Fraunhofer CSE unveils plug-and-play PV systems

Installation and commissioning of a string inverter system in 75 minutes was demonstrated at the organization’s “2016 Demo Day”

The Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) has demonstrated two installations of its Plug and Play solar photovoltaic (PV) systems as part of its “2016 Demo Day” in Boston. The organization’s Plug and Play PV project has a goal to make the installation of PV systems as easy and safe as the installation of a home appliance.

Fraunhofer CSE demonstrated both a string inverter-based PV system, which was installed and commissioned in 75 minutes, and a microinverter-based installation. The demo day was attended by Massachusetts state officials including Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton.

“We have taken the Plug and Play PV approach to the next level by demonstrating that different technology approaches can meet the vision with simplified installation, simplified inspection, and electronic permitting, inspection and interconnection,” says Fraunhofer CSE Executive Director Dr. Christian Hoepfner. “This opens the path for many manufacturers to develop and offer Plug and Play PV systems.”

Fraunhofer CSE’s Plug and Play project is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, which has a goal of reducing the cost of residential PV systems to US$1.50 per watt by 2020.

The organization says that it is now working on piloting the Plug and Play PV system on a larger scale in collaboration with un-named commercial partners in 2017.