SolarEdge is one of the sponsors of the Installing the Future. Now! feature at InstallerSHOW from 21st to 23rd June at the NEC.
Ahead of the event, we spoke to the team, who told us how what visitors to the event will be able to discover.
You’re sponsoring our Installing the Future. NOW! part of the show, can you tell us which SolarEdge products visitors will be able to see here?
We’ll be demonstrating our software products that take installers from the design stage, to installation and commissioning, through to monitoring the PV system with a SolarEdge Home battery. As part of the company’s newly launched SolarEdge Home solution, we’ll bring the basic building blocks of the complete rooftop-to-grid solar solution to support the demonstration:
A SolarEdge Home Wave Inverter – previously known as the HD wave inverter, it is the brains of the system which, along with converting DC into AC power, manages PV production and on-grid battery storage.
Power Optimisers – devices that transform a standard solar panel (also known as a module) into a smart module. They have three important functions:
1.They enable each individual solar panel to work at its maximum efficiency
2. They send data to our remote monitoring software, which provides real-time information about the PV system performance via the SolarEdge Monitoring Platform and the mySolarEdge user app.
3. They provide module-level control for our embedded industry-leading safety features
A SolarEdge smart panel with embedded Power Optimiser
A selection of our metering and communications products
You’ve recently launched SolarEdge Home, what’s the reception been like from both installers and end users?
It’s been really positive. The launch of SolarEdge Home generated a huge amount of interest at the Intersolar event in Munich a few weeks ago. For installers, SolarEdge Home is designed to simplify installation from design to commissioning and reduce installation time thanks to its wireless plug-and-play connectivity.
For homeowners in the UK, right now it brings together a rooftop-to-grid PV system with home energy management and battery storage that can make smart decisions in real time, optimising power production and self-consumption in the home.
Additional elements will be coming to the UK market soon allowing the system to integrate with a new range of smart energy devices. Homeowners will be able to control EV charging to make use of lower electricity tariffs and use the system to provide backup power during grid outages.
For both installers and homeowners, it brings all the benefits of a fully integrated and monitored, single manufacturer solution.
Who can install your products and what training do you have available?
We encourage all installers to complete our online Fundamentals and Expert training courses to begin with. They are free and available on-demand so installers can follow them at their own pace.
We have a huge library of training resources on our Learning Center and a full training programme available on our EDGE Academy learning platform. Our local teams also run regular webinars as well as hands-on training to keep our installers up-to-date with our products and technology updates. We even provide sales and marketing training!
What additional tools do you provide your installers?
We have a suite of software tools that supports the installer right from system design to through to installation, mapping the solar panels, commissioning and then monitoring the system with the ability to set automatic alerts.
What are the other benefits of SolarEdge?
Millions of PV systems are installed worldwide, and the risks posed by them is extremely low. However, we believe in maximising safety. SolarEdge’s safety features are in-built and comply with the most stringent international standards, going beyond existing industry requirements.
It’s important to remember that whenever the sun shines, solar panels are generating high voltages, even when the AC power is shut down. And, as PV systems are also exposed to the elements, there’s the potential for corrosion or animals chewing cables that can cause electrical arcs.
SolarEdge’s complete safety suite includes SafeDC™ which is designed to decrease the DC voltage to a touch-safe level of 1V per Power Optimizer during installation, maintenance and emergency situations or whenever the inverter is disconnected from the grid. Our inverters also include built-in arc fault detection as a standard, identifying arcing and subsequently shutting down the inverter. This helps to increase personal safety, as well as protect equipment and prevent structural damage.
At the same time, SolarEdge enables more energy generation from each solar module by mitigating power losses from module mismatch caused by soiling, shading, uneven ageing, manufacturing tolerances, etc. Unlike a traditional string inverter system, where weaker modules affect the performance of the stronger ones, with SolarEdge, each module can work at its maximum power point.
