The Solar Edge Solution
SolarEdge provides groundbreaking distributed solar power harvesting and PV monitoring systems. The company's technology maximizes power generation for residential, commercial and large-scale PV systems. The SolarEdge portfolio of products includes power optimizers, highly reliable PV inverters with 98% efficiency and a web portal for module-level monitoring and fault detection.
SolarEdge Power Optimizer:
The SolarEdge power optimizer is integrated into each module, replacing the traditional junction box, or connected to it externally. The power optimizer optimizes energy output by performing MPPT for each module, and enables monitoring of each individual module. Further, each string's power optimizers automatically maintain a fixed string voltage, giving installers greater flexibility to design optimal PV systems.
The SolarEdge inverter is a highly reliable inverter. Because MPPT and voltage management are handled separately for each module, the inverter is only responsible for DC to AC inversion. Consequently, it is a simpler, more reliable device. The fixed string voltage ensures operation at the highest efficiency at all times, independent of string length and temperature.
A web-based software that provides module-level, string-level and system-wide performance monitoring. The software automatically provides alerts on a wide range of issues affecting energy generation and system safety that might otherwise go undetected, guides the user through a semi-automatic troubleshooting process, and can pinpoint the location of underperforming modules onto a PV site map.
More value for everyone with Solar Edge
Up to 25% more energy
Increased energy yield & faster return on investment through module-level MPPT
- No module power mismatch loss
- No partial shading loss
- No soiling mismatch loss
- No aging mismatch loss
Constraint free design
Maximum space utilization with minimum design time
- Modules on different orientation and tilts in the same string
- Different module types in a single string
- Strings of different lengths connected to same inverter
- Longer strings - up to 50 modules per string
Cost efficient maintenance
Full visibility of system performance & remote troubleshooting
- Module-level performance data
- Presentation of complete system on virtual site map
- Automatic alerts on system issues
- Easy access via web browser from computer or smartphone
SafeDC™ - DC safety
Safety during installation, maintenance, firefighting & other emergencies
- Installation: safe string voltage - until inverter & AC supply are turned on
- Maintenance: safe string voltage - automatic once inverter is turned off
- Emergency: safe string voltage - automatic after grid disconnection
- Designed for extreme outdoor conditions – IP65/ NEMA 3R
- Module-level reliability
- 25 year warranty for Power Box, up to 25 year warranty for inverter
Solar Edge System Benefits
Integrators, installers and maintenance providers
- Ideal for residential, commercial and large field installers
- Lower installation costs with faster design, less wiring, diodes, fuses and better maintenance
- Simple installation - use the same installation methods as exist today with all the SolarEdge added benefits
- Immediate installation feedback for faster site commissioning
- Scalable installation - adding modules to existing installations is simple and straightforward
- Create maintenance reports and log maintenance progress
- Full safety solution - electrocution and fire risks are eliminated with automatic module voltage shutdown during installation and maintenance
- Up to 25% more energy due to reduced power losses, for faster ROI
- Optimal roof area utilization
- Effective remote monitoring - easier maintenance that costs less
- Enhanced system troubleshooting
- Theft prevention mechanism
- Better fire safety - reduce insurance premiums
Safety Risks & Solutions in PV Systems
Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are gaining more and more popularity and their benefits and upsides are well acknowledged. However, safety concerns have accompanied PV instalations from the start.
Risk - Electrocution at time of installation, firefighting or during maintenance:
Firefighters and other first responders called to a blaze commonly cut off power to the burning building or in case of mainatance as a safety precaution. However, the PV modules continue to generate voltage, even if the system is not actually connected to the AC grid. Every series connection of 3 - 4 modules exposed to sunlight generates a voltage high enough to kill a person touching the exposed contacts. Residential and commercial installations include dozens or hundreds of modules with voltage that can reach 1000V.
1. Shutdown functions in traditional inverters merely interrupt current flow and voltages remain dangerously high.
2. Automatic DC breakers located on the inverter in the cabinet, cannot disconnect the voltage on the modules, adding cost without decreasing the risk.
3. PV module covering in firefighting case:
a) Spraying foam - this approach has proven to be ineffective because the foam evaporates or slides off the modules before extinguishing the fire.
b) Covering the module with an opaque material - this approach requires the firefighters to climb onto the burning roof, risking electrocution.
Effective Solution - Module-Level Shutdown:
SolarEdge offers a PV power harvesting system that consists of power optimizers connected to each module, a PV inverter and module-level monitoring. Additionally, SolarEdge systems have a built-in safety feature that eliminates safety risks.
When power optimizers are connected, modules continue in "operation mode" only as long as a signal from the inverter is constantly renewed. In absence of this signal, power optimizers automatically go into safety-mode, shutting down DC current as well as voltage in module and string wires. In safety mode, the output voltage of each module equals 1V. For example, if firefighters disconnect a PV system from the electrical grid during daylight and the PV system consists of 10 modules per string, the string voltage will decrease to 10V.
Since the maximum string length in a SolarEdge system is 50, the string voltage is limited to 50VDC, safely below the risk level. Even under single faults, the solution has been certified to have SELV (<120V) voltages.
Module-level Shutdown Occurs Automatically:
- Either when a building is disconnected from the electrical grid
- Or when the inverter is shutdown
- Or when thermal sensors for each module detect the rising temperature (threshold 95'C)
When the connectors and/or cables in a PV system are damaged, the electric current may pass through the air, causing an electric arc. This generates a lot of heat and can start a fire as well as cause electrocution. As PV systems start to age and as damage to connector and/or cables increase, and though with low probability, electric arcs may occur.
Ineffective Solution - Inverter-Level Arc Detection:
Traditional inverters have a limited ability to detect arcs inside a PV array. As the distance from the inverter increases, the likelihood of arc detection decreases. Additionally, traditional inverters can only detect and terminate serial arcs which occur close to the inverter. Parallel arcs, however, cannot be terminated.
Effective Solution: Module-level Arc Detection and Termination
SolarEdge optimizers act as multiple module-level arc detection sensors in an array, which significantly increases detection accuracy. Optimizers can detect serial arcs and can automatically terminate them by eliminating any current in the wires by completely shutting off all modules in the array. Module-level shutdown can further terminate parallel arcs.
SolarEdge's SafeDC™ system, an adherent feature in SolarEdge power optimizers, the SolarEdge Inverter and the SolarEdge monitoring system. It is the only system that ensures complete safety for firefighters working with PV modules, eliminating the risk of electrocution and electric arcs, and which is certified in Europe as a DC disconnect.
The SolarEdge system continuously monitors module performance and string connectivity, providing real time alerts of any installation tampering, so theft attempts can be detected as they occur. As another layer of deterrence, in case of theft, the embedded power optimizer can digitally lock or "immobilize" stolen modules to ensure they cannot be re-used by the thief.
The SolarEdge monitoring system continuously tracks module power and status. This ensures quick detection of any deviation from expected energy yield. The cause can be immediately located and the situation rectified, delivering maximum system uptime and energy yield.