Sizing of PV-system increases yield dramatically

Correct sizing of PV system is important for increasing yield

What is the DC-AC ratio of solar panels connected to an inverter? Within the design of a PV system, the capacity of the solar panels exceeding the capacity of the inverter is called oversizing. Reasonable over ratio design can significantly optimize inverter yields, reduce AC side equipment costs and increase overall efficiency.

Why is oversizing necessary?

The nominal power of the solar panels is the maximum output under ideal conditions in a test laboratory. However, in normal life circumstances appear to be more complex, the weather is not a constant, so the output power of panels is always variable. Due to many factors, losses inevitably occur which will cause the output power of the panels to be lower than the rated power tested. If you would you like to know more about the factors that can affect the output power of modules, such as

  1. The sun as an energy source
  2. Degradation of solar panels
  3. The angle of the solar panel
  4. Other factors

 

Summary: This article demonstrates that the actual output power of the modules is lower at their nominal power. In order to improve the utilization rate of the inverter, it is considered good practice to use DC side oversizing. Using the NREL-SAM simulation example, the data proves that increasing the DC-to-AC ratio will result in higher power generation. Although there may be a loss through clipping, the increase in power generation of the system is always greater than the loss caused by clipping.The optimum ratio of direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) ) requires a full consideration of the benefits of system power generation, system installation costs, operation and maintenance costs, and overall system production (loss of module production and mismatch effects associates etc.), in order to strike a balance between the increased costs by over-sizing on the DC side and the revenue gains generated by the electricity production of the system. Reasonable DC to AC ratio can increase system profits, reduce system cost per kilowatt hour, and maximize overall profits.

Please read the full paper on sizing.

 

“The DS3, a completely new architecture”- Interview from Dr LUO, CTO & co-founder of APsystems

 

 

APsystems co-founder and CTO, based in Cupertino, Silicon Valley, unveils the technological background of the most powerful microinverter on the market: the NEW dual DS3 (for Dual, Single-phase, 3rd generation) coming approximately September 2021.

Dr. Luo, APsystems is planning to launch its 3rd generation dual Microinverter very soon, how does this product differ from previous generations?

« It has now been a decade since we gradually established ourselves as the global benchmark in multi-module microinverters for the solar industry. Our expertise in power electronics allows us to design and manufacture a wide range of MLPE solutions (Module-Level Power Electronics) on top of our well-known range of microinverters. Regarding our dual microinverter range, the 1st generation with the YC500, launched eight years ago, has received a phenomenal reception in the world market and has strongly reinforced our idea that a dual microinverter architecture solution with 2 MPPT connecting two modules makes complete sense. Since then, we have not stopped innovating, year after year, with ever more powerful, integrated and intelligent products. In 2017, we launched the 2nd generation of single-phase dual, the YC600, which, beyond superior AC output power, incorporates Zigbee communications with all the competitive advantages it brings in terms of signal speed, robustness and ease of installation for professionals. The company has also chosen to integrate this communication technology across the entire product range.

 

At this stage, we also needed to make our products interactive with power grids. A feature commonly referred to as RPC (Reactive Power Control) or reactive power factor management, has been increasingly requested by utilities to better manage photovoltaic power spikes in the grid and facilitate its integration. This is a requirement, already in force in countries like Germany, US, Italy or Australia, which is gradually spreading all over the world. The DS3, our 3rd generation dual microinverter planned to be released on the market approximately September 2021, not only brings together all the innovations from previous generations but goes even further.

First, it relies on a completely new architecture that will provide 50% higher power, and higher efficiency. We have also added enhanced communication security leveraging Texas Instruments’ Zigbee module, a global benchmark in this field, onto which we are adding a cybersecurity tool called Karamba to make code programming completely inviolable and all PV production data processed by our customers fully secured. In terms of form factor design and microinverter materials utilized for the casing, we have also opted for an innovative, optimized, compact design combining cast aluminum on the front and rugged polymer on the back making the product lighter while maximizing its power. All components are still encapsulated with silicone to reduce stress on the electronic components, facilitate thermal dissipation, enhance waterproof properties and ensure maximum reliability of the system via rigorous testing methods including 20 000 hours of accelerated life testing and many other procedures which are part of our ISO 9001 certification process. This generation is also a result of unprecedented integration work that has enabled us to reduce the number of components by 20% while delivering 50% more AC output power than the YC600, our current generation. It is a technical achievement and an industry 1st to reach a record 900 W AC power output on a dual microinverter! With 97% efficiency and a wide range of MPPT operating voltage, the DS3 will be able to connect two modules up to 650 Wc each. It supports all utility requirements for remote control and programming. It also has improved remote upgrade functions to ensure any future requirements. The product is currently going through all safety certifications and compliances. The DS3 is a groundbreaking, grid interactive product that will democratize even further the use of microinverters in the residential and multi-residential solar market segments. »

