SunSpec Alliance Logo
SunSpec Alliance Newsletter
Second Quarter 2011
New Members

SolarMax - Sputnik Engineering AG

SunSpec Alliance Members


Advanced Energy (PV Powered)



ARC Advisory Group






Azuray Technologies



Campbell Scientific



Carlo Gavazzi



CG Power Solutions 



Continental Control Systems



Digi International



Draker Labs 



Eco Guard 



Engenuity Systems



ESA Electricity Storage Association 



Fat Spaniel 






GE Appliances









Lockheed Martin



meteocontrol  North America









Noveda Technologies



OutBack Power Technologies



Phoenix Contact









PPT Solar



REFU Solar Electronics









Silver Spring Networks



SMA Solar Technology



Solar Power Partners SPP 



SolarBridge Technologies 






SolarMagic by National Semiconductor



SolarMax - Sputnik Engineering AG 






Sustainable Automation 



TMEIC ~ Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation



TV Rheinland



Veris Industries



ZigBee Alliance                                                                              


Dear Members:


SunSpec Membership Growth and Influence 


The SunSpec Alliance continues to grow and expand its influence in the renewable energy industry. In the two months since our last newsletter, our mission to drive energy information standards has been embraced by the leading independent monitoring firm in Europe (meteocontrol), a total of 14 inverter manufacturers (including eight of the top ten largest global companies), the global leader in energy-related consumer goods (GE Appliances), and a number of other industry participants. Thank you to all of our members for your continuing support.


SunSpec Standards Reaching Maturity


On the technical front, we've made significant progress in a variety of areas. The String Combiner specification achieved 1.0 status and has been implemented by several manufacturers. The Logger specification is also rapidly taking shape as the first native TCP/IP-based protocol in SunSpec's body of work. The Panel specification has undergone a number of revisions and the data model is beginning to stabilize. Please keep in mind that it is never to late to contribute to innovation in any of these activities, and we encourage every SunSpec member to do so.


The pace of standards development in an industry as expansive as energy is more like a marathon than a sprint. While SunSpec's Inverter Control standard also reached draft 1.0 status, the proposed companion protocol for this standard (Smart Energy 2.0, promoted by the Zigbee Alliance) was voted down by the Zigbee Alliance membership and sent back to the drawing board. While resolution of the Smart Energy 2.0 issue will take time, SunSpec will continue to drive inverter control standards. Work to bridge the SunSpec Inverter Control data model with IEC 61850 is in progress and we hope to provide more guidance in this area soon.


Market Place Adoption Is Starting


SunSpec progress in the marketplace has also been steady. We now have confirmation that multiple Requests for Proposal have been published in the U.S., Australia, and Europe, by leading Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contractors and Independent Power Producers (IPP), requiring SunSpec compliance for their projects. We are proud of this achievement as we are now in a position to document the actual cost and time savings that accrue from standards adoption.


Seeking the Customer's Voice


The SunSpec Alliance maintains its relevance by actively seeking out and embracing real needs in the marketplace-that is to say the requirements of EPC's, IPP's, and utility customers. Accordingly, we ask all SunSpec Alliance members ask customers to join our cause to make the industry more efficient, interactive, and effective.


The simplest way for customers to become involved is to join the SunSpec Alliance Advisory Group 


 We encourage everyone to join in on this important dialog.





News from Tom Tansy


European Market Showing Signs of Life - field report from Tom Tansy, Chairman of SunSpec Alliance


As many of you are aware, I have spent a lot of time in Europe these past six months working with large EPC's and IPP's. During the period of May 4-6, I had the opportunity to visit the Solarexpo trade fair in Verona, Italy. Here are some highlights:


New Feed-In Tariff Approved


After a tough winter and spring, Italian investors and developers anxiously anticipated the appearance of the finance minister at Solarexpo and what he might say about a new feed-in tariff (FIT) to replace the one that had just expired. After failing to appear on the first day of the event, the minister took the stage on the second day to announce a new two-year agreement. While this new FIT is not as attractive as the one it replaced, it appears that the Italian program is competitive with other European programs and will therefore provide the stability required to attract investment capital during its effective period.

