Solar Power International 2018 Preview

Vendor and Equipment Highlights

After a two-year absence, SPI 2018 returns to Southern California for a 4-day residency at the Anaheim Convention Center, September 24–27.

Produced by Solar Energy Trade Shows, Solar Power International (SPI) is a collaboration between the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Co-located events include Energy Storage International, Hydrogen + Fuel Cells North America and the Smart Energy Microgrid Marketplace. With more than 620 confirmed exhibitors and over 1,500 companies already represented, the producers hope to draw 20,000 industry professionals to Anaheim. If attendance exceeds expectations, as was the case in Las Vegas in 2017, SPI will have achieved 5 consecutive years of sustained growth.

SPI 2018 attendees can expect to find more technologies and services showcased on the expo floor than ever before, with dedicated pavilions or halls for hydrogen fuel cells, smart energy microgrids, software, energy storage, and commercial and industrial solutions. The expo floor will include dedicated areas for start-ups, poster presentations and networking. It will also host multiple trainings, receptions and happy hours. Away from the expo hall, attendees can choose from 100-plus educational sessions and a half dozen special events, including a block party, golf tournament, fun run and solar job fair. Educational opportunities include pre- and post-conference workshops, as well as concurrent sessions covering a wide range of topics such as asset management and finance, grid modernization and others. With so much to choose from, SPI attendees would be smart to prioritize their needs and plan their schedules in advance.

Because there is never enough time to take everything in—and some people will not be able to make the trip—this article showcases ten vendors entering SPI with new products, services or announcements, as well as an off-site documentary film screening. Some of these items debuted in June at Intersolar North America. However, companies generally save their biggest North American market announcements for SPI. So book your flight to LAX or John Wayne Airport and get those tickets to Disneyland.

ABB • Booth 2604

ABB / abb.com/solarinverters

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, ABB is a multinational corporation with four global business divisions: power grids, electrification products, industrial automation, and robotics and motion. After acquiring Power-One in 2013, ABB based its US solar inverter operations in Phoenix, Arizona, where it employed as many as 450 people. In response to challenging market conditions, however, the company laid off its US solar manufacturing employees in 2016, moving these jobs to Latvia and Italy. With this restructuring in its rearview mirror, ABB has rebuilt its North American solar inverter portfolio from the ground up. In March, the company introduced a new residential single-phase inverter line that includes five power ratings between 3.3 kW and 6.0 kW. The line is compatible with Tigo’s TS4 optimizer platform for rapid-shutdown compliance. In June, it introduced its newest commercial 3-phase string inverter, the 60 kW TRIO-TM-60. Both inverter platforms are listed to UL 1741 SA and are Rule 21 compliant. ABB’s best new inverter product may be yet to come to North America. At Intersolar Europe, the company took home an innovation award for the PVS-175-TL, a 1,500 Vdc–rated string inverter for small- or large-scale ground-mount applications capable of delivering 185 kW of active power.

ALSOENERGY • Booth 1420

AlsoEnergy / 866.303.5668 / alsoenergy.com

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, AlsoEnergy provides software platforms and technology solutions for monitoring and controlling energy production assets. Ranked by Greentech Media as the top independent solar monitoring vendor in the US commercial market, AlsoEnergy provides standardized data acquisition systems, custom-designed supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) solutions and California Independent System Operator (CAISO)–compliant RIG solutions. After introducing its PowerTrack platform in 2009, AlsoEnergy expanded its portfolio and customer base by acquiring DECK Monitoring in 2013. Fast-forward 5 years and AlsoEnergy is once again in mergers and acquisitions mode. In July, AlsoEnergy acquired the assets of another US solar monitoring pioneer, Draker Corporation, and announced a partnership with skytron energy, a leading solar monitoring company in Europe. These moves strengthen AlsoEnergy’s solutions portfolio and global footprint. At SPI AlsoEnergy will showcase its monitoring, control and performance analysis solutions, including PowerCMMS, a computerized maintenance-management module for PowerTrack that centralizes plant operations and analytics.

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