Archives from Category Technology

SMA Aerial Thermography, Keeping Your PV Plant Profitability Soaring

A properly maintained solar system can accelerate investment payback and increase yields by up to 30 percent. Whether it is a commercial, utility or storage project, hot spots can be indicative of future system issues, so SMA insists on finding those potential problems before they can affect system profitability.

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SMA Wins Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association Award

The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) hosted the inaugural COSEIA Solar and Energy Storage Awards yesterday in Denver, Colorado, where they acknowledged projects that exemplify innovation and the spirit of Colorado’s clean energy movement.  The organization recognized SMA’s St. Eustatius Solar Hybrid System project as the best in the Solar Connector Innovation- Energy Storage category.

COSEIA

SMA Senior Storage Sales Manager Ben Tackett, and Strategic Account Manager Chad Spring accepted COSEIA award on behalf of SMA at the first annual COSEIA Solar and Energy Storage Awards.

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Convenience Without Compromise: SMA Unveils Utility Power Rack

Flexible, turnkey, convenient. SMA’s new Utility Power Rack 5000/5500 is all this and more.

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SMA’s New and Improved Power+ Solution: The New Speed of Solar

Fewer components, advanced communication interface and simple commissioning make the new and improved Power+ Solution the fastest, simplest and most cost effective residential PV system to install.  Join us at a stop on The New Speed of Solar Tour for hands-on training.

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The New Speed of Solar Tour

Experience the New and Improved Power+ Solution at a stop near you!

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Part 3: With SMA, Users Stay One Step Ahead in the Integration of PV Plants

In part two of our three-part series, we covered the support features that our Sunny Tripower three-phase inverters and Sunny Boy single-phase inverters have that implement proactive responses to grid requirements. Frequency Ride-Through and Voltage Ride-Through in particular are crucial for the definition of operation ranges of the inverters and the expected response for different levels of anomaly in the voltage or natural frequency of the grid.

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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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Outclass the Shade With Module Optimizer

What to do if a tree, chimney or even a neighboring house casts its shadow on the PV system? This video shows how you can get the highest possible energy yields from the modules with the TS4-R-O module optimizer, even in shade.

The SMA Power+ Solution combines legendary SMA inverter performance and intelligent DC module-level electronics in one cost-effective, comprehensive package. With the Power+ Solution, you can save significantly on installation costs and maximize solar power production for your customers.

Be sure to head over to our product page to learn more and download the Power+ Solution brochure for trade professionals!

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Join SMA and Aurora Solar for Discussion on Residential PV Optimization

SMA America and Aurora Solar are partnering to bring you a Greentech Media webinar on August 31 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Speakers include SMA America Director of Marketing Brad Dore, SMA America Senior Technical Training Mike Mahon, and Aurora Solar Chief Operating Officer Samuel Adeyemo. 

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Sunny Portal Registration for Sunny Boy US With Webconnect: Customizing the Sunny Portal Plant

In the second installment of our three-part Sunny Boy US Sunny Portal Registration series, we covered the final step to register the Sunny Boy US using the Plant Setup Assistant tab on the Sunny Portal homepage and now the plant can be viewed and customized.

Once To the PV System is clicked, the new plant will be displayed in Sunny Portal. The PV System Overview page is the default landing page, and shows a dashboard view above a production curve for the system. If this is a Power+ system, the lower part of this screen will show module level information.

Click on the To the PV System button to view the plant in Sunny Portal as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.  New PV plant in Sunny Portal

Figure 1. New PV plant in Sunny Portal

The seven standard pages listed on the left under the plant name are created by default and are viewable by all users of the plant. The Configuration tab below it is only available to Installer or Administrator level users of the plant. Three of these pages are commonly used: PV System Properties, Report Configuration and User Management.

User Management is only accessible to Administrator level users, and is used to add or delete users from the plant.  Figure 2a and 2b show the details of adding a user; Click on Add User and enter the email for the user and select the appropriate access level. The differences between these levels are explained in Version 1.3 of the Webconnect Plants in Sunny Portal – User Manual. This manual can be accessed via the User Manual link at the bottom of the screen.

Figure 2a. Adding a New User to a Webconnect plant

Figure 2a. Adding a New User to a Webconnect plant

 

Figure 2b.  Select the role and enter email for new user, then click Save

Figure 2b. Select the role and enter email for new user, then click Save

Report Configuration allows the activation of up to three Daily Info, Monthly Info and Event Reports. Any of these reports can be sent to multiple emails, and can be tailored for what information they contain and when they are sent. Click Edit to adjust active reports or to activate additional reports.

