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New Special Interest Group for Solar Power Control Systems

SolarBridge AC Module System
SolarBridge AC Module System
SolarBridge Technologies

A special interest group, lead by SunPower, has been formed with the aim of setting the set protocols and standards needed within the solar industry to enable lower total system costs, an ongoing issue with respect to distributed power control systems (DPCS). SolarBridge Technologies and Tigo Energy have already joined the task force and the group are encouraging others to join.

“As a technology leader, SunPower is pleased to spearhead this much needed leadership, establishing a protocol that will help to drive down total system costs and ensure a level of universal compatibility,” said Jim Pape, SunPower president, residential and commercial business group. “We welcome our founding partners, SolarBridge and Tigo, and look forward to other companies joining this new industry cooperative.”

Members of this new SIG will create and drive standards between the rapidly evolving distributed power control systems field, which includes DC/AC microinverters and DC/DC system optimizers, and module manufacturers. In addition, the group will establish a common industry platform for advanced electronics integration, including a plug and play criterion for mechanical connections and communications protocols between the solar panels and distributed control systems. A compatibility roadmap and implementation plan that addresses existing complexities, such as lowering costs and ease of field serviceability, will also be developed.

Microinverters and power optimizers are a rapidly emerging market, according to a recent report from IMS Research , the market is could reach US$1.5 billion in revenues over the next five years with device shipments growing 100% per year, totaling more than 16 million units.

However, no standards are in-place that help advanced electronics to be integrated into modules, adding development and implementation costs to modules. The new SIG also hopes to set protocols for plug and play criterion for mechanical connections and communications protocols between the solar panels and distributed control systems.

SunPower said that a compatibility roadmap and implementation plan that focuses on existing known issues would also be developed. These currently include cost and ease of field serviceability.

Founded in 1985, SunPower designs, manufactures, and delivers the planet’s most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government, and utility customers rely on the company’s experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, California, SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

SolarBridge Technologies, a leader in integrated microinverter technology for the solar industry, is working to accelerate the adoption of solar energy in the U.S. and Europe. SolarBridge provides a patented microinverter system that is directly integrated onto solar modules, greatly increasing efficiency and reliability while reducing the cost of solar installation and maintenance for the residential and light commercial markets. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Based in Los Gatos, California, Tigo Energy was founded in 2007 and focuses on applying innovative technologies to the solar PV space. Tigo Energy has offices in the United States, Japan, Germany, and Israel, and is commercially shipping volume systems in cooperation with most prominent worldwide solar distributors and EPCs.

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