A smart grid needs a very smart inverter – and fast data communications. Solar Builder Magazine dives into the high-speed ZigBee communications capability built into the APsystems QS1, the most powerful microinverter on the market. Up to 3x faster than standard PLC, the QS1 ZigBee creates a 2.4GhZ “mesh” network for fast, reliable performance tracking across your array. Get the whole story in Solar Builder here.
Four high-output modules on a single microinverter? Believe it. The new QS1 residential quad microinverter from APsystems earns an Editor’s Pick as one of the top solar products of 2018.
Built for large-scale systems and demanding environments, the QS1 handles modules up to 375W, with wider MPPT range for greater solar harvest in low-light conditions.
More is being demanded of solar inverters than ever before. Creating a brilliant, cutting-edge piece of equipment at a competitively mandated low price point is an incredible challenge. It’s not for the faint of heart, yet companies like APsystems are thriving in this complicated, demanding crucible of a niche. So how are they doing it? And how does APsystems continue to push the envelope on inverter advancements? Senior Director of Marketing Jason Higginson gives us a peek behind the curtain.
APsystems microinverter reliability is touted in the August issue Solar Power World.
In the article “How should solar installers plan for inverter failure,” writer Kelsey Misbrener explores inverter reliability, warranties, and industry views on how installers and customers can keep up with evolving inverter technologies.
The article quotes Director of Marketing Jason Higginson, citing APsystems microinverters as designed and built for both long life and ready upgrades.
With their software-based design, APsystems microinverters can be upgraded remotely to keep systems current with new technical standards and regulatory requirements.
Read the whole story here.
The editors tout the new APsystems YC600 microinverter with Reactive Power Control and Rule 21 grid support functionality. Offering 300 VA peak output power per channel, the YC600 works with 60- and 72-cell PV modules and offers dual, independent MPPT per panel – setting a powerful new standard for microinverter technology.
Also in the Buyers Guide: The APsystems EMA App, offering comprehensive, real-time system monitoring through your handheld device. “APsystems provides complimentary module-level monitoring through its cloud-based EMA service for both homeowners and installers,” Solar Builder writes. “With the EMA app, users can see the energy their system is producing at the panel level, so if the app shows that a particular PV module is underperforming, the owner knows to check for shading issues, debris and damage.”
Installers — does your solar equipment-of-choice play well together? Using integrated systems on cabling and racking can save on soft costs like installation time and truck rolls. Hardwired gateways can head off connection dropouts and failures. Find these and other time- and money-saving tips in “Install Tips: Choose products that reduce soft costs,” now at solarpowerworldonline.com
APsystems microinverters get a shout-out in the January edition of Solar Builder magazine, on newsstands and online now.
Tim Bailey, founder of Blue Frog Solar, a leading APsystems distributor, touts microinverters as a great way for smaller installers to lower soft costs by simplifying residential system design—a big advantage over complex string inverter systems.
“Microinverters are flexible, and installers can design in the field by adding modules as they see fit,” Bailey says.
Read Solar Builder’s “Ask A Distributor” feature online here.
Real-time monitoring is an essential feature of today’s PV systems, but communication between system monitoring devices and the customer’s router is often overlooked.
Do you know best options and best practices? Christopher Barrett, Director of Techincal Services for APsystems, guides installers through the maze of options and issues for gateway connectivity in “The Installation Issue,” a special publication of Solar Power World on newsstands now.
Read “Address Connectivity Issues to Reduce Trips to Solar Sites” online here.
You’re a solar installer, not “the IT guy,” so why spend time dealing with connectivity issues, rebooting customers’ Wi-Fi networks?
While real-time monitoring is an essential feature of today’s PV systems, communication between system monitoring devices and the customer’s router is often overlooked. Understanding the options for today’s connectivity—and making smart choices for your customers—can save you costly return visits to jobsites.
Relaying performance data from the solar system to the customer’s computer or smart device and the manufacturer’s database involves constant, reliable communication between specialized components. The typical signal chain for communication links the solar array to the data collector, which is typically called a gateway—such as the APsystems ECU or the Enphase Envoy. The signals travel to the home internet router and onto various monitoring stations.
It sounds straightforward, but differences in home size and layout can mean the gateway and router are separated, likely by walls and floors.
Bridging the gap
Today’s solar customers have an almost bewildering array of choices (and acronyms) for linking the gateway to their router. There are Wi-Fi extenders or Ethernet cables, such as Ethernet-over-powerline (EoP), where wires used to distribute power inside homes also transmit digital data based on time division multiple access (TDMA) technology. You can even use old-school CAT-5 or CAT-6 Ethernet cables. Each option has its particular strengths and weaknesses, and the right answer for one installation may not work for another.
Making the right choice
Solar customers want reliability, from the solar modules to inverters to production. Connectivity should have the same level of reliability.
Match your hardware choices to the size and layout of the house with proven technologies and products to ensure uninterrupted, around-the-clock monitoring. Keep in mind that the best choice will invariably be a hardline connection whenever possible. With potential signal disruption, a wireless connection will only ever be as reliable as wireless allows. Today’s wireless technology is incredible, but critical connectivity requires highly reliable communication devices. You simply can’t beat a direct, uninterrupted connection. Test each solution to find your ideal answer for each installation scenario, and remember the best solution is the one that requires the least follow-up once you’ve left the jobsite.
This installation tip was provided by Chris Barrett, director of engineering and technical services, APsystems
See full article on Solar Power World
Solar Builder Magazine’s special Inverter Issue is out now, and APsystems is featured throughout.
Always follow best practices to head off gateway communication issues, says Christopher Barrett, APsystems Director of Technical Services, in the “Ask An Expert” feature compiled by Solar Builder editors. Even in a “wireless” world, hard-wired CAT-5 connections can be the best and most reliable option, Christopher says – and save you the time and trouble of returning to the jobsite to sort out Wi-Fi problems.
Remember to compare warranties when doing your calculations – there’s real value in that certificate, should a system component ever need to be replaced. That’s one of the insights APsystems contributes to an informative story on Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), the formula that determines a solar array’s investment value over its lifetime.
Power and versatility are the hallmarks of the new APsystems YC500i with EnergyMax, a microinverter designed and built for today’s high-output modules, profiled in Solar Builder’s 2017 Inverter Buyers Guide.
Find out more about APsystems microinverters, “The Installers’ Choice,” on the inside front cover of the edition, on newsstands now.
Download the digital edition of Solar Builder’s Inverter Issue here.
APsystems offers advanced, powerful solar microinverter technology for residential and commercial systems. The APsystems solar solution combines highly efficient power inversion with a user-friendly monitoring interface to bring you reliable, intelligent energy. Our proprietary system architecture increases solar harvest and ensures maximum output for solar arrays, and we continue to develop new technologies and products for the marketplace.
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- See our groundbreaking QS1 4-in-1 microinverter at Solar Power Northeast, Feb. 19 in BostonFebruary 6, 2020 - 9:34 pm