Glossary

The following are commonly used terms. More information about each can be found in Tigo's Resource Center.

 

AFCI

Some inverters are equipped with an Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and will shut down for safety if an arc is detected. Required by the 2014 NEC.

Alerts

Tigo customers can receive email or SMS notifications about performance-related issues and monitoring interruptions. See monitoring package features for more information.

Bypass Diode

Bypass diodes are located inside the junction box of a PV module. They allow current to flow around shaded groups of cells to reduce voltage loss and minimize hot spots in the module. If a bypass diode fails, the module voltage will be reduced while under load, usually by 33%. This can be identified on the Summary page.

Cloud Connect and 
Cloud Connect Advanced

The CC (legacy product) and CCA (new & improved product) provide communications and data logging for the Tigo system. The optimization and monitoring functions are the same, but the CCA includes new specs and features like WiFi capability.

Discovery

When commissioning a Tigo system, the Discovery process is a scan that allows the Cloud Connect Advanced to locate and communicate with the optimizers.

Duo

The TS4-R-X-Duo is an add-on or retrofit solution that brings smart module functionality to standard PV modules, adds smart features to new PV installations, or upgrades underperforming systems. The Duo cover with UHD-Core technology and expanded specifications supports two PV modules connected in series with a combined power of up to 700W. 

Gateway

A legacy product that is an antenna that connects to the Cloud Connect or Cloud Connect Advanced for wireless communication with the optimizers. See the TAP for new & improved functionality.

MAC ID

Also referred to as a serial number or barcode, the MAC ID is the unique ID number of a piece of Tigo hardware.

Mesh

Mesh is a communication architecture that allows each TS4 unit to act as a relay station for signals in a solar array, extending the wireless range of Tigo’s communication up to a 115ft (35m) diameter. Mesh compliments the full Tigo system in conjunction with the TAP, CCA, and UHD-Core TS4 units, allowing data collection from up to 300 TS4 units (~100kW systems) using a single TAP and from up to 900 TS4 units (~300kW systems) using a single CCA.

MLPE

Module-Level Power Electronics - a class of devices that includes power optimizers.

MODBUS

A communication protocol for connecting electrical devices. MODBUS-equipped inverters and meters can report data to the CC or CCA.

Module

A "photovoltaic module" is an assembly of solar cells, sometimes also called a solar panel.

Monitoring Dashboard

A display of total energy generated, number of installations, and other environmental info shown to installers and system owners when first logging in to the Tigo SMART Website online monitoring portal.

MPPT

Maximum Power Point Tracking. Tigo optimizers work in conjunction with a central inverter to determine the best possible operating conditions at the module level. See the Optimization article for more information.

NABCEP

See Tigo’s list of courses certified by North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

NEC 2017 690.12

The USA’s National Electric Code (NEC) 2017 article 690.12 defines rapid shutdown requirements for all US residential and commercial systems. Read how Tigo complies.

Optimizer

A general industry term for DC to DC converters designed to maximize the energy yield from a PV system. Tigo’s TS4 Platform units are commonly referred to as optimizers, however, only the TS4-O and TS4-L have optimization capabilities.

Peak Power

Peak power is the nameplate capacity of the modules multiplied by the number of modules in the system.

Power Factory

On the Charts tab of the monitoring portal, this represents the total DC power produced by your system.

Power-line Communication (PLC)

PLC is a communication technology that enables sending data over existing power cables.  Tigo uses PLC with the TS4-F and RSS Transmitter to comply with NEC 2017 Rapid Shutdown. Tigo’s TS4-F (Fire Safety) is compatible with all SunSpec signaling devices for activation with PLC.

Predictive IV

A feature available in the TS4-O and TS4-L covers incorporating MPPTImpedance Matching, and module behavior statistics for the greatest energy yield as well as selective deployment of optimization.

PV-Off

Tigo systems are equipped with a safety shutdown feature that can be activated locally, remotely, or in some cases, automatically. Formerly known as PV-Safe.

