SPI Preview: Central inverters up the voltage, add capabilities


Large-scale systems are becoming more powerful and more advanced, at least if the show floor of Solar Power International this year is any indication.

Alencon Systems LLC will unveil the latest generation of its unique PV harvesting and central inverter solution at booth 3023. Major highlights of Alencon Systems’ PV optimizer and central inverter solution include the recently developed third generation of String Power Optimizers and Transmitters (SPOTs), the company’s powerful DC-DC optimizers that are capable of stepping up the voltage harvested from PV arrays to any DC voltage upward of 2,500 volts while performing maximum power point tracking (MPPT) on up to four strings of solar panels at once. Additionally, Alencon will be demonstrating its patented PV-IoT solution, which provides granular monitoring of the performance of a utility-scale PV installation. At the heart of Alencon Systems’ solution is its Grid Inverter Package (GrIP) central inverter that scales up quickly to the multi-megawatt level in 2.5-MW increments.



Power management company Eaton (booth 2845) will showcase an expanded range of inverters and electrical balance of system (BOS) solutions for utility, commercial and OEM solar customers during Solar Power International. The Power Xpert Energy Optimizer controller is an energy storage and solar PV plant control system that simplifies control system configuration, is pre-engineered for device and system testing and is adaptable to changing energy storage and solar PV plant assets. Its Power Xpert solar inverters, which enable a skid-less inverter station design to reduce equipment requirements and installation costs.

Among the four new products ABB (booth 2345) is promoting at the show is its new PVS980, the company’s highest power central inverter to date. The PVS980 is a 1,500-VDC rated utility-scale solar inverter with a maximum power capacity of 2.2 MVA and a CEC efficiency of 98.5 percent. This inverter comes with a patented, self-contained, no-maintenance cooling system designed for demanding applications and harsh environments, cutting maintenance costs while ensuring outstanding endurance and reliability. Additionally, ABB’s TRIO-50.0 inverter combines many of the benefits of a central inverter into the enclosure of a string inverter. It offers the flexibility of horizontal as well as vertical mounting and can be installed in direct sunlight.

See the rest of our SPI coverage here.

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