KACO new energy news release - smart module technology

Enables smart modules to achieve 30% longer string lengths

August 20, 2013


GRASS VALLEY, Calif. KACO new energy, a global leader in solar inverter manufacturing with over six gigawatts of PV inverters in the field to date, validates and approves of the new technology from Tigo Energy that enables smart modules to achieve 30% longer string lengths.

KACO new energy, a global leader in PV inverter manufacturing with
6.8 gigawatts of inverters deployed since 1999, today announced the successful completion of testing on Smart Module technology provided by Tigo Energy.

The nine month, in-depth test successfully validated claims that Smart Modules with this technology could regulate the maximum voltage output of a solar panel under any number of conditions thus allowing 30% longer strings and enhanced inverter functionality.

The patented technology from Tigo energy, called "Smart Curve", regulates the maximum voltage output of a solar panel. A typical 60-cell polycrystalline module, for example, could be programmed to a max voltage of 32V as compared to 38V for a traditional module. The maximum voltage does not change with temperature. This enables modules to be designed with 30% longer strings than traditional modules while still remaining within IEC and NEC requirements. This represents about 5 cents per watt of BOS (Balance of system) savings from fewer combiner boxes, fuses, and fewer home runs.

KACO new energy recently launched their three-phase, transformerless inverter solution optimized for use with smart modules utilizing Tigo Energy's patented Smart Curve technology.

"When paired with Smart Modules our inverters have a higher degree of flexibility," said Josh Levinson, Regional Sales Manager KACO new energy. "With Smart Module technology we can achieve a tighter DC input window than ever before, which enables us to optimize our solution offerings. The new 50.0 TL3 inverter designed to work with Smart Modules is a revolutionary step in how an inverter and a module can be designed to work together. We are pleased to be able to say that Tigo Energy's Smart Curve technology successfully passed our stringent testing."

Available today, blueplanet 50.0 TL3 inverters optimized for Smart Modules offer a best-in-class solution to commercial installations.
The KACO new energy inverter design offers the highest power density in this product class. This transformerless inverter is highly efficient at 97.5% and very lightweight, contributing only 7.6 pounds per kilowatt.

"We're pleased to continue our strong partnership with KACO new energy," Said James Bickford Director of Global OEM's at Tigo Energy. "KACO new energy has consistently demonstrated leadership in their willingness to integrate their Tier 1 inverter technology with Smart Module technology. This new inverter offering enables a superior system-level solution for Smart Module deployments that we believe will dramatically increase the adoption of Smart Module technology worldwide."

For more information on Tigo Energy's Smart Curve technology please visit (http://www.tigoenergy.com/sites/default/files/smart-curve_application_note_v1.3.4.pdf).

About KACO new energy
KACO new energy is a global leader for PV system solutions with a culture of excellence in the photovoltaic inverter and power electronics industries. The German-based engineers have been developing, designing and manufacturing current inverters and power electronics for more than 60 years. The KACO blueplanet product family has set new standards in photovoltaic applications - particularly in reliability, efficiency, power density, and patented intellectual technology.

Additional information about KACO is available at www.kaco-newenergy.com.

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