Reclaimed Energy

Tigo customers utilizing the monitoring capabilities of the SMART website can now see the Reclaimed energy recovered by Tigo's TS4 optimizers. Reclaimed is the amount of extra kilowatt hours that a PV system with TS4 has harvested. The new feature is displayed with the Total Energy on system owners' online monitoring portals. 

RS-485

A communication protocol for connecting multiple devices in series. Tigo uses a 4-conductor, twisted pair cable for the connection between the TAP, Gateway, Cloud Connect, or Cloud Connect Advanced.

RSS DetectorRSS (Rapid Shutdown) Signal Detector is a functionality testing device for sensing the power-line communication (PLC) signal from Tigo’s RSS Transmitter to Tigo’s UL-certified TS4-F (Fire Safety) units. This is the handheld, failsafe tool that PV installers use to confirm that PV systems are compliant with National Electric Code (NEC) 2017 690.12 rapid shutdown specifications and supports the SunSpec-defined signaling for rapid shutdown. 

RSS Transmitter

Tigo's RSS (Rapid Shutdown System) Transmitter completes the cost-effective rapid shutdown system architecture when paired with Tigo's UL-certified TS4-F (integrated) and/or TS4-R-F (retrofitted/add-on) solutions. The RSS Transmitter sends a signal to the TS4-F units using Power Line Communication (PLC) to keep PV modules connected while powered on and supplying energy.

RSSI

Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) is a measure of wireless signal strength. Higher numbers are better. RSSI values below 70 mean you may need to re-position or add Gateways. See our article on TAP Placement for best practices.

Selective Deployment

The ability to choose from different features (including optimization) and place them where needed on your PV system. A feature unique to the TS4.

SMART App

Tigo's SMART App is the most powerful asset management and commissioning solution for your Smart Solar PV System. Design, lay out, configure, commission, and monitor your PV system in five minutes from your mobile device. 

Smart Module

A PV module that comes pre-assembled with Tigo's electronics already installed in the junction box. See Tigo’s list of UL-certified RSS smart modules here.

SMART Website

Tigo’s SMART website is a module-level online monitoring system that manages utility, commercial, and residential PV systems. This software provides system owners with unprecedented visibility into module-level performance. See more at smart.tigoenergy.com.

Summary Page

The module-level view of power production through the Tigo SMART Website monitoring portal.

SunSpec Alliance

SunSpec Alliance is a group of U.S. solar professionals who collaborate on solar initiatives and policies. Tigo’s TS4-F (Fire Safety) is compatible with all SunSpec signaling devices for activation with PLC to comply with NEC 2017 Rapid Shutdown.

System ID

A record number used to identify a particular Tigo installation.

TAP

Tigo Access Point (TAP) allows the CCA to communicate wirelessly with any TS4 unit(s) - integrated or retrofitted. TAP replaces the legacy Gateway; is smaller in size; packed with additional features; has a wider range between TS4's; and has increased module capacity.

Tigo Skill

Tigo customers receive the benefits of Amazon's Alexa™ technology available on Amazon's Echo™ and other Alexa-enabled products when monitoring their PV systems.

TS4

Tigo's universal junction box platform with electronics embedded in the J-box cover. The TS4 can be used for residential retrofit.  The full line of TS4 Optimizers includes five different covers.

UHD-Core

Tigo’s UHD-Core (Ultra-High Definition) technology is in Tigo’s TS4 products. It features new design architecture and component rating; supports up to 90V maximum input voltage and 12A maximum input current; and delivers superior performance resulting in higher energy harvest with optimization efficiency up to 99.6% for any module up to 475W.

UL

Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) is a third-party testing organization who certifies rapid shutdown products for Tigo in the U.S. yet is recognized worldwide. See Tigo’s list of UL-certified RSS inverter and smart modules here.

Vmp

Voltage at max power. Vmp * Imp = module wattage rating

Voc

Open circuit voltage. The voltage of a module when no load is applied. Used when calculating maximum string length. Smart modules with the longer strings feature limit the output voltage so that more modules can be placed in a string.

 

RSS Detector