Archives from Months April, 2014

Sunny Portal: Two Milestones at Once

SMA’s Sunny Portal has reached a milestone achievement of 100 terawatt hours (TWh) of solar energy monitoring and 150,000 systems monitored. This achievement, which affirms Sunny Portal’s status as a leading Web-based PV monitoring platform, is the equivalent of avoiding more than 70 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering Earth’s atmosphere.

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Tech Tip: Installing the Webconnect Piggy-back Card

Solar Academy trainer Mike Mahon goes step-by-step through the installation of SMA’s Webconnect Piggy-back Card, which provides direct data communication between the inverter and Sunny Portal without the need for a dedicated data logger.

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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Northern California rubble recycler now turning sunlight into power

In the hills between California’s famed Wine Country and streets of San Francisco lies the town of Cotati, home to one of the region’s largest rubble materials recycling plants. As careful stewards of the region’s natural resources, the The Soiland Company has been providing high quality aggregate materials, soil and compost products since 1973.

The company prides itself on incorporating sustainable business practices wherever possible and often as early adopters, including first installing solar nearly a decade ago and numerous other self-driven environmental measures and equipment upgrades throughout its 52 year history.

Environmental economics

The GPS-enabled trackers move with the sun, showing the Sunny Boy inverters mounted on each during mid-day.

The GPS-enabled trackers move with the sun, showing the Sunny Boy inverters mounted on each during mid-day.

In early 2014, the region’s electric utility went through a rate restructure and Soiland saw their bills double nearly overnight. With the unexpected rise in expenses, the company’s sustainability commitments met at an intersection of environmental stewardship and maintaining sound financials for their business; the time was right to install additional solar power.

North Coast Solar was brought in to install a 202kW system using 33 of AllEarth Renewables’ dual axis AllSun Trackers. The trackers, which produce up to 45 percent more energy than fixed systems, are each equipped with a Sunny Boy 6000-US inverter to allow for optimal site design and long-term system reliability.

In total, the site brought together the power of 792 ReneSola 255 modules over roughly two and a half acres to reduce the company’s electrical demands by more than half. System payback is expected within seven years, due in part to the increased production from the tracking system and the Sunny Boy’s 97 percent peak efficiency. This increase in Soiland’s return on their investment will further help the company’s long-term cash flow and reduce their exposure to future rate changes.

As the cost for traditional electricity continues to rise, solar is becoming an ideal solution for companies looking to mitigate portions of their operating expenses. Soiland’s investment in a top-quality system means it will produce clean energy for the next 20 years and beyond.

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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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Tech Tip: Registering a Sunny Boy 240-US system in Sunny Portal

Registering a Sunny Boy 240-US micro inverter system in Sunny Portal is just as easy as the installation itself. Follow along with Senior Technical Trainer Greg Smith as he goes step-by-step through the process to access the numerous free monitoring features available for system owners.

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Natural baby products manufacturer makes commitment to clean energy

Making clean, organic baby products can be a dirty job. Thanks to California Baby’s environmental stewardship, it’s become a job that’s almost entirely powered by clean energy. As the company grew from a kitchen start-up to a multi-national symbol of holistic health and success, its ownership felt it was time to come clean with solar power.

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What happens when you’re ready for an inverter upgrade?

In June, 2000, the lights went out across large swaths of California. Over the following year the lights would continue to flicker on and off, leaving millions of residents in the midst of unpredictable rolling blackouts. In what would become known as the California Energy Crisis, electricity costs soared and simultaneously seared the piggy banks of the state’s largest utilities and their customers.

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Behind the scenes: Micro inverter production in Denver

Micro inverters have stirred dramatic changes in residential solar. These small yet powerful inverters need to be built exceptionally tough to withstand the harsh rooftop elements they’re exposed to, especially over the 25-year lifespan of the Sunny Boy 240-US.

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Tracey’s Place of Hope

For the past 14 years, Raiders great Fred Biletnikoff and his wife Angie have dedicated their lives to helping adolescent girls who are facing the same hardships their beloved daughter Tracey tried to overcome. The Biletnikoff Foundation extends their arms to girls struggling with mental health and substance abuse problems to help them get on the road to a full, healthy recovery.

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Tech Tip: Installing the Webconnect or RS485 Card

SMA’s Webconnect Card and RS485 Card provide real-time communication and monitoring for PV systems with up to four TL-US series inverters with Secure Power Supply through Sunny Portal. The installation process for both communication cards, covered here by Senior Technical Trainer Greg Smith, is straight-forward and takes only a few minutes.

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SMA awarded a place on the coveted Greentech Media Grid Edge 20 list

Greentech Media has long been a leading energy industry resource and a prominent voice for change in the renewable energy landscape. Renewables are experiencing technological innovations at a rapid pace, which makes their decision to name SMA as one of the top 20 companies influencing the electric industry’s transformation both exciting and humbling.

This award is only given to the most pioneering companies in the electric power market, those who are shaping the market’s future through their products, strategies and forward-looking vision. This recognition comes as we’re bringing our industry-leading smart inverter technologies to North America, starting in places like Hawaii and California. As the “kingpin of the solar inverter market,” as Greentech Media reported, we’re honored to be a part of this prestigious group.

Click here for the full article on Greentech Media’s Grid Edge 20.

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Blue ribbons and blue solar panels take center stage at Lake County Ill. Fairgrounds

Lake County, located along the Wisconsin border in the northeastern corner of Illinois, is one of the five collar counties surrounding the Chicago area. Its fairgrounds are home to an annual five-day summer fair and play host to a wide array of other year-round events in support of public education and the promotion of agriculture, horticulture and the environment—not to mention some good ol’ fashioned entertainment.   

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