Solar Power International 2017

Solar Power International 2017

SPI is the largest solar trade show on the planet. How did we start each day? Well, to our pleasant surprise, each day started out with a smile, as every morning (and throughout the days of the show).

Andrea and Amy with Emmitt from Fronius

We had at least one person come up to Amy and thank her for making the videos that she does for altE.  A virtual appreciation is one thing, but a face-to-face thank you?  So gratifying to hear that feedback first hand – we love making renewable do-able at altE !









So what new and exciting things are on the solar horizon?

Solar Panels

Amy recording a video with Dawson from Hanwha Q CELL on their half cell technology

Half Cell Technology – from manufacturers such as Hanwha and Canadian Solar

Half Cell technology lowers modules internal current, reducing resistive losses, and increasing efficiency. It has improved shading tolerance, as well as better performance in hotter temperatures, w/upper and lower cells in the module connected in parallel

Double Glass Modules from manufacturers such as SolarWorld and Canadian Solar

Cells are active on both the front and back, making them capable of converting light from all directions into power, for up to 25% more yield. The use of glass on the front and back of the module allows for optimal protection against mechanical loads and more extreme environmental factors



Energy Storage

Amy and Andrea with the lightweight BattleBorn Batteries

Energy Storage had it’s own section at the show this year!  A small but growing market, with Utilities planning behind-the-meter energy storage programs for both residential and commercial customers, and the cost of Lithium Ion batteries falling (down 60% since 2012).

DragonFly Energy

Dragon Fly Energy was showing their BattleBorn lithium LiFePO4 batteries. In addition to their 100Ah 12V battery currently available, they were showing some of their new sizes, including a 24V battery and a drop in replacement for a golf cart battery.






Sonnen Energy Storage Solution

PLUG & PLAY is the name of the game for technologies from Sealed Lead Acid to Lithium Ion batteries.  All-in-one cabinets with inverter, batteries, and controller make it very appealing for residential and small commercial customers.

Check out this sexy sonnenBatterie Sonnen Energy Storage Solution with their Lithium batteries and Outback Radian Inverter/Charger, with up to 16 kWh of storage.








Jordan with the SimpliPhi Access Energy Storage Solution

 SimpliPhi Access Energy Storage Solution with their Lithium batteries and Schneider Inverter/Charger with up to 10.2 kWh of storage.











Ecoult Energy Storage Solution

Deka Ecoult UltraFlex Energy Storage Unit –  with their new sealed lead acid Ultra-Battery with up to 17kWh of storage.










Outback Power SkyBoss with up to 30kWh storage

Outback SkyBoss with intelligent load management

Outback Power SkyBoss Energy Management System – with their new SkyBox hybrid Inverter/Charger, and Toshiba lithium batteries. 15kWh of storage expandable to 30kWh.










NEW Off-Grid Products 

Outback Power FLEXmax 100A MPPT Charge Controller

Outback Power FLEXmax 100A MPPT Charge Controller w/integrated ground fault and 290VDC operational (48V battery). Rapid Shutdown certified for NEC 2014 and 2017 compliance.











Amy and Andrea flying high with Midnite Solar

Midnite Solar B17 Battery-Based Inverter/Charger system – sound familiar ? Yes – this was on display last year, so the ‘Revolution is STILL coming !’ With up to five 2kW inverter/charger modules in the system – designed to grow with your needs










Phocos Off-grid Boxes

Phocos PBox and EBox Off Grid Power Cabinets – AC power ranging from 700W to 10.5kW








NEW Grid-Tie Products 

Fronius’s new Shut Down Box

Fronius Slim Profile Rapid Shutdown Boxes – NEMA 4X, low profile design for installation underneath the modules. Single string and Multi String.







SolarEdge’s StorEdge

SolarEdge StorEdge Inverter with LG Chem High Voltage Lithium Battery – with all the storms and power outages of late, this is a good, easy-to-install solution, to make sure you don’t stay in the dark!  A DC-coupled option that allows you to be connected to the grid, and have backup power when the grid goes down.







Baby you can drive my (electric) car

SolarEdge HD Wave Inverter with EV Charger – no need for separate standalone EV charger – allows customer to be EV-ready. The charging cable comes separately, so you can simply install the inverter even before you have the EV, and add the charging by plugging in the cable. An app allows you to set Time of Use (ToU) restrictions on when you want your car charged.







What Happens in Vegas, winds up on the Internet

Lastly, the Solar Queen always travels w/her mini me (look closely at her solar-powered black purse ).  She made her way around SPI in Las Vegas too!

Oh Behave!!!

Stopping for a cold one at the Russian Ice Bar.

Followed by a pint of Guinness for strength

Then a quickie Vegas wedding

And to all a good night



















Andrea Belford – altE Product Manager

Amy Beaudet – altE Solar Queen

About Author

Amy Beaudet
Amy Beaudet was in the solar industry at the altE Store from 2007 until her untimely passing in 2021. She was a sales rep, instructor, and an all-around solar evangelist, sharing her passion for solar around the world. When whe wasn't at work, she enjoyed sailing and skiing - but odds were good she was still talking about solar on the boat or on the slopes. See more of Amy Beaudet's blog posts.