Direct Grid has added Echelon’s ISO standard power line smart transceivers to each micro-inverter, which communicate with Echelon’s i.LON SmartServer to access Direct Grid’s WattTrack software for visualizing tracking, harvesting and performance data. The power line based network allows Direct Grid to reliably communicate amongst thousands of panels over hundreds of acres.
Integrating the solar panels into a power line communicating energy control network with Echelon’s technology enables Direct Grid to improve diagnostics, remote management and control, and lower the life cycle cost of the installation. In addition, Direct Grid can leverage the energy control network over the lifetime of the panel installation.
Frank Cooper, Direct Grid’s president and principal, explains that PV panel efficiency is constantly improving “but by small increments. Adding energy control networking to our micro-inverter products allows us to address efficiency at a system level and provide substantial additional performance improvement. Echelon’s energy control network multiplies the benefits of micro-inverters and gives us tremendous system control capabilities as well as insight into what is happening throughout the installation – system wide, by rows of panels, and at the individual panel. Efficiency and control are the combination that our customers want.”
Direct Grid reports that Echelon’s energy control networking technology “integrates well with other equipment, scales easily and cost effectively…because it is more reliable and less costly to install and maintain than competing systems.”
Echelon’s senior vice president of commercial markets, Anders Axelsson, adds: “Our energy control networking technology coupled with innovations like Direct Grid’s micro-inverters combine control of energy supply and demand right at the edge of the grid, facilitating the evolution of the smart grid. This combination is a big step forward in delivering low-cost, reliable, manageable, renewable energy.”
For more information, visit http://www.echelon.com/products/transceivers/powerline/ and http://www.echelon.com/products/cis/smartserver/ .