The Key Benefits of SolarEdge Systems
1. Increased Output
SolarEdge systems can output significantly more solar power in all weather conditions. With a SolarEdge system, there is a small DC Optimiser integrated into each solar panel, which allows for each individual panel to output power independently from the other panels, significantly increasing system output.
Traditional PV systems consist of PV panels wired together in a series, much like Christmas tree lights. If a single panel underperforms for any reason (cloud-cover, dust or dirt for example), the rest of the panels on that string also underperform, reducing energy production across the whole string.
According to Renewable Energy World, shading of as little as 9% of a solar system connected to a central inverter, can lead to a system-wide decline in power output with as much as 54%.
The below image is a great example of how SolarEdge can significantly increase output. In this image, the unshaded panels will be working at maximum output, despite the patchy shade, because each panel is independent of the rest of the array.
This is a great example of how micro inverters can significantly increase output. In this image, the system will be working at near maximum output, despite the patchy shade.
Solar panels are manufactured within a power tolerance. Each manufacturer is different, however, the better brands tend to have a 3% range in tolerance. For example, a 3650W panel from LG Solar will be anything from 365W up to approximately 375W. The only way to take advantage of this is to use a system such as SolarEdge or Enphase that features panel level output, otherwise, you will be outputting power at the rate of the worst performing panel in your array. At best this will be at the panels’ rating, at worst it may be much less.
An independent study by CSIRO for Choice Magazine tested one panel from 15 of the most common solar panels available in Australia. During the test, they found that 12 out of the 15 panels performed under their claimed nominal power, some by as much as 10W.
Because only one panel was used in the test, it was impossible to draw strong conclusions about certain brands, however, it certainly drew attention to the fact that there are some large inconsistencies between a manufacturer’s claimed nominal power and real-world output.
For example, a 260W panel from one of the largest manufacturers in China scored a test result of 251W. This inconsistency highlights just how critical it is to have access to panel-level monitoring (we will get to that).
The star performer in this test was LG Solar; their 300W panel produced a test result of 307W. This is in line with what we have seen from our LG Solar systems installed in Australia and emphasises the importance of buying good quality panels.
Trees are not the only thing that can have an impact on solar output
Solar panels work on light (not heat) and so the glass on the solar panels needs to be clean and free of debris for the panel to be at peak performance. Shade from trees is an immediate obstruction that obviously impacts output, but it is the build-up of dust, pollen and pollution over the course of a few months that will typically go unnoticed. This is critical because even if you monitor the output on your central inverter, how are you to know if one panel is underperforming if all you have access to is total system output?
Yes, the rain will often wash most of the debris off most of the time, but in Australia, we will often have months without rain, our air is full of dust or perhaps salt from the ocean, and at certain times of the year pollen and pollution can affect output, especially near main roads.
Heat is also one of the main factors that can affect output from a solar system, and because panels in the middle of the array typically get much hotter than the panels on the end of each row, it is important that each panel is individually optimised.
2. SolarEdge is considered one of the World’s Leading Solar Power Manufacturer
Established in 2006, SolarEdge developed the DC optimised inverter solution that changed the way power is harvested and managed in photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SolarEdge intelligent inverter solution maximises power generation while lowering the cost of energy produced by the solar system for a better return on your investment.
SolarEdge is the largest manufacturer of DC optimised systems globally and is one of the leading players in the world’s biggest solar markets. Known for making solar power smarter and safer, a solar system powered by SolarEdge is a smart choice for your home.
3. System Safety
Fire is becoming an increasingly common issue associated with standard solar technology. With a ‘string’ inverter, high voltage DC power runs from the panels down to a central inverter, which is typically installed near the meter board. Any small fault in the wiring, a connection, or with the DC isolator switches can cause an arc fault where the power jumps across the loose connection. In many cases, this can lead to a fire that can then spread into the home.
Safer Solar has been mandated in many countries now including the USA, however, in Australia it is still possible to install a string inverter. Except in extreme circumstances, Solaray recommends Safer Solar Systems for all of our customers, which will involve buying either a SolarEdge or Enphase system.
SolarEdge systems feature increased safety, minimising both fire risk and electrocution risk:
- Whenever AC power in the home is off, the SolarEdge DC wires are automatically de-energised to 1V. Power optimisers shut down the DC voltage in the PV wires to protect installers, maintenance personnel, and firefighters.
- SolarEdge inverters also have built-in protection designed to mitigate the effects of some arcing faults that may pose a risk of fire.
Alternatively, an Enphase system uses a small inverter underneath each panel called a ‘microinverter’ so that the more-dangerous DC power is converted to AC immediately underneath each panel. This also helps control the voltage as the panels aren’t strung together like in other systems.
Because both SolarEdge and Enphase systems are able to be shut down immediately in the case of an issue with the power grid, they are much safer when something goes wrong, whether it is a mouse chewing through a cable or a grid-down situation.
6. A 12-Year Warranty as Standard
SolarEdge offers a 12-year warranty as standard on the inverter and a 25-year warranty on the power optimiser.
The SolarEdge inverter warranty can also be extended to either 20 or 25 years directly with SolarEdge after the installation, highlighting the quality of a SolarEdge inverter.
7. Battery Compatible
The industry has now moved away from hybrid inverters that are DC-coupled to a battery, making the SolarEdge Genesis inverter compatible with the leading batteries on the Australian market such as the Tesla Powerwall.
A battery such as the Tesla Powerwall can be installed with your solar system or retrofitted at any stage in the future. This is because the battery is directly connected to your meter board, where an additional gateway is installed to manage and monitor both the battery and the existing solar system.
By adding a battery to your SolarEdge system you will gain access to a sophisticated energy management system that will learn your energy usage patterns, maximise your savings based on your personal energy tariffs and it will even keep an eye on the weather; if a storm is on the way the system will charge the battery in case the power goes out.
For more information on a SolarEdge system with or without battery storage, fill in the form below and we will be in touch. We offer personalised advice and pricing without any sales pressure, we are here to help: