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Application: Operational Efficiency

 

 

Inverter Flexibility

Available roof space limits the number of panels that can be put into a system, and the number of panels determines the type of inverter needed for the system. However, no matter the quality of the inverter, traditionally there are gaps in panel-number that the inverter does not cover, because of its Vmppt window and temperature coefficients. Usually in such cases (when the optimal number of panels for a given project falls within the gap not covered by a particular inverter), the designer must choose a different inverter or a different module type. But Tigo is able to reduce and in some cases eliminate the gap, thus decreasing the number of inverter types needed in stock at any given time.

 

This chart illustrates the additional flexibility in the case of the IG Plus inverter. For example, traditionally systems with 29-36 panels would require another string, but Tigo enables to remin with only 2, by increasing string length and enabling uneven strings

 

The exciting thing about this is now, with one to two types of inverter, you can cover all systems under 18kWdc! This reduces the amount of inverter SKUs needed in stock at any time and significantly increases operational efficiency. Having only one or two types of inverters to manage also decreases the lead-time between sale and installation and speeds up installation.

 

Panel Flexibility

Increased flexibility is also noticeable in regards to PV modules. Whether for original design or retrofit, traditionally designers are forced to use modules with similar parameters in order to avoid underperformance caused by modular mismatch. To abide by these limitations, designers usually have to stock large numbers of extra panels in the case of a replacement in the future. This not only requires costly storage, it also doesn’t even really solve the problem since the replacement panel is brand new while the ones in the field have degraded under the force of the elements for some time, meaning there is mismatch.

Traditionally, in cases where similar panels are not available, the alternative is to use an inverter with two MPPTs in order to compensate for differentiation. On the other hand, Tigo’s technology allows for the use of a wide variety of panel types in the same array without the need for a special inverter.

 

 This Table shows that, in this case, Tigo has the ability to tolerate differences of 24% in voltage and 19% in current, which allows for differences of ±215 in power 

 

This means rather than waiting for a particular panel to arrive before starting a project, with Tigo you can use whatever panels you have in stock and simply attach a standard one-size-fits-all Tigo Optimizer.

Tigo also increases your options when faced with another common obstacle: an auditor cutting a panel. Traditionally when this happens, you would have to redesign the array according to the available roof space and renegotiate the contract. With Tigo you have choices: you can opt to install a few higher rated modules (72 cells) or you can stretch your design deeper into the shade or you can add the additional panel in a different orientation. This added flexibility eliminates the need for contract renegotiation, ensures a better experience for the customer and it is perfect for retrofitting.  

 

Conclusion

The flexibility afforded by Tigo’s latest technology is reducing the number of items needed in your inventory and putting those that are in stock to their best use. Simplify design, decrease lead time between sale and installation, and increase your operational efficiency by incorporating Tigo into your next job.

Note: Only Smart Modules, i.e. PV modules with Tigo's optimizer integrated into the junction box, offer the longer strings functionality. Add-on optimizers, such as the 2ES, are not equipped with this feature.

 

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