APsystems Installer Training Webinars – April 2021

APsystems will be conducting PART 1 of its system installation training on Tuesday, April 20th at 9am PST/12pm EST covering microinverter installation for its current models. PART 2 will take place on Wednesday, April 21st, at 9am PST/12pm EST and cover ECU set up and EMA walkthrough. This training is at no cost to installers.

PART 1: QS1, YC600 and YC1000 microinverter installation
Attendees will learn the ins and outs of QS1, YC600 and YC1000 microinverters, as well as tips and tricks to streamline their installation. Learn the features and benefits of using APsystems products including installation by a single crew member, reduced overall system cost, faster installation time, fewer SKUs and stocking costs, built-in rapid shutdown compliance, and higher energy harvest over conventional inverters.

PART 2: ECU set up and commissioning, and EMA walkthrough
Our team will take you through the simple and convenient set up of the ECU-R gateway and use of the ECU App. We will then walk you through final step in the EMA web portal and how to navigate those helpful features.

REGISTER HERE

APsystems looks ahead after a record 2020

New APsystems dual microinverter, the DS3

Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the solar industry and the global economy overall, 2020 was a banner year for APsystems, which continues to advance its leadership in multi-module microinverter solutions.

The international company celebrated its 10th anniversary, surpassed 1 GW in microinverter shipments, marked a one-day delivery milestone, and further strengthened its relationships with partner companies, particularly in the emerging Latin American (LATAM) market.

The beginning

APsystems was founded in Silicon Valley in 2010 and has become a global leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of module-level power electronics (MLPE) products based on its solar technology.

The company’s co-founders, President and CEO Dr. Zhi-Min Ling and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Yuhao Luo, both have experience in the semiconductor and photovoltaics industries, having served in leading roles at Xilinx and Solaria Corp.

Within about two years, APsystems launched its first single and duo microinverter products. Later, the company launched the YC1000, the first native three-phase quad microinverter, then the dual microinverter YC600 with RPC function, and the QS1 microinverter.

In 2016, Olivier Jacques joined APsystems as vice president. With experience across many high-tech industries, including executive-level positions at Enphase Energy and Samsung Electronics, Jacques played an important role in increasing revenues, developing sales channels, launching a new product platform, and repositioning the company as a value-added solutions provider.

Alvin Xianyu, APsystems LATAM director

Today, APsystems has grown to encompass several global subsidiaries with warehouses, sales, marketing, and technical support teams around the world, including LatAm, Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific, serving customers in more than 120 countries.

Main products include both AC-side microinverters and DC-side rapid shutdown devices for residential and commercial solar installations. The company’s EMA energy monitoring and analysis software also provides customer control over each individual module and microinverter in a solar array.

Alvin Xianyu, LATAM director of APsystems, called the company’s 10-year anniversary a “major landmark,” especially in the evolving inverter industry. “It has been a long and exciting journey,” said Xianyu. “The path we’ve taken to get here has been incredibly fulfilling and has brought a strong sense of accomplishment.”

The company has also been profitable each of the past nine years.

“Staying alive is one thing,” said Xianyu, “but growing profitably when you need to heavily invest in R&D on one side, while keeping enough agility to adapt to an ever-changing emerging market on the other side, is another challenge.”

He added that APsystems’ success is primarily due to the “hard work, determination, and patience of the hundreds of talented and committed people who have joined and believed in this company over the years.”

The milestones

By the end of 2020, APsystems’ global cumulative microinverter shipments surpassed 1 GW, representing more than 3.5 million individual units. They are expected to generate a total 1.24 billion kWh annually and reduce carbon dioxide output by 910,000 tons, equal to the environmental benefits of 45 million trees.

When the impacts of Covid-19 started in early 2020, APsystems adjusted its production and business strategy in a timely manner and achieved growth in several main markets, including the United States, Europe, and LatAm.

APsystems plans to keep concentrating on product and market development. In fact, the company’s next goal is to achieve 1 GW of microinverter shipments annually.

It also reached a one-day delivery milestone last year: On Dec. 1, 2020, the company shipped 22,000 microinverter units totaling over 27 MW. Xianyu said the units were mostly quad microinverters, which offer distributors and installers increased reliability and lower MLPE system costs.

