SMA Redefines Optimization with its Power+ Solution

From on 02/21/2017 in Category Company with 27 Comments
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SMA is now taking orders for its new, game-changing Power+ Solution to optimize residential systems. Combining the proven Sunny Boy US inverter with the TS4-R Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE), the new SMA solution cost-effectively optimizes residential PV systems and ensures higher energy yields.

The Power+ Solution will redefine what it means to optimize a residential PV system using MLPE. SMA’s MLPE solution can be applied per module for operational simplicity or selectively for faster installation.

Every PV project has its own unique challenges and objectives, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution in today’s solar landscape. The Power+ Solution enables integrators to apply the technology in a way that optimizes ROI for their individual business model.

The TS4-R module components of the SMA Power+ Solution can be used like traditional MLPEs and satisfy all of the challenges that incumbent solutions address. But unlike traditional optimization, which requires MLPEs on every module even when it’s not needed, the Power+ Solution can also be applied selectively. This reduces installation time, service risk, and ultimately cost. Selectively deploying TS4-R can save up to 90 minutes of installation time per residential system while realizing greater energy production and roof usage, and providing a higher ROI.

Selective deployment is also ideal when it comes to service and O&M. Fewer components mean fewer potential points of failure and less risk, and when service is required, it is simpler.

For integrators opting for full deployment, installation can still achieve significant time-saving.

The module-based DC technology is supplied by the universal TS4 platform, which offers various levels of plug-and-play functionality. The TS4 is available as a factory integrated component through leading module suppliers. It is also available as an add-on, retrofit option exclusively through SMA, and makes any system instantly smarter and more powerful.  Benefits of the TS4 line include module-level monitoring, shutdown code compliance, shade mitigation and increased string lengths.

The TS4 has been engineered to work seamlessly with the Sunny Boy US inverter, which is the fastest PV inverter to install. This allows installers and distributors to realize additional cost savings by reducing the total number of products they must carry. Now, integrators can carry one line of inverters for MLPE and non-MLPE applications, which reduces warehouse space while also improving flexibility when installation requirements change at the last minute.

For data monitoring, module-level diagnostics can be viewed through Sunny Portal – the world’s largest monitoring repository for PV systems.

 

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The Author

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Jessica Dumont is a public relations specialist for SMA America. She is focused on news, industry trends and what's happening at SMA.

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27 Comments

  • avatar

    Andrew P.

    03/01/2017 at 11:59 am

    Is the TS4-R-O solution compatible with Secure Power Supply and SMA’s Rapid Shutdown System?

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Jessica

      03/07/2017 at 11:47 am

      Hi Andrew, thanks for your question. When the TS4 platform is used for selective deployment and TS4-R-O units are attached only to modules with shade impact, the Secure Power Supply function will still work. In this case, SMA’s Rapid Shutdown System will also still function as needed to meet code requirements.

      When the TS4 platform is used specifically for Rapid Shutdown, the shutdown signal will be sent to all TS4 units, and in this case, Secure Power Supply will no longer work.

      Reply »
      • avatar

        Ram

        09/24/2017 at 2:29 pm

        Thank you for the explanation regarding the TS4-R, if I use the TS4-O in all modules will the SPS work?

      • avatar

        Mike

        10/02/2017 at 9:34 am

        As long as the communications component (the Rooftop Communications Kit) is installed, the SPS will not work.

      • avatar

        Mark Brill

        10/18/2017 at 8:34 am

        Mike. Is that right? You’re saying the SPS will NOT work if the Rooftop Communications Kit is installed? I thought the Rooftop Communications Kit always installed which would means your response would imply that the SPS would never work with TS4-O. that seems contrary to what Jessica stated.

      • avatar

        Mike

        10/19/2017 at 1:48 pm

        Correct – any time the Rooftop Communications Kit (RCK) is installed, the SPS function will not work. With the RCK installed, loss of AC power will cause the TS4 units (either -S or -O) to go into shutdown mode, thus the inverter will not see DC voltage, and cannot turn on in SPS mode. If the TS4-O units are installed without the RCK, they will work to mitigate shade, but will not provide shutdown functionality or provide module level data. In this case, loss of AC power does not send the TS4-O units into shutdown, thus the Sunny Boy will still have DC voltage during the day if the grid fails, allowing for SPS usage.

      • avatar

        Ram

        11/10/2017 at 8:20 am

        Is there any plan in future to make the SPS work with TS4-O

      • avatar

        Mike

        11/21/2017 at 1:30 pm

        This is actively being worked on. Note that if the TS4-Os are being used without the Gateway and CCA, then SPS will work currently.

      • avatar

        John G Eyles

        10/26/2019 at 12:25 pm

        Just came across this comment thread, and I am still deeply confused about the interaction between rapid-shutdown and secure-power. I gather that you need some model of TS4-R-X installed on every panel, for rapid-shutdown to work, plus the communications kit to send the shutdown signal to the TS4’s when the grid goes down. Is it true that if you don’t have the comm kit, then grid failure still causes the inverter to stop sending AC power to the grid (UL1741) but the TS4s are still sending DC power to the inverter, thus allowing secure-power to work ? So the bottom line is: you cannot have secure-power and rapid-shutdown in the same system, period. If you want secure-power, you need to design a system that doesn’t require rapid-shutdown, and thus probably a ground-mount system; but if the inverter is in your house (next to the main panel), then you still have to figure out how to make that high-voltage DC coming into the house not violate rapid-shutdown.

      • avatar

        John G Eyles

        10/26/2019 at 5:24 pm

        But without the Gateway and CCA (so that SPS will work), that means no rapid shutdown, right ?

