While installing solar can save you money on your electric bill and reduce your carbon emissions, homeowners are going even further and using solar electricity to charge their electric car. Thanks to an innovative new product from SolarEdge, powering your car with solar electricity is easier than ever.
If you want to make sure your solar panel system is operating as efficiently as possible, you are probably considering either power optimizers or microinverters (collectively known as “module level power electronics,” or MLPEs). In the United States, SolarEdge is the leading power optimizer manufacturer, and Enphase leads the pack for microinverters.
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.
What is the value proposition for a “storage-ready” solar product for residential customers?
Installing storage-ready solar helps 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.
Who should consider installing a storage ready solar option now?
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 PV+ storage are those in areas where there is no feed-in tariff or those who want increased energy independence, irrelevant of incentive structures.
What criteria do you recommend shoppers look for when considering their storage ready options?
These are the key tips:
- The battery’s capacity needs to meet energy demands
- The battery’s charging and discharge rate needs to meets demand
- The battery should have a high-power rating
- The battery and inverter should have flexible installation, warranted for both indoor and outdoor installation
- Both the battery and inverter should have long-term warranties with wide warranty coverage
- For backup power, the inverter and battery work in backup mode
- Select a DC-coupled battery system so there is minimal energy loss and to increase the amount of energy that can potentially be routed to the battery
- The inverter is just as important as the battery, since it is the energy manager. Make sure to select a high-quality inverter.
How is SolarEdge’s storage-ready offering 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. On the other hand, SolarEdge designed its inverter to work with batteries versus against them, like many typical solutions. This means that the energy flows directly from the PV to the battery without these unnecessary conversions. And since each conversion leads to energy losses, this set up provides more energy for the homeowner.
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.
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 the strictest safety standards.
What types of storage options (e.g. battery systems) are compatible with your offering?
Currently, SolarEdge’s StorEdge solution is compatible with LG Chem’s new high voltage RESU10H and RESU7H batteries.
Solar plus storage is a rapidly advancing technology that makes it possible to both generate and store solar energy onsite for backup power. Solar batteries can also help homeowners and businesses maximize solar energy use onsite. The cost of installing a battery is high today, but prices are falling rapidly. As a result, many property owners are installing a solar panel system now and planning to add energy storage later on.
How can you ensure that you’re set up for success when you decide to move forward with a solar battery for your home or business? Designing a “storage-ready” solar panel system is the first step. EnergySage interviewed four solar inverter manufacturers to offer more insight into the concept of “storage-ready” solar. The highlights and key takeaways from each manufacturer are below, and links to each company’s full range of responses on storage-ready solar are at the bottom of this article.
If you want to maximize your solar energy system’s production, finding the best solar inverter is as important as the solar panels you choose. For an “uncomplicated” roof – one that faces south and has no gables, chimneys, or other obstructions that can cast a shadow – the best solar inverter for you may be a standard string inverter. However, more than half of new residential solar installations are using module-level power electronics (MLPEs) like power optimizers and microinverters to maximize electricity production.
If you’ve been shopping around for a solar panel system, you may have heard of microinverters (from companies like Enphase and SolarBridge) and power optimizers (from companies like Tigo and SolarEdge). These devices – collectively referred to here as Module-level Power Electronics (MLPE) – are quickly gaining popularity in the US as an alternative to conventional string inverters.
In this article we take a look at this emerging trend and examine whether these technologies are the best option for all homes.