He added the delivery represented a record-setting moment for APsystems and an achievement for any inverter supplier to ship such volume in a single day.

Building long-term partnerships

In 2020, APsystems remained focused on steady growth in the emerging LatAm solar market, especially Brazil. To support that growth, the company also devoted itself to strengthening its relationships with key regional partners.

The company has been in the LatAm market for over eight years, and its products have earned a good reputation among regional installers and other industry stakeholders. Xianyu said the company saw the strong potential of the “fast-growing” LatAm market.

“When you combine sufficient solar irradiance with supportive policies on clean energy from local governments, you obtain strong driving factors which set the foundation for a growing and sustainable solar business in LatAm,” he explained.

Another key to APsystems’ success in LatAm has been close collaboration with leading distributors. The company has been working with Ecori Energia Solar, one of the largest distributed generation (DG) PV system distributors in Brazil, for almost six years. Their partnership has helped increase APsystems’ presence in the promising Brazilian market.

“Both of us have the same view of the MLPE segment, and we treat each other as reliable partners as well as good friends,” said Xianyu.

Leandro Martins, president and founder of Ecori

“With a great sense of professionalism and ethics, together we created this market from scratch,” said Martins. “Our resellers started to migrate their sales from other technologies to APsystems microinverters, and they love it.”

Xianyu credited Ecori’s large business and service network in Brazil to the company’s “very professional team highly responsible for added value and contribution to this market through consistent best-in-class technical support and training.”

Although Brazil is among LatAm’s largest solar markets, it still has some obstacles to overcome. “Each coin has two sides; opportunity and challenge always coexist,” said Xianyu.

He said APsystems keeps an eye on uncertainties like potential policy change, unstable exchange rates, and other big challenges like the unexpected impact of Covid-19. Xianyu also cited a desire to continually lower system costs so that microinverter solutions gain even more interest in commercial applications.

“The greatest challenge we face here is to ensure the resellers also do a great job on their installations,” said Martins. “We know that education and training are key for newcomers in the market, as many new companies need to acquire the necessary knowledge to guarantee high-quality installation services for residential and commercial system owners. We believe this is improving.”

Martins pointed out that Ecori offers free training, both online and at the company’s center in São Paulo city. He said, “We are always available to make our market more professional.”

Another challenge is the discussion over potential changes to Brazil’s DG rules. Martins said he hopes the country’s politicians will protect the solar industry, noting President Jair Bolsonaro “already gave many speeches in its favor.” Martins said some associations, such as Movimento Solar Livre, are also “doing a great job trying to avoid any kind of taxation.”

Both Martins and Xianyu are pleased and encouraged to see Brazil’s DG market becoming increasingly mature.

According to Brazilian solar association ABSolar, the country recently surpassed the historic mark of 7 GW of operational PV power. DG solar accounted for most of that capacity, with more than 4 GW installed. Brazil’s government also recently set a target of 45% renewables by 2050.

To help expand Brazil’s MLPE use, APsystems and Ecori plan on maintaining their partnership. Martins said the companies’ six-year relationship is “just the beginning of a very long journey together.”

The future

APsystems already has some new solutions under development. Xianyu said the company will launch a new generation of microinverters for both residential and large roofs based on an entirely new architecture in a few months.

New APsystems dual microinverter, the DS3

 

For example, Xianyu mentioned the new APsystems dual microinverter, the DS3. He said this third-generation dual microinverter is the result of unprecedented integration work that has enabled APsystems to reduce the number of components by 20%. It will offer unprecedented power density, delivering 50% more AC output power than the YC600, and will be “fully compatible with our current single-phase dual and quad, the YC600 & QS1, for installation on the same roof.”

After celebrating the company’s 10-year anniversary, reaching milestones, and strengthening key partnerships in emerging markets, APsystems is excited about the future.

“APsystems is now well recognized for its leadership in multi-module microinverter solutions, bringing innovative products to market that are built to last,” said Xianyu. “This is the DNA of the company and will continue to be.”

APsystems is proud to announce the winners of our annual Project Awards for 2020

Despite a certain microbial danger, it’s been a dynamic and exciting year at APsystems. Solar power has made significant headway toward becoming a mainstream power option despite the health crisis that defined 2020.

