Choosing the safe, smart and superior option: SolarEdge

June 18, 2019
P4B Solar
Why a SolarEdge Optimised Solar system is the optimal fit for your business.

A well designed and installed solar system has a lifetime performance guarantee of 25 years, with the expectation that it will still perform effectively for much longer than this. With premium manufacturers offering at least 10 years warranty on products and lifetime performance guarantees it is not hard to choose a system that will be perfect for your business.

Choosing the right equipment for your system, or even the right installer can be vitally important. The right equipment can minimise risks of fire danger, system meltdown or malfunction, expensive component replacement and system down time, and of course, reduced savings due to an inefficient or poorly installed system.

A Picture Containing Solar Cell, Outdoor Object, Floor, Ground

The right installer is vitally important as an optimised system is a highly complex piece of technology that, if not installed correctly could present multiple troubles and setbacks.

At this point, you may be asking ‘What about the horror stories about systems that died after 5 years?’ Like anything else, you get what you pay for. There are plenty of solar companies offering a 5kW system for $3,500, or something similar to this. “Buy 18 panels and we’ll throw in 4 free panels” or “Sign up this month to receive 30% off the cost of your installation!”

If you choose the cheapest option available to you, you are most likely purchasing more headaches and maintenance pains than you are prepared for.

With panel and inverter manufacturers coming and going like the wind, it can be hard to put your faith in renewable energy. As with most business investments, solar can be an expensive exercise and if you do not take the time to understand what you are purchasing and where it comes from, you may find yourself in hot water.

Don’t get me wrong, buying the most expensive system you can possibly find may not be the solution either.

So where do you begin?

It is well known within the solar industry that the only panels that should be considered for any installation are Tier 1 Panels.

To be a Tier 1 manufacturer, you must produce a certain volume of products, control the entire production process from start to finish without having additional suppliers for components and have a fully automated production process; among many other criteria.

Jinko Solar is a global leader in panel manufacturing and operates in over 20 countries worldwide with some of the best customer support and warranties on the market. As a global supplier of solar panels, you can rest assured that they are unlikely to go out of business or disappear anytime soon.

Solaredge Solar Power Systems

SolarEdge is a global leader in the manufacturing and supply of solar inverters and DC power optimisers. Servicing over 20 countries globally and with a 24/7 support team available, SolarEdge offers some of the best customer service and support on the market.

Offering in-depth monitoring and system performance reporting, SolarEdge also incorporates a safety software algorithm, ensuring that even in the event of a power outage, your system is 100% safe. The Safe DC software included in all SolarEdge optimised installs offers an additional level of safety and reassurance that is highly sought after, especially in the education sector.

In America, no school may install a solar system that does not have a DC voltage Rapid Shut down feature when power is cut or turned off. This rapid shutdown feature minimises the risk of system meltdown or fire hazard so effectively that they have become an industry leader in safe rooftop solar installations.

Damaged Solar Panels On Roof
The perils of a poorly designed solar system.

Standard rooftop solar systems must be installed with DC isolators on the roof. These isolators will reduce the amount of DC voltage circulating through your system. The more voltage present in an electrical circuit, the more potential current that can run through that circuit. The risk here is that if a building loses power and the solar system does not shut down, there can be a build-up on the roof before the electricity can be sent to the inverter to be converted to usable electricity for your household.

This electricity build-up can cause inferior systems to overheat and even catch fire.

Between 240 volts and 760 volts of electricity can be coursing through your solar system at any given time, depending on your electrical supply type. Whilst it is not the volts that have the potential to be lethal, the more volts present, the higher the electrical current potential. And high electrical current certainly can be lethal.

It is for this reason that SolarEdge implemented their Safe DC system. In the event of a power shut down, for whatever reason, a DC optimised solar system will shut down its live voltage coming from each individual panel to 1-volt DC. By shutting down the live voltage, the amount of electrical current present is massively reduced, allowing for safe handling and inspection of the solar system.

So, what does it all mean?
Safedc Solaredge Logo
SafeDC system by SolarEdge

Well, if you have installed a DC Optimised SolarEdge system, you no longer need to depend on the sometimes-temperamental DC isolators on the roof to ensure system safety.

You can rest assured knowing that in the event of a power blackout (don’t we love these in Adelaide), power fault or system shut down, your business or household is just as safe as if there was no electrical equipment on your roof, whatsoever.

I know I personally sleep better at night knowing there is absolutely no fire risk with a SolarEdge system.

An article released by The Australian in December of last year outlined the issue Australia is having with unsafe or sub-standard installations. An audit conducted around the Renewable Energy Target showed that as much as 21%-26% of all solar systems installed were deemed sub-standard, with the potential to be highly dangerous. Unsafe cabling, poor panel mounting, or cheap materials can all contribute to a system being deemed sub-standard or unsafe.

For this reason, it is vitally important to choose your solar company and your installers very carefully.

Installing a properly optimised system is not like installing just any solar system. As a highly technical and complex system, it is important that your design and install company understands the design limitations and conditions associated with this product.

Training programs are run four times a year by SolarEdge to train up new installers and designers on how to effectively fit SolarEdge systems to ensure they are compliant with industry standards, safety standards and are going to perform as they are expected to. It is common for installers who unfamiliar with a SolarEdge set up to attempt to install an optimised system, only to find that there are multiple issues with the system.

Optimisers that are quite delicate can be broken easily by poor handling and installation; incorrect cabling can cause voltage drops which reduce the amount of energy being sent from the panel to the inverter; incorrect string set up can cause the system to ‘clip’ or cut the amount of electricity that is able to be produced.

By understanding the importance of selecting both the right company to provide your solar energy needs, support and service, as well as ensuring that the products being used are the best option for you, your solar investment can be a highly positive experience, not to mention a lucrative one.

Most businesses can look to save as much as 70% off of their electricity operating costs through solar investment and with more and more companies buying into the industry, there is no time like the present to begin your investigation into the value of solar for your business.

Stop giving your money to the big energy retailers who are getting fat on coal-fired generation and invest in yourself today!