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Storm Warning: Is Your Renewable Energy System Ready for a Hurricane?

hurricane

Hurricane Dorian is gone but the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is certainly not.  SMA gets many questions about how best to prepare and deal with the aftermath of hurricanes. Here, we provide you with answers to the most common questions.

Hurricane as seen in radars

Photo credit: NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

FEMA released a report in 2018 concerning solar systems robustness to hurricanes. The primary recommendations are to ensure correct wind-loading calculations are done during the design phase, good quality control is enforced during constructions, and that annual checks of the entire array’s module clamps are done. Right before a storm strikes, it is also recommended to ensure gutters are cleared and all objects that could be flying debris impacting the array or balance of systems components are cleared or secured.

While some microinverter manufacturers emphasized the report’s comment that microinverters “have a greater chance of allowing undamaged panels of a PV array to continue to produce electrical power”, they conveniently ignored the fact that all microinverters will provide ZERO power if the grid is down.

The only UL-listed, grid-tied PV inverter that can safely provide power without batteries during a grid outage is the SMA Sunny Boy.  The ground breaking Secure Power Supply (SPS) feature of this inverter line has been around since 2013 and can provide up to 2,000 watts of silent, emissions-free pure sine wave AC power as long as the sun is shining.

After Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, dozens of SPS outlets were retrofitted onto Sunny Boys to allow customers to unlock this feature as the utility outage stretched into months. After Hurricane Irma passed through Florida in 2017, some folks realized their grid tied system was useless without utility power – see this News 6 Orlando video, which talks about the only grid-tied PV system without batteries that can work in grid outage. They mention an investment of $275 for the SPS hardware, which does not include the Sunny Boy inverter.SMA Energy system - Backup Use Case

Now, for those customers focusing on energy management that would also like to expand their utility-independent operating capability, the SMA Energy System has the nearly identical Backup Lite feature! The main difference is that the 2,000W is available as long as the battery has energy.

Going even further, the SMA Energy System for whole home backup has the Automatic Backup Unit accessory for the Sunny Boy Storage.  This setup allows homeowners to power larger 240VAC loads and have access to all of their PV system’s output, without the utility grid.

This means that the customer used as an example on the video has an additional option. As the SMA Energy System is AC-coupled, it can be retrofitted into already existing PV systems, and these are not limited to SMA PV systems.  With the PV able to cover loads and recharge the battery, many hours of utility-independent run time are achievable.

Don’t wait for another storm threat to get ready. Visit our website for the latest information on SMA’s residential solar and storage solutions!

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See the Future of Solar with SMA at SPI 2019

If you are planning to attend Solar Power International then get ready to see the future of solar right in front of your eyes at SMA Booth #3837. SMA is a proud Megawatt sponsor at this year’s event, which takes place in Salt Lake City from September 23 to 26. Read below for our full list of activities as we’re planning on providing you with a great SPI experience!

SMA at SPI 2019

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SMA Joins California State Senators Wiener and Nielsen on the Announcement of SB 288

SB 288 is a bipartisan legislation that protects the rights of all consumers to invest in, generate and store their own energy from the sun and other sources of renewable energy.

SMA America at the State Capitol SB 288- Solar Bill of Rights Press Conference

 

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How the Sunspec Alliance is Leading the Charge on Rapid Shutdown and PV Safety

Guest Post: Brian Fortman, Texas Instruments

Sunspec Alliance

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Energy Reborn: Live the SMA Experience at SPI

Visit our booths – outdoors at the Grand Plaza and indoors at the Smart Energy Microgrid Marketplace – and experience how SMA is leading the evolution of renewable energy with major advancements in solar technology.

SMA @ SPI

 

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Solar Professionals Take Over the California State Capitol in Support of Energy Storage

During California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA) Lobby Day 2018, SMA America teammates joined hundreds of solar workers from all over California in support of SB700 – a bill that would extend incentives for residential and commercial energy storage systems.

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Solar Spotlight: School Is in Session With SMA Inverters

In a collaboration with Harvey Construction Corporation, ReVision Energy installed the rooftop array on Phillips Exeter Academys 84,574-square-foot field house as part of a modernization project.

Phillips Exeter Academy

 

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Future-Proof Energy Management is Here

Here at SMA, we are investing in efforts to digitize energy management and bring greater energy independence to our customers. The future of energy isn’t far off – in fact, it is fast becoming today’s reality.

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Solar Spotlight: Award-Winning CORE1 Inverters Land in Arizona to Power The Four Points Sheraton at Tucson International Airport

The Four Points Sheraton Tucson Airport project by Technicians For Sustainability (TFS) is comprised of a 170.52 kW ground mounted array over an old tennis court area, and 200.94 kW of custom-built solar parking shade canopies feeding two electrical services.

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SMA to Sponsor and Exhibit at 28th Annual ESA Conference and Expo

Energy storage is booming in the U.S. market, and SMA – long a leader in storage – is thrilled to see this progress. The company has recognized the benefits of storage since its inception, and has notably sold 100,000 battery-based inverters globally.

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Solar Spotlight: San Diego Padres and Sullivan Solar Power to Start 2018 MLB Season with a Solar Home Run!

The solar energy revolution has arrived to San Diego and Sullivan Solar Power is leading the way with a groundbreaking project, which features SMA inverters at Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres.

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Solar Spotlight: Sunny Centrals Pilot “Hometown” PV System at Sacramento International Airport

In an effort to advance its commitment to sustainability and renewable energy, the Sacramento International Airport (SMF), which saw 10.9 million passengers travel through last year, recently installed a new PV system.

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