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Get your LCOE down – With the world’s most powerful string inverter by Sungrow

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Presenters

René van Baal, Product Manager, Sungrow EMEA
Timo Maier, Key Account Manager, Sungrow Germany

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Presentation of Timo Maier and René van Baal

Due to the lack of flat land, solar plants are now installed over complex environmental conditions like hillsides, coastal areas, and desert regions. In this vein, Sungrow introduces the world’s most powerful 1500V string inverter.

The SG250HX string inverter for utility-scale projects

Photo: Sungrow

In this first pv magazine Spotlight, you will hear from René van Baal, product manager at Sungrow for the EMEA Region, and Timo Maier, Key Account Manager for Sungrow Germany, how the company’s product allows tinkering with CAPEX and OPEX to effectively bring down a projects LCOE. Having worked as a planning engineer for a well-renowned EPC from Germany, before joining Sungrow, Van Baal brings a lot of experience in the scramble for ever-lower LCOEs to the table.

Sungrow’s SG250HX is embedded with 12 MPPTs to adapt not only complex terrain but enables a high DC/AC ratio — enough to make the best use of temporarily high bifacial string currents. It also provides a communication interface for tracker systems and a user-friendly, complete monitoring solution.

Van Baal will explain how the global market for large-scale PV installations is pivoting toward bigger block design to reduce LCOE and how the SG250HX is suitable for any block size between 3MW to 6.3MW. Additionally, he will show, which features enable the inverter to work safely during its long service life, even in the face of scorching heat, the salty mist of coastal areas, chemical industrial regions and, other harsh conditions.

Join this session and have your questions answered by Sungrow!

Content:

  • SG250HX a string inverter for utility-scale projects
  • Influence on CAPEX (integrated MV station, power line communication, integrated power supply for trackers)
  • Block Design up to 6.3 MW and the use of 12 separate MPPTs
  • Influence on OPEX (25 years of lifetime, Smart Active Cooling, Anti PID, Online IV Scan,)
  • Grid support and high yielding
  • Questions & Answer Session

Questions can be submitted during the Spotlight through a chat window. pv magazine hosts this Spotlight on behalf of our partner who is responsible for the content. We look forward to your participation!

Speakers

René van Baal

Product Manager, Sungrow EMEA

Timo Maier

Key Account Manager, Sungrow Germany

Questions and Answers

The below questions have been raised by participants during the spotlight. Sungrow provided some of the answers during the session and followed up on the rest here in writing. 

Please explain the connection to remote SCADA without going through central control PPC.

We use Ethernet/FO and router.

The anti-corrosion of the inverter is C5-I or C5-M?

C5-M

How much is the inverter health diagnosis annual fee?

≤ 5MW Free

> 5MW ≤ 10MW              $ 199

> 11MW ≤ 50MW            $ 189

> 51MW ≤ 100MW          $ 179

> 101MW                          $ 169

What topology is implemented for the inverter? Are any electrolytic capacitors in it?

3-Level topology. Yes, electrolytic capacitors are included.

What is the planned maintenance interval for this inverter?

Once every year

Can this inverter sustain up to 50 degree Celsius?

Yes, at 50°C the maximum capacity amounts to 200 kVA.

Do you have a available sizing tool?

Not yet. It is planned for end of this year.

Is the specified failure rate of 0.3% per year or per lifetime?

0.3% is the failure rate per year.

Do you guarantee 0.3% failure rate?

No

What are the cut in temperature set points for cooling fans? 

We do not have the exact code for the control of the fans. However, the temperature curve that we publish takes the fans and its control mechanism into consideration.

In one scenario are fuses mentioned, what is that? 

The inverter design is fuse-free (as 2 strings per MPPT do not need fuses according to VDE 0100-712 / EN60363-7-712-2016). If you use 2-in1 design with y connectors you have to add fuses per Y connector.

What type of communication protocol is available and what are the compatibility details?

Our string inverters communicate with an open modbus protocol and thus are also compatible with external logger.

What about the harmonics generated at different loading of the inverters?

The harmonics are measured from order 1.5 to 178. In each order a measurement is done for 11 loading ratios (0%, 10%…100%). The inverter complies with all grid codes that include requirements for harmonics. We support our customers when it comes to certifying their plants by providing the harmonic data and providing a harmonic calculation based on the grid connection and the connected power.

Will the inverter give any info about fan failures?

Yes, the state of the fans is provided in the protocol and can be observed via monitoring.

What is an average price per watt?

2.5 USD ct/W

What is the price for the inverter in Euro/kW?

