California Solar & Storage Association’s Product Expo Series

We’re excited to be participating in California Solar & Storage Association’s Product Expo Series on Wednesday 7/29 all about inverters! We’ll be interviewed by Brad Heavner, Jennifer Alfsen and Jeff Spies. There will be time to ask your questions in private chat rooms with our team, after the main program.

Register here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/480734379401878542

Interview from Dr Ling, co-founder and Chairman at APsystems

When uncertain times defy innovation, new opportunities shine brightly for a long time.

This year marks APsystems’ 10th anniversary. While the situation worldwide is facing unexpected challenges on many fronts during this very particular year 2020 with the Coronavirus pandemic, Dr Zhi Min Ling, co-founder and chairman of APsystems, shares his views on his entrepreneurial story with APsystems from its very beginning when the economic effects of the 2008 financial crisis were still strongly present to where APsystems is today, having become the #1 multi-module microinverter supplier in the world. It is as if challenging uncertainty could also be a key in building long-lasting opportunities.

2020 is the year of APsystems celebrating its 1st decade, how does it make you feel?

Fortunate, honored and grateful. It is a major milestone for the company, especially in this very fast-changing inverter industry which is at the crossroads of high-tech microelectronics, energy and environmentally-friendly building sectors. Staying alive is one thing 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. The fact that we have been growing for 10 years while reaching profitability every year since 2012, is primarily down 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.

What encouraged you to set up APsystems? And how has the company evolved over the years?

The company has changed dramatically for sure. We can look at the company’s development in two phases, I think. The foundation 2010 – 2012: it was the very beginning where every priority was focused on setting up our expertise in power electronics conversion designs to create a robust and cost-efficient microinverter solution. Within about two years, we managed to design, manufacture and launch our 1st single and duo microinverter products with the YC250 and YC500 which later became the best-selling duo microinverter worldwide. We set up our headquarters in Jiaxing, China, where we still manufacture our products thanks to the help of TDG group, our main shareholder and share our R&D department between Jiaxing and Cupertino….Then the 2nd phase was characterized by one obsession: how to make APsystems Grow Internationally with no compromise to profitability. Although we are still in this phase with constant profitability every year since 2012, I would say that over the past six years (2013-2019), and especially since Olivier Jacques joined the company in 2015, we have managed to structure ourselves by Business Units on all continents enabling us to serve our customers in more than 80 countries today.

What were the main challenges along the way?

It is quite fascinating to be able to be part of this solar revolution. Helping to make solar an affordable clean energy solution to everyone on this earth is inspiring but of course, the technological challenges are big. If you take communications for example, microinverters manage a considerable number of data points that need to be communicated back from the microinverters through the gateway and to the monitoring platform in the cloud. This means when systems like the YC1000, QS1 and YC600 apply remote firmware upgrades, this creates a demanding bidirectional data flow and traditional powerline communication isn’t going to cut it. This is the reason why we moved our portfolio to high-speed wireless Zigbee, which is up to three times faster than conventional powerline communication (PLC), creating a local 2.4GHz mesh network for fast and reliable data communication between the microinverters and the gateway.

Another constant challenge has been to adapt to increasingly complex market needs. The progressive integration of PV into the electricity networks has required Inverter manufacturers in many countries to release products capable of interacting in real-time with grid operators. Whether it is to adjust the PV production instantaneously, depending on the state of the network, or to prevent any electron from being sent back, performing such a functionality for the coming 20 years in a reliable manner with a product smaller than an A4 sheet and weighing 3kg average is a genuine achievement in technological integration, entailing very sophisticated R&D , manufacturing and testing capabilities.

How is the Pandemic situation affecting your activity?

When the COVID-19 first appeared in China at the beginning of the year, our activities were relatively spared since part of our production comes from outside China, even though a slowdown in manufacturing occurred during a period of about 1 month in the first quarter. The good news is that as we master the production infrastructure, we were able to quickly increase our production rate when the situation improved a few weeks later, ensuring a constant continuity of supply to all our customers and warehouse locations across the world.

Despite the inherent agility of our distributor partners and solar installers staying open and continuing their job as far as possible, we have inevitably been confronted by a slowdown in our sales activity worldwide this quarter. Uncertainty is the most difficult parameter to deal with when it lasts, it is the same for everyone as an individual but it is also a genuine opportunity to confront and challenge ourselves by overtaking obstacles with self-confidence. I strongly believe that the creativity and flexibility of our industry will rapidly lead to recovery during the 2nd half of this year.

What’s next for APsystems?

APsystems is now well recognized for its leadership in multi-module microinverters solutions bringing innovative products to market that are built to last. This is the DNA of the company and will continue to be. We have several new microinverter products planned to be launched in the coming 18 months including a new native 3-phase QUAD microinverter at the end of this year, but our ambition moving forward is also to increase our position in other Module Level Power Electronics. We have recently launched, especially in the United States, APsmart, a new Business Unit that includes advanced safety products such as a Module Level Rapid Shut-Down (MLRSD) device to meet new safety regulations on MW-scale solar projects. The APsmart MLRSD System is a SunSpec Alliance Certified device which maintains constant communication between the RSD and Transmitter, constantly monitoring voltage and current. APsmart offers state-of-the-art PV module rapid shutdown devices (RSD), ideal for any new or existing string or central inverter system, and meeting U.S. NEC 2017 690.12 Rapid Shutdown requirements.