Figure 3. Report Configuration page, showing active Daily report details

Figure 3. Report Configuration page, showing active Daily report details

The PV System Properties page allows for adjustment of the plant name, changing the plant password (remember this changes the on-site Installer password too!), and where an image for the plant can be loaded. Click Edit to make changes or load an image. Maximum size is 500kB and can be JPG, GIF or PNG.  The new plant image is shown on the PV System Profile page.

Pages from the Webconnect plant can be made public on Sunny Portal or embedded in other webpages. To enable this, click on the Configuration button at the bottom of the page to expand the window as shown in Figure 4 for the PV System Profile window.

Figure 4.  Configuration choices shown for PV System Profile

Figure 4. Configuration choices shown for PV System Profile

Clicking the box to the right of Approval will allow anyone to find this page when searching on Publicly Available Plants in Sunny Portal.  Only those pages that are released will be viewable. The URL to the right of URL of the Page is a link that can be placed in the HTTP code of another webpage to allow viewing of only the contents of the pane of that Sunny Portal window. The plant page list to the left and the Configuration buttons are not viewable. This function allows for easy embedding of Sunny Portal data so it can be viewed by a large number of people without them being added to the Sunny Portal plant directly, or making any pages publicly viewable.

While we have shown Sunny Portal as it appears on a computer, there are apps for Sunny Portal for iOS and Android operating systems to allow for easy access to Sunny Portal information while on the go.

SMA inverters with Webconnect technology and Sunny Portal allow for easy viewing of PV system data as well as remote monitoring of the status of the plant. No wonder it is the largest PV monitoring site in the world (according to “Global PV Monitoring 2016–2020: Markets, Trends and Leading Players, GTM Research and SoliChamba Consulting).

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Solve the Challenges of Service Calls With SMA Smart Connected

What if an inverter was smart enough to monitor its own vitals, know when something irregular might be happening and call for help all on its own? Now our Sunny Boy-US residential line of inverters can, reducing service costs for installers while improving security for system owners. 

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Sunny Portal Registration for Sunny Boy US With Webconnect: Entering Plant Specifics & Linking Power+ Solution Components

In the first installment of our three-part Sunny Boy US Sunny Portal Registration series, we covered the first three steps to register the Sunny Boy US using the Plant Setup Assistant tab on the Sunny Portal homepage.

 

After you’ve entered the PIC and RID codes from the side of the connection unit and the inverter(s) have been identified by Sunny Portal, you’re ready to move on. Steps 4 to 6 in the registration process are not needed and are automatically skipped. 

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In Step 7, at the bottom of the screen shown in Figure 1, it is now possible to link Power+ Solution components so the Sunny Portal plant can display module level data.  If you are linking a plant from Tigo’s portal to the Sunny Portal plant, click “here” in the Tigo components section.  You will be asked to enter your Login ID and Password for the Tigo portal.  Once you have entered this information, you will see a list of all systems associated with that account.  Choose the correct system.  If there is only one active plant it will be linked automatically.  The System ID and number of TS4 components will be shown in the Tigo components section.  In addition, the address and time zone fields will be populated automatically.

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If there are no Power+ Solution components in the system, fill in the address and time zone fields.

Figure 1: Enter remaining plant data and click Next

Figure 1: Enter remaining plant data and click Next

 

Select the checkbox for Automatic updates (it can be turned off once the plant is created), and if using Sunny Places, enter the email for the user.  Note that this email will be added to this Sunny Portal plant with User (Standard) access.

Finally, enter Specific Annual Yield which can be found from a design program like Sunny Design.  Once a design is completed, the Overview tab will show Specific energy yield as shown in Figure 2. For that specific design, the value is 1702 kWh/kWp.  This value will be used by Sunny Portal to benchmark the system’s performance against the expected yield.

 

Figure 2. An example with Sunny Design showing Specific Yield

 

Once all the required values are entered, click on Next to review the settings in Step 8 as shown in Figure 6, and click Finish to configure the system in Sunny Portal.

Figure 3: Ensure the information is correct and click Finish

Figure 3: Ensure the information is correct and click Finish

 

This process may take a few minutes, and the process will be displayed as shown in Figures 4a and 4b.  When completed, a screen like that shown in Figure 5 will be displayed.

 

Figure 4a. Configuration begins for PV system

 

Figure 4b. Configuration complete for PV system

Figure 4b. Configuration complete for PV system

 

Figure 5. Successful creation of the PV system

Figure 5. Successful creation of the PV system

 

Click on the To the PV System button to view the newly created plant in Sunny Portal.

In the next installment of our three-part Sunny Boy US Sunny Portal Registration series, we’ll go over how to personalize the plant in Sunny Portal.

Looking for an additional resource? Watch our Tech Tip video on Registering a Webconnect System in Sunny Portal.

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