Despite the Corona pandemic, SMA Solar was able to significantly improve its financial results over the past year and has met its 2020 forecasts. Overall, the German PV company has installed more than 100 GW of solar inverter power globally.
The German research institute wants to develop an efficient and reliable methodology, which could contribute to considerable cost reductions in photovoltaic generation – both for manufacturers and operators.
Plus, Italian developers continue to dig deep for their health service, the pandemic piles on problems for a debt-saddled Chinese company and analysts consider whether there will be any money left for a green economic recovery after the dust settles.
The Chinese conglomerate has revealed how it will further integrate artificial intelligence (AI) in its string devices this year. The approach includes the transformation of inverters into smart PV controllers, the development of AI inference modules and the creation of an AI training and inference platform. Machine learning will also be incorporated into operations and maintenance, grid management and PV plant design.
The Chinese manufacturer has integrated the Solis 110 kW string inverter into its 5G tech platform. The company claims the upgraded device can offer stronger system returns and a lower levelized cost of energy. The price of the Solis-110K-5G inverter is €0.035/W.
The transformer-free products have a power range of 3-6 kW and efficiency of 97.8%. The Chinese manufacturer says the devices are designed to accurately match the voltage and phase of the grid sine wave AC waveform.
Researchers from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a tool to balance customer curtailment and grid stability. The “Precise” tool for utilities provides unique inverter settings tailored to each customer, with minimal investment and labor for companies that use it.
A U.S. research group is now developing new inverters to protect solar installations from cyberattacks. The researchers also aim to create new cybersecurity standards. Professor Alan Mantooth, the group’s research coordinator, said that inverters can be shut down if they are hacked, or contribute to grid instability and result in the overcharging of batteries, while potentially creating problems that we still don’t know how to address.
The company has warned shareholders about the potential affect of the virus on its operations in the first half of the year but said Chinese operations had almost returned to normal.
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