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Last week we celebrated our ten years anniversary. Time to look back and say thank you to all of our customers for their loyalty and partnership through 10 messages.

Founded in 2007, SMA France, which is part of SMA West Europe has today 35 employees. The French market has the particularity to be heterogeneous (both residential, commercial and utility segments are represented).

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Jan Van Laethem, SMA West Europe regional manager, at the celebration.

“We have passed this symbolic 10-year milestone. But this event is primarily focused on tomorrow, with the recent political developments in France and the publication of decrees relating to self-consumption, carrying strong expectations” said Jan Van Laethem, SMA West Europe regional manager, during the event.

“If France experienced a stop & go market on the last ten years, the French market is now expected to grow again offering excellent prospects for the coming years.”

Energy that changes: the smoothie bike was a highlight at the celebration party.

Energy that changes: the smoothie bike was a highlight at the celebration party.


 

The 10th anniversary of SMA France in Lyon took place on May 18th. The event was attended by around 100 guests, including installers, partners, developers, journalists and SMA employees.  Two highlights were a visit of the 152 kilowatts self-consumption PV Power Plant with SMA inverters in the rooftop of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region headquarter and a smootie bike 😉

 
 

We’re looking forward to the next 10 years.

www.sma-france.com

The SMA France team say thank you!

The SMA France team say thank you!

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SMA will present its new Sunny Island generation at Intersolar Munich 2017. The new Sunny Island -12 may look like the old one on the outside but this one is more “communicative”. 

1. Bye-bye Sunny Remote Control, hello WLAN

We have said good-bye to the old Sunny Remote Control (SRC-20). Now we have WLAN and a web user interface, so with a computer, a tablet or a cellphone with WLAN you can sign in to the Sunny Island to set its parameters, or get information such as current status, events, warning messages and more.

2. New configuration

The new Sunny Island web user interface makes really easy to configure a system. Instead of  the old list of parameters, now there is a simple overview of important points (AC-site, DC-site, inverter and more) and we can set different possibilities under each point.

Web User interface

3. Easy system integration

Thanks to the new WLAN feature, we have made easy the system integration. You can connect directly the system into Sunny Places or Sunny Portal via WLAN or web user interface.

This means that an extra SMA communication device is no longer needed in systems with up to four devices, the Sunny Island can sign the router via WLAN and send its data directly to Sunny Portal/Sunny Places.

4. New extended data logging

An advantage for end-users and professionals. We can download detailed data from our system via web user interface, this data can be used for system analysis or in case of failure by SMA service as the new logging intervals goes from seconds to days! With the optional SD card it is possible to extend the monitoring period.

5. Now with a 10-year warranty

How about that? We know that we build the most reliable battery inverters of the market with IP54 and a unique overload capacity compared to other off-grid inverters, so we offer a free warranty extension. The customer just needs to register their product and the warranty automaticall increases from 5 to 10 years.

6. Up to 20% reduction in system costs

And on top of the new communication interface, the extended data logging and the warranty extension, we also offer up to a 17% reduction in system costs for SI 4.4M systems and up to 20% for SI 8.0H systems.

There is also a reduction in installation costs and a time saving wizard for configuration.

Sunny Island inverters in an off-grid plant for rural areas in Ruanda. Source: Tesvolt

Sunny Island inverters in an off-grid plant for rural areas in Ruanda. Source: Tesvolt

7. Exchange of circuit board in the field

Under defined conditions, we are able to exchange the circuit board in the field. If something happens in an installation, this is extremely helpful to the end customer because we do not need to replace the entire inverter if only the circuit board is broken. We can react faster and it is cheaper to replace one part versus the entire inverter.

One last bit of information

The electrical characteristics and chassis stay the same in the new Sunny Island -12 generation as in the -11 generation. The new Sunny Island version -12 will be available in the old 8.0H, 6.0H and 4.4M power classes. The Sunny Island 3.0M will be discontinued.

More Information

For more information visit us at Intersolar Europe or check our product website.

SMA Intersolar Europe 2017

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November 4, 2016, was a very special day for Stéphane Onillon. The 42-year-old manages the hypermarket Leclerc in Pineuilh near Bordeaux, and on November 4 Michel-Edouard Leclerc, CEO of France’s largest retail chain, came personally to Pineuilh to officially inaugurate the brand-new PV system on the shopping mall’s parking lot roof.It was such an exciting moment,” recalled Onillon. “The PV system is a special project. It will not only help us make our electricity supply more sustainable but will also enable us to become more independent from the electric utility company and save money year after year.”

Onillon will save €75,000 a year on the mall’s electricity bill thanks to the system, which has an output of 500 kW. The clean solar power will be used almost completely in the shopping mall itself and will cover around 15% of its overall annual electricity demand. As a special service for customers, Onillon has installed charging stations for electric cars in the parking lot, which are also fed by the PV system.

“More and more business managers like Onillon are using self-generated solar power directly or in conjunction with storage systems to reduce their operating costs,” said Maik Brüschke, Head of Product Group Solutions Commercial at SMA. “But this is just the beginning. In the future, they will have even more opportunities to benefit from having PV systems installed on their buildings, parking lot rooftops and ground surfaces, and will see their energy costs reduced even further. The key lies in intelligent energy management.”

The idea is to manage various energy sources and loads, including photovoltaics, heat pumps, CHP plants or electric vehicles in combination with storage systems and electricity purchased from the grid, in a way that optimizes the costs of supply. And as photovoltaics are set to be the world’s most cost-effective energy source in the foreseeable future, this primarily means using as much self-produced solar power as possible.

Digitization is giving Rise to new Business Models

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Customer-friendly. Hypermarché Leclerc visitors can charge their e-cars with clean solar energy while shopping.

