When people get excited about their home solar system, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to the all the money they’ll save on their energy bill over the next 25 years. In the rare event that someone does get excited about the actual equipment, it’s usually the solar panels － the workhorses of the solar system. Rarely does anyone get excited about their solar inverter. But owners of SolarEdge inverters have good reason to get excited.
Apart from the panels themselves, solar inverters are arguably the most important element in your solar energy system. Inverters convert raw DC electricity from the panels to AC electricity that you can use in your home.
But the SolarEdge inverter does more than that. It also comes equipped with an integrated data monitoring system that collects performance data. You can access the data through the SolarEdge app and use it to help you troubleshoot the solar system and better understand how your system is performing. This information is invaluable in helping identify problems, and could help you avoid the irritating process of contacting a service specialist and waiting for them to check out your system in person.
The technical elements of the SolarEdge are also impressive. The unit features just one-sixteenth of the magnetics and less than half of the cooling components of standard inverters. These components make inverters big and bulky, and their absence in the SolarEdge inverter allows it to weigh less than 30 pounds. Small, lightweight, and easy to install, the unit also boasts an incredible efficiency rate of over 99 percent, and can be installed indoors or outdoors.
The inverter is also one of the safest available. If has inbuilt rapid shutdown protection, which means that when utility workers or electricians on the DC side of the system are working, they won’t be at risk for electrocution.
Key to the SolarEdge inverter system is its use of power optimizers. On standard solar systems, even a small amount of shading on one or two panels can lead to dramatic decreases in overall system output. Using an algorithm known as Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT), power optimizers allow each individual panel to contribute its maximum possible amount of energy relative to the amount of light it’s receiving. The power optimizers, therefore, limit negative impacts of shading or cloud cover and enhance power production. According to some estimates, the SolarEdge inverter makes possible a five to eight percent energy increase over standard inverters.
With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why the SolarEdge inverter is favored by both residential and commercial solar customers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S.
The only downside to the SolarEdge is that it is a bit more expensive than other inverters. A low-end unit designed for a 4.5-kilowatt system will cost a little over $1,000. A high-end model designed for a much larger 15-kilowatt system will set you back over $2,000.
Still, the average SolarEdge inverter is about 10 percent cheaper than a comparable inverter from Enphase, its main competitor in the module-level power electronics market. And when you’re investing in a solar energy system that will last at least 25 years, you’ll want every part of it to be as reliable, efficient, and user-friendly as the SolarEdge inverter is.