Alencon to Launch Breakthrough PV Harvesting System at SPI 2016

Alencon will demonstrate the latest generation of its PV-IoT™ enabled solar power harvesting, monitoring and power conversion solutions at Solar Power International

Hatboro, PA – Alencon Systems LLC will unveil the latest generation of its unique PV harvesting and central inverter solution at Solar Power International 2016 in Las Vegas, September 12 – 15 in booth number 3023.

Major highlights of Alencon Systems’ PV optimizer and central inverter solution include the recently developed third generation of String Power Optimizers and Transmitters (SPOTs), the company’s powerful DC-DC optimizers which are capable of stepping-up the voltage harvested from PV arrays to any DC voltage upwards of 2,500 volts while performing maximum power point tracking (MPPT) on up to four strings of solar panels at once.  Additionally, Alencon will be demonstrating its patented PV-IoT™ solution which provides unprecedentedly granular monitoring of the performance of a utility scale PV installation. At the heart of Alencon Systems’ solution is its Grid Inverter Package (GrIP) central inverter, a central inverter that scales up quickly to the multi-megawatt level in 2.5 MW increments.

PV Harvesting System
Figure 1: Alencon Systems will be demonstrating the newest version of its PV harvesting system which features its unique combination of DC-DC optimizers called SPOTs and central inverters called GrIPS. These systems are tied together with Alencon’s unique PV-IoT monitoring software, VIEWS.

“Alencon’s third generation SPOT will set a new standard in energy harvesting for utility scale PV plants,” says Alencon Systems’ Vice President of Engineering, Ulrich Schwabe.  “Using the SPOT in a utility scale PV system provides operators the best of both worlds of either central or string inverters by performing MPPT at the string level while delivering a lower overall balance of system cost.”

“Alencon’s DC to DC optimizer can be used in conjunction with either an Alencon central inverter or another vendor’s central inverter, making it ideal for retrofitting to existing PV plants or even using in hybrid PV applications such as combined PV and Wind installations.  With our unique VIEWS monitoring software, we are able to leverage the internet of things, the PV-IoT™, to see how well a plant is performing,” says Schwabe.

The Best of Both Worlds: The SPOT DC-DC Optimizer

Alencon’s SPOT is the industry’s most powerful DC-DC optimizer.  It performs MPPT on up to four strings at once to drastically reduce the effects of uneven soiling, cloud cover, sporadic damage and module degradation. The SPOT is able to accept and regulated voltage from each individual string of PV modules irrespective of their individual voltage rating.

SPOTs are capable of boosting operational voltage to 2,500 volts which minimizes conduction losses and in turn reduce conductor requirements which lead to a lower overall balance of system (BoS) cost. The SPOT also comes with a number of unique, safety features including both arc and ground fault detection.  Additionally, the SPOT allows solar operators to combine different aged and types of PV panels in the same solar array. Alencon’s SPOT offers galvanic isolation which provides a high degree of flexibility with connecting with many types of inverters.  This unique functionality makes the SPOT particularly appropriate for hybrid PV installations

A Bigger, Less Expensive Central Inverter

Alencon’s GrIP central inverter is paired with an array of SPOTs to provide a centralized inverter scheme unrivaled in the industry in terms of both size and cost.  Alencon’s GrIP central inverter modules scale up quickly in 2.5 MW modules.  GrIPs employ a patented Harmonic Neutralization (HN) design, helping them break through the AC power-output ceiling found in today’s, utility scale PV inverters that rely on the traditional pulse-width-modulation (PWM) method of power conversion.  The HN approach to inverter design has a number of technical benefits over PWM, including

  • Smaller size, higher power density, and lower equipment cost per MW rating as a result of utilizing very large semiconductors.
  • High efficiency (99.5%) is achieved through low (50/60 Hz) switching frequency – hundreds of times lower than conventional PWM inverters.
  • Unsurpassed reliability from simplified construction: several three phase heavy-duty inverter modules operate concurrently from the same DC source into the same load assuring that even the entire loss of one module only minimally affects power generation.

Introducing the PV-IoT™

Alencon’s energy harvesting technology (SPOTs) and central inverters (GrIPs) are able to leverage the benefits of the internet of things to monitor plant performance with a visual SCADA system called VIEWS. The VIEWS software is connected to a series of sensors embedded into Alencon’s hardware, a concept referred to as the PV-IoT™.

VIEWS provides a complete overview of your PV plant at a single glance. It graphically displays voltages, currents, PV string performance, semiconductor temperatures, control board temperatures, and more, with easy to understand visuals. An accurate model of a PV installation can be populated with performance data for use with future demonstrations, diagnostics and engineering support.

By leveraging the PV-IoT, users of Alencon product can gain unprecedented insight into the performance

More on Alencon

Alencon’s solutions for ALternative ENergy CONversion provide high modularity and scalability for systems from several megawatts to several-hundred megawatts. By helping to dramatically reduce balance of system costs, and increase power production through new inverter and energy harvesting technology, Alencon helps advance the state of the art and increase the financial viability of solar power.  Headquartered in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, has been building PV power conversion hardware since 2009 drawings on the combined decades of power electronics experience of its engineering team.

Press Contact: Alencon Systems LLC - Hanan Fishman, President

Phone: (484) 436-0035 ext. 103 

Email: hfishman@alenconsystems.com 

Included pictures: alecon_spi_2016.jpg