“For private households, SMA has already been offering a comprehensive energy management solution for many years,” said Brüschke. “These experiences have also been incorporated into our energy management solution for commercial business, which we will be bringing to market over the course of this year.” When it comes to commercial energy management, far more components need to be integrated into the system and managed with pinpoint accuracy than in private households. To allow companies to reduce electricity costs effectively, the SMA system analyzes energy flows in operation, identifies efficiency potential and can manage generators, consumers and storage systems accordingly. Ensuring optimum interaction between all components is dependent upon them being able to communicate with each other seamlessly. To enable this, SMA has already been working for some time with leading companies in neighboring sectors such as heat and cooling technology as well as the automotive sector.

A key element for SMA’s new, integrated solutions is the Sunny Tripower CORE1, the world’s first free-standing inverter specially designed for commercial applications. “This means that it can be installed without a frame directly on the rooftop or on the ground in the shortest time, allowing us to reduce installation time by as much as 60% depending on the design of the roof,” explained Brüschke. To reduce project costs even further, SMA has also equipped the Sunny Tripower CORE1 with other functions that enable it to be integrated quickly and easily into the overall system. The new inverter features state-of-the-art interfaces for rapid and straightforward communication and grid integration – which will be especially important for the decentralized and digital energy supply of the future.

Operators don’t have to take care of anything

“The next step where we would like to provide our customers with greater support in the future is integration into the energy market,” continued Brüschke. “After all, decentralization and digitization of the energy supply are bringing about a whole new set of opportunities for companies.” For example, they could sell surplus self-generated solar power to other companies or become part of a virtual power plant made up of multiple decentralized generation systems. Another opportunity in the future will come from utilizing the batteries of company-owned electric vehicles. Targeted charging with cost-efficient (PV) electricity as well as discharging while vehicles are not being used will present additional opportunities for energy optimization of the overall system.

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Efficient. With the Sunny Tripower CORE1, commercial PV system operators like Stéphan Onillon will be able to save up to 60% on installation time and further reduce their operating costs.

But doesn’t that all sound rather complicated and like too much hard work? Brüschke laughs: “We wouldn’t be SMA if we left our customers to handle all this alone. With our expertise and our partners, we are there for our customers to make the actually complicated world of decentralized energy supply systems as simple as possible. This is why we offer end-to-end solutions from a single source. This includes tools for system design and system simulation as well as system components and also integrated energy services for analyzing and optimizing energy flows or integration into the energy market. We also take care of operational management and system maintenance on request. And, where needed, we adapt the system flexibly to suit changes in operators’ needs at any time, thus allowing our customers to concentrate fully on what they do best: their core business.”

This article was first published in Annual Report 2016.

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Stretching thousands of kilometres, across mountains and deserts, the Silk Road holds a special place in history. Traversed by Marco Polo and named after one of its most precious goods, the trade route facilitated an exchange of ideas, technology, and animals between East and West, Asia, Europe and Africa. Though its relevance waned with the opening of sea routes between Asia and Europe, the rebirth of China’s economic power and ambitions over the last decade has rejuvenated the once dormant route.

No longer a winding caravan trail, China’s new Belt and Road Initiative aims to interconnect and bring development, stability, and resource security across 60 countries. At the centre of powering this economic ambition is renewable energy.

“China is at the forefront of the energy revolution. Thanks to its long-term policy framework and its huge manufacturing capacity, China has become the principal market for renewable energy worldwide,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, during the Infrastructure Connectivity session of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. He was among 70 international organisation heads and 30 heads of state at the two-day gathering that took place in Beijing, China, on 14 and 15 May 2017.

Speaking about the Belt and Road Initiative’s potential to boost the transition to renewable energy and push global energy development into a new phase, Mr Amin said, “The Initiative can not only help to interconnect electricity grids and deploy more renewable energy, but it can also expand electricity markets to countries with extremely high renewable energy potential, including those in Central Asia. China has the technology and the resources, and it can help to achieve these goals by building partnerships and cooperation.”

One Road, One Belt

Introduced in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is a pan-regional co-operation framework that facilitates implementing existing infrastructure projects, and initiates new projects. The initiative combines China’s different foreign and domestic policies with existing and new political and financial cooperation mechanisms, to prioritise thematic areas of cooperation, including energy infrastructure development.

“As the energy transition progresses, power grid infrastructure interconnections will be key to facilitate larger and flexible electricity markets that can integrate higher shares of variable renewable energy. As much as 2,000 GW of interconnection capacity will be required by 2050 in order for enough renewables to be deployed to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement,” the Director-General told the plenary.

“The Belt-and-Road Initiative can provide a promising platform to help meet the need for infrastructural interconnections between countries, particularly if it has greater focus on low-carbon growth and sustainable energy,” the Director-General added.

To meet its aims, the Initiative established the Silk Road Fund. With investments totaling USD 40 billion from the Chinese government and banks, the Fund provides medium to long-term investment in development, primarily through equity investment, to support infrastructure, resources and energy development, industrial capacity co-operation, and financial co-operation in countries and regions involved in the Initiative.

Planning to power

In Central Asia, China has developed a pipeline of renewable energy projects focusing on hydropower, solar, wind and biomass energy, and has been active in the strategic planning and preparations of projects. The country is also looking beyond Asia, and has been investing in African renewables and collaborating with Middle East developers to achieve record low prices for solar energy. These development partnerships are exemplified in Egypt, where a Chinese renewable energy company has committed to build a one gigawatt solar PV project and a factory for silicon solar panels.

“The scale of such undertakings requires careful, long-term planning and financing. Grids must not only be connected, but must integrate technologies that allow for flexibility, distributed generation and smart management, and must be laid out to allow access for areas rich in renewable energy resources. At the same time, markets and business models must adapt,” Mr Amin said.

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