Generac introduces a string power and rapid shutdown device to simplify and optimize rooftop solar

Generac says the PWRzone uses fewer complex components than module-level power electronics (MLPEs).

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Wisconsin — Generac Power Systems has introduced a new, more efficient approach to PV system design and optimization with PWRzone, a total system installation innovation that is faster, more robust and uses fewer complex components than module-level power electronics (MLPEs).

Generac’s simplified PWRzone system solves several problems faced by solar installers using traditional equipment: high failure rates, low efficiency, and complex installations.

Competing systems require multiple connection points and hundreds of complex electrical parts, PWRzone reduces the number of connections that must be made on the roof, which also reduces the chance for faulty connections. Because PWRzone uses fewer components and less energy, more solar energy is available to the system owner. And, a recent MPPT shade study showed that PWRzone is a more efficient way to manage shade in a solar installation.

A PWRzone is a customizable sub-array composed of standard solar modules, PV Links, which is Generac’s 2500W optimizer and SnapRS, a rapid shutdown switch, where required. The PWRzone architecture allows installers to quickly install by roof conditions and facets. PWRzone gives you the efficiency of a string optimization approach but also the ability to maximize production in all shading scenarios. Installers can put as many as nine PV modules on a single optimizer or as few as two.

“We saw an opportunity to simplify and improve a complex system for installers and homeowners alike,” said Russ Minick, Chief Marketing Officer for Generac. “PWRzone creates a cost savings for the installer and a power savings to the system owner. As the clean energy market grows, PWRzone will enable installers to tackle more installations and allow more homeowners to harness clean energy to power their homes and lives. We observed that the straight string approach performs better than MLPE in sunny and mostly sunny conditions, while MLPE performs better in significantly shaded installations. We decided to make a system that delivers the best of both approaches. That is PWRzone. It is innovative, it is simply a better way.”

The simplicity of designing the PV system with PWRzone equates to faster install times and better margins for installers together with fewer points of failure and better power utilization for the homeowner. PWRzone adds an element of simplicity when designing solar for Generac PWRcell and is a big next step for Generac’s Clean Energy business and product lineup.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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