Tags from Off-Grid

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: Sunny Island firmware update

Performing firmware updates on systems with single or multiple Sunny Islands is a simple process as shown by the Solar Academy in this Tech Tip video. Want to install lithium ion batteries in a Sunny Island system? Follow these steps to perform the needed firmware update before commissioning.

Have a question for the Solar Academy trainers? Send it to SocialMedia@SMA-America.com and we might just answer your question in our next Tech Tip!

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Solar-hydrogen house to become a consumer reality

Solar Spotlight Hydrogen House

In 2006, Mike Strizki converted his Hopewell, New Jersey home to run exclusively on solar and hydrogen power. As the only house of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, Strizki’s revolutionary home has become an educational center and real-world example of integrating clean energy technology to provide the power needs for the typical American household. It has hosted students, professionals, government officials and foreign dignitaries alike, all of whom were looking to learn from Strizki’s research and system development.

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Tech Tip: Sunny Island Dig-In

The Sunny Island’s Digital Input feature allows for seamless transition between grid and generator operation during grid failures. Follow along as the Solar Academy’s Mike Mahon demonstrates proper wiring and functionality of this key feature.

Have a question for the Solar Academy trainers? Send it to socialmedia@sma-america.com and we might just answer your question in our next Tech Tip!

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Supercross legend Jeremy McGrath goes full-throttle at Thing Valley Ranch

Thing Valley Ranch solar

In the early 1990s, Jeremy McGrath took the dirt bike world by storm, riding his way to becoming the “King of Supercross” and arguably one of the greatest dirt bikers of all time. After retiring from Supercross competition in 2007, McGrath began focusing on other forms of motorsports, like off-road and stock car racing and mentoring the next generation of AMA Supercross riders.

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Keep it in the bank: Solar shines where the power’s pricey

Solar in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands come with a catch-22: some of the world’s most idyllic beaches and an outdated, unstable electrical grid with prohibitively expensive power. These two came to a head for resident Jim Knapp after 2004’s Hurricane Ivan, which left the small island nation without power for nearly four months. Knapp then decided to take control of the situation and make sure he wasn’t left in the dark again.

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Tech Tip: Proper Communication for Sunny Island and Sunny Boy Systems

Sunny Island systems, especially in grid-tied battery-backup configurations, can do amazing things as standalone micro-grids. But they all depend on communication. Today, we’re discussing the proper communication configuration between the Sunny Island and Sunny Boy for optimal use.

Have a question for the Solar Academy trainers? Send it to socialmedia@sma-america.com and we might just answer your question in our next Tech Tip!

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Sunny Boy parameter change eases grid tied battery backup process

Good news to off-grid installers: SMA is happy to announce that starting this month, all approved Sunny Boy inverters will be shipped with the Backup Mode parameter installed to the “On_all” setting.

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SMA Solar Projects at a Glance

Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Japan – there are PV systems all over the world using SMA inverters. If you are interested in seeing some of our reference examples from your region, check out our website. There you’ll find a selection of exciting PV systems, each with photos, background information on the system, partners and a downloadable PDF.

You can search on the world map or alphabetically with photos and filter your selection by categories like Medium Power Solutions, Power Plant Solutions and Hybrid Energy Solutions.

Have fun browsing!

Check the SMA References

PS: If you are planning projects of your own in your country, write to Sales@SMA-America.com. Our colleagues will be happy to advise you.

 

Selected SMA references worldwide

Selected SMA references worldwide

 

 

 

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Solar spotlight: PV in paradise

The British Virgin Islands, known for beautiful beaches and miles of serene coastline, are ideal for rest and relaxation. For travelers looking to escape big-city type noise, the diesel generators powering most vacation resorts wasn’t a welcome sound. Generating electricity on remote Caribbean islands used to be a dirty job, until hybrid solar power systems started cleaning it up.

Sunny Islands line a wall at the Cooper Island Beach Club.

Sunny Islands line a wall at the Cooper Island Beach Club.

