Something we touched on in our Solar Distancing series with Generac Power Systems is now being rolled out: PWRzone. Here is that initial discussion:
Generac is calling PWRzone a total system innovation that is a more efficient approach to PV system design and optimization, using fewer complex components than module level power electronics (MLPEs). PWRzone reduces the number of connections that must be made on the roof, which also reduces the chance for faulty connections. Because PWRzone uses fewer components and less energy, more solar energy is available to the system owner.
A dynamic MPPT efficiency test showed Generac PV Link maintains greater than 99.37% with a calculated average of 99.7%. This high calculated average is possibly attributed to the speed of execution of PWRzone’s MPPT algorithm.
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“We saw an opportunity to simplify and improve a complex system for installers and homeowners alike,” said Russ Minick, Chief Marketing Officer for Generac. “PWRzone creates a cost savings for the installer and a power savings to the system owner. As the clean energy market grows, PWRzone will enable installers to tackle more installations and allow more homeowners to harness clean energy to power their homes and lives.
A PWRzone is a customizable sub-array composed of standard solar modules, PV Links — which is Generac’s 2500W optimizer — and SnapRS, a rapid shutdown switch, where required. The PWRzone architecture allows installers to quickly install by roof conditions and facets. PWRzone gives you the efficiency of a string optimization approach but also the ability to maximize production in all shading scenarios. Installers can put as many as nine PV modules on a single optimizer or as few as two.
“We observed that the straight string approach performs better than MLPE in sunny and mostly sunny conditions, while MLPE performs better in significantly shaded installations,” Minick says. “We decided to make a system that delivers the best of both approaches. That is PWRzone. It is innovative, it is simply a better way.”
PWRzone adds an element of simplicity when designing solar for Generac PWRcell and is a big next step for Generac’s Clean Energy business and product lineup.
— Solar Builder magazine