Fraunhofer CSE Presents Live Demo of Plug and Play PV to Advance Residential Solar

Fraunhofer CSE demonstrated commercial-ready Plug and Play PV systems in Charlestown, MA, on June 16, 2016.

Fraunhofer CSE demonstrated commercial-ready Plug and Play PV systems in Charlestown, MA, on June 16, 2016.

The Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE successfully demonstrated two installations of Plug and Play PV (photovoltaic solar) systems at its “2016 Demo Day” on June 16 at MassCEC’s Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, MA. Plug and Play PV Systems are easy to install, easy to inspect for code compliance, and can participate in electronic Permitting, Inspection and Interconnection (ePI&I) processes. The vision for Plug and Play PV is to make solar system installation as easy and safe as it is for everyday appliances.

The Plug and Play PV project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, will help to dramatically reduce the installed cost of residential PV systems, from $3-4/Watt today to $1.50/Watt by 2020.

Fraunhofer CSE Executive Director, Dr. Christian Hoepfner, explains the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Award-funded Plug and Play PV system at the live demo on June 16, 2016.

Fraunhofer CSE Executive Director, Dr. Christian Hoepfner, explains the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Award-funded Plug and Play PV system at the live demo on June 16, 2016.

“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 Dr. Christian Hoepfner, Executive Director of Fraunhofer CSE and principal investigator on the Plug and Play PV project. “This opens the path for many manufacturers to develop and offer Plug and Play PV systems. Fraunhofer CSE and its commercial partners are now looking forward to piloting the Plug and Play PV approach on a larger scale in 2017.”

Fraunhofer CSE has been working closely with a number of major stakeholders, including the City of Boston, electrical utilities like National Grid and Eversource, and industry partners such as Lumeta, SunPower and VoltServer, among others.

“The Commonwealth’s partnership with Fraunhofer CSE continues to drive innovation and cut energy costs while making clean energy options like solar more accessible to residents and businesses” said Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to Massachusetts’ leadership in clean energy, we’re proud to support these types of public-private partnerships that aim to transform clean energy marketplaces.”

As part of the Plug and Play Demo Day, Fraunhofer CSE performed a live installation of a string inverter PV system including commissioning in less than 2 hours. Another Plug and Play PV system based on micro-inverters was also demonstrated. The project will next develop pilot projects in multiple utility territories in 2017.

For more information about the Plug and Play Solar PV Systems Project, visit: cse.fraunhofer.org/pnp.

About author

Anne Williams is Fraunhofer CSE’s Marketing Coordinator. She works with the Center’s staff to foster CSE’s business relations and make its activities known to the public.

2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Are any of the photographs taken during the demonstration available?

    • Hi Eric,

      There will be professional photos available but not until the end of the month. What specifically were you looking at getting for your use? Please email me at ldillon@cse.fraunhofer.org.

      Thank you!

      ~Lindsey Dillon
      Marketing Manager
      Fraunhofer CSE

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