The SolarEdge distributed grid intertie system combines module-level DC-DC power optimizers and monitoring with specialized DC-AC string inverters to maximize the energy yield of a PV installation with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) on each module that mitigates partial string shading, module mismatch, uneven soiling and aging variance losses.
The system is designed to automatically maintain a fixed string voltage to ensure that the inverter always operates as efficiently as possible, regardless of string size, shading, or temperature. This allows flexible string length ranging from 8 to 25 modules and mitigates the performance impact of varying module sizes, tilts or orientations. The installation is scalable and facilitates expansion or replacements because future modules do not need to match existing ones. Installing a SolarEdge system can reduce installation time and cost by decreasing the number of strings, DC disconnects and other balance of system elements.
The built-in SafeDC feature automatically shuts off the power optimizer's DC current and voltage if they sense excessive heat or when the SolarEdge inverter is turned off or disconnected from the grid to ensure installer and firefighter safety. A safe module voltage of 1 VDC per module eliminates electrocution risk during installation and servicing. SolarEdge OP power optimizers also provide PV array arc-fault protection, which is required for certain types of installations in the proposed 2014 NEC. Once a power optimizer detects an arc, it automatically shuts the module down, effectively terminating the arc and preventing its re-occurrence. OP series power optimizers have 99.5% peak efficiency and are backward-compatible with older SolarEdge products. Because SolarEdge inverters are "transformerless" all PV array wiring must use double-insulated PV Wire (including factory-installed module wire leads).
The SolarEdge power optimizers have a 25-year warranty and the SolarEdge inverters have a 12-year warranty (extendable to 20 or 25 years). Power optimizers and inverters are listed to UL 1741 for the U.S. and Canada.
SolarEdge OP power optimizers can be used with most crystalline silicon or thin-film modules. They can be connected to one or several crystalline silicon modules as long as the total wattage and the open circuit voltage do not exceed the wattage and voltage limits of the optimizer used. Available with either MC4, Tyco, Amphenol H4, or H&S Radox modules input connections; all units have MC4 connectors on the output side, and are NEMA4 rated.
The OP250-LV optimizers have a PV module input range of 5-55 VDC and up to 250 W of power output. This unit is the best choice for standard 60-cell PV modules with power outputs of 250 W or less, where the total temperature-corrected open-circuit voltage is below 55 VDC, and the maximum current does not exceed 10 A.
The OP300-MV optimizers have a PV module input range of 5-75 VDC and up to 300 W of power output. This unit is the best choice for 60 or 72 cell PV modules with power outputs between 250 W and 300 W. They are also the best choice for high-voltage modules, such as Panasonic HIT modules, so long as the total output and voltage does not exceed the above limits and the current output is under 10 A.
The OP400-MV optimizers have a PV module input range of 5-75 VDC but up to 400 W of power output. This unit is the best choice for 72 cell PV modules with power outputs between 300 W and 400 W so long as the total output and voltage does not exceed 400 W and 75 VDC and the current output is under 10 A.
The OP400-EV optimizers have a PV module input range of 60-125 VDC, and are for modules up to 400 W of power output. This unit is the best choice for 96-cell modules, such as Panasonic Bi-Facial modules, or one or more smaller Thin-Film PV modules, so long as the combined total output does not exceed 400W and 125V and the current output is under 5.5 A.
SolarEdge inverters are designed to work exclusively with power optimizers. These simple, reliable, ungrounded inverters perform only DC to AC inversion of incoming power from one or multiple strings, because MPPT and voltage management are handled by the power optimizers. They work with 208, 240, and 277 VAC systems, and include a code-compliant AC/DC disconnect, On board Ethernet interface, and RS-485 serial port, weigh 48 pounds and reach 97.5% CEC weighted efficiency. All SolarEdge inverters are listed to UL 1741 for the U.S. and Canada and are NEMA 3R rated.
SolarEdge Module-level Monitoring
SolarEdge's web-based monitoring system provides PV performance monitoring, fault detection and troubleshooting at module-level, string-level and system-level. Web-based software provides real-time monitoring, facilitating increased system uptime and lowering maintenance costs. Remote fault detection pinpoints the location of underperforming modules on a virtual PV site map. The monitoring sensors and transmitters are built in and data is transmitted over the DC power lines. Connection between the inverter(s) and the internet can either be by Ethernet or a Wireless connection using a ZigBee gateway with connections between multiple inverters using their RS-485 connection ports. A free monitoring iPhone app is available as a download from the Apple iTunes Store. Registered users can monitor multiple sites from their iPhone, anytime, anywhere. The application provides an at-a-glance view of past and present energy production. Current weather conditions and forecasts are also presented to aid in assessing the system's performance. Site Mapping Tool software is also available free on the SolarEdge website, which allows barcode scanning for creation of a virtual site map using an iPhone. The Site Designer software and an Inverter Configuration Tool for on-site configuration and module-level installation verification are available free online as well. A free design software, SolarEdge Site Designer, assists in designing the optimal SolarEdge installation for a given installation size. The tool recommends the number of strings and each string’s length as well as PV inverter and power optimizer selections, based on site size and PV module selection. The tool supports flexible design with multiple orientations and tilts as well as unequal string length layouts. In addition to automatic design recommendation, the tool issues a Bill of Materials report which can be sent directly to your AEE sales team.