Solar Builder’s Chris Crowell asks APsystems critical questions on savings and benefits of multi-module microinverters. Check out the latest episode of The Pitch where senior director of marketing Jason Higginson answers the key questions about APsystems product benefits, comparisons with other technologies and how it can actually save installers time and money. Read and watch here.
Did You Know? APsystems products are installed both in residential and C&I, powering the next generation of Zero-Energy Buildings all over the world. From Europe to Australia, the USA or China, APsystems serves solar professionals in more than 80 countries.
See how APsystems and its installation partners contribute to a more sustainable energy future through solar powered buildings across the world. You can also download our project references PDF overview here.
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
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.
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.”
Thanks to the tremendous response from installers participating in our webinars series, APsystems is continuing its webinar offering into May.
- 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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
- APsystems featured on The PitchAugust 4, 2020 - 8:38 pm
- New APsystems project references video availableAugust 3, 2020 - 7:25 pm
- California Solar & Storage Association’s Product Expo SeriesJuly 25, 2020 - 3:38 pm
- Interview from Dr Ling, co-founder and Chairman at APsystemsJune 16, 2020 - 7:08 pm
- APsystems delivers invaluable video training with ONE-TWO punchMay 20, 2020 - 5:29 pm
At APsystems, we are committed to providing the highest quality service to our customers and partners around the world.
600 Ericksen Ave NE, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98110
United States of America