As a result of the financing changes, the market should be healthy but smaller, with roof-mount systems gaining popularity. Given this latter fact, I would not be surprised to see a net metering scheme replace the FIT in about two years.


The Global Supply Chain Is Thriving


With the sheer size of Solar Expo (130,000 square meters) and popularity of the event (more than 75,000 attendees), it is clear that the global PV supply chain is healthy and ready for business. Innovative products were everywhere and discussions were lively throughout. Perhaps we are finally emerging from the financial doldrums of the past five years.


Innovation Abounds


While I saw the usual claims of improved performance and efficiency, what struck me this year was the array of design options and color schemes available for rooftop PV installations. This is a clear sign that the industry is maturing and that building PV into new construction is becoming more feasible (and attractive) each day.


Notes from the Road(map) by John Nunneley, Executive Director of the SunSpec Alliance


The SunSpec Alliance continues to execute against its roadmap to define information models and protocols for the full spectrum of devices.  The pace of standards development in an industry as expansive as energy is more like a marathon than a sprint. The much awaited Zigbee Smart Energy 2.0 (SEP 2.0) standard hit a major roadblock when the Alliance members failed to approve the latest draft.


SunSpec is collaborating with EPRI and Zigbee to create an inverter control standard that is based on the IEC 61850 model for Distributed Energy Resources (DER).  With the fate of the SEP2.0 in such doubt, SunSpec will continue to drive the standard put forth forward.  We expect to provide more guidance in this area soon.  


Work on the String Combiner  v1.0  specification has been completed and was approved by the board this month. 

The Module specification is undergoing active revision.  This specification provides monitoring of panel-level data and supports DC optimizers and microinverters.  The Module workgroup is being led by SolarEdge, a SunSpec sponsor, and a proposed 1.0 draft is expected to be released early this summer.


With adoption of the device models well underway, we have begun standardization of the Logger protocol. This effort is being led by Digi International and will define the communication from the plant to the data center. Having a well-defined standard for data reporting will lower the barrier for application developers that want access. Multiple servers may receive data simply by plugging in TCP/IP addresses of the destinations. The Logger specification is expected to be completed this summer.


Also planned for this year are an Advanced Inverter Controls specification, a Tracker model and control spec, and a Testing & Certification program.  None of this of course would be possible without the ongoing support and dedication of our members. The strength of our Alliance can be seen in the growth of our memberships and the recognition within the industry of SunSpec compliance as a requirement for future deployments.



CEO Welcome

Guy Sella, CEO

Dear customers, partners, colleagues and friends of the solar community, Just before we meet again at one of the upcoming solar exhibitions around the globe, I would like to take a moment and share with you the latest news from SolarEdge.  Complete Story

Grass Valley, CA and Hod Hasharon, Israel  SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. announced  the opening of a new production line for North America at the Flextronics factory in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. Production cont. 


SMA Solar Technology


SMA Canada Production Underway at Ontario Manufacturing Facility sma productionOntario FiT-Compliant Residential, Commercial and Utility-Scale Solar Inverters Available Production of the SMA Sunny Boy and Sunny Central solar inverters is underway in Ontario. These residential, commercial and utility-scale devices are being assembled by Celestica, a global leader in the delivery of end-to-end product lifecycle solutions, to meet Ontario's microFiT and FiT domestic content requirements. 



Campbell Scientific

High-Resolution Digital Network Camera

High Res. Digital network camera

The CC5MPX is Campbell Scientific's first high-resolution digital network camera with video capabilities. 

Designed to work in harsh environments, the CC5MPX operates at temperatures as low as -40C and as high as 60C. 

Camera Campbell Scientific

The CC5MPX has several options for image acquisition and storage.   Related pages

New Datalogger Instruction Measures AC Power and Power Quality

New Data Loggers 

Our dataloggers have powerful onboard instructions that support many, useful measurement capabilities. Because these instruction sets are expandable, we are continually adding new functionality that can be incorporated into existing dataloggers via operating system updatesMore


The ACPower instruction provides three configuration options that support different applications. The single-phase configuration is for monitoring single or multiple loads and may be used for submetering applications.   Full story



Noveda Technologies


Noveda Technologies and PrazAs, a leader in real-time collaboration software for tables PCs, will be offering an interactive education, training and collaboration platform for driving energy and water conservation.  Education


Noveda Technologies and Israel-based Rimat Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore synergies in technology development and seek market expansion opportunities.   More on Partnership


Liberty Science Center honored Noveda Technologies and its President and CEO,Govi Rao, Noveda President and CEOwith the Distinguished Mission Advance Award. 