Why is that? Because there are more intelligent and creative people than ever involved in urging our energy culture toward this new, cleaner path to independence. Designers. Developers. Dreamers and builders of the new.

Each year, solar power system components designer and manufacturer APsystems selects two completed solar project installations—one residential, one business—that we feel deserve special recognition for inventiveness, prescience, and cohesion of philosophy and design sensibility. These projects put solar power in its best light, and illuminate the way moving forward as we continue to fight the good fight against those ecological liabilities, fossil fuels.

Learn more about this project here.

This year, we had so many entries that we decided to call attention to both runners-up in each category, and the recipient of a new Special Recognition accolade. The overall winners were Louisiana-based The Next Solar Energy Technology, the solar power project transformed a solar array into a symbol of restored freedom in the Deep South, and SkyFire Energy of Calgary, Alberta provided more than 2.1 MW of solar power to their Jayman houses, with over 6800 modules across more than 1100 systems.  Runners-up were installations from Okanagan Solar and Hot Solar SolutionsA special recognition to Dynamic Solar and Electric NW.

Learn more about this project here.

We hope to see even more contest entries next year, as solar power continues its forward momentum, and new creative forward-thinkers show their chops in the context of our uniquely rewarding industry and its community.

A Timely Solar Power Conversion in the Deep South

One of the most galvanizing 2020 APsystems project entries arrived courtesy of The Next Solar Energy Technology, and it took the APsystems honors for commercial winner in 2020. With an astonishingly prescient sense of timing, the Kenner, Louisiana-based solar power company transformed a solar array into a symbol of restored freedom in the Deep South.

Next Solar Energy was contacted by Liberty Self Storage, a multi-site business in Louisiana, about taking on the conversion project for one of their locations. Liberty Self Storage had dedicated itself to green energy in 2016, commissioning solar conversion for the first 9 of their 12 stores in St. Tammany Parish, but wanted to do something different for this location.

Next Solar Energy’s design arranged the solar panel array into an American flag. In trading string inverters for 64 APsystems microinverters in the project design, they created one of the most energy-efficient locations in the Liberty chain, and helped Liberty take the prize as one of the most progressive mid-sized companies in the South.

Learn more about other 2020 project winners here.

A Calgary Solar Power Connection

It doesn’t only have a marvelous name. Calgary’s SkyFire Energy is one of the most dynamic solar power outfits in Alberta. By linking solar systems and EV charging stations, designing solar/battery hybrid solutions, and positioning their brand via business, agriculture and First Nations project context specialties, SkyFire is one of the most innovative and community-oriented residential solar system providers in the Province. But it was their partnership with and system installations for Jayman Homes, also in Calgary, that made them the overall winners of APsystems residential Project Award for 2020.

SkyFire used APsystems components for their partnership with fellow progressive Calgary business Jayman Homes, a residential contractor who wanted to bring solar panels into the picture as a standard feature on all new builds. The two companies shook hands in 2018. As of their project competition entry date, the SkyFire systems provide more than 2.1 MW of solar power to Jayman houses, with over 6,800 modules across more than 1,100 systems.

Jayman homes are sold with a 6-panel system, and APsystems microinverters are used for every build. The cost/benefit of APsystems products in the context of contracting for developments allowed Jayman to keep the per-home cost down, an attractive feature for younger first-time buyers desiring to offset their new home’s energy footprint.

Learn more about other 2020 project winners here.

A Large Array Supports Business in Washington State

In creating the solar array for the headquarters of Kennewick-based multi-business building CC West, local innovators Hot Solar Solutions had a whale of a time. The company was commissioned to convert the CC West building into a full solar site, giving their engineers and designers nearly 14,000 sq. ft. of roof area to use!

277 panels went into the finished project, making it one of the largest solar arrays in the area: the biggest in the Benton and Franklin PUD areas, and a substantial feather in the cap of the homegrown, grassroots solar power firm. Hybrid hot water heaters throughout the building assist in total electrical consumption being 85% offset by the Hot Solar system.

APsystems microinverters sealed the deal for Hot Solar, providing high efficiency and lowering costs to best competitor bids and give the Kennewick-based company the contract. The result is a 99.7kW system that produces over 115,000 kWh of electricity annually. The CC West building’s energy efficiency is equivalent to taking 218 cars off the road annually.

