What is the SolarEdge power optimizer?

In standard solar PV installations, panels are grouped together in a ‘string’ to generate electricity that goes to the inverter. This is a cost effective solution for most install situations. However, if part of your install is shaded for example, all the panels in ‘string’ series can only work at the effciency of the least efficient panel. The SolarEdge power optimizers manage each panel independently so that every panel can perfrom at its maximum efficiency. The system also communicates performance data back to a central monitoring portal so that panels can be efficiently managed.

Why does it matter? Because for every panel that isn’t performing at it’s best, you lose potential generation payment from your FiT.

Each SolarEdge power optimizer is also fitted with the unique SafeDC™ feature which automatically shuts down modules’ DC voltage whenever the inverter or grid power is shut down.

The Solar Edge system can be retrofitted to maximise the benfits of an exisiting system. On new systems it allows flexibility in design, enabling panels to be placed at the optimum positions and perform at their best.

Businesses

Is my property suitable?

If you are considering a retrofit SolarEdge system for your property, we can help you decide if it’s an appropriate investment. Most properties are suitable for a retrofitted or new SolarEdge system. The question is will the extra upfront cost be recouped in the lifetime of the system.

Monitoring your system against expected generation will give you an idea about whether your panels could be performing better.

For commercial systems, the upfront cost can certainly be an attractive add-on to your PV system, but we would always recommend talking through your options. Chris is obsessed by the details and loves working out the difference a SolarEdge can make, so you’ll be in good hands.

Chris has also attended the SolarEdge Advanced Training so he’s fully up to date with all the relevant technical details.

How does it work?

solaredge_power_optimizers

Each solar PV panel in the system is fitted with the SolarEdge power optimizer unit. This enables panels to individually perform at their best. The power optimizers are fitted with the unique SafeDC™ system that will shut down modules’ DC voltage whenever the inverter or grid power is shut down.

Individual panel performance is communicated to the SolarEdge monitoring portal so tracking the performance of your panels is easy. As an accredited installer, we can help you to manage a pro-active maintenance service to reduce maintenance costs.

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Benefits

  • Make more use of your space – the power optimizer system makes installing solar cost effective in places where traditional string systems don’t add up.
  • Maximise the generation from panels in shaded areas.
  • Track the performance of panels individually and avoid generation losses.
  • Increase safety of the system in the event of power cuts or carrying out maintenance with the unique power breaker system.

 

Incentives

There are no incentives specifically for power optimization. However, you can maximise your FiT payments by installing a SolarEdge system and ensuring your panels are performing at their best.

We recently worked with a domestic customer whose install had been underperforming for years due to a badly designed string system. Matthew calculated that the customer is over £3500 out of pocket from lost on generation income.

What happens next?

If we think you’d benefit from a SolarEdge on a new system, we will take care of everything as part of the standard solar PV survey and design service. We will only recommend the SolarEdge in addition to your standard install if we think it will deliver added benefits for you. We will explain our design and calcluations so that you can make an informed choice.

If you would like to invest in the SolarEdge system as a retro-fit to an existing system, then we will arrange a survey so that we can give you the right information to decide if the investment will give you the benefits you are looking for.

On a new install, the SolarEdge system will be installed with the system, and won’t take any longer than the standard system to install.

 

Maintenance

The SolarEdge power optimizer system allows you to keep track of any potential performance and maintenence issues with your PV panels. The SolarEdge system itself should be maintenance free.