ABB offers new code compliant inverters for residential solar installers

ABB Tigo

Following the new SunSpec communication protocol, ABB offers a unique configuration that ensures design flexibility and compliance with 2014 & 2017 NEC 690.12 requirements. The robust energy production of a single-phase string inverter, the rapid shutdown function and an optimizer option provides installers a stronger solution to code compliant solar installations.

“Finding inverters that can perform under the demands of challenging roof configurations and comply with the latest code requirements can be difficult,” said Mario Thomas, string inverter product manager, ABB’s Solar business in the US. “With these new code compliant options from ABB, installers have more options to choose from.”

The UNO-DM-PLUS-US family of single phase solar inverters deliver high performance with excellent power density giving end users the maximum amount of energy production. This flexible inverter comes with embedded connectivity and an efficient communication protocol, which enables the UNO-DMPLUS-US to be easily integrated within any current or future device for smart building automation, smart grid integration and with third party monitoring and control systems. The UNO-DM-PLUS-US also comes with remote Over-the-Air (OTA) firmware upgrade for inverter and components to enable remote software upgrades.

For jurisdictions that have not migrated to 2017 NEC 690.12, ABB’s string-level Rapid Shutdown 2.0 device provides a simple and cost-effective solution to implement. This product mounts directly to the PV mounting rail or PV module, and lay parallel to the roofing surface. It provides a fail-safe solution for emergency responders. Available in two configurations (single and dual), this rapid shutdown device requires no extra conduit, which minimizes additional material cost and associated labor. Shutdown occurs at the rooftop box when the utility power is lost or when the PV system’s AC disconnect switch is opened.

RELATED: Rapid Shutdown and Beyond: Inside NEC 2017 and the effort to streamline PV design

Tigo partnership

In conjunction, ABB and Tigo formed an operational compatibility between ABB’s inverter line UNO-DM-PLUS and Tigo’s TS4 optimizer platform. The combined ABB and Tigo module solution is now available. Combining ABB’s world-class inverters with Tigo’s TS4 Platform offers a flexible and scalable solution to meet all the different needs of installers and end customers. The connectivity package of the UNO-DM-PLUS allows for built-in smart grid capabilities such as dynamic feed-in control, which manages the energy fed into the grid, and uses SunSpec-compatible open communication protocols to ensure compliance with future grid codes and maintain off-the-shelf interoperability with other devices in the system.

Advantages of this system

The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certified third-party solutions offer Rapid Shutdown and optional MLPE configuration with string inverter power generation as well as the following advantages:

• Module-level Monitoring – Predicting and conducting maintenance on solar installations is critical to ensure that they last beyond their expected 25-year lifetime. With full visibility of a system’s performance through module-level monitoring in 2 -second increments, solar fleets can maximize system up-time, identify performance issues, and control operations and maintenance (O&M) costs.

• Safety – The UL-certified module-level Rapid Shutdown Solutions provide installers, EPCs, and PV plant owners the most cost-effective response to safety regulations like the National Electric Code (NEC) 2014 & 2017 requirements. For installations unencumbered by shading, the MLPE option provides the necessary safety and monitoring services to ensure systems meet local fire regulations and performance expectations.

• Optimization of Energy Harvest – With optimized modules, more roof space can be used to max-imize energy production. This fixes module mismatch and increases design flexibility by optimiz-ing each module when shade drops their performance. It addresses system-level inefficiencies and age tolerance while also benefiting from the module-level monitoring and safety features.

Once the inverter is installed, operators can turn to a smartphone to commission the unit via a simple, built-in web user interface. This enables them to gain access to features such as advanced inverter con-figuration settings and Aurora Manager, which facilitates OTA firmware updates (remote software up-dates).

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