Learn more about other 2020 project winners here.

 

A Residential Beacon in British Columbia

Headquartered in West Kelowna, British Columbia, Okanagan Solar has worked on residential and business projects across Western and Northwestern Canada, and in Nicaragua, where they’ve been active in volunteer work that promotes solar power as a potent economic and cultural solution.

One of Okanagan’s larger home town projects involved a multiple buildings at apartment community Carrington View. Okanagan was contracted for the last three buildings in the residential building project. The three buildings had to provide 277 kW. The Okanagan team elected to use APsystems 3-Phase YC1000 microinverters for additional efficiency and simplicity of installation. The YC1000 units helped the company bring the project in on time and on budget.

After Okanagan completed the work in mid-2020, Carrington View was graced with the distinction of having the biggest collection of residential solar installations in the Province. The aggregate services all 474 apartments and condominiums, and stands as proof positive that solar is both economically and ecologically advantageous.

Learn more about other 2020 project winners here.

 

Community Confluence: Solar Power and Cultural Identity

For the first time, APsystems annual Project Awards has decided to give special recognition to a solar power company and its project: Yakima’s Dynamic Solar and Electric NW, and their installation at La Casa Hogar, a non-profit collaboration.

Dynamic Solar and Electric NW and La Casa Hogar occupy overlapping cultural and sociological space in Southern Washington State: both organizations are strong representatives of the Latina community in their home town of Yakima, and both are community-oriented and progressive.

In approaching the La Casa Hogar project, Dynamic Solar was therefore engaging with the Yakima community in a profound manner. La Casa Hogar, too, is so involved; a community center that specializes in education, assistance and cultural sustenance, the roots of the organization reach back to the 1980s.

A standing seam metal rooftop array was the 100% energy-offsetting solution Dynamic developed for La Casa Hogar. Using APsystems’ YC600 and QS1 microinverters made the system super-efficient and extremely failure-resistant, and kept the project within the guidelines for the Blue Sky Pacific power grant that funded the project.

Learn more about other 2020 project winners here.

 

Happy Holidays 2020

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season

– from your friends at APsystems

APsystems Announces PVRSE Compatibility with its APsmart RSD and SMA Inverters

Module-level Rapid Shutdown solution for SMA-powered solar arrays in the United States

SEATTLE–APsystems welcomes SMA to its growing network of inverter manufacturers compatible with its APsmart brand of Sunspec standard-compliant Photovoltaic Rapid Shutdown Equipment (PVRSE). Solar professionals in the United States can now combine the complete range of SunSpec Rapid Shutdown-certified SMA inverters with a reliable, safe and cost-effective APsmart Rapid Shutdown solution. Available throughout APsmart US distribution partner networks, the APsmart RSD has been certified by CSA to meet the UL 1741 standard for electrical safety and is fully compliant with the National Electric Code (NEC) 2014, 2017 and 2020 690.12 Rapid Shutdown Requirements.

“We are proud to have SMA, one of the most respected and recognized brands in the industry, join our list of inverter manufacturing partners using the APsmart RSD with their products,” said Olivier Jacques, APsystems business unit president and global executive vice president.

Already compatible with leading inverter manufacturers including Chint, CSI, Delta, Fronius, GoodWe, Growatt, Solectria and Solis, the APsmart RSD comes with a 25-year warranty, and tens of thousands of units have already been installed around the world since its launch last year.

“The APsmart RSD is Sunspec certified for rapid shutdown and delivers an easy, reliable and cost-effective solution for code compliance,” said Charles Ellis, VP of sales for the Americas region, SMA America. “When paired with SMA inverters, installers can be confident this technology will deliver best-in-class performance.”

As a result of intensive testing and cooperation from both SMA and APsystems, the approved Rapid Shutdown solution will now be available to customers through the APsmart distribution channel.

“The APsmart RSD solution is quickly being accepted as the new industry benchmark for rapid shutdown devices,” said Dr. Yuhao Luo, APsystems CTO. “We’ve built a powerful, reliable product that through its core function prioritizes the safety of homeowners and first responders.”

Technical documentation on the RSD-S-PLC can be found on the APsmart website where interested installers and SMA channel partners can also register for an upcoming training webinar on the APsmart PVRSE.