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Commonly Used Terms

AFCI

Some inverters are equipped with an Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter and will shut down for safety if an arc is detected. Required by the 2014 NEC.

Alerts

Tigo customers can receive email or SMS notifications about performance-related issues and monitoring interruptions. See monitoring package features for more information.

Bypass Diode

Bypass diodes are located inside the junction box of a PV module. They allow current to flow around shaded groups of cells to reduce voltage loss and minimize hot spots in the module. If a bypass diode fails, the module voltage will be reduced while under load, usually by 33%. This can be identified on the Summary page.

Charts Tab

From the monitoring portal, view detailed graphs of energy production and download spreadsheets. Some features require premium monitoring.

Cloud Connect

The newest version of Tigo's Management Unit, released in 2015. The optimization and monitoring functions are the same, but it includes some new features like WiFi capability.

Dashboard

A display of total energy generated, number of installations, and other environmental info shown to installers and system owners when first logging in to the Tigo monitoring portal. Located above the System Map on the My Installations page. 

Discovery

When commissioning a Tigo system, the Discovery process is a scan that allows the MMU or Cloud Connect to locate and communicate with the optimizers.

Gateway

An antenna that connects to the MMU or Cloud Connect for wireless communication with the optimizers.

Job ID

Installers who manage a fleet of systems can enter their own filing system numbers as an alternate method for looking up their installations.

Junction Box

Junction boxes are mounted on the back of PV modules and contain the connections between the output cables and the conductor ribbons, as well as the bypass diodes.

MAC ID

Also referred to as a serial number or bar code, the MAC ID is the unique ID number of a piece of Tigo hardware.

MLPE

Module-Level Power Electronics - a class of devices that includes power optimizers.

MMU

The Management Unit, or MMU, is the heart of a Tigo-equipped PV system. It runs the control software for optimization and monitoring.

See also Cloud Connect.

MODBUS

A communication protocol for connecting electrical devices. MODBUS-equipped inverters and meters can report data to the MMU or Cloud Connect.

Module

A "photovoltaic module" is an assembly of solar cells, sometimes also called a solar panel.

MPPT

Maximum Power Point Tracking. Tigo optimizers work in conjunction with a central inverter to determine the best possible operating conditions at the module level. See the Optimization article for more information.

Optimizer/Maximizer

Optimizer is a general industry term for DC to DC converters designed to maximize the energy yield from a PV system. A Module Maximizer is Tigo's trademarked add-on optimizer.

Peak Power

Peak power is the nameplate capacity of the modules multiplied by the number of modules in the system.

Power Factory

On the Charts tab of the monitoring portal, this represents the total DC power produced by your system.

Predictive IV

A feature available in the TS4-O and TS4-L covers incorporating MPPT, Impedance Matching, and module behavior statistics for the greatest energy yield as well as selective deployment of optimization. 

PV-Safe

Tigo systems are equipped with a safety shutdown feature that can be activated locally, remotely, or in some cases, automatically.

RS-485

A communication protocol for connecting multiple devices in series. Tigo uses a 4-conductor, twisted pair cable for the connection between the Gateway and MMU/Cloud Connect.

RSSI

Stands for Received Signal Strength Indication, and is a measure of wireless signal strength. Higher numbers are better. RSSI values below 70 mean you may need to re-position or add Gateways. See our article on Gateway Placement for best practices.

Selective Deployment

The ability to choose from different features (including optimization) and place them where needed on your PV system. A feature unique to the TS4.

Smart Module

A PV module that comes pre-assembled with Tigo's electronics already installed in the junction box.

Summary Page

The module-level view of power production through the Tigo monitoring portal.

System ID

A record number used to identify a particular Tigo installation.

TS4

Tigo's universal junction box platform with electronics embedded in the jbox cover. Learn more about TS4 here and here.

Vmp

Voltage at max power. Vmp * Imp = module wattage rating

Voc

Open circuit voltage. The voltage of a module when no load is applied. Used when calculating maximum string length. Smart modules with the longer strings feature limit the output voltage so that more modules can be placed in a string.

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