Sendom and Stilo Energy choose APsystems Microinverters for a 350 Zero Energy housing program

Not only zero energy, but almost free energy as well. This is a new smart home in Sendom’s offer. Photovoltaic installations will be provided by Stilo Energy, with which Sendom has concluded a contract for the construction of 350 photovoltaic houses with a total capacity of 3 MW. The cost of the house is PLN 299,000 (below 67,000€)

The Sendom company from Stary Kiszewa in the Pomeranian Voivodeship is one of the largest producers of prefabricated houses in Poland. Until now, the buildings proposed by it were equipped with a heat pump and mechanical and ventilation systems in order to reduce operating costs to a minimum.

From now on, houses offered by Sendom will be equipped with photovoltaic panels, which will be supplied and installed by Stilo Energy.

As Stilo Energy assures, Sendom customers themselves were an inspiration for houses equipped with solar energy as standard.

The buildings we offer are energy-efficient. The cost of electric home heating does not exceed PLN 1,000 per year (Eq. to 223€ per year). So why not generate electricity yourself, our customers ask us. That is why we decided to introduce a zero-energy house to our offer, which will be self-sufficient not only in terms of heating, but also allow our clients to use free electricity – comments Barłomiej Kantrzonka from Sendom.

In photovoltaic installations, Stilo Energy  has chosen QS1 microinverters from APsystems.

Photovoltaics in a mortgage loan

Over the next year, Sendom plans to sell 350 buildings from the series known as Smart, which, apart from a photovoltaic installation with a capacity of 6.4 kWp, also includes the use of, among others air-water heat pump. The usable area of ​​the house will be 111.5 m2, and the floor area is 139 m2.

The company emphasizes that the purchase of a house with a photovoltaic installation is financially more advantageous than the purchase of a house and the subsequent installation of the system due to the possibility of covering the installation with mortgage financing.

A house with photovoltaics as standard can be financed with a mortgage, provided that the purchase of both will take place simultaneously. It is a very attractive form of investment financing due to better credit conditions. In this way, customers benefit in two ways: they save on electricity bills and loan costs – says Krzysztof Koronkiewicz from Stilo Energy.

 

Meander office building turns into a 428 kWp solar-powered social housing complex

When office space reinvents itself  into sustainable housing with solar, 250 social rental homes offer low energy bills to their tenants.

The Meander office building was opened in the late 1990s and served as a town hall in Nieuwegein (Netherlands) for a long time. In recent years, the complex has been completely renovated and transformed into a residential building with over 250 social rental homes. In order to meet the wishes of future tenants and the requirements of today, each home has its own heat pump and a connection to solar panels. The houses are also gas free (the majority of households in the Netherlands use gas for heating and cooking), so that each resident has an extremely low energy bill and energy consumption is not at the expense of the environment.

The installer NewSolar, responsible for the installation of more than 420 kilowatt peak, equipped each home with 6 solar panels from Trina Solar. For the technology and conversion behind the solar panels, micro-inverters from APsystems were deliberately chosen. By using micro-inverters, it was not necessary to install a separate inverter in each home, so that no unnecessary space was taken up in the homes. This also precludes improper use by the tenant / resident due to the lack of additional electrical equipment in the apartments.

The ability to give each resident access to his or her yield, at virtually no additional cost, was a decisive factor in choosing APsystems.

Only 2 micro-inverters are installed per home, the QS1 and the YC600, to which 4 and 2 solar panels can be connected respectively. By using these micro-inverters, no additional facilities (e.g. wiring) is required per home and a very short installation time is guaranteed. This is made possible thanks to standard integrated Zigbee communication features in all Microinverters and Energy Communication Units (ECU) from APsystems.