Our DC-optimised systems allow much greater design flexibility – which means you can put more modules on a roof and at variable pitches – and it reduces the balance of system costs (cabling, connectors, etc.)
One of our favourite features is the SolarEdge Monitoring Platform. It provides our customers with full visibility of the installation’s technical and financial performance including PV production, building consumption, and self-consumption. Free for the lifetime of the system, the platform can be accessed via an easy-to-use app on smart phones, tablets or PCs.
Monitoring allows homeowners and system owners to easily track their system production and household energy consumption in real time, keeping them in control of their energy usage and savings. While for installers, the app can be used to view and manage a fleet of installations, including by setting alerts and generating automated site reports, allowing them to plan and deliver site maintenance efficiently and reduce their customers’ O&M costs.
We also offer some of the longest product warranties in the market – and they can be extended – for example SolarEdge Power Optimizers come with a 25-year warranty and our inverters have a standard 12-year warranty that can be extended to 20 or 25 years, depending on the model. And when it comes to stability in the market, we’re a global, NASDAQ listed, company and the No.1 inverter manufacturer in the world*.
*According to revenue, IHS PV Inverter Market Tracker 2015-21.
SolarEdge also has solutions for commercial buildings, can you tell us about those?
Our commercial solutions are similar in principle to the domestic product range. Our commercial systems comprise Power Optimisers, 3 phase inverters up to 100kW and a range of metering and communications devices. The Power Optimisers perform the same job as those for domestic systems – changing a module into a smart module. Our inverters include the Three Phase Inverter with Synergy Technology that combines high capacity with a modular, lightweight design that eases the installation process and a unique pre-commissioning feature to streamlines the process even further.
We also provide a number of commercial proprietary off-the-shelf and customised solutions
including multi-site grid control, custom grid requirements, tailored monitoring dashboards and utility interfaces, and integration of third-party components.
What do building owners, whether that’s residential or commercial buildings, need to consider when weighing up solar options?
There are a number of factors that should be taken into account when considering solar options.
Choosing the right inverter is key to maximising a system’s energy generation. Solar inverters account for less than 10% of the cost of a typical solar application and yet are responsible for 100% of the energy generation. They also influence up to 20% of system cost and control O&M expenses, so choosing the right inverter for your system has significant implications for its long-term financial performance.
Traditional string inverters typically have limited safety functionality and to meet PV safety standards, they may require additional hardware products which can increase system cost and complexity. As such, solutions with advanced safety features as a standard should be considered.
It is important to have visibility of the installation’s performance data at module-, string- and system level in order to make sure the system is functioning as expected. The ability to monitor solar installations at a module level brings cost savings through more efficient asset management and allows maintenance teams to swiftly detect any errors – keeping maintenance costs, and potential energy losses, to a minimum.
When looking at residential storage solutions, we would recommend a DC-coupled solution since it’s more efficient than AC-coupled.
The system’s integration and future proofing also needs to be taken into account. Building owners need to ask themselves if the system can be expanded and evolved as their needs change.
It’s also important to remember that buying cheaper isn’t always the smartest choice. While a lower purchase price may look appealing on the balance sheet, any initial savings will be eroded if the system fails to generate sufficient energy, if maintenance costs are consistently high, or if the system develops a fault and the short warranty has already expired.
What’s next for SolarEdge and renewable energy more generally?
Generally, in the residential sector, homeowners are looking to reduce electricity costs while embracing a sustainable lifestyle. That means PV systems need to manage and optimise home energy usage and storage. In the UK, our SolarEdge Home range will continue to grow to include our Home Hub backup-ready inverters and then a Home Backup Interface along with a new suite of smart energy products. We’re also continuing to develop our commercial and storage ranges.
In the commercial sector, businesses and institutions around the world are increasingly turning to PV to become energy independent, decrease costs and reduce carbon emissions. The world energy market is in transition to renewable energy alternatives and SolarEdge is committed and uniquely placed to support this important change.
For your free ticket to InstallerSHOW visit: installer-2022.reg.buzz