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Last fall, Morningstar Corporation launched a milestone product: a complete line of SureSine DC/AC inverters. It’s a milestone because this is a new product category for Morningstar, who has been an industry leader in solar charge controllers for 30 years Morningstar’s Senior Sales Engineer Russell Borum, who is based on the African Continent, provides some background on the project.
“First, that Morningstar is regarded throughout the off-grid solar industry as the leader in solar charging technology, and has been since the company’s inception in 1993. For Morningstar to introduce an all-new charging system, with revolutionary features and capabilities, is something that truly deserves the term “breakthrough.”
“And second, for almost as long as Morningstar has been the leader in solar charge controllers, Morningstar’s customers have longed for off-grid inverters with the same industry-leading quality and durability, to ensure that the systems they design and install have no weak links and can truly be ‘Morningstar throughout. ‘
“We didn’t just decide to ‘get into the inverter business.’ Rather, it was our customers who got us into it, after decades of high expectations set by our solar charge controllers. We always heard requests for off-grid inverters built to the same industry-leading level of quality and craftsmanship along with their wish list of what a “Morningstar of inverters” would have for innovative features and capabilities. Our all-new SureSine line was conceived to meet those needs.
“That’s not something that we could achieve with an ‘off the shelf’ type of product– our new SureSine inverters are the polar opposite of “me too” thinking. After all, there already were over 1,600 off-grid inverters in this power class.* Coming out with 6 more new ones means we had to make SureSine very exceptional.
“Toward that goal, we started with a superior industrial-grade baseline, since so many of our customers are focused on that segment and have ‘mission critical’ applications requiring critical power solutions. SureSine’s foundation is a premium toroidal low-frequency transformer for improved sinewave stability and superior power quality.
Above: Inside the new SureSine inverters from Morningstar
“Next we added full communications capabilities, including USB, Ethernet, EIA-485, CANBUS, and Bluetooth for wireless communications. SureSine comes with wireless Android and iOS utility apps for set-up and monitoring our inverters using remote devices.
Right: SureSine wireless apps
for iOs and Android
“We also designed-in AC hardwire and receptacle options on selected models, and multiple AC and DC voltage choices along with NRTL safety, noise and performance certifications to make SureSine a true world product.
Left: an example of SureSine’s
multiple AC wiring options
“On the performance and reliability side, we had a high bar to meet. After all, Morningstar enjoys the highest dependability ratings in the industry. That’s backed-up by over four million sold since 1993, used in over 100 countries in mission-critical applications and under extreme conditions from deserts and rainforests to the North and South Poles. Since our customers wanted inverters that could keep their systems all Morningstar,’ we needed to engineer them to the same tough quality and performance levels of our charge controllers.
“With SureSine, that means we achieved unparalleled surge capabilities for working with challenging AC loads: at 40 C (under 5 seconds) SureSine’s performance is twice its rated outpower.
“We also designed for superior thermal performance as well— for example, the 300W model doesn’t derate until 45 C and delivers 200W at 60 C. The small 150W model doesn’t derate even at 60 C! That’s outstanding performance in their power classes, and really “best in class” performance in the inverter category as a whole. That’s a real advantage when an inverter is located in a cabinet or enclosure, as they are in many critical applications.
Right: cabinet-mounted SureSine off grid inverter in a small rural telecommunications system. The inverter’s superior ability to handle extremes of heat is critically important in this type of application
“What’s probably the most amazing to me is that we achieved all this with no cooling fan on board. There are three reasons why cooling fans are something you don’t want in a power conversion component.:
- First, fans have moving parts so eventually they fail—that’s a given. That means more service calls and replacements in the field.
- Second, fans suck in dirt, dust and debris into the component, which can cause component overheating and premature failure.
- And third, fans need electricity to run, and they must get that from the inverter or charge controller’s power output—making them parasitic loads that reduce overall efficiency. SureSine peak efficiency ranges from 89-92%, depending on the model, which is at the higher end of inverters in this class.
“Finally, we built in full protections for total reliability in the field. Also very critical: our customers wanted a best-in-class ‘Morningstar of inverters’ so they could more seamlessly integrate it with the Morningstar charge controllers they’ve come to depend on. SureSine is engineered for system-level integration and communication with our existing controller product line.
“SureSine covers the power-range from 150W to 2500W, which nicely covers the ‘most valuable player’ spread for small, off-grid industrial systems in diverse applications such as rural development, telecommunications and wireless service providers, oil & gas, and more There are 6 models, from 150 to 2500 Watts in both International 230V version and North American 120V. Models support combinations of 12/24/48V batteries.
“For sales information about the new SureSine off-grid industrial-grade inverters, contact Morningstar directly at firstname.lastname@example.org “