Product Briefing Outline: SolarEdge Technologies distributed DC power harvesting systems maximizes power generation of residential and large-scale PV sites by up to 25 percent, while reducing costs and complexities for panel manufactures, systems integrators, installers and owners.
Problem: Traditional PV installations still suffer from a broad range of limitations. Existing power harvesting systems use centralized or string inverters that perform Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) regulation on the entire serial solar array as a whole which leads to unavoidable power losses due to panel mismatch, partial shading sensitivity and sub-optimal MPP tracking, amongst others. As a result, conventional power harvesting systems assume a 20-30 percent systems loss when calculating the expected energy output of a PV system.
Solution: SolarEdge’s distributed DC system is claimed to maximize the power output of each module at the same price as conventional power harvesting systems. Based on a proprietary ASIC chip set, the SolarEdge ‘PowerBox’ optimizes energy output and enables performance tracking for each panel. Further, each PowerBox automatically maintains a fixed string voltage giving installers greater flexibility to design optimal PV systems. PowerBox is embedded into each module by module-manufacturers instead of the junction box, or retrofitted by PV installers onto the modules. The SolarEdge Inverter is a centralized inverter. Because MPPT and voltage management are handled separately for each module, the inverter is only responsible for DC to AC inversion. Consequently, the SolarEdge inverter is less complex and is claimed to be more reliable than traditional inverters. SolarEdge Monitoring is web-based software that provides module-level, string-level and system-wide monitoring. The software automatically provides alerts on a wide range of issues affecting energy generation that might otherwise go undetected, providing installers with full system feedback.
Applications: Residential, commercial and utility-scale PV installations.
Platform: The three-fold SolarEdge architecture consists of module-embedded electronics and custom ASIC which performs module-level MPPT; a centralized DC/AC inverter per array; and a web portal for module-level monitoring and fault detection.
Availability: Currently available.