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 SunSpec Alliance Newsletter November/December  2011
In this Issue
Welcome New SunSpec Members
News from SunSpec Leadership
New Member Profiles
Upcoming Events
SunSpec Member News
Annual Members Meeting – Save the Date 

Please mark your calendars for the Third Annual SunSpec Alliance Members meeting Tuesday, January 31st and Wednesday February 1st 2012. Additional details will be coming soon. This exclusive SunSpec event will be co-located with www.Solar Power Generation in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Welcome new SunSpec Members
Please join us in welcoming these new members to the SunSpec Alliance:
  • Eltek Valere
  • Solar Frontier
  • SunPower Corporation

For information about these members, or to join the SunSpec Alliance, please contact Kathie Schwartz at

News from Sunspec Leadership

The Pace of Innovation Increases

I’m very pleased to announce that two new SunSpec Specifications are available for public review and comment: SunSpec Module (Panel) Specification and SunSpec Logger Protocol Specification. These specifications have been recently made available for download from and will be presented to the board of directors at the next board meeting in January for official approval. Your comments and feedback are most welcome.


The SunSpec Module (Panel) Specification workgroup was led by Yaron Binder of SolarEdge. This document describes the data model and Modbus register mappings for module-level electronics that support both the monitoring and optimization of power generation. This specification may be used in conjunction with the Aggregation method described in the SunSpec Common Model Specification to scale beyond the limitations of the Modbus protocol to support installations with hundreds or thousands of panel modules. The specification includes standard status and event codes, and mappings for both integer-plus-scale-factor and floating-point values of measurements. Measurements include readings of current, voltage, power, energy, and temperature of the module output as well as both input and output measurements for DC optimizers.


The SunSpec Logger Protocol specification workgroup was led by Lynn Linse of Digi International. This document defines an XML schema (xsd) for transferring data from a Data Logger to an application server over the Internet using the HTTP POST protocol. The schema is deliberately terse to facilitate data transfers over connections with limited bandwidth. Compression of the XML is also supported for further bandwidth efficiency. The model is very general and can be used to upload data from SunSpec compliant devices as well as non-SunSpec devices.


Work on the more comprehensive SunSpec Logger Specification is ongoing. The group is currently meeting bi-weekly on Tuesday at 8am PT. The Inverter workgroup has begun meeting again bi-weekly on Wednesday at 8am PT. This group has taken up the topic of inverter control and will propose a SunSpec mapping of functions described by the EPRI workgroup on advanced controls for inverters.


For more information on the SunSpec Alliance Technical Committees, please contact me




John Nunneley, Executive Director  


2012: Steady As She Goes 


Having spent portions of 2011 in the largest solar PV markets of Europe and the Middle East, I can tell you that dramatic growth is a messy business. With the time to negotiate and secure equipment measured in days, and the need to mobilize large work crews to complete huge projects in a few short weeks or months, I am amazed at our industry’s ability to adapt and change. These are great attributes to possess right now because we can look forward to even more growth, adaptation, and change in the coming year.


By most accounts, 2012 promises to be a bellwether for the solar PV industry. Two primary reasons stand out: 1) the evolution of a global PV market that is not overly influenced by a single national market and 2) the emergence of the utility-scale PV sector as a primary catalyst for growth.


In a global PV market, intuition says that all eyes should be focused on the west–toward the U.S.–and beyond, toward China and the Indian sub-continent. These are the markets that will experience the most dramatic growth in 2012. In the U.S. and China, utility-scale installations of sizes unimagined elsewhere could well dominate the scene for the next decade.


Given the scope and scale of what will be demanded of the industry in 2012, calm nerves and a steady hand are certainly required. Planning and knowledge also help. This is why the SunSpec Alliance, and John and I in particular, will be participating in the PV Power Plants – USA 2011 conference on November 31 and December 1 in Phoenix. We’ve participated in these events in the past, both in Las Vegas and in Prague, and have always come away very impressed with both the knowledge the industry possesses and the scope of the problems yet to be addressed. Knowing full well the efficiencies that standardization can create for the market, we look forward to participating with our industry colleagues in Phoenix and spreading the word about the SunSpec Alliance.


All the best,


Tom Tansy, Chairman


New Member Profile
Eltek Valere

A Global Power Conversion Specialist with Leading Technology and Products Eltek was founded in Norway in 1971 as a specialist in telecom energy systems.  Full Profile  

Solar Frontier K.K. is the world’s largest and fastest-growing manufacturer of CIS thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules.  Full Profile


SunPower Corporation  

SunPower Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets solar electric power technologies. Full ProfileFullFticle Headlin

Upcoming Events

 UPVI Alliance             Attend one of our webinars on: 

December 13th and learn more 8:30AM   

December 13th at 5PM and learn more! 

Join UPVI President, Mike Dooley, as he describes the UPVI Alliance’s mission in greater detail as well as the benefits of joining your industry colleagues at the forefront of AC module development standards.


Inverter and PV System Technology Forum – USA
2012 27-28 February 2012 San Francisco, USA The Inverter and PV System Technology Forum – USA 2012 will take a close look at the interaction between the electrical components of the system, in particular at the inverter and monitoring components which form the interface between the modules and the grid.

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SolarTech Logo

Full Story

SunSpec Member News

TEAL Electronics 

TEAL Electronics Launches PVobserver™ Wireless String Monitoring and Communications Option for TEALsolar™ Configurable Combiner Box Product Family SAN DIEGO, CA. (October 10, 2011) – TEAL Electronics, a San Diego based subsidiary of SL Industries, Inc., (AMEX:SLI), introduces a new string monitoring and wireless communication option for TEAL’s Configurable Combiner Box product line, The TEAL PVobserver™ is SunSpec Compliant, and communicates easily with other SunSpec Compliant PV monitoring systems. Full Story





Solectria Renewables 

Hold First West Coast Office Training;Ribbon Cutting to follow Huntington Beach, CA Full Story 

Awarded $2.1 Million U.S. Department of Energy Contract to Develop Integrated SmartGrid Ready PV Inverters with Utility Communications Continues  

Named Gateway City Champion Winner by MassEcon for the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards Lawrence, MA Full Story 

Expands into India and China as both countries announce significant growth opportunities for commercial and utility scale photovoltaic projects. Continue Reading

Sponsors Team Massachusetts in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Continued


Digi International  

Provides Wireless Network Infrastructure for Add Energie’s Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Full Story

Launches Low Cost, Enterprise-Class Cellular Router Continued


Draker Labratories 

Selected by Con Edison Development (CED) to monitor and control more than 40 MWs of grid-interconnected solar projects in the Northeast, including the 20MW Pilesgrove solar power plant  Full Story  


Advanced Energy  

Forbes Magazine – 11/15/11 A New Metric for Measuring the Competitive Cost of Solar by Todd Miklos Senior Director of Solar Inverter Marketing Forbes continued 

Inverters installed at 35 MW UTILITY-SCALE California solar plant project Full Story   

Launches its next generation string inverters  Story Continues 


Engenuity Systems

Engenuity Systems, Inc., one of SunSpec Alliance’s founding members, is showing its dedication to the SunSpec mission Full Story                 


SMA to Expand its Product Portfolio with New Micro Inverter

SMA Solar Technology AG will expand its product portfolio with a new micro inverter.

Full Story 



MaxMonitoring-The SolarMax app for displaying system performance using the cost-free app MaxMonitoring, plant operators can have the performance data of their photovoltaic systems displayed at any time in their home. Full Story 


Zigbee Alliance  

ZigBee Lends Certification Expertise to SEP 2 Program  Continue Reading 


For more information about the SunSpec Alliance please visit us at,