      • avatar

        Mike

        10/30/2019 at 1:28 pm

        John – The new Sunny Boy US-41, using TS4-R-Os on every module, along with the Rooftop Communications Kit Phase 2 (that has Gateway and interface board) will allow FULL compliance with 2017 NEC 690.12 AND allow Secure Power Supply functionality. There is a specific firmware that will be needed on the inverter, and as of Oct 30, 2019 it was not finished with testing, but should be available in the next few weeks. There will be a need to have 2 x 9V batteries in series with the SPS switch to allow the modules to come out of rapid shutdown – SMA is preparing a Technical Note detailing this wiring that we will release with the firmware.

  • avatar

    Clarence R Fuqua

    04/05/2017 at 8:10 am

    What is the optimin number of solar panels for each inverter?

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Jessica

      04/06/2017 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Clarence. The use of the Power+ solution does not really change the normal design guidelines for our Sunny Boy inverter. Using the TS4-S units does not change the design guidelines for our Sunny Boy inverter at all. PV module strings that do not go above 600 VDC on the coldest day, and can achieve the 125 VDC start voltage [and remain over 100 VDC on the hottest days] are acceptable. TS4-O units do not change the maximum string length design guidelines as they never boost voltage. The minimum voltage requirement does not change, but the TS4-O units will boost the output current of shaded modules by bucking their voltage. Therefore, shaded modules with TS4-O units should be included on longer strings. These guidelines are appropriate for all of the MPPT channels of the inverter.

      The optimum number of solar modules will remain the number that provides the system owner with the most energy over lifetime for the lowest cost. That will be dependent on the install location, shape and size of the roof, and the owners electricity bill.

      Reply »
  • avatar

    Samuel Van Dam

    06/19/2019 at 6:13 pm

    Hello,

    I am having a sunny boy 7.7 us installed on my home. There will be optimizers on each module with the RCK. Is it still the case that the SPS will not work in this scenario?

    Sam

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Mike

      06/20/2019 at 9:38 am

      Sam – Yes unfortunately that is the case currently.

      Reply »
      • avatar

        Samuel Van Dam

        06/21/2019 at 11:54 am

        Understood. At this point, is there still an expectation that this will change? Any time estimate? Thanks.

      • avatar

        Mike

        06/24/2019 at 2:10 pm

        Sam, the SPS feature will be supported via FW for the Sunny Boy US-41 model that will begin shipping next month.

  • avatar

    John Hartsock

    07/03/2019 at 6:38 pm

    What is the status of the new TS4-R-F that is supposed to work with SPS. The spec sheet looks great but my supplier says it is “suspended”. What does that mean?

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Mike

      07/12/2019 at 2:52 pm

      John, please be advised that the Sunny Boy US-41 will support the SPS functionality, but only when used with the TS4-O and -S. The TS4-F in combination with the Sunny Boy US-41 will not support the SPS functionality.

      Reply »
  • avatar

    Alan

    10/22/2019 at 12:32 am

    I’m currently in process of having a system designed for 2020 installation. Is the SPS function implemented yet with the new module level shutoff code requirements? How exactly (what combination of equipment) is required to fulfill both the new shutoff requirements but keep the SPS? Thanks!

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Mike

      10/30/2019 at 1:27 pm

      Alan – The new Sunny Boy US-41, using TS4-R-Os on every module, along with the Rooftop Communications Kit Phase 2 (that has Gateway and interface board) will allow FULL compliance with 2017 NEC 690.12 AND allow Secure Power Supply functionality. There is a specific firmware that will be needed on the inverter, and as of Oct 30, 2019 it was not finished with testing, but should be available in the next few weeks. There will be a need to have 2 x 9V batteries in series with the SPS switch to allow the modules to come out of rapid shutdown – SMA is preparing a Technical Note detailing this wiring that we will release with the firmware. So, for your design, you will require a Sunny Boy US-41 (of whichever capacity is needed) and TS4-R-O units for each module, and a Rooftop Communications Kit Phase 2 (one for each inverter if multiple). The firmware and switch wiring can be installed during system installation.

      Reply »
  • avatar

    John G Eyles

    11/10/2019 at 1:38 pm

    Still a bit confused. I am installing a ground-mount system, so no need for rapid shutdown; but I want SPS to work. I’m guessing if I have no TS4’s of any kind, strings of panels just wired straight to inverter, that SPS will work (since DC will still be there when grid fails). And if I selectively deploy TS4-R-O for shaded modules, SPS will work as long as I don’t install RCK, is that right ? Does this mean it doesn’t matter if I use a -40 or -41 inverter ? Do I need to file the “Assumption of Responsibility” form ?

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Mike

      11/14/2019 at 10:46 am

      Yes, with no TS4s SPS will work, and with selectively deployed TS4-R-O (no gateways) SPS will still work, for both US-40 and -41 models.

      Reply »
  • avatar

    Howard

    11/15/2019 at 12:05 pm

    Mike,
    How can I build a 6kw system w/ 6kw sps? If not, is there a way to increase 2kw sps to 4 or 6 kw?

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Alexandra

      11/18/2019 at 10:36 am

      Hi Howard! Mike is currently out of office.
      Please, ask your SMA Sales representative to put you in contact with one of our Applications Engineers. They will be able to answer your questions.

      Reply »
  • avatar

    Duncan

    11/30/2019 at 3:48 pm

    I have a few systems going in right now that were permitted under the old code without a need for module level shutdown. I have previously used the SMA Rapid Shutdown Box and controller. It appears that this product has been discontinued. I have the newer model 41 inverters. Can I use a single TS4-R-F on each string (not on each module) to achieve shutdown as required for the old code?

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Mike

      12/11/2019 at 10:15 am

      Duncan – The new code requires low voltage throughout the whole array upon Rapid Shutdown initiation, so there must be a TS4-R-F SunSpec certified receiver at each module to comply fully with the 2017 NEC 690.12.

      Reply »

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