Solar PV expertise developments from the 2020 Inverter Purchaser’s Information

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SolarEdge EV charger/solar inverter

As part of our 2020 Solar PV Inverter Buying Guide, we asked manufacturers to tell us about a trend that needs to be considered in the solar installer market. Here’s what they had to say.

SolarEdge offers the only EV charger / solar inverter on the market.

Residential

Inverters as a strategic hub
Lior Handelsman, VP Marketing & Product Strategy and Founder of SolarEdge:

“The PV inverter has taken on a much broader and more strategic role within the residential PV system and is responsible for many other functions that occur behind the meter, besides solar production. This includes managing energy storage, communication, monitoring, security, providing emergency power, controlling household appliances and even charging electric vehicles. The result is synchronized energy consumption in the household, which can reduce electricity costs and CO2 emissions. Essentially, the inverter becomes the new energy manager in the household. “

The CPS promise:
With easy access to real, knowledgeable people, populated parts, 24-hour RMA turnaround time, and exceptional diagnostic hardware, CPS America is committed to providing comprehensive service and support throughout the lifecycle. Find out more here.

Modern topology means high frequency
Brad Berwald, Product Manager, MorningStar:

“We are finally seeing that more modern topologies like high frequency designs in battery-based systems are in the spotlight. They have long been the norm among grid-only string inverters, but they are now finding their way into inverters that also have significant surge and grid-forming capabilities (or stand-alone off-grid capabilities). More than ever, customers are looking for an inverter that offers functions for energy management, energy optimization and security throughout the home. Users are looking for more functions than turning their meter backwards. This creates new opportunities in the market for a variety of benefits, including off-grid operation.

“While generating personal energy to achieve independence has always been of great value to customers, it will also be important to manage the load side intelligently if complete control over energy consumption is the goal. Energy obtained intelligently is often more economical than the energy you pay to generate it. We expect more inverters to offer intelligent load management features in the form of additional control options, switching and load shedding, home automation / control platform integration and load planning to enable even more value. “

Combine more with storage
Marc Inniss, Technical Sales Advisor at Fronius USA:

“A positive trend in the field of inverters in residential areas is the emphasis on storage for security in residential areas. With all the instability of the utility companies in certain regions, the need for emergency power is increasing exponentially, which means that hybrid inverter technology is in high demand. This will hopefully normalize solar as an alternative energy source to utility / grid electricity while improving education about the technology across the board. “

Frank O’Young, Green Energy AVP for Darfon:

“Traditionally, an on-grid inverter for private households has only one purpose: to convert direct current from solar panels into alternating current that electrical appliances can use. The alternating current cannot be stored at home, so excess electricity must be fed into the utility grid. Conversely, an off-grid inverter enables the solar power to be stored in a battery array and converted into alternating current if required. A new trend is to combine the functions of an on-grid inverter and an off-grid inverter in a single package, commonly referred to as a PV hybrid inverter or a PV storage inverter. This new generation of hybrid inverters has a broader range of uses compared to traditional grid-tied inverters and is useful for both homeowners and utility companies. However, hybrid inverters require a more complicated architecture, and only the more advanced power electronics companies can develop hybrid inverters. “

Paul Dailey, Product Development and Marketing, Outback Power:

“As an industry, we’re seeing increased rates of battery installation with PV systems, and many more options are popping out of the wood. It will be important to look at both the battery power and the inverter as these really need to be designed as a system now. “

Network communication
Terence Parker, Senior Applications Engineer, Solis:

“The progressive inverter communication in the network and the emergence of virtual power plants, ie mini-networks based on distributed generators (DG), lead to a more stable and safer national network. It is important not to forget the publication of CA Rule 21 and its impact on the US network as a whole. CA Rule 21 has been a painful endeavor for California, but as we can see in the IEEE-1547 2018 issue, it pre-empted and continues to address all vulnerabilities. This will update the web of our nations and prepare it for the future. “

Commercially

CPS separable wire boxes

Commercial inverter manufacturers like CPS America simplify installation and operation with separable wire boxes.

Connectivity virtues
Jason Higginson, AP Systems:

“A positive trend is the introduction of cellular connections to increase monitoring time and reduce expensive truck rolls because. With connectivity, most issues can be remotely troubled and fixed without the need to roll a truck. This would also apply to residential purposes. “

Lior Handelsman, VP Marketing & Product Strategy and Founder of SolarEdge:

“In the past, the commercial market focused more on CAPEX (upfront costs) and largely overlooked OPEX (operating costs) in system planning. This is because the industry does not have sufficient on-site experience to accurately calculate OPEX or understand the long-term impact on performance. Now the industry has a better understanding of how to properly account for issues like downtime due to module-level mismatch, PID, etc. when assessing the impact of CAPEX and OPEX on lifetime ROI. There is now a better understanding of the importance of OPEX and its impact on system life. Hence, these factors are now considered as part of the inverter selection process. “

The CPS promise:
With easy access to real, knowledgeable people, populated parts, 24-hour RMA turnaround time, and exceptional diagnostic hardware, CPS America is committed to providing comprehensive service and support throughout the lifecycle. Find out more here.

Utility scale

Bulky systems no longer
Matt Marx, Strategic Marketing Manager at SMA:

“Utility-scale inverters have achieved a higher level of integration than ever before. The days of bulky, cumbersome pad solutions are over. A new generation of fully integrated power conversion systems provides integrators with a lower cost option that reduces transportation requirements, logistical complexity and labor while maintaining the return on investment for system owners. “

Modularity
Terence Parker, Senior Applications Engineer, Solis:

“Community Solar is trending and gives people the opportunity to choose solar without having to invest in equipment and installation in their own home. We are also seeing a trend towards modularity in large PV systems. Central inverters (e.g. 4 MW) were common in the supply area. However, multiple smaller, highly reliable PV string inverters have fewer O&M schedules, and there is less risk with a modular structure. Make a PV string inverter architecture a more predictable asset due to catastrophic cash flow disruptions slightly better performance. “

March is Inverter and eBOS Month here at Solar Builder, sponsored by CPS America. Here you will find all the latest news and information about inverters.

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