Archives from Category Tech tips

Storm Warning: Is Your Renewable Energy System Ready for a 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!

5.00 avg. rating (98% score) - 2 votes

Are you Ready to Achieve Compliance of California Rule 21 Reactive Power Priority Requirement?

CA Rule 21 Phase1 new requirements will include a Reactive Power Priority setting starting Thursday, July 26.  UL has certified SMA inverters as compliant with this new regulation.

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Tech Tip: Installation and Commissioning of New Data Manager M Powered by ennexOS

The energy management of the future is here! Everything on one platform for the first time: intelligent connection of heating, cooling, solar power and e-mobility.

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Tech Tip: How to Easily Achieve California Rule 21Compliance with the Sunny Boy-US

 

Penetration of distributed energy resources (DER) such as PV has increased rapidly over the past few years resulting in concerns about grid reliability.

 

California’s Investor owned utilities (IOUs), through California Electric Rule 21, are now requiring that inverters come equipped with several new safety features and advanced grid functionalities. The new rule establishes specific requirements for generation facilities to be connected to a utility’s distribution system. This regulation has been in effect since September 2017, and although it only applies to California, other states across the nation are expected to adopt measures like this in the future.

Fortunately, smart inverters like the Sunny Boy-US contribute to the stability of the grid and use unique autonomous functions that allow you to fully comply with UL 1741 SA standards.

Watch this Tech Tip to learn how to utilize these grounbreaking functionalities! You will see how easy it is to use a single file package to configure the Sunny Boy to be in full compliance of CA Rule 21’s phase 1 requirements.

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Tech Tip: Activating SMA Smart Connected and How It Works

SMA Smart Connected is a fully-automated functionality that is included in our Sunny Boy-US inverter series and provides active system monitoring at all times.  

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Tech Tip: Instalación de la nueva solución Power+ de SMA

Nuestro último Tech Tip ofrece una visión general del proceso de instalación de la nueva solución Power+ de SMA, una solución que redefine la optimización de un sistema fotovoltaico residencial utilizando electrónica de potencia a nivel modular (MLPE).

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Tech Tip: Installing SMA’s New Power+ Solution

Our latest tech tip provides an overview of the installation process for SMA’s new Power+ Solution – a solution that redefines what it means to optimize a residential PV system using Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE).

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Installing SMA’s Rapid Shutdown System: Tech Tip Video

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Check out our latest Tech Tip to learn how to properly install SMA’s Rapid Shutdown System.

Why choose SMA’s Rapid Shutdown System? First of all, it’s the most cost-effective way to comply with 2014 NEC 690.12 for states that have adopted 2014 NEC or will be adopting it soon. It will also ensure compliance in those states that have adopted 2017 NEC, until the 2019 80-volt limit goes into effect.

Another major reason to select SMA’s Rapid Shutdown System is that it is compatible with our Secure Power Supply functionality for residential string inverters in case of grid outages – whereas other rapid shutdown systems would eliminate such functionality.

Finally, our Rapid Shutdown System is fast to install. It also fits underneath a module, so you won’t need to extend racking to accommodate it.

Watch the video to learn more!

 

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Tech Tip (Spanish): Sunny Boy 5.0/6.0-US Secure Power Supply Installation

Check out our latest video in which technical training specialist Alejandro Avellaneda shows how to install Secure Power Supply with the newest Sunny Boy 5.0/6.0-US. Installing SPS with these inverters will ensure that grid-tied systems have daytime power in the event of a grid outage. Be sure to check back regularly for more Spanish language tech tips and blog posts – we will offer more content in Spanish in the coming weeks and months!

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Tech Tip: (Spanish Version) Installing the Sunny Boy 1.5/2.5

In our latest tech tip video, technical training specialist Alejandro Avellaneda demonstrates the simple step-by-step installation of the new Sunny Boy 1.5/2.5 solar inverter, which is an ideal and simple solution for small residential PV systems. Be sure to check back regularly for more Spanish language tech tips and blog posts – we will offer more content in Spanish in the coming weeks and months!

5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 1 vote