PV Guided Tours: Innovations draw large crowds in Munich

8/9/17, 11:00 AM -

Intersolar Europe 2017 made clear that photovoltaics, heating technology and electric mobility are continuously merging. As part of our pv Guided Tours participants were introduced to some clever innovations.

Ready for take-off: Tour members and their guide preparing the audio sets.
Ready for take-off: Tour members and their guide preparing the audio sets.

Some time has passed since the Intersolar and the EES in Munich of late May. But they have had a lasting impact: For a long time we have not seen as much innovation as this year. The diversity is expanding, the range of the exhibitions is becoming broader and more interesting. That makes it more difficult to stay on top of matters.

So people were well-advised to take our pv Guided Tours which took them right to where the innovations presented. “That was great,” was, for example, what Wolfgang Wegmann from Regensburg had to say. He actively participates in the working group of Bavarian solar initiatives. “You are directly put in touch with the right people at the stall. It is really great that you offer this! I took part last year and this year I brought along five more people.”

Find the hidden innovations

Many innovations were actually tucked away and hard to find. Beyond that the halls were quite crowded. The great rush commenced at nine o’clock on Wednesday and half an hour later we set off on our guided tour “Power electronics, installation monitoring and electric mobility”.

The guide on these tours was Karsten Schäfer, once head editor of photovoltaik and an acknowledged expert on photovoltaics and e-mobility. “Mr Schäfer conducted these tours really well,” was the assessment of Jens Ritter. He welcomed the groups at Clickcon’s stall. “The discussions were much better than in previous years.” Alexander Koller, his boss, said that he also was “very happy.”

More than 360 participants

This is the third year that photovoltaik has been offering the pv Guided Tours. By this time, more than 360 people have participated in the five themed tours (held in German and English). What was striking this year was the diversity in the systems technologies, which now includes the generation of heat from solar electricity (Fronius: Ohmpilot) and electric mobility (Bluetop, Clickcon, Fronius).

As part of the tour, Huawei, Fronius and Solarmax demonstrated that inverters are far from having reached their peak potential. Technologically, the race to the top will continue to be very interesting over the coming years.

Monitoring is becoming more important

Furthermore, an effective and cost-efficient monitoring of installations is given renewed priority. Clearly, the times of cheap and cheerful are over – not just in the German-speaking markets. As proven by the strategy and products of Solare Datensysteme are showing, a seamless operational monitoring is gaining ground all over the world.

The Guided Tour lasted two and a half hours, whereupon the participants were invited to slake their thirst with a refreshing drink at photovoltaik/pv Europe`s stand. This also provided an opportunity to have a chat with the editors and the rest of the team at the stand.

The very next day, Rainer Scherer of Solution Werft in Fürth sent us the following message: “We were at the Intersolar yesterday and took part in both of the scheduled events. Everything was well-prepared and the guided tours were also very informative. All-in-all a great success and highly recommended. My two colleagues and I would like to thank you and the organisers very much, and we hope that we might be allowed to participate again next year!”

The presentations in brief:

Bluetop Solar Parking: Danish supplier of commercial car ports

Bluetop Solar Parking is a company from Denmark that manufactures car ports for commercial customers. Bluetop provides complete systems – including accessories and services. Bluetop’s Long Span solar carport is a product range of scalable car ports. They are based on very stable and elegant structures, on which standard panels can be mounted. LED lighting and a charge point for electric vehicles are also integrated.

Clickcon: Glass-glass panels with a high-speed charger

Clickcon develops and distributes mounting systems for photovoltaics. The roof-mounted and integrated roof systems are accessible by vehicles and do not require rubber seals. Roof refurbishments, covered car parks or bike sheds for e-bikes are also part of the range of products and services.

Clickcon has developed a charge port that combines elegant design with high-performance charge points by Delta Energy. The panels are installed using the Click Plain integrated roof system. The glass-glass panels are certified by the German Institute for Structural Engineering (DIBt). They can be used for refurbishments as well as new buildings, over industrial buildings, garages, car parks, sports facilities, terraces and other roofs.

