Alencon to bring PV plant repowering devices to Intersolar North America

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Alencon Systems will demonstrate its unique line-up of power electronics solutions for repowering older PV systems, coupling solar and storage and microgrids at Intersolar North America 2020 in San Diego from February 4 through 6. The Alencon products on display at Intersolar will include the SPOT Version 6, the newest version of Alencon’s industry solar string DC-DC optimizer; the BOSS, Alencon’s bi-directional DC-DC optimizer for storage systems; and the GARD, Alencon’s solution for string-level arc and ground fault detection and rapid disconnect. Additionally, Alencon will be showcasing its vastly improved Internet of Things (IoT) technology suite collectively known as the ACE  the Alencon Communications Environment.

In addition to the company’s display, Alencon company president Hanan Fishman will be making a presentation titled “DC Coupled Solar + Storage Considerations and Strategies” on the first day of the event in the Intersolar Energy Storage Theatre. During the presentation, Fishman will discuss different issues surrounding the selection of DC-coupled approaches from energy yield to safety.

“The past year has seen a significant acceleration in the market acceptance and deployment of Alencon’s unique products as more project owners look to improve and maintain the performance of their PV portfolios and more solar + storage projects come on line,” Fishman said. “Intersolar North America will be a great opportunity for alternative energy industry professionals to see Alencon’s new offerings firsthand and understand how these products can help solve unique challenges such as combining solar and storage, re-powering older PV plants and making cutting-edge microgrids a reality.”

“Alencon’s two DC-DC optimizer platforms, the SPOT for solar and the BOSS for storage, feature our unique Galvanic Isolation technology. More and more, the alternative energy industry is embracing the importance of having galvanic isolation when incorporating DC-DC optimization into either solar or storage projects,” Fishman continued.

The SPOT V6

The new SPOT V6 features a number of enhancements to previous versions that make it ever more versatile and cost effective to deploy. The SPOT V6 includes the ability to have one output for each PV input, which can make deploying the device in PV repowering applications much easier and more cost effective. The new version also features enhanced thermal performance for a variety of climates as well as a new mechanical configuration which allows each SPOT to be installed in a matter of minutes. The SPOT V6 can be applied to DC-coupled solar + storage, PV repowering or microgrid applications.

The BOSS

The Alencon BOSS is a unique solution for both improving and bringing down the cost of DC-coupled solar + storage deployments while extending the useful life of the batteries and improving battery rack utilization. The BOSS controls the charge and discharge of individual battery racks in both DC- and AC-coupled deployments. The BOSS supports the integration of energy storage with 600-, 1,000- or 1,500-V PV strings. The BOSS can also be used for stand-alone storage deployments.

The BOSS features Alencon’s patented Galvanically Isolated DC-DC conversion topology. This unique architecture offers users a number of benefits not available from other non-isolated DC-DC converters, including the ability to incorporate grounded PV systems with floating batteries on the same DC-bus as well as the ability to pair high voltage 1500-V PV with lower voltage battery chemistries. Additionally, because the BOSS is a rack-level DC-DC converter it assures the most optimal utilization of each battery rack in the cabinet. By addressing each battery rack individually, the BOSS also improves system safety by limiting the fault currents in the case of a sudden short to ground, thus potentially reducing system cost by eliminating the need for additional safety devices. Additionally, the BOSS makes battery rack augmentation over the life of a storage project much easier and more cost-effective by allowing battery racks with different charge-discharge voltages to be installed onto the same DC-bus. Very uniquely, the BOSS also makes it easy to deploy DC-coupled solar + storage projects with string inverters.

The GARD

Alencon’s Ground Arc and Rapid Disconnect unit, the GARD, is a unique solution for detecting harmful arc and ground faults in a PV array at the string level. The GARD also offers the ability to rapidly and safely disconnect PV strings with either a mechanical switch or remote command. The GARD can be deployed as a standalone device or in conjunction with Alencon’s String Power Optimizer and Transmitter — the SPOT. Additionally, the GARD can be used with or without remote communications. The GARD can be installed in new PV systems or as a retrofit to existing solar plant

The ACE – Alencon’s IoT Communications Environment

Alencon’s Communications Environment, the ACE, is an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and software solution for controlling and monitoring alternative energy assets. It can be used in conjunction with other Alencon products including the SPOT, GARD and BOSS to communicate the status of PV strings or battery racks. The ACE acts as a gateway to integrate Alencon’s power electronics with plant-level systems and networks including SCADA and DAS systems. At the heart of the ACE is a powerful, web-based software platform that provides for the intuitive monitoring, control and maintenance of the devices in the field.

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