Today I thought we would talk about the reasons why DMS Energy chose the SolarEdge inverter system as our primary product to turn solar panels DC into AC just a bit over 10 years ago.
Solar Panels usually get all the glory and accolades but it’s actually the inverter that does all the heavy lifting.
It was a cold and stormy night, actually no it wasn’t but I was reading a renewable energy journal in my office in 2009 when I read about this solar product that mitigated shade issues, had arc detection and shutdown, removed all the high voltage DC from the roof when it was turned off and it also had industry leading inverter and optimiser warranties. These were all the things that worried me about supplying and installing roof top solar and this was the product with all the solutions.
10 years later and the reasons that were so compelling are no less compelling today.
Roof top isolator fires are quite often in the news and they are scary things. Australia is the only country in the world; I will say that again the only country in the world that mandates the use of them. Every other country removed them off the roof the moment they started catching fire. But not Australia. We just kept doubling down on a completely unnecessary device that is causing quite a lot of issues.
Cheap systems come with cheap isolators every single time. And expensive systems nearly always come with cheap isolators too. Isolators are generally a plastic box on the roof where if some water gets into it, will want to dead short and catch fire. A bad termination or faulty mechanism can also cause a dead short and catch fire. We have a saying: ‘cheap isolators fail quickly and quality ones fail eventually’.
Guess what can’t happen on a SolarEdge system?
No isolator fires, ever. The SolarEdge optimisers remove the energy source from the panels in the case of an isolator issue. All other string inverters do not have this function and they will just most likely just sit on the roof and burn until the sun goes down. While we use metal bodied, high quality isolators we are aware this is an inherent weak point on the roof and SolarEdge removes the risk for both us and the clients.
Low DC voltage.
If we have to work on or in a roof with a SolarEdge system, we can just turn the inverter off and 10 panels, for example, drops all the voltage down to 10 volts in the cables from the roof to the inverter. Everything becomes touch safe. 10 panels on a string inverter will be around 400 volts if there is sunlight on the panels regardless of the state of the inverter and if you were to accidentally drive a screw into those cables that would certainly change the colour of your day, and not in a good way.
Everyone says to me ‘there is no shade on my roof’ and unfortunately there nearly always is some form of shading. It might be the TV aerial, or NBN receiver, or the power lines that go across the front of the house. It might be that little tree that was 3 foot nothing when you first purchased your solar and now 5 years later as it reaches towards the sky and throwing those first tendrils of shade onto the array. Quite simply, shade is the enemy to all solar systems. But, it affects some systems worse than others. Shade blocks the energy that’s needed to harvest the solar energy from reaching your panels and nothing can counteract that and with string inverters, the panels are all joined together and your string or group of panels is limited by the poorest performing cell. Shade on these systems can be catastrophic in limiting the solar systems overall performance.
With SolarEdge using the optimised inverter system of string inverters mitigates systematic shade losses. Therefore any under performing panel (caused by shading) will do the best it can while the rest will be unaffected. This allows our clients to get the best return on their asset.
SolarEdge have industry leading 12 year warranties on the inverter. Just to put this into perspective we have over a decade of experience with the product and our first inverters still have 2 years warranty left and with the 25 year warranty on the roof top optimisers, there is still 15 years left.
SolarEdge. Safe, efficient and dependable if anyone out there is considering going solar in the future, don’t just ask about SolarEdge. Demand it! Any other inverter product is selling yourself short.
Today we have only spoken about the fundamental core features of SolarEdge.
The features and benefits of SolarEdge do not just stop there and we will dedicate 1 week per month over the next few months to show everyone how the SolarEdge product is reshaping the way we approach solar systems in Australia.
DMS Energy are the Tasmania’s most experienced installers and designers of the SolarEdge product. We are also LG’s Tasmanian ‘Installer of the Year’ and Q.CELLS Partners. You are in safe hands with DMS Energy.