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!
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.
SMA is working hard to put the finishing touches on what is sure to be our most exciting exhibit to date at this year’s Solar Power International show in Las Vegas, September 12-15. Our Powerful Partners booth (#959) will showcase game-changing residential and commercial solutions and strategic partnerships that were developed with the North American market in mind, making it easier for our customers to do business while reducing their costs. That includes our newest inverters and O&M offerings, all of which will be on display for the first time in the U.S.
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.
The long journey from Hoboken, New Jersey to Irvine, California was worth the effort for Stevens Institute of Technology’s SURE HOUSE, which won the 2015 Solar Decathlon hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. SURE,
standing for Sustainable plus Resilient, represents the team’s vision for a post-Hurricane Sandy Jersey Shore home. The house uses 90 percent less energy than the average New Jersey home by implementing the passive house building standard.
There is no lack on sunshine in Chandler, Arizona. Residents of this Phoenix suburb enjoy 211 days of sunshine annually with an additional 85 days of partial sun—perfect for solar power. But a residential PV system needs more than just abundant sunshine to be a wise choice. It also needs a willing partner – a roof capable of handling the added demands of a solar power system. This was the challenge faced by Jeff Spies, Senior Director of Business Development for Quick Mount PV when he made the decision to install a 4.7 kW system on his home.
Raising the roof
Before a single module was installed, Spies knew the condition of his roof wouldn’t last the 30 years he expects of his PV system. Fortunately, American Solar is licensed for both solar and roof work and was ready for the job.
The tile roof’s 16-year-old deteriorated felt underlayment was upgraded to #90 mineral surface roofing underlayment and drain-through battens replaced original wood battens to maximize rainwater drainage. Plumbing and gas vent stacks were also removed or relocated to make room for the array.
Mounting and positioning
Once the roof was deemed solar-ready, installers used Quick Mount PV’s flashed Quick Hook and Ironrdige standard rail. This configuration fully conceals the roof flashing to maximize the array’s appearance.
Serious consideration was also given to the array’s orientations. With no true-south facing roof area, the system was designed using two separate strings of LG 260W Mono X Series modules, 18 total, on different rooflines, taking advantage of the dual channel inputs and MPP tracking on the Sunny Boy 4000TL-US. By positioning one string southeast (3.1kW) and one southwest (1.6 kW), power production and roof space were both maximized.
Secure Power Supply
No one wants to gamble on a grid failure, especially on a hot Arizonan summer day. But if it happens, Spies knows he has a game plan. The TL-US series’ Secure Power Supply is a switched outlet that provides up to 1,500W of standby power should the grid go down during daylight hours.
“The SPS outlet is wired inside my house and stays hidden when I don’t need it,” said Spies. “But it provides peace of mind knowing that when we have a power failure, I’ve got standby power to keep my fridge cold and my phone charged so my family and I can stay in touch.”
Long-term planning is an integral part of a PV system’s design. From roof repairs and weatherization to Secure Power Supply to help mitigate downtime from grid outages, thorough planning can make or break a PV system’s effectiveness. Good planning means this house is ready to handle whatever the conditions throw at it.
Davidson Automotive Group—which sells new and used Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC , Ford, and Nissan vehicles in Watertown, N.Y.—started out small…at least with its photovoltaic array. However, to fully demonstrate its commitment to renewable energy—and to take advantage of increased energy savings—the company quadrupled its existing 200 kW solar system by adding 800 kW of installed capacity, all with the help of SMA’s Sunny Boy inverters and Sunny Tower mounting system.
Kevin Bailey, owner and operator of Troy, N.Y.-based High Peaks Solar, expanded Davidson’s PV system by installing 3,137 Suniva MVX 255W modules and 96 Sunny Boy 7000-US inverters mounted on 16 Sunny Towers. According to Bailey, the decision to use SMA products—particularly the Sunny Tower—for this project was a strategic one. “SMA inverters offer the best track record in the industry for reliability and durability and have no problem operating in the sub-zero temperatures that Watertown can experience,” he explained. “Also, the Sunny Tower system provided the design flexibility we needed to create very concise system sizing in order to meet state PV incentive program requirements.”
With the additional 750,000 kWh produced each year, the entire system now offsets as much as 100 percent of the energy needs of the five dealerships that comprise Davidson Automotive Group.
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.
Mixed-use buildings are becoming a popular sight in today’s urban development landscape. Combining residential and commercial space provides diversified opportunities for property managers and the unique option for residents to live mere steps away from where they work—creating a commute-free living scenario.
When the Village of Oak Park, Ill., commissioned a PV system for the Avenue Parking Garage, it didn’t intentionally set out to win any awards. However, the array’s exceptional design, which was not without its challenges, made it a shoe-in for the 2013 Project of the Year Award (Structures Less than $5 Million) from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Chicago Metro Chapter and has since been nominated for an APWA national award.