Honors Continued 



Moxa Inc. 


Upgrade to W315A and W325A RISC-based Wireless Computers  Moxa boxes

Brea, CA, April22, 2011-Moxa is proud to unveil the W315A and W325A wireless embedded computers.  These computers excel in a variety of machine-to-machine applications, including data acquisition, protocol conversion, and remote device control and monitoring.


Recore   Rcore package.  

Learn more at Moxa Product Page

You may also contact Moxa directly by email at, or by phoning 1-888-MOXA-USA. 




Digi International


Gateways and iDigi used for residential and commercial renewable energy monitoring

MINNETONKA, Minn. (April 19, 2011)- Digi International (NASDAQ: DGII) today announced that PowerDash is using the ConnectPort X2 Smart Energy wireless gateway and iDigi Device Cloud to connect its energy performance monitoring solutions to Smart Energy devices for residential solar installations. 

"I have been involved in this type of work for nearly eight years, and the challenge has always been getting the required data from the different devices," said Stephen Lapointe, principal, PowerDash. "Digi enables the development of applications and tools that are at the heart of what the Smart Grid needs. It provides an effective communications layer on top of existing Grid infrastructure making it possible to develop Smart Grid tools and applications in an effective way. Digi has delivered on the promise of the ZigBee Smart Energy standard." Full Story 





Power-One announced the availability of a major advancement in renewable energy management - Aurora Vision systems. Comprised of Software-as-a-Service and hardware products, Aurora Vision systems are next-generation technology that provide a foundation for managing the balance of system infrastructure, from the panel to grid.  



Built upon a software operating platform that manages thousands of power plants around the globe, the Aurora Vision systems product line is a highly-intelligent, smart-grid enabled solution that is designed to transform the renewable energy industry by reducing balance of system costs, increasing plant up-time and operational productivity, and delivering higher revenue for plant operators across a wide range applications from residential to utility environments. For more information, please visit Power-One.





Solar Exchange 2011


Join us at one of our upcoming days of discovery and dialogue on the latest emerging topics, innovations and trends within the solar industry.  

Siemens USA Solar Exchange  


Join us on June 16th, 2011 to prepare for world wide Solar Day - Los Angeles, CA  

Save the Date - Full Details


In conjunction with UCLA, Clean Tech LA, and the LA Business Council, Siemens is offering a day of discovery and dialogue on the latest emerging topics, innovations and trends within the solar industry. In addition, there will be opportunity for dialogue exchange on the extensive needs of manufacturers and developers of solar power.

Location:  University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)  

                  California Nanosystems Institute

Here is a look at previous Siemens Solar Exchanges 



2011 California Solar Challenge       SolarTech California Challenge


Local governments, utilities, and California's solar companies work in teams to reduce the overhead costs of solar energy for homes & businesses.  This is the California Solar Challenge -- where local governments, utilities, and industry work on real projects, with less paperwork, at lower prices, and at faster speeds.      LEARN MORE                             


SolarTech, working with San Jose State University, performed a survey of consumer perceptions about solar and came up with some not-so-surprising results.  Full Story                                

Our Strategic Objective: Provide a steady flow of detailed and timely labor market data direct from clean energy industry sector leaders so that workforce trainers and development organizations can make better flourish in a difficult



Zigbee Alliance 


                                ZigBee Icon

The ZigBee Alliance continues its leadership role in expediting Smart Grid standards, recently making a number of changes spurred by industry comments to the ZigBee Smart Energy version 2.0 Technical Requirements Document (TRD) and Public Application Profile to ensure it is the most comprehensive energy management standard with the broadest possible support from the Smart Grid stakeholder community.

ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 Documents click here.

ZigBee Smart Energy enables energy service providers and utilities to wirelessly communicate with and manage common household devices such as smart thermostats, in-home displays and appliances. 

For more information and a list of ZigBee Certified products us, click here.


                            ZigBee Certified logo