Archives from Category Technology

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. 

                                                                                                                                                      Power+ Solution
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.

                                                                                                                                                      Sunny Boy Only
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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Sunny Portal Registration for Sunny Boy US With Webconnect: Creating a PV System

Our newest Sunny Boy inverters are equipped with Webconnect/Speedwire functionality.  When registering a plant in Sunny Portal using Webconnect, the process is the same as the previous generation of Sunny Boy string inverters.  Registration is very straightforward – use the Plant Setup Assistant tab on the Sunny Portal homepage (www.sunnyportal.com) – see Figure 1.  Make sure you have the PIC and RID codes from the inverter – they are printed on the side of the connection unit.

Figure 1. Sunny Portal homepage – Plant Setup Assistant tab

 

Click Next on the first page, then on Step 1 of the Setup Assistant, enter user name/ password if you already have an account on Sunny Portal or create a new account – see Figure 2. It is recommended that you use a generic company email for all your plants such as monitoring@installer.com so that the account is not tied to a specific employee’s email address.

 

Figure 2. Create an account or enter account information for Sunny Portal

Figure 2. Create an account or enter account information for Sunny Portal

 

Create a new PV system name and a password for the plant in Step 2, then select Next – see Figure 3. Note that if the Sunny Boy inverter was configured using the built-in user interface during commissioning, then the password entered in this step must match the Installer password selected during that process. If the passwords do not match, then Sunny Portal will not be allowed to access the inverter data. Conversely, if no password was selected during commissioning, the password chosen in this step will now become the installer-level password for the user interface of the plant.

 

Figure 3. Enter System Name and Password.

 

In Step 3, enter the PIC and RID codes from the side of the connection unit and select Identify – see Figure 4 for an example of what is shown after the inverter is successfully identified by Sunny Portal. Enter additional PIC and RID codes for more inverters or click Next to continue to Step 4. Note that the maximum number of inverters per Webconnect PV plant is four.

 

Figure 4. Enter PIC and RID codes then select “Identify”

Figure 4. Enter PIC and RID codes then select “Identify”

 

In the next installment of our three-part Sunny Boy US Sunny Portal Registration series, we’ll go over how to enter the plant specifics and make sure your Power+ Solution components are incorporated correctly.

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

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Why Large Battery Storage Systems Are the Energy Solution of the Future

largescalestorageday

What role do large battery storage systems play in the future energy supply? What opportunities does energy market 2.0 offer for companies involved? How is a megawatt-class battery inverter actually built? In April, Large-Scale Storage Day at SMA offered participants interesting lectures, tours of Sunny Central Storage production and the SMA Test center, and plenty of time for networking.

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Tested and True: SMA Inverters Deliver Quality & Safety

When it comes to choosing an inverter, quality and safety are essential. These two factors work together to ensure maximum efficiency and sustainability for your projects. Here at SMA, we continuously put our products to the test to ensure they meet the highest quality and safety standards. We build products you can trust.

Test for electromagnetic compatibility: a look into the futuristic EMC chamber

Why should this matter to you? With proven quality and safety, your PV investment will be protected from major risk factors, including:

  • Loss of power output: We tested our inverters against our competitor’s product, and results showed that the other inverter lost power output even in normal ambient temperatures.
  • High maintenance costs: The poor AC:DC ratios of other inverters lead to higher costs for installation, operations and maintenance over the life of a PV system.
  • Reduced component life: A passive cooling temperature management strategy dramatically reduces power output, lessening the life of a PV component by 75 percent.
  • IT security issues: Cloud-based, remote management systems are a great way to monitor and control your PV system – but not every cloud management system is safe or secure.
  • Legal trouble: Some inverters out there have EMI values more than 10 times what is legally allowed, which is grounds for unwanted legal attention.

Visit solar-trust.com to learn more.

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Installers: Sunny Boy-US string sizing tool now available

SMA Quick Design Reference Tool

Designing systems with the new Sunny Boy-US just got easier and faster courtesy of the Quick Design Reference Tool. Simply input basic module criteria along with a few key system details to determine string design and inverter selection recommendations in a simple, easy-to-use and printable format.

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Real-World Follow-Up: Sunworks Utilizes Sunny Boy-US for Easy Installation

Our most recent Tech Tip illustrated how quick and easy it is to install the new Sunny Boy-US inverter and here is real-world proof. Check out this video of Sunworks installing a Sunny Boy-US residential system in no time at all, from racking to inverter connection.

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Tech Tip: Installing the Sunny Boy 5.0-US/6.0-US

The newest member of the Sunny Boy family is also the easiest to install. Watch as the SMA Solar Academy’s Mike Mahon walks you through the installation procedure for this next-generation, transformerless residential inverter, from mounting to wiring.

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Tech Tip: Sunny Island Battery Commissioning

Commissioning a new lithium-ion battery within a Sunny Island system takes only minutes. In this Tech Tip video, the SMA Solar Academy demonstrates the simple commissioning procedure for a Sunny Island system with a battery that uses an external battery management system, or BMS.

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Tech Tip: Changing Grid Parameters

With Sunny Explorer, changing grid parameters to meet unique utility requirements is fast and easy. This Tech Tip video expands upon the Sunny Explorer basic overview by focusing on how this free software can be used to adjust the voltage and frequency windows of the inverter in order to keep the PV system evolving with the ever-changing grid.

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