Electricity, heat and transportation: The citizens’ solar park is transforming Bundorf in Lower Franconia into an energy community. Delivering 125 megawatts of peak power, the photovoltaic (PV) farm is one of the biggest in Germany – and more than 30 percent of it serves as a citizens’ solar park. The primarily power-operated district heating network is unique, and the connected charging infrastructure is intended for supplying the local population with affordable solar power for their electric cars.
Copy Editor for SMA DACH region
Entries by Anke Baars
Wolfram Dege destroys inverters for a living – and helps to make them better in the process. To do so, he puts the devices under high stress and induces artificial aging. He really puts the inverters through the wringer, using cold, heat, moisture and high currents and voltages – ideally all at once. This gives him valuable information about service life. Read on to find out more about his life-prolonging work and his favorite test.
It's all in the mix: In the new "blended learning" format, the SMA Solar Academy is now combining digital and analog maintenance training for the Sunny Central and Sunny Central Storage central inverters. There are only two days of classroom training at the Solar Academy. Prior to that, the theory will be provided on four half days as remote training. "This is more flexible, fits better into everyday work and family life, and the participants save on accommodation costs," says Academy trainer Jan Rössler.
The safety of a PV system depends, among other things, on the design of the overall system. Modern string inverters with integrated features enable a slim system design. This avoids potential sources of error, for example through additional cabling effort when installing module electronics. In a webinar "Analyzing PV system safety and the promise of optimizers" in June 2022, Dr. Heribert Schmidt from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and SMA expert Hannes Knopf discussed the influence of different system designs on the safety of PV systems. Afterwards we received so many exciting questions on the topic, which we would like to share with you. Our colleague Hannes Knopf answered the most frequently asked questions here.
The PV industry is using high-current modules to combat rising system costs. This type of module consists of M10 or larger PV cells, which can accommodate correspondingly high MPP currents (>12 A). Read on to find out what needs to be taken into account in the choice of inverter and what kind of misconceptions can commonly be encountered, as well as the difference between short-circuit current and maximum input current.
When the inverter’s service life suddenly came to an end, low performance was threatening the profitability of Guntram Grieseler’s solar power plant. He decided to modernize his plant with innovative SMA string inverter technology. As a result, Guntram Grieseler’s plant is now producing even more energy than before. Here’s how it was done.
Storage and PV power plants are system-relevant. The energy transition cannot succeed without them. If a power plant fails, the costs mount up very quickly. Michael Ploechl is the head of the SMA monitoring location in Germany and he and his team ensure that it doesn’t come to that. Despite this responsibility, Ploechl generally remains relaxed. He can afford to. Because at two locations in the U.S. and Germany, expert teams analyze the system performance of power plants worldwide 24/7 in real time. The professionals in Rocklin and Ulm ensure that everything runs smoothly. In our interview, he explains why operating expenditure is more important than capital expenditure and how rabbits occasionally cause him some trouble.
Benjamin Blaurock and his team developed two apps at the same time last year: SMA 360° is a digital all-purpose tool to support installers in their daily business. With SMA Energy, plant operators keep an eye on their energy system at all times and can charge their electrical vehicle intelligently. In this interview, he talks about the launch of the mobile applications, what new features will soon be available and when intelligent energy management will be possible with SMA Energy.
Michael Ebel has spent the past decade specializing in home storage solutions. As someone who was there right at the start for SMA, he gave us a detailed insight into the market for this interview. He talks about accelerated development processes, reveals exactly what constitutes a good partnership and tells us why the battery in the home storage system should be considered right from the start.