Thanks to APsystems’ unique Shared Monitoring, each resident has access to his own yield thanks to a login code via his mobile or tablet, for example. When using the ECU-R (Energy Communication Unit), managing and maintaining an overview and remote monitoring is possible, so services can be easily provided without even paying a visit to the tenants.

APsystems joined the approved vendor list for Sunnova, a leading U.S. residential solar and energy storage service provider.

APsystems joined the approved vendor list for Sunnova, a leading U.S. residential solar and energy storage service provider.

Read PES solar article here

The agreement brings APsystems advanced microinverter technology to Sunnova’s portfolio of top-tier, consumer-friendly solar services. Sunnova offers an array of solar lease, lease-to-own, and power-purchase options for customers all across the United States.

“Sunnova has earned a strong reputation for easy, no-nonsense solar packages for consumers,” said Jason Higginson, Senior Director of Marketing for APsystems USA. “We’re glad to bring our solar microinverter technology to their platform, to help more homeowners nationwide enjoy energy self-sufficiency and savings.”

“Our goal is to offer our customers a brilliant choice for energizing their lives,” said John Santo Salvo, SVP of Channel Operations and Chief Procurement Officer at Sunnova. “We believe APsystems’ advanced microinverter offering is an ideal addition to our customer-empowering portfolio of solar solutions.”

Smart Software for fewer truck rolls

By Larry Busby, Technical Services Manager at APsystems USA

For a PV installer, there’s nothing worse than having to return to a jobsite. Except, of course, having to do it more than once. We’ve all heard the expression “work smarter, not harder,” but you would be surprised how often solar installers get in a truck and roll out to a jobsite to adjust or repair something that probably could have been fixed remotely back at HQ. Many software-savvy solar installers are boning up on best-practices to better utilize the systems and information already available to them—most of it right at their fingertips—to save both time and money.

apsystems-clay-street1

For solar arrays, the most critical software typically lies within the power conversion devices, gateways and interconnected online monitoring platform provided by the inverter manufacturer. The online platform not only monitors the performance of the system, but also tracks a profusion of data points simultaneously and stores that information in the cloud. By checking certain performance specs, settings, activity and historical data, installers can quickly troubleshoot and fix common hitches or, at worst, narrow down the problem that’s plaguing a PV system.

Every inverter monitoring interface is a little different, but much of the information and tools available are typically the same. With an MLPE system like microinverters, you’re able to drill down to the PV panel level to see what each module is producing at any given time. When troubleshooting a system issue, or perhaps if you see a PV panel which is reporting low or zero watts, first try rebooting the system remotely if your monitoring platform offers that capability. With some systems, a reboot may help the interface identify the issue or it might reset the array to its default parameters in case an unusual grid event threw a monkey wrench at it. It could also spur the system to begin downloading recent updates which may have stalled when the system encountered the issue. You may even consider rebooting more than once.

bima-7098

If you’re still troubleshooting the issue, check the DC side of your system. For a microinverter system, you want to be sure each inverter is reporting at its minimal operating range (such as 16V) incoming DC from the panel. Next, check your AC output. If your system shows it registering 0V or 120V, the inverter may not be sensing the grid or enough volts from the grid to register as a 230V grid connection. Without an identified grid connection, the inverter will not convert energy, so if you see this as an issue with multiple sequential inverters, it could be a cable or connector problem. If it applies to the entire string or array, the problem could be a loose wire in the junction box, or a tripped or off breaker.

With a low wattage problem, you can drill down to the panel level online and check the voltage. If it’s registering under its minimal operating range, it’s likely a panel problem and not the inverter. You may still have to visit the site, but at least you know what you’re replacing and exactly where it is on the array which saves you time troubleshooting. When you hit the site, unplug the suspect panel from the inverter and take a live load DC voltage and current reading. If your panel is reading below its minimum startup voltage and 0 current, then the panel is the culprit and needs replacing.

grow3

Also, don’t underestimate the value of historical data. Looking back over a system’s history—especially that of a single panel—may allow you to identify recurring issues that seem to affect that particular panel. Perhaps a chimney shadow hits the panel at the same time each day. You can look back through the production history to see if it occurs often, or if you have multiple installations in a particular area, you can check each of those when you see unusual grid activity to see if and how it may be affecting your other sites.

