Designing a “storage-ready” solar panel system is the first step to ensuring that you’re set up for success when you decide to move forward with a solar battery for your home or business. EnergySage spoke with Lior Handelsman, VP of Marketing & Product Strategy and Founder of SolarEdge, for his perspective on storage-ready solar.
The StorEdge battery storage system: a brief overview
SolarEdge’s StorEdge battery storage system is a storage-ready DC coupled solar panel inverter system. Available in 5 kW and 6 kW sizes, the StorEdge inverter is designed to be a single device that can store DC electricity is compatible batteries and also transform DC electricity into AC electricity for use among your home appliances. Currently, SolarEdge’s StorEdge solution is compatible with LG Chem’s new high voltage RESU10H and RESU7H batteries.
DC coupled inverters store solar electricity in DC form instead of transforming it to AC electricity, which reduces efficiency loses. The StorEdge system is specifically designed to work with SolarEdge power optimizers, which can further increase the efficiency of your solar energy system.
How is SolarEdge’s StorEdge system different from other options on the market?
Solar energy is created in DC and energy is stored in DC, while the home uses energy in AC. Most PV + storage inverter solutions convert PV energy from DC to AC and then back to DC again for storage purposes. SolarEdge designed its inverter to work with batteries using DC electricity instead of AC electricity as many storage solutions do. This means that the energy flows directly from the PV to the battery without unnecessary conversions. Since each conversion leads to energy losses, this set up provides more stored energy for the homeowner.
As part of SolarEdge’s standard PV solution, its DC-optimized inverter also allows for further energy production and enhanced safety. The power optimizers that are attached to each module to manage and monitor energy production, means that more energy is produced from the PV system, which in turn makes more energy available for battery storage. This same module-level management enables power optimizers to reduce the DC voltage to a safe voltage in PV wires whenever AC power is off. Called SafeDC™, this technology meets strict safety standards.
Additionally, SolarEdge offers a simple user experience. Homeowners can have full visibility into their PV production, storage status, consumption, and self-consumption via one monitoring app.
Storage-ready solar: is it right for you?
Installing storage-ready solar can help homeowners be ready for the future. As the cost of batteries decreases, storage is continuing to become a more feasible solution to increase self-consumption and provide back-up energy. When homeowners have a storage-ready system, they can, in the future, easily increase their self-consumption and gain energy independence.
Anyone installing residential PV should ensure that their system is storage-ready, especially since there is no added cost. This will allow them to easily upgrade their systems. Homeowners who should already install solar + storage are those in areas where there is no feed-in tariff or those who want increased energy independence, irrelevant of incentive structures.
One factor to keep in mind with storage-ready solar installations is that installing a battery system later on can make it difficult to claim the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Some more local incentives, like California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), can help incentivize battery installations that occur after the solar system is up and running.
The best way to explore solar is on the EnergySage Marketplace
Even if you don’t know if you want a storage-ready solar installation, comparing quotes for solar is a great way to understand the types of installers, equipment, and additional products available for solar. By registering on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, you can begin receiving quotes from qualified, pre-vetted installers near you for a solar installation on your property. If you are interested in a storage-ready solution (or even a battery backup system), simply leave a note on your profile for potential installers to see.