Archives from Months September, 2013

Modernizing the Mining Industry with PV-Diesel Hybrid Systems

SMA Hybrid

With the commissioning of the mining industry’s first PV-diesel hybrid system, located at Cronimet Mining AG’s chrome mine in South Africa, more companies within this sector are accepting solar as a secure, reliable energy source for remote locations. Tristan Kreagar, manager of Hybrid Energy Solutions for SMA America, was recently interviewed by the Canadian Clean Energy Conferences for the first Renewable Energy and Mining Summit in Toronto, Canada to discuss the future of solar and mining in North America.    

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5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 2 votes

Stanford Students Maximize Solar with SMA for Solar Decathlon Start.Home

Stanford Solar Decathlon

In October, the U.S. Department of Energy will host the 2013 Solar Decathlon at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to build solar-powered, efficient and affordable houses, with a premium on aesthetic and functional design. Stanford University, whose entry is the Start.Home, is one of only 20 teams selected to participate from candidates around the world.  SMA is proud to be a part of Stanford University’s innovative entry for this year’s competition.

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5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 2 votes

Free Module-Level Solar Monitoring with Sunny Portal


Micro inverter enthusiasts, now you can access your PV systems with the largest and most advanced solar monitoring online platform in the world! At the time of this post SMA’s Sunny Portal was monitoring 129,762 PV systems, for a total solar energy production of 66.54 TWh! Here’s a fun way to put that enormous number into perspective, 66.54 TWh, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency is equivalent to:

  • Providing power for 2,416,227 average American homes for an entire year
  • Removing CO2  emissions from 9,780,687  cars on the road
  • Carbon sequestered by 1,203,776,846 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

While others might claim to have the “world’s” most advanced solar monitoring tool, SMA’s numbers speak for themselves.  

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

We’re Celebrating…The Launch of SMA Advance!


Over the past several months, the customer marketing team at SMA America has been working hard to define a loyalty program that would resonate with SMA customers. The goal: Give SMA customers what they want – advanced industry news, product information and technical training. Sounds simple, but a lot of blood, sweat and energy drinks went into bringing SMA Advance from concept to launch!

I recently sat down and interviewed Ciara Wakefield, customer marketing manager for SMA America, to get the inside scoop on SMA Advance.

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5.00 avg. rating (96% score) - 1 vote

Bringing Utility-Scale Sophistication to the Distributed Rooftop

GTM Webinar

Decentralized architecture has quickly become a preferred approach for commercial PV systems in the United States. Investors and installers recognize the numerous benefits that can be gained by considering this model — most notably, better ROI and a lower LCOE.

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5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 2 votes

Tech Talk: The Importance of Proper Equipment Clearances

SMA Solar Technology
Diagram showing the heat dissipation on an SMA Sunny Boy inverter.

Diagram showing the heat dissipation on an SMA Sunny Boy inverter.

Equipment clearances are as much a part of the solar industry as the modules themselves. Inverter manufacturers have recommended clearances for proper airflow around the unit to prevent premature derating, the decreasing of power to protect power electronics. Typically solar installers use the recommendations set-forth by the inverter manufacturer when determining location and spacing of the inverters.  However, in some cases the inverter clearance needed is not always black and white. 

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3.00 avg. rating (66% score) - 4 votes

Saudi Arabia: The Largest PV Module-Covered Parking Lot in the World

PEAK3 inverters

Saudi Arabia is a land of superlatives. Thanks to the kingdom’s vast wealth of oil, new and impressive structures are built on a regular basis on the Arabian Peninsula situated between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. What is to become the tallest building in the world, a 1,000 meter skyscraper resembling a gigantic arrow, is currently being constructed near Jeddah. An entire subway system is planned for the desert city of Riyadh, with construction to begin in 2014.

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5.00 avg. rating (98% score) - 3 votes

Quiet on the Set! No Noisy Generators for Jason Bateman’s New Film

On location in Los Angeles, Calif. - DC Solar Distribution trailers were used to provide power during filming of “Bad Words.”
Jason Bateman in front of mobile solar trailer.

Jason Bateman on the movie set of “Bad Words”, standing in front of a mobile solar trailer.

Jason Bateman, a film and television actor best known for his role as Michael Bluth on the sitcom “Arrested Development,” is adding director to his long list of accomplishments. Bateman’s directorial debut of “Bad Words,” an indie film about a childhood spelling bee contestant who sets out to win as an adult, is screening at the Toronto International Film Festival September 5–15, 2013. While Bateman is redefining his role in Hollywood as a director, he is also helping pave a path in the film industry for clean renewable energy.

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5.00 avg. rating (98% score) - 3 votes

Zambia Students Shine, Thanks to First Solar-Powered High School in Africa

Sioma High School
Mark Ruffalo, actor and activist joined officials to celebrate at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mark Ruffalo, actor and activist, celebrated with key officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony and commissioning.

Sioma High School serves a large area of Western Zambia, Africa. Its more than 600 students walk, sometimes for several days, to get to the campus, where they will live for the entire semester. Sioma High School’s four dormitories, kitchen and dining halls, and seven classrooms, were powered by three dirty and inefficient diesel generators that ran throughout the day, creating an unhealthy learning environment filled with noise and air pollution. It was susceptible to the fluctuating price and unpredictable delivery of diesel, which costs the school approximately $26,000 each year. That is, until Empowered by Light stepped in.

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5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 2 votes