Becoming eco-friendly

When the Cooper Island Beach Club changed ownership in 2008, the new owners wanted to develop and eco-friendly resort while improving guest amenities and services. The resort’s ownership worked with Alternative Energy Systems of the BVI to design a hybrid energy system to reduce diesel fuel consumption and subsequent noise created by the generators.

The system, installed in phases to grow with the resort over four years, began with 90 Kyocera 210W modules, nine Sunny Island 5048 inverters, three Sunny Boy 7000-US inverters and 243 kWh of battery storage. Phases two and three saw the addition of 63 Kyocera 245W modules, three Sunny Island 5048 inverters and four Sunny Boy 4000-US inverters, plus an additional 198 kWh of battery storage. A Multicluster Box connects the system’s 34 kW of PV, battery banks and generators to ensure simple and care-free operation.

“Choosing SMA for this project was simple,” said Jacco Bos, professional engineer and managing director of AES. “SMA offered the full solution to meet our customer’s fuel saving goals and made it easy to expand the system based on the resort’s growth.”

Results
Guest facilities with rooftop arrays and beachfront views.

Guest facilities with rooftop arrays and beachfront views.

A 70 percent reduction in fuel consumption was achieved after completion of the third phase. Generators now run between four and eight hours a day, at or near full capacity to handle peak energy demands. Prior to installing the PV-diesel hybrid system, the two 65 kVa generators ran near continuously, often inefficiently at idle to support minor loads. Reducing that idle operating time was the single-largest contributor to fuel savings.

The system was designed to run the generators during morning and evening load peaks and as-needed to charge the resort’s battery banks. During non-peak hours, the resort is able to operate solely on power from the PV system and batter bank.

“After four years of operation, the most impressive aspect is the minimal maintenance required,” said Bos. “The Sunny Islands have been operating for more than 30,000 hours and only need routine cleaning and electrical torques.  Compared to a diesel engine, which requires regular oil changes, rebuilds and replacement by this time, the SMA inverters are proving to be highly reliable.”

Stunning beaches and clear waters are reason enough to incorporate eco-friendly business practices.

Stunning beaches and clear waters are reason enough to incorporate eco-friendly business practices.

Beyond Solar

For Cooper Island’s new ownership, eco-friendly goes deeper than implementing renewable energy. The resort has begun an aggressive makeover to ensure sustainable operations are implemented whenever possible. To date, the resort has installed a solar hot water system, rainwater cisterns, LED lighting and drip irrigation systems.

To help sustain the reefs and oceans surrounding Cooper Island, biodegradable and reef-friendly cleaning products have become standard use. Recycling, composting and reuse of fryer oil for bio-diesel have also raised the resort’s sustainability efforts without sacrificing guests’ experience.

The Cooper Island Beach Club’s dedication to renewable energy and sustainability has continued to grow with the resort’s popularity. Plans for future expansion include additional renewable energy sources; we look forward to seeing the next phase of Cooper Island’s success.

Solar Spotlight aims to highlight SMA inverters in real-world situations. Email us with information about your SMA-powered PV projects at SocialMedia@SMA-America.com.

4.75 avg. rating (94% score) - 4 votes

How does the SMA Fuel Save Solution work?

The SMA Fuel Save Solution combines diesel and photovoltaics into a hybrid system, minimizing CO2 emissions and high fuel costs. If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve also posted a few articles on PV diesel hybrid systems, each describing PV diesel hybrid systems and what steps must be taken to install and manage such a system

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Tech Tip: SMA Sunny Island Smartformer

The Smartformer for Sunny Island is a 120 V/240 V autoformer that’s ideally configured for AC-coupled systems using a Sunny Island and a Sunny Boy. Getting it ready for commissioning is a simple, straight-forward process.

In this Tech Tip, Solar Academy trainer Greg Smith demonstrates how to connect each of the components in a typical grid-tied or off-grid AC-coupled system using an SMA Smartformer.

Have a question for the Solar Academy trainers? Send it to socialmedia@sma-america.com and we might just answer your question in our next Tech Tip! 

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