Hardware brief: ProteaBracket 34% lighter, silicon carbide subcomponents, wtf!! California, and more!

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S-5 – ProteaBracket now available in aluminum – “34% lighter – saves on shipping! The unit is compatible with common metal roofing materials and comes with a pre-applied EPDM gasket on the base. The bracket features an adjustable attachment base and module attachment options to accommodate different roof profile dimensions and mounting options.” Source – S-5

Silicon carbide finding its way further into solar inverters (more learning curves): “Infineon this week released a 1500V/48kHz inverter power module that combines its CoolSiC MOSFET and TRENCHSTOP IGBT devices. The new ANPC topology supports a system efficiency of more than 99%. Implementing the hybrid Easy 2B power module (specification page – pdf) in e.g. the DC/AC stage of a 1500 V solar string inverter allows for coils to be smaller than with devices with a lower switching frequency. It therefore weighs significantly less than a corresponding inverter with purely siliconcomponents. Additionally, the losses with silicon carbide are smaller than with silicon. For this reason, less heat must be dissipated so that the heat sink can also shrink. Overall, this leads to smaller inverter housings and costs savings at system level. Compared to 5-level topologies, the 3-level design reduces complexity of the inverter design.” – Source – Infinion

 

EIA’s Monthly Solar Photovoltaic Module Shipments Reports release: First a note, “The subset of respondents who now must report monthly accounts for about 90% of photovoltaic (PV) activity in the United States, based on 2017 data.The report (pdf) shows imported pricing of modules has fallen to 39¢/W from a peak of 52¢/W when the 30% tariff was implemented in 2018. As well, two of the last three months reported have seen about a full gigawatt of product shipped, which is 50% higher than the running twelve month average of 670 MW of shipped product.

 

NREL+battery cell testing+smart people: “Berkeley-based Feasible, Inc. hopes to (detect internal physical defects and use that to predict a battery’s longevity) with its ultrasound-based hardware-software diagnostic system, which will be tested at NREL as a part of the Shell GameChanger Accelerator Powered by NREL (GCxN). NREL Battery Control Engineer Ying Shi is one of the four lead researchers working on the inaugural cohort of GCxN.Feasible has been able to test its technology and modeling only on pouch batteries. These are small, flexible batteries, usually lithium-polymer, used in lightweight applications like drones. To test them and predict their lifespan, researchers attach sensors to both sides of a pouched cell to detect physical deformations if they exist. They then correlate that with physical degradation of the cell and run a model to see its degradation rate and lifespan.” Source – NREL

And for you northern folks – Guido Morandin of Work Monster, Inc. in Canada is the winner of the S-5! Snow Guard Success Story Contest! – “The exposed-fastened Vic West SuperVic profile called for a reliable attachment solution that would support heavy-duty applications like snow retention. Work Monster selected the VersaBracket™ for the job. To complete the desired aesthetics, ColorGard® was chosen.” Source – S-5

 

There’s all the cool hardware up above that we want to deploy – but just a reminder of the hardware we want to get rid of…and my gosh? Are you serious? I am so surprised to ever see something like this these days, let alone burning in California.