APsystems is also working on a modular AC coupled Energy Storage System (ESS) for residential where priority, similarly to every product we manufacture, is given to high quality & reliability.

Download the full article here

 

 

APsystems delivers invaluable video training with ONE-TWO punch

PUNCH #1: New YC600 & QS1 Installation Video Series

Now available to professional installers: APsystems’ online video training series for the YC600 & QS1 microinverters. This new four-video series complements our existing ECU-R installation video training by covering the details on the microinverter installation, best practices, layout and cabling options and using the QS1 and YC600 on the same circuit. The new video series can be found on the training page of our website and on the APsystems YouTube channel. Runtime for the full video is around 25 minutes.

Together, the YC600 & QS1 video series and the ECU-R installation video series combine to make a potent “one-two punch” online video training regimen of the best methods and techniques for installing APsystems microinverter equipment. This series is not only ideal for new APsystems installers, but also for experienced installers looking to streamline their installation practices and reduce time and expense on the jobsite.

 

PUNCH #2: ECU-R Installation Video Series

A collection of 5 helpful videos, the ECU-R series covers the tools you need, an overview of ECU features, proper placement, connections, using the ECU APP to commission the system, inverter scanning, as well as final setup steps in the APsystems online EMA monitoring platform.

“The new video series covers the majority of the basics professional installers need to know on the ECU-R,” says Jason Higginson, Senior Director of Marketing. “These videos will allow them to move more quickly and easily through the setup process.”

There is also a wealth of additional product information, install manuals and training materials available on the APsystems website and the APsystems YouTube channel.

APsystems’ popular webinar series continues into May

Thanks to the tremendous response from installers participating in our webinars series, APsystems is continuing its webinar offering into May.

Featured webinars include:

  • Tuesday, May 5th: APsystems Installer Training Webinar PART 1: QS1, YC600 and YC1000 microinverter installation – Lower costs and reduce time on the jobsite with APsystems QS1, YC600 and YC1000 microinverters
  • Thursday, May 7th: APsystems Training Webinar PART 2: ECU set up and commissioning, and EMA walkthrough – Learn the simple and convenient steps to ECU-R set up and commissioning, with an EMA installer portal
  • Tuesday, May 12th: 10 Critical Things Every Solar Installer Should be Doing Right Now – This webinar is intended to be a helpful checklist of the key things all solar installers should be doing during the COVID-19 Crisis to both weather the current challenges and to prepare for what happens next.
  • Thursday, May 14th: Using Microinverters in Commercial Projects – This webinar will cover the benefits and how-to for APsystems microinverter offering and why they are a great option for commercial solar projects.
  • Tuesday, May 19th: Troubleshooting Methods and Helpful Tips for APsystems Installers – This webinar will cover the best practices for professional installers to troubleshoot an APsystems microinverter array, including what to look for, verifying power production, inverter performance, panel performance, proper communication, the best tools for diagnosis and when and how to contact APsystems technical support.

Join us for this free training by visiting our webinar webpage and registering for any of the training sessions you’re interested in. We look forward to seeing you online!

WEBINAR: Using Microinverters in Commercial Projects

Next Thursday, April 30th, APsystems is hosting a webinar on using microinverters in a commercial environment. This webinar will cover the benefits and how-to for APsystems microinverter offering and why they are a great option for commercial solar projects.

Attendees to this webinar will learn:

  • Learn best practices for installing multi-module microinverters on commercial rooftops
  • Understand the significant benefits of microinverters in commercial applications
  • Hear what it takes to design a commercial system with microinverters, including 3-phase applications
  • Discuss real-life applications and examples
  • Understand the communication and remote monitoring advantages of using microinverters

Chris Barrett, senior director of technical support, will go into detail on the installation of APsystems microinverters in commercial applications as well as outline the benefits regarding safety, rapid shutdown compliance, system monitoring, higher energy harvest, reliability, system expansion and a variety of other reasons behind the popularity of its microinverters in the commercial MLPE marketplace.

Join us for next Thursday at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST and check out our webinar page  to see all the other helpful webinars was have available.

WEBINAR: 10 Critical Things Every Solar Installer Should be Doing Right Now

Join APsystems for this special event webinar just for solar installers. This webinar is intended to be a helpful checklist of the key things all solar installers should be doing during the COVID Crisis to both weather the current challenges and to prepare for what happens next. The webinar will include everything from training to tools, careers and credits as well as cover the government assistance programs for small businesses like those of many solar installers.

Join us next Tuesday at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST for this helpful and timely webinar. You can learn more about this and other APsystems webinar events on our webinar page.

APsystems webinar series expanded

Helpful webinars offered throughout the month of April

APsystems’ April webinar series has already had over 1,000 registrations (thank you!) and we’re now offering even more dates and new content throughout the rest of the month.

Click here to check out all upcoming webinars.

