Solar-Ops is the Super Hero of Solving
Transformer In-Rush Current Problems
Charlotte, NC – Roughly eighteen-hundred solar farms bask in the Carolina sunshine making up part of the nearly 37 GW of utility-scale projects already operational and another 74 GW planned for development, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Here, and around the country, building solar farms requires a team of developers, engineers, and contractors to set the solar stage for the interconnecting utilities. But when a late stage technical requirement darkens the doorstep of a project, years of investment and hundreds of jobs are jeopardized. Until now.
A team of industry veterans who’ve experienced this problem first-hand far too many times sought out a simple solution. Brad Micallef, managing director and co-founder of Solar Operations Solutions, LLC (Solar-Ops), has been developing and delivering technical solutions to the solar industry for the past decade, using these solutions on the 100+ MW of projects his company manages directly. Transformer in-rush current is one example of a new hurdle that projects in the Southeast are being audited for, which can prevent a facility from reaching commercial operation. The products Micallef’s company creates are turnkey solutions for these new requirements.
“We’ve tried and seen others attempt to address transformer in-rush current using tools they have on hand. The result can be like a science project that only works well under just the right conditions with specialists overseeing the process. The stringent utility audit process and expectation of reliability requires a much more robust and proven solution,” says Micallef. “There wasn’t an affordable, reliable, and simple solution that addresses the full testing and audit requirements, so we invented one.”
Solar-Ops initially developed the XFMR-Sync Controller in late 2017 for two of the first projects to experience the utility’s newly refined audit criteria. Since those first initial successes Solar-Ops has worked with the utility’s audit team to make sure the XFMR-Sync Controller is recognized as a known and proven solution. The XFMR-Sync Controller has now been installed on facilities throughout North Carolina, helping many other developers’ projects successfully interconnect.
“It works the first time, every time,” Micallef exclaims proudly. “The XFMR-Sync Controller fulfills a necessary requirement for the utility to grant a solar farm permission to operate. A critical step that determines success or failure for every project.”
The XFMR-Sync Controller is designed not only to be reliable, but also easy to install for electrical contractors who may not have automation or controls specialists at the site to perform complex commissioning required by other solutions. Solar-Ops’ product offering can be installed using tools and skill sets already on site, and it requires no custom programming or special knowledge. A built-in battery back-up allows complete testing and auditing of the solutions before power is available on site, and an LCD screen shows the installer (and audit team) exactly what’s happening.
The XFMR-Sync Controller is one of several products that Solar-Ops is developing and marketing under its new myPV™ product line. Like the XFMR-Sync Controller, all myPV products are created to satisfy the industry’s expectations of affordability, reliability, ease of installation, and ease of use. Micallef reinforces, “We use these products in our own portfolio of projects. We want products that solve problems, not just components that create more work. ‘Turnkey Solutions for PV Solar’ is our motto.”