Solar Builder

JAN 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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Page 15 of 47

16 JA N UA RY / F E B RUA RY 2 0 1 8 BOS NEW IN N ew codes and regulations are notorious for raising prices and halting innovation in industries, but the new rapid shutdown requirements facing the solar industry are hav- ing the opposite effect. Thanks to a coalition of manufacturers and interested parties across solar, the solutions being developed to meet NEC 2017 Module Level Rapid Shutdown require- ments will achieve something solar technology has long needed: common language. "The intent is to create an open protocol for any manufacturer to apply," says Michael Mendik, head of solution management, Solar Energy Division at Fronius USA. He has been an active member of the SunSpec Alliance, the group that has developed these standards. "Inverter manufacturers can build and design their own transmitters and then the rapid shutdown boxes will also be tuned to that lan- guage and can receive the signal. There is no proprietary stuff." "The current systems were designed to meet the previous rapid shutdown requirements using mostly proprietary communication systems," says Mario Thomas, product manager at ABB. "Future system design will be vendor independent, allowing a better choice for the customer and the installer." "The solar industry is experiencing significant growth with new requirements, so we welcome the vendor coordination efforts and the wide adoption by many vendors working to improve the safety of clean energy production," says Danny Eizips, VP of engi- neering at Tigo. "This is a great opportunity for multivendor sup- port." This standard protocol has ramifications beyond the context of rapid shutdown, but let's start there. Rapid Shutdown and Beyond What to know about NEC 2017 and the big-time industry effort to streamline PV design By Chris Crowell

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