Next week, we’re offering a timely new webinar series providing the basics on the APsystems platform, what sets it apart from competing systems, tip in tricks on how to streamline your installation, and best of all, how to save money using APsystems products.

The webinar series continues throughout April with Parts 1 and 2 on our installation training being offered again next week due to popularity. The PART 1 webinar: QS1, YC600 and YC1000 microinverter installation with time and cost-saving tips, will take place on Tuesday, April 21st at 10am PST/1pm EST. The PART 2 webinar: ECU set up and commissioning with EMA walkthrough, will take place on Thursday, April 23rd at 10am PST/1pm EST.

Plus 3 lucky winners from each webinar will win a free ECU gateway from APsystems! Join us to learn how APsystems can save you time and money and look for our additional webinars to be announced next week. We look forward to seeing you online!

APsystems webinar series helps installers reduce costs

Looking to save cost on every solar installation? APsystems’ solar solution is 10-20% less expensive than conventional microinverters and can be installed by a single crew member!

Join APsystems for it’s helpful and timely new webinar series providing the basics on the APsystems platform, what sets it apart from competing systems, tip in tricks on how to streamline your installation, and best of all, how to save money using APsystems products.

The webinar series takes place in April, beginning with the first two webinars—a two-part series on APsystems microinverter installation, ECU set up and an EMA walkthrough. The first webinar, PART 1: QS1, YC600 and YC1000 microinverter installation with time and cost-saving tips, will take place on Tuesday, April 14th and Wednesday, April 15th at 1pm PST/4pm EST. The second webinar, PART 2: ECU set up and commissioning with EMA walkthrough. will take place on Thursday, April 16th at 10am PST/1pm EST.

Plus 3 lucky winners from each webinar will win a free ECU gateway from APsystems! Join us to learn how APsystems can save you time and money and look for our additional webinars to be announced for April. We look forward to seeing you online!

REGISTER HERE

Attendees will also receive 1 NABCEP CE credit for each APsystems webinar they attend. Be sure to sign up for both events of this 2-part series!

Install APsystems with a single crew member

Thanks to APsystems’ microinverter compatibility, light weight, reduced installation time and built-in rapid shutdown compliance, APsystems products can be easily installed by a single crew member of your team.
We have all had to make significant adjustments to both our work and personal lives, and this includes keeping a safe and healthy distance from others. This makes working together to installer a solar system on a job site difficult for most platforms–but not all. All APsystems equipment can be installed by a single crew member.

This makes solar installation still possible for installers who have jobs they need to complete. Many conventional systems, such as string inverters, can require the lifting and mounting of an inverter by two or more individuals. With APsystems, a single crew member can put in the entire system without assistance.

APsystems microinverters each weigh just a few pounds, cabling can easily be placed and connections made by a single installer, and the ECU set up can be done in a snap with one crew member and a smartphone.

For more information on how to install APsystems to take advantage of this benefit, we encourage you to attend our upcoming webinars.

 

Diamond Sponsor APsystems offers training at NABCEP

UPDATE: This event has been postponed by NABCEP out of an abundance of caution due to coronavirus concerns. Please see NABCEP’s announcement for further information.  New Dates are Monday, July 6 thru Thursday, July 9, 2020

 

APsystems is offering installer training and sponsoring the Networking After Party at the NABCEP Continuing Education Conference 2020, March 16-19 in St. Charles, Missouri.

Chris Barrett, APsystems Senior Director of Technical Support, will be conducting training on “Next-gen multi-module microinverters to reduce installation costs.” APsystems has been approved by NABCEP to confer continuing education credits on its training.

APsystems also invites attendees to join us at two additional events happening around the conference. Join us at our booth from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17th for a Happy Hour event courtesy of RENVU. Then join us the following evening, Wednesday, March 18th at 8:30 p.m., for a night of duelling pianos, cocktails, socializing and fun at the Networking After Party being held at Quintessential Dining & Nightlife. Be sure to stop by our booth #20/21 to get your ticket to the After Party before they run out!

APsystems is proud to be a Diamond Sponsor and exhibitor at this year’s conference! In addition to valuable training, attendees will have an opportunity to see the latest and greatest products from APsystems and ask questions of our team members.

To register for the seminar, installers can log into their NABCEP profile and choose the training session offered by APsystems. See more information about the conference schedule and other exhibition details here.

About our presenter:
Chris Barrett brings more than 20 years’ experience in the solar and semiconductor industries. He previously held positions with Brooks Automation, Netmercury, Ferrotec, and SolarBridge Technologies. At APsystems, Chris oversees U.S. technical support and training. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering with business management from Keene State University, and an Associate of Science degree in electromechanical drafting and design technology from New Hampshire Technical College.

About the NABCEP CE Conference:
This conference is primarily intended for NABCEP Certified Professionals who need continuing education credits in order to maintain their certification. The content presented in this conference is geared toward seasoned PV industry professionals who have several years of installation and/or technical sales experience. This is the ideal opportunity for NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professionals and PV Technical Sales Professionals to obtain all of the continuing education credits needed for recertification (18 hours every three years). Non-certified professionals can earn up to 18 hours toward certification eligibility.