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New “Smart” Solar Modules Unveiled by Upsolar

Upsolar yesterday unveiled that it has created new “smart modules” with the help of Tigo Energy. Reportedly, these are the first smart modules to be certified by TÜV Rheinland PTL for Europe and North America. The new smart modules are good for residential, commercial, or utility-scale solar installations.

.2 MW smart array in Sharon, VT (Photo: Talmage Solar Engineering)

But what is a “smart” module?

Here’s how Upsolar explains it [PDF]: “Tigo Energy’s optimizers leverage proprietary impedance matching technology to increase the power harvest of each module and mitigate performance challenges related to soiling, cloud-induced shading, module mismatch and temperature differentials. Optimizers also enable a reduction in balance of systems costs through increased string lengths, as well as enhanced safety and fire protection through arc fault protection. The product is suitable for both sloped and flat rooftops, as well as ground-mounted systems.

“To create a smart module, optimizers are embedded into Upsolar modules’ junction boxes during the module manufacturing process. By integrating the two units, Upsolar can offer its customers seamless installation and lower operation and maintenance costs while enhancing overall system performance. Additionally, users can remotely monitor performance at the module and system levels through Tigo Energy’s module-level monitoring software and mobile app.”

Tigo Energy’s module-level monitoring software (Photo: Tigo Energy)

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