What is the APsystems microinverter?
The APsystems Microinverter converts the power output of a solar module from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), maximizing the electric power output of each module in a solar array. Unlike a conventional “string” inverter (which runs the output of many solar modules through a single inverter), the APsystems Microinverter allows each module in the solar array to perform independently, optimizing the whole system’s power output.
What is the APsystems microinverter solution?
The APsystems microinverter solution has three key components:
- The APsystems microinverter performs DC to AC power conversion for individual PV modules.
- The APsystems Communicator (Energy Communication Unit, or ECU) collects module performance data and sends it to an internet database.
- The APsystems Monitor (Energy Monitoring and Analysis, or EMA) software allows around-the-clock management of the solar array through any web-enabled device, like a home computer or smartphone.
Because it is an integrated system, the APsystems microinverter solution maximizes the system’s solar energy harvest; increases system reliability; simplifies PV system design, installation, maintenance and management; and improves installer and owner safety.
The APsystems microinverter will operate in standalone mode without connecting to either the APsystems Communicator or the APsystems Monitor, and also works with the APsystems Communicator alone. To allow full web analysis, the APsystems Communicator must be connected to and logged into the APsystems Monitor.
Why choose APsystems microinverters over regular “string” inverters?
As the name implies, a conventional “string” inverter is attached to a row of solar panels (modules) with the inverter placed at the end of this string. The inverter manages current from all solar modules as a single unit, based on the performance of the lowest-performing module. That means if a leaf falls onto one module, the output of all other modules is reduced to the same compromised level. That’s a system built for inefficiency! Also, string inverters must typically be replaced twice over the array’s lifetime, adding significant cost.
APsystems microinverters are the smarter choice – working with individual modules to always optimize the performance of your solar array.
With APsystems microinverters, any problems with shade or solar module inefficiency are restricted to that single unit and are not expanded over the whole array. All the other modules in your array will continue to operate at full power, greatly increasing the productivity and performance of your entire system.
Built into each APsystems microinverter is a function called Maximum Power Point Tracking. Working at hundreds of times per second, the microinverter continually finds the greatest possible module power, optimizing total output.
APsystems microinverter installations are typically 5-15 percent more efficient than comparable “string” systems. That’s like having more solar modules on your roof with the same-sized array.
When combined with the APsystems Communicator and APsystems Monitor, the APsystems microinverter lets you track the performance of each module in your array, while the installer can also remotely troubleshoot any issues that may occur.
Where can I install an APsystems microinverter? Can I add more solar modules in the future?
The compact, independent design of APsystems Microinverters allows for easy installation on virtually any available surface, without needing to adjust for uncontrollable shading effects. You’ll have the flexibility to expand your solar array at any time, hassle-free combining different orientations on the same roof without impacting your solar production .
Is the APsystems microinverter safe?
APsystems microinverters tie directly to the low-voltage PV module and connect to the public power grid via standard AC voltages. This enhances worker and homeowner safety and eliminates the possibility of high-voltage DC “arc” fires.
Is APsystems microinverter technology dependable? What about a warranty?
All APsystems products undergo rigorous factory testing, evaluation, and field tracking, giving you the highest quality, most dependable solar solution. The APsystems microinverter is designed to operate under even the most stressful environmental conditions for a twenty-five year lifespan, to match the lifetime of your solar module.
Each unit carries a full replacement 10 year limited warranty, and the end user can purchase an additional 10 year Extended Limited Warranty to provide coverage for a full 20 years.
As the industry leader in solar microinverter technology, APsystems is proud to stand behind our products.
The display of the ECU shows "searching", what does this mean?
When the ECU switches on for the 1st time, it will search for imported microinverters, this can take up to 6 minutes. If it takes longer, it means that the micro-inverter UID number has still to be entered into the ECU.
What is the default IP address of the ECU?
The default IP address (internal) of the ECU is 126.96.36.199.
The LED flashes red on the micro-inverter, what does this mean? And a flashing green LED?
A flashing red LED indicates that the micro-inverter is not producing energy. A flashing green LED indicates that the micro-inverter is producing power.
Be sure that all cabling (AC and DC) is connected correctly and that the PV system is switched on.
Is earthing required to install APsystems micro-inverters?
Grounding of the PV system is done by mounting the micro-inverters on the PV-metal frame. If no metal PV frame is used, the micro-inverters are to be grounded separately, using a separate ground wire.
Do APsystems Microinverters have an internal galvanic isolation?
Yes, APsystems micro-inverters have an incorporated High Frequency Transformer avoiding the need to add an Earth Leakage circuit Breaker in most configuration.
May an APsystems microinverter be directly connected via a plug to a wall outlet?
No, according to the International Low Voltage Regulations, the direct connection of a single micro-inverter is not permitted via a plug in a socket and should be connected to the AC distribution panel
Can the APsystems Microinverters work without the ECU ?
Yes, the installation of an ECU is not required when using APsystems microinverters but as the ECU registers the daily energy production, it brings you the capability to benefit from a per-module monitoring. Furthermore the ECU can be used for re-configuration and remote diagnostics lowering maintenance costs and enhancing the relationships with your customers.
Should the ECU be connected to the same group of strings as the PV plant to be connected?
No, the ECU can be connected to any other group of strings but must be connected to the same phase as the PV system installation.
During the day, he ECU suddenly gives “ 000! ” on the display. Does it mean there is no communication between the microinverter and the ECU?
Yes, the communication module is powered by the PV panels.
Without sunlight, PV does not produce and the ECU will not be able to find the inverters and therefore could display “000!” in this occasion (Night Consumption = 120mW)
An USB connection is available on the ECU. May I connect a PC to this USB port?
No, the USB port is only intended to power a Wi-Fi bridge.
The display of the ECU shows "-Web"; what does this mean?
This means that the ECU is not conntected to the Internet. First, please check the Wifi or PLC connection and make sure the inverters are switched on.
Is the micro-inverter providing 230V output when a PV module is connected and the system not yet connected to the main grid?
No. The Anti-Islanding ‘security is mandatory! When electrical grid is switched off, all microinverters outputs are cut off (similar to “Rapid Shutdown”) .
Only when the inverter is plugged in to the main grid, the PV system produces energy. After connecting, it will first test the grid voltage, frequency and impedance before the inverter switches on.
At what internal temperature will the APsystems microinverters go into "Over Temp Protection" mode?
From 85 degrees Celsius internal temperature.
When installing APsystems’ microinverters, please notice that there is an intermediate space between the top of the microinverter and underneath the PV modules. This space should be between 1 and 2 cm.
Please note also that even when installing the modules on a suitable space between the lower sides of the PV modules and the upper side of the roof surface should be at least few cm to provide an airflow for cooling the inverters.
In case of fire, the microinverter will shut-off automatically as soon as the internal temperature reaches 85 degrees Celsius
What guarantee does APsystems provide for its microinverters?
APsystems provides 10 years standard warranty on its microinverters, this is expandable to up to 20 years warranty.
Note: For replacement of APsystems micro-inverters, please first contact our Technical Support .
How do I contact the APSystems Technical Support?
Contacting the Technical Support APsystems may by sending an email to support.emea@APsystems.com or by telephoning +31 (0) 10-2582670.
Should APsystems Microinverters be configured to start working?
APsystems Microinverters are pre-configured in compliance with local electrical grid requirements and will start working as soon as they are connected to the AC network. They can work autonomously without the need to connect an ECU.
Does the ECU automatically detect APsystems Microinverters on an installation?
The ECU must 1st, be pre-configured (ie. enter microinverters UIDs) to detect the microinverters on the field. This operation can be done remotely ( local connection). It is important not to forget this step which can be done before or during the installation ( Please read the installation manual of the ECU ).