Companies continue joint effort to push the boundaries of wireless solar technology farther

July 9, 2013 [Huntsville, AL]- Synapse Wireless and Shoals Technologies Group are at it again. In advance of unveiling their one-of-a-kind Wireless ARC Fault detection solution at Intersolar Europe in Munich last month, the companies are pleased to announce a simple, efficient tool designed to speed solar field installations.

It’s well known that the “old” way of installing solar fields is not only time-intensive, but also manually laborious. Panels and arrays need miles of trenches dug for the cables and copper to be attached and then must be powered on one at a time to individually identify those that were broken or malfunctioning during commissioning. However, the technology created by Synapse and Shoals is specifically designed to reduce the costs and tedious burdens of not only digging and installing — but maintaining — solar fields, all in real time.

“We had one goal in mind when we collaborated on this project and that was to make the installation and commissioning as fast and easy as possible,” said Jason Whitaker, CTO, Shoals Technologies Group. “We’re very excited with the outcome and are confident our user base will be, too.”

The SNAPShot Field Install Tool is a user-friendly, graphical tool that can be used to configure and monitor the operation of SNAP-based Radio Control Boards (RCB) and Sensor Control Boards (SCB) installed in Combiner and Recombiner boxes. These are boards installed in fields to monitor the current, voltage, and other data generated by some or all of the fields.

Synapse Wireless and Shoals Technologies Groups will be on hand at the InterSolar North America Conference on Moscone West, Level 3, Booth 306.

How it Works
The system utilizes all the latest developments in machine-to-machine technology for a seamless process, allowing instantaneous solar panel management and reporting— from the field to the users’ fingertips.

Typically, the SNAPShot Field Install Tool is installed on a laptop computer and the operator then walks the solar field. When next to a Combiner or Recombiner box, the operator enters a unit index number, the unit’s MAC address, and an optional unit description. This data is recorded in comma-separated values (CSV), which can later be imported into a spreadsheet or database program to document the Combiner and Recombiner boxes present in the field.

The purposes of the tool are to wirelessly:

  • Set bridge and RCB channels and network IDs
  • Upload scripts and firmware to their respective Control Boards
  • Retrieve any operational data from RCBs
  • Make lists of RCBs and SCBs by MAC address or serial number
  • Provide options to change the channel and/or network Id of a unit, and to retrieve basic sensor data from SCBs.

“The real advantage this tool offers is not only real-time troubleshooting, but also training. Those who are working in the field will instantaneously know not only if the problems arise from manufacturing or product defects, they’ll also learn if the problems are due to installation-related errors that they can learn from during future installs,” said Whitaker.

Those interested in learning more about the innovative SNAPShot Field Install Tool are encouraged to visit www.synapse-wireless.com and www.shoals.com.

About Synapse Wireless, Inc.
Synapse Wireless, Inc. (synapse-wireless.com) provides cloud-enabled, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication solutions that use intelligent connectivity to monitor and control anything from anywhere. Synapse offers components, products, cloud services and custom solutions to the rapidly expanding M2M marketplace, also known as the Internet of Things. Synapse created the award-winning SNAP® wireless mesh network operating system to enable machines to interact with each other directly and via the Internet. Synapse is a subsidiary of McWane Inc.

About Shoals Technologies Group
Shoals Technologies Group is a leading manufacturer of balance of systems solutions. Through innovation and diversification, Shoals has grown exponentially since its founding in 1996. With over 15 GW+ of BOS products deployed globally, Shoals maintains a diverse portfolio of PV balance of systems products, including, combiner/re-combiner boxes, disconnecting combiner boxes, custom harnessing solutions, junction boxes, PV wire, in-line fuses, racking and PV monitoring solutions. Additional information is available at www.shoals.com.

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About McWane Inc.

McWane, Inc. is a family-owned business based in Birmingham, Alabama, with companies across the United States and the world.  At the McWane Family of Companies, we cast ductile iron products--including pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings, and plumbing products--manufacture fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, steel pressure vessels, and build network switches and monitoring equipment.  We are the leader in delivering clean, safe drinking water around the world while focusing on the safe, environmentally-friendly manufacturing of our products.  With more than 6,000 team members McWane has a longstanding commitment of support to the communities where we live and work.