Australia’s rooftop segment is a world beater. But there remain problems with quality, and installations and the components not living up to some of the claims of suppliers, says SMA’s John Susa. The Executive Vice President Global Sales and Service for the company is in Melbourne for All-Energy Australia and he says it‘s time for real-world performance of components to live up to claims on their data sheets.
German inverter giant SMA Solar Technology reports that the Australian large scale solar market has exceeded its expectations in 2019, as big PV projects continue to move forward despite regulatory uncertainty. Boris Wolff, SMA Executive Vice President for utility scale and projects considers Australia a “blueprint” market for the company’s expanded modeling and grid connection services.
SMA has introduced a firmware update to its inverter range that will take whole or partially shaded modules out of the power output equation. The SMA ShadeFix feature is active as of September and the company promises it will assist rooftop PV array perform optimally in the event of partial shading from trees or rooftop structures like chimneys.
Q Cells is bringing its hybrid inverter, battery system to the Australian market, the Q.Home, and will unveil the new kit at the All-Energy event in Melbourne tomorrow. Along with the Q.Home system, the supplier is introducing its new larger wafer module, which hits 355 Wp on a 60-cell format.
Former Suntech President Shi Zhengrong says that China’s “solar cluster” has worked in an organized way to achieve both scale and product quality and performance. Known widely as Dr Shi, the true solar pioneer is attending next week’s All Energy Australia event, and will be speaking at pv magazine’s Quality Roundtable.
Over the last decade, materials giant DuPont has surveyed more than 2 GW of PV installations and analyzed a range of failure types and their causes. Hong-Jie Hu, DuPont’s solar technical and development lead in China, says that the company is looking for Australian partners for its Global Field Survey program – with a particular interest in hot and humid and desert environments.
A global supplier of electrical cabling for utility scale PV projects has warned that some Australian EPCs are not adopting international solar-industry norms on projects, potentially leading to “massive risk.” Swiss supplier Leoni reports that considering the vast scale of some solar projects in Australia that potential failures could be particularly costly.
Chinese monocrystalline PV giant Longi entered the Australian marketplace a little over two years ago, and it hasn’t wasted a moment in aggressively pursuing both rooftop and large scale market share. Richard Qian, a Longi Australia product engineer, says its high efficiency modules present a compelling offering, underpinned by the company’s commitment to durability and reliability.
The full program has been announced for the Quality Roundtable event to be held at All Energy Australia later this month in Melbourne. Real world case studies involving PID, hotspots, and backsheet failures will be discussed, as with processes for warranty claims when inverters, modules or other solar components fail.
Natural Solar and sonnen have revealed that the first Australian family to adopt the sonnenFlat electricity retail model has saved more than $3,400 on their energy bills in the first year of operation. Given the $18,000 solar+storage price tag, payback for the system under the sonnenFlat is less than six years.
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