Boston and Cambridge, UK -- Enecsys Ltd. has teamed with Ember Corp. to bring wireless ZigBee communications to roof-top solar photovoltaic (PV) systems so that households and businesses can better monitor and optimize their systems' performance.
Enecsys has integrated Ember's ZigBee system-on-chip and ZigBee PRO software into its SMI series of micro inverters, which convert the DC output of solar panels into AC for connection to the electricity grid. Unlike traditional centralized string inverters, Enecsys' micro inverters connect to each module of a solar PV system, or each pair of modules in the case of the Duo product. They deliver better energy harvest, higher reliability, longer life expectancy, and greater solar PV design flexibility.
Each Enecsys micro inverter has Ember's ZigBee technology built in to communicate detailed information on the performance of each solar module, which string inverters cannot do. The Ember-enabled micro inverters provide real-time and historical data to a user-friendly graphical interface so that users can ensure PV system performance is optimized over the life of its installation.
The ZigBee-based monitoring system can be used to detect performance issues and pinpoint the exact location and nature of the problem, such as shading or dust on a section of a module. The micro inverter also connects to an Ember-enabled ZigBee-to-IP gateway that enables monitoring from any Internet device. And an Enecsys iPhone app enables remote monitoring from anywhere in the world, using the mobile device.
"Ember's ZigBee technology enabled us to deliver a micro inverter solution with robust wireless communications that's easy and inexpensive to install," said Louis-Philippe Lalonde, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Product Management at Enecsys. "We selected Ember because of the company's leadership in the ZigBee industry and the reliability of their technology."
Ember's ZigBee networking systems—chips, ZigBee protocol software, and tools—simplify the complexity of integrating embedded software, networking, and RF for developing low-power, wireless products in connected home, smart energy, and other remote monitoring and control applications.
"While ZigBee is already the wireless standard of choice for devices in smart home and smart energy applications, Enecsys is leading the charge in extending ZigBee communications onto the roof for grid-connected solar PV systems," said Bert Lutje Berenbroek, Ember's Vice President of Sales for EMEA. "The long life, reliability, and robustness of its micro inverter family demands the same level of performance for its wireless communications capabilities, which Ember is proud to deliver."
Enecsys Ltd., develops, manufacturers, and markets world-leading, highly reliable grid-connected solar micro inverters and monitoring systems that offer an outstanding value proposition for solar PV systems. The micro inverter converts and controls the DC power from each solar module into clean AC power for supply to the electricity grid. The advantages of Enecsys solar micro inverters include maximized energy harvest, improved safety, increased lifetime and reliability, enhanced performance monitoring, and simplified PV array design and installation. The monitoring system tracks in real time the performance of each PV module and transmits the information through a robust built-in wireless communication system that connects to the Internet via a gateway. Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, the company also has sales and support offices in Bad Homburg, Germany; Redwood Shores, CA; and Taipei, Taiwan.
Ember Corp. (twitter: @EmberCorp) develops wireless mesh networking technology—chips, software, and tools—for smart energy, connected homes, and many other monitoring and control applications enabling greener living and work environments. The Boston-based company is a promoter of the ZigBee Alliance, with an IC design center in Cambridge, England, an office in Hong Kong, and sales channels and distributors worldwide.