In the past, a fault in a central inverter could mean significant power loss on a solar array. These inverters used in large-scale solar projects convert huge amounts of energy in a single unit. Inverter manufacturer Sungrow is addressing fault points in central inverters by making their parts modular and extra approachable for repairs. Immediately, we’re joined by Daniel Friberg, director of product engineering at Sungrow, to debate the corporate’s newest central inverter mannequin and what that may imply for photo voltaic array uptime.
What’s the footprint of the brand new SG4400UD-MV station and what does it embody?
We’ve got been in a position to keep mainly with the identical footprint as we’ve had in earlier generations during the last 5, six years. So it’s a normal transport container format. It’s 8 ft vast by 20 ft lengthy. Its top is a normal format, so it’s 9 ft 6 in. tall. Mainly, we’ve been in a position to enhance the ability with this new mannequin to 4,400 kVA vs. the outdated 3,600 kVA, so a 20% enhance on this similar footprint.
The unit is an entire skid which it features a medium-voltage transformer for connection to 35.5 kV, in addition to the ability conversion system — the inverter. And we even have an auxiliary energy unit, which may both be a 5 kVA or a 40 kVA non-compulsory unit relying on what you energy so far as trackers and climate station, switches, and many others.
So, the brand new Sungrow inverter is “modular.” Are you able to clarify this additional?
Historically, our inverters have been a single giant inverter, which additionally makes it considerably delicate to in case you’ve an inner fault. You mainly would lose that complete full unit. What we now have accomplished now on this newest technology is we now have cut up the unit up into 4 similar 1.1 kVA modules. So in complete 4,400 V. However what this offers us is mainly partial redundancy, so in case, for instance, you’ve a single cooling fan fault, in the entire unit it could take down the whole 3.6 MW. On this case, you’d mainly simply lose 25% or simply 1.1 MW.
That’s an enchancment for the reliability and the uptime on the positioning. We even have the choice to dimension the system slightly bit totally different. We’ve got the choice now for a three-module unit. That may mainly be a 3.3-MW system, which might be helpful in sure nook circumstances.
Additionally, with 4 unbiased models, we now have 4 MPPTs. We’ve got a single MPPT, or most energy level tracker, up to now unit, and the benefit of getting extra of those is you can have doubtlessly uneven terrain, the place you understand there’s some shading and a few issues like that. You’ll be able to additional optimize it now when you’ve a number of MPPTs.
Are there any efficiency variations within the SG4400 when in comparison with earlier inverters?
We’ve got improved the processing energy. So we mainly have a extra highly effective CPU within the new unit. It will result in a rise in efficiency on the subject of response time. For instance, reactive response time is lower than 20 milliseconds or just nearly a single-cycle response in comparison with a number of cycles in previous generations of product. In order that complete space of improved energy assist and grid assist performance is one thing that has been improved. It additionally comes with direct compliance with the IEEE 1547-2018. It’s additionally ready for the brand new IEEE requirements which can be popping out, which is the IEEE 2800.
Sungrow describes the brand new SG4400 inverter as having simpler O&M concerns. Are you able to clarify why?
We talked earlier concerning the modular strategy. This doesn’t solely go for the primary inverter itself, but additionally internally in every part extra modularity has been achieved. What this implies is that whenever you take away, for instance you’ve a semiconductor fault, you may take away that complete bundle and it’s simply mainly a unit you take away and slide it out. Or you probably have a fan problem, you substitute the complete cooling fan bundle. So there’s no must go in individually and do a sure half. We’ve mainly made it sections of energy components, which is able to result in quicker substitute and in addition you don’t want a lot coaching to interchange these as they’re mainly huge chunks or sections you slide out and substitute.
As well as, because the inverter consists of 4 particular person modules, it’s doable to interchange truly an entire quarter of the inverter. Mainly, you can have for bigger websites an entire full module as a spare, and you can truly substitute that in half a day, as in comparison with the outdated inverter, the place you needed to ship a discipline crew out, first examine what the difficulty is, then order components and doubtlessly have to interchange the entire skid. That might take a few week of time, so it’s vastly improved with this new modular strategy.
This podcast is sponsored by Sungrow