European Network Services (ENS): Inexpensive repairs of inverters

ENS is a European company that has a long tradition. They provide services such as repairing solar inverters. To make that possible, they have long-term service agreements with well-known manufacturers. The ENS group’s labs in Germany, England and France are ISO-certified. The company repairs inverters from all manufacturers down to individual components. The defective component is localised and then replaced. This saves both resources and money. Afterwards, the inverter is back to full working order, including a warranty on the repair undertaken.

Huawei Technologies: Strong supplier of power electronics

Huawei is a leading global ICT and network energy solution provider, with headquarters in Shenzhen, China and an established presence in solar markets worldwide. Huawei Solar provides new generation string inverters with smart management technology to create a fully digitalised Smart PV Solution marketed under the brand name FusionSolar. For utility-scale customers, Huawei presented its Smart PV Controller Sun2000-60KTL, a three-phase inverter based on novel multi-level topology with 60 kilowatts of AC active power and an extreme high power density. The Controller has four MPP trackers and can monitor eight strings; it also supports powerline communication (PLC). Alongside, they presented the Huawei FusionHome Smart Energy Solution complete with single-phase inverter, smart PV optimizers and plug & play battery interface.

Fronius: Envisioning 24 hours of sunlight

The Austrian manufacturer already started producing solar inverters 25 years ago. Fronius currently has 20 solar solar subsidiaries worldwide, which makes them one of the most important providers of solar electronics. So far, Fronius has sold about ten gigawatts’ worth of inverters. They focus on inverters optimised for self-consumption and geared towards private and commercial providers as well as on the integration of solar batteries and micro-grids. As of 2016, the company has been guided by the vision of 24 hours of sunlight. The end goal is to supply the entire world’s energy need from renewables – with a specific focus on solar energies.

At the Intersolar in Munich Fronius presented a number of innovations for the integration of heating and electric mobility into the supply of buildings with self-generated power. The new Ohmpilot is capable of converting solar power into hot water via electric heating elements that can be incrementally racked up to nine kilowatts. Further uses of the Ohmpilot are infrared heating or heated towel rails. That allows a private household using the average amount of hot water to satisfy the majority of its demand between April and October from solar power. The Ohmpilot can also be combined with heat pumps and gas-fired boilers

Solare Datensysteme (SDS): New Solar-Log WEB Enerest app to be released this summer

Solare Datensysteme GmbH (SDS) based in Geislingen-Binsdorf in Swabia is chiefly active in solar monitoring, smart energy and feed-in management as well as providing global services for operators and installing companies. Since August 2015, SDS has been a subsidiary of the Swiss BKW AG, an internationally operating energy company based in Bern.

SDS produces the energy management system Solar-Log, comprising of the Solar-Log units and the Solar-Log WEB Enerest portal. Globally the system has been installed in 100 countries and monitors more than a quarter of a million solar generators with a combined output of almost 12 gigawatts. Solar-Log is compatible with over 1,700 inverters from 100 manufacturers.

And now Solar-Log is even smarter: The new Solar-Log WEB Enerest portal combines tried and tested technology with innovative ideas. It allows installation management tailored to your requirements in any functional class and installation size range. The updated app in a modern layout and with a completely re-engineered user interface is freely available for smart phones and tablet computers as of June 2017. It has many new features and interactive graphics. For instance, a single or several PV installations can be displayed on a pin board, including customised views. This provides a good overview of the daily and past data for the installation as well as other connected components (e.g. a heat pump or a heating element).

Solarmax Sales and Service: Efficient inverters for the solar sector

The Solarmax Group was founded in Ellzee in Bavaria. The company develops, produces and distributes string and central inverters for grid-connected solar power plants as well as accessories and monitoring solutions. The principal shareholder is the Renervest Group from Waldstetten in Bavaria. This investment company can look back on ten years of experience in renewables. In addition to the branding rights and the production equipment of Sputnik Engineering AG from Biel in Switzerland who became insolvent, they also took over their online portal and the service centre in Annaberg-Buchholz (Saxonia). (Heiko Schwarzburger)

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