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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.