RTI and Alencon team on Power Systems Communications

October 26, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Real-Time Innovations (RTI) today announced its communications software will be incorporated into Alencon Systems' next-generation energy systems. The RTI Connext® Platform allows unprecedented connectivity, scalability and reliability, enabling Alencon to provide more advanced power conversion architecture.

Alencon provides high-efficiency inverter technology targeted at large-scale photovoltaic systems. A key component of these systems is collecting vast amounts of data such as the quality of the power grid, testing for abnormalities, and testing the system controller. Once this data is collected, the system is analyzed to improve its maintainability. With the emergence of smart grid technology and efforts to modernize the power grid, there will be even more data available, requiring a data-centric connectivity solution. Rather than building a communications protocol in-house, Alencon Systems has integrated RTI's real-time communications software, saving time and engineering resources.

"In building out the communications protocol for our energy conversion architecture we realized that we needed a system that would scale as our design matured," said James Ethridge, Principal Software Engineer at Alencon Systems. "We chose RTI and their Connext DDS platform because it has been proven on large, distributed systems. RTI also provided extensive training, development, and debugging expertise in our labs, which helped us immeasurably."

"RTI is working with organizations like the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) and Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to demonstrate the use of DDS as the data distribution protocol for next generation energy systems," said David Barnett, VP of Products and Markets at RTI. "Alencon Systems is already leading the industry by implementing DDS into their energy conversion architecture. We look forward to working together on modernizing the power grid for the intelligent Industrial IoT systems of the future."

Alencon Systems has integrated Connext DDS into their award-winning architecture which consists of: The highest central inverter efficiency, highly effective string-level MPPTs, and the highest DC bus voltage available today. This architecture improves the viability and profitability of large-scale solar PV sites. By enabling significantly lower Balance of System (BoS) costs and dramatically higher power production through creative application of energy harvesting technology, Alencon is driving the advanced adoption of economical alternative energy sources.