar Builder magazine