The Benefits of Using Solar Edge Inverters

We of Energy Creation have been extremely pleased at the benefits that our customers have been getting with Solar edge inverters. We are going to discuss these benefits in this blog post and we hope this will prove helpful to anyone thinking of having a solar panel installation.

In short, your solar panels will produce electricity from daylight. The electricity produced is DC (Direct Current) and your home or business is likely to be running using AC (Alternating Current) electricity. Therefore Solar Panel Installers must install an inverter. The inverter simply converts the DC electricity into AC electricity so that you can use the power in your home. Most standard solar panel inverters have either one or two optimisers built in them. These are also known as power point trackers, that track the sun independently of each other. These are good for Solar PV system where you want to split the panels say 8 on south facing roof and 8 on a west for example.

solar edge inverter

Illustration from Solar Edge.

Solar Edge

How the Solar Edge System works

Each solar panel is wired to its own single power optimiser. A traditional system is optimised in groups of panels rather than individually. The solar edge inverter then only has one main job to convert the DC to AC. The Solar Edge monitoring portal can then give the system owner and solar installer full visibility of the performance of each individual panel.

1. Power Optimizer

Solar edge optimizer

When the solar installer installs a SolarEdge power optimiser to a solar panel it becomes a smarter panel. This means that:

  1. You can generate more electricity from each solar panel.
  2. Check the performance of each solar panel independently.
  3. Automatically shutdown each solar panel for maximum safety.

2. Inverter

Solar Panel inverter

A Solar Edge Inverter is more reliable as its design is simple meaning less to go wrong:

  1. Simple function, only to convert DC to AC, the rest is sorted by the optimisers.
  2. Neat, tidy, small and robust.
  3. Longer warranty periods.
  4. Better efficiency.

3. Monitoring Platform

SolarEdge monitoring

By having the ability to monitor real-time generation, the monitoring systems means:

  1. You have full ability to view the performance of your solar panels
  2. Automatic alarms and alerts on technical issues
  3. Access information anywhere you have internet signal, from a computer, smart phone or tablet.

Why use Solar Edge?

When using solar edge power optimsers you can achieve greater performance from the fact that each panel has its own individual maximum power point tracking.

A regular inverter doesn’t have this benefit or is limited to 1,2 or 3 maximum power point trackers (MPPT). For a 16 panel solar PV system a regular inverter would maybe have 2 MPPT’s. A Solar Edge system would have 16 MPPT’s. So if for instance one panel is shaded by a tree, cloud or dirt then it will reduce the performance of all those panels on that MPPT slightly. That could be on 8 or the 16 panels. Solar Edge produces the maximum efficiency as the weakest panel does not effect the performance of the rest of the solar panel system. How great is that!!?

The diagram below illustrates this nicely.

solar edge comparison

Illustration by Solar Edge

It’s not just shading you should be concerned about. Also:

  • Dirt
  • Leaves
  • Future shading from trees and bushes that grow out of control
  • Snow
  • Bird droppings
  • Uneven panel aging

Two informative Videos about the Solar Edge Inverter

Conclusion

OK so we have covered some of the key features of Solar Edge inverters and why you would want to think about using them. To summarise:

Performance

Each Solar Panel generates the maximum possible Electricity using the solar edge optimiser.

Warranty

There is a 25-year warranty for power optimisers and a 12-year standard warranty for inverters.

Control

The Solar edge monitoring platform allows you to check your solar panels performance at all times.

 Safety

The Solar Panels shutdown the solar panel DC voltage automatically. The protects the solar installers, maintenance staff, and firefighters in case of emergency.

We would like to bring a couple of negatives to your attention:

  1. They cost slightly more than a traditional inverter. (However, This is probably worth paying for considering all the positives)
  2. Warranties are only as good as the company behind them, I have seen bigger companies in the solar industry go bankrupt, lets face it the solar market is less than stable.
  3. Although its great to have optimisers per solar panel, this is more kit that could go wrong. (However, not a problem if the warranty is still effective)
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