Understanding what the site metrics are telling you will give you better insight into what’s happening at a job site. Learning what you can do to troubleshoot an issue online can not only save you a truck roll, but also significantly reduce your time identifying the problem if you do have to drive to the site. Most importantly, if you do need to hit the job site, remember that safety is paramount and to always turn off the AC before doing any work on the roof.

APsystems at the JF4S 9th PV Briefing and Networking @ Intersolar Europe

APsystems  participated in the 9th ‘PV Briefing & Networking Forum Europe’ on Thursday, 1 June 2017 from 10.00 am to 11.30 am at Intersolar Europe in Munich, Hall 4 Booth A4.530 in the Innovation and Application Forum.

In addition to a lively exchange of ideas and knowledge, the programme offered outstanding networking opportunities with more than 200 like-minded experts from the international solar and energy storage industry.

Olivier Jacques, APsystems’ Executive Vice President, has been a featured speaker at the panel discussion entitled Future Paths for the European Solar Business – Winning Strategies to Compete in the Market of Tomorrow,  part of the conference.

For more information on the Joint Forces for Solar 9th PV Briefing & Networking Forum Europe, click here.

 

Olivier Jacques named APsystems Executive Vice President of USA & EMEA

Extract from PES Solar website, May 10th, 2017. 

SEATTLE, Wa., and LYON, France – May 10 2017— APsystems, the global leader in advanced microinverter technology for the solar PV industry, today announced Olivier Jacques has been named Executive Vice President, USA & EMEA. Jacques is based in Lyon, France and most recently served as APsystems Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa.  He will report to Dr. Zhi-Min Ling, Co-founder, President & CEO of APsystems worldwide.

 

“APsystems globalization and scale have increased dramatically under Olivier Jacques’ leadership,” said Dr. Ling. “His appointment to EVP of USA and EMEA opens up new horizons for product portfolio development, go-to-market strategies, and the MLPE innovation for which APsystems is known worldwide.”

Jacques will be a featured speaker at the upcoming GTM Solar Summit, May 16-18 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He will appear at the forum “Residential Inverters – Differentiating in a Maturing Market,” at 2 p.m. May 17. See www.greentechmedia.com for information.

“I am delighted to lead APsystems’ next stage of growth across USA and EMEA, two of the most developed PV regions in the world,” Jacques said. “Synergies are becoming more and more evident as the fast-growing PV industry is maturing. We are observing convergence today with tomorrow’s winning business models, system sophistication and customer expectations. In this context, I believe APsystems is now ideally positioned within this dynamic.”

Read the full article on PES (Power Energy Solutions) Solar website  here 

Discover similar press articles in the French media here

Largest Bifacial solar PV plant in Europe has started construction in the Netherlands

Extract from PES Solar website, March 20th, 2017.

To see other articles in Dutch from dutch media, click here.

 

To see other articles in French from French media, click here.

Tempress Systems B.V., part of the Amtech Group started the construction of  Europe’s largest bifacial PV solar plant of close to 400 kilowatt-peak (kWp) capacity in the Netherlands, using n-type PANDA Bifacial modules manufactured by China-based
Yingli Solar and YC1000 native 3-phase microinverters  from APsystems. The plant is located next to the headquarters of Tempress in Vaassen in the Netherlands and is due for completion in Q2 this year.

In contrast to standard monofacial modules, PANDA Bifacial modules generate electricity from both sides. As the rear side makes use of the reflected light from the surroundings and of diffuse light, the modules can yield up to 30% more energy, depending on the circumstances. It is expected that the annual energy production of the bifacial PV plant will exceed 400 MWh.

 

Read the full article on PES (Power Energy Solutions) Solar website  here 

What are the advantages of Microinverters going into 2017

Start early, work late – low-light production at either end of the day is just one more advantage of solar microinverters over conventional string systems.

Learn about the many others in “What Are the Advantages of Microinverters Going Into 2017,” a feature in Solar Power World’s 2017 Renewable Energy Handbook. Read it here