23 €/kW DDP

What are the suitabilities of the 250HX for roof-top projects?

It is suitable for rooftop projects, but originally built for utility projects. The SG110CX is also built for rooftop and additionally equipped with type 1 SPD on DC side (in some countries this is mandatory for rooftop inverters).

What is the maintenance required for the cooling fans?

No maintenance is required. Only in case of failure they need to be swapped.

For the anti-PID-function, do you need IT grounding system?

Yes

In countries where TN or TT is an obligation, does anti-PID work there?

In those cases customers can use the PID recovery function. The selection of which function you would like to use can be done in the parameter settings.

If we consider anti-PID-solution (not the recovery solution), would it be possible to take 0.6/1 kV cables?

In case of anti-PID, please use 1.8/3 kV cables.

If we use the recovery function, would it be necessary to take 1.8/3 kV cables?

Yes

At 85 degree, won’t you see already a thermal degrading and does one lose yield by this?

We do not have the exact code for the control of the fans. However, the temperature curve that we publish takes the fans and its control mechanism into consideration.

When do you recommend the central solution instead of the string inverter?

This depends on the project location as well as the O&M strategy. A more detailed study on string vs central we will discuss in an upcoming webinar.

What is the maximum cable size that is possible to connect from the inverter to this 6.3 MW PowerStation?

Multi-Core: 240mm², Single-Core: 300mm²

Do these inverters provide reactive power at night?

Yes

What is the maximum current per MPPT? What is maximum oversizing?

As a rule of thumb we recommend max 1.5, but it is also possible to go higher. In these cases we would check case by case and give approval.

Nominal output voltage is 33kV, can you provide for other output voltages e.g 20kV?

Yes

Do you provied energy yield as a temperature function graphics?

Not energy yield vs temperature, but max output power vs temperature.

What is the variation of the output voltage in % you can hold without disconnecting?

It complies with LVRT and HVRT requirements.

Can this inverter stay outside?

Yes, it has C5 and IP66.

Why does it have 800V AC and not 1000V AC?

800 Vac seems to become common practice. Also, more transformers have 0.8kV than 1 kV on LV side.

Does MTBF > 25 years mean that no inverter replacement is required?

MTBF is a common industrial calculation when it comes to approximate lifetime and failure rate. It does take the main parts of the unit into account. But of course, this remains an estimation and no binding promise.

The MTBF of 25 years, will the warranty of the inverter cover that?

No, the maximum warranty extension is 20 years.

In the warranty, you include on-site labour or a pay-hour per intervention?

During the warranty period we pay 180€ for the 1st inverter and 90€ for every additional for the replacement done by the customer.

IV curve scanning is free or need to purchase license?

IV curve scan is part of iSolarCloud

Is Sungrow sourcing their Europe demand from its India Bangalore factory?

No, our inverters for Europe are manufactured at our HQ in Hefei.

Is this IV curve scanning possible in Sungrow central inverters?

Not up to now.

Is any detoration of  the hardware due to ageing? 

There is no detoriation expected.

As now a days PV modules current increase from 9Amp to 12Amp, how to address two parallel strings in one MPPT input?

The maximum current per MPPT arises to 26A (software limitation only, it does not harm the inverter if current exceeds 26A). On the other hand the modules with higher currents go in hand with higher power. So most likely you can then receive a good DC/AC ratio without combining strings.

Is there a max DC/AC ratio allowed?

As a rule of thumb we recommend max 1.5, but it is also possible to go higher. In these cases we would check case by case and give approval.

What is the standard warranty period for this model?

5 years

What is the auxiliart power consumption for this model?

For cooling: < 200W, for control: < 20W

Is the inverter bi-directional, allowing for the integration of dc/dc converters and batteries? If not, is it in the R&D pipeline?

For the future yes, it will be possible to install batteries over DC/DC converter. CAN port for battery communication is already installed

With 24/7 PID-function in day-mode, you need an ungrounded transformer (IT system) correct?

For Anti-PID function (this doesn’t run 24/7, only when PV generator is working)

Who is your supplier for PPC?

Main supplier is Inaccess

Is your MV station certified according to IEC standards?

Yes

We are looking for higher block size .ex .10mw or 12mw. is it available?

In this case you would combine MVS stations.

Can we run Q@night and anti-PID operation at a time?

With a software update it will be possible to use both.

Is the Q regulation something that i can do on a single inverter?

Yes

Where can we get the list of most bankable inverters?

BloombergNEF Solar Module & Inverter Bankability

 

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