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vtkahns
01-30-2011, 10:16 AM
I have found very little information here on folks with experience with the SolarEdge products. I have just given the green light to an installer to install such a system on my roof .

I have read every document they have on their web site but of course that is all from one side of it.

I do NOT have shading as I am in a corn field but the opportunity for module level MPPT and individual module tracking is attractive to me (data hound).

The warrantys are second to none and they believe their devices to be the best out there.

I am looking at 18x245W solarworld mono panels with the solaredge powerboxes and probably the 5000W central inverter.

Does anyone have some thoughts on this technology and even better.. first hand experience with it ? My installer has NEVER used it before but is very very eager to and thinks this will be his favorite system to recommend if all goes as planned.

I am excited to move forward.

Thanks for listening

russ
01-30-2011, 10:37 AM
Hi vtkhans - Welcome to Solar Panel Talk!

Their Technology Overview & pdf file 'Problems and Disadvantages in Current Residential & Commercial On-grid PV Systems' is a wonder! Full of misinformation and presented as if their product will save the world!

All they are selling is enphase type of inverters it looks like - wrapping it up in a package with a nice bow and telling everyone how wonderful it is.

The comparisons with competitor A are cute. Using that concept you can show anything you want - no limitations.

Lets see what others have to say. I do NOT like companies that lay on the BS as thick as these fellows seem to.

Russ

vtkahns
01-30-2011, 11:16 AM
Well.. The difference per their literature , web site, and salesguy is that they are leaving the inverting to a simplified central inverter.. which they believe will be an inherently more reliable inverter. The powerboxes installed onto each module are not inverting like the enphase system and they claim they are using more robust components (ceramic capacitors vs electrolytic capacitors for example) and 50% less components than what is inside the enphase microinverter. They are only responsible for maintaining the fixed string voltage , the MPPT , and sending the individual monitoring singnal to the built in web server in the inverter...

Since they are teaming up with some module manufacturers, they have to make the powerboxes last as long as the modules or they will be in trouble. They come with a 25 year warranty to match that of the modules.

The central invert itself is warranted for 12 years.. still more than your typical SMA type full function inverter.. Plus, when it dies, they are only $1500 today vs the full inverter.

Time will tell.. Its a gamble perhaps but as long as they stand behind their product, and are around when something fails, I'll be ok.

I was hoping to find someone here that has taken the plunge to enter into a dialogue about how they have been so far.. how they have enjoyed their web portal
( http://monitoring.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/login ) etc. The individual module level monitoring is included for 3 years and after that, it reverts to an array monitoring only , lifetime, w/o spending $1/KW/year (for me, $44 / year). I expect I will like the module level monitoring as that was my biggest concern so I could know instantly when a module goes bad. I am unsure yet if one can tap into their web server in the inverter to get all this data locally and bypass the need for the web portal. This is the type of knowledge I hope someone following here might have.

Real life experience will be more useful than any web literature can be.

tx

russ
01-30-2011, 11:41 AM
I am interested to get Mike & Sunkings take on this.

You are putting in a 44 kW array? 'w/o spending $1/KW/year (for me, $44 / year)'

The shade problem they expound greatly on can only be taken care of with the enphase type inverters on the individual panels as far as I know.

'they claim they are using more robust components' Salesman's BS for sure!

'They come with a 25 year warranty to match that of the modules.' This is still the question with enphase - will they really last. The studies they do may be right on or may well be way off.

More important - will this company be around in 2 or 5 years to collect the warranty from?

Right - real life experience is better than a web site - Never having heard of this bunch before I would not consider them. Too many quality companies with a real reputation out there.

Russ

vtkahns
01-30-2011, 11:59 AM
My array is 4 kw. I just found my notes:

$5 / kw / year for the full module level monitoring

NABCEP Russ
02-04-2011, 12:53 PM
I am interested to get Mike & Sunkings take on this.
The shade problem they expound greatly on can only be taken care of with the enphase type inverters on the individual panels as far as I know.
Russ

Solaredge uses module level MPPT to maximize each module's output. From there it uses a DC converter to match string voltages of each panel so their individual performance doesn't affect other panels. It accomplishes the same thing as enphase, just a different approach.

russ
02-04-2011, 01:00 PM
Learn something every day. Now the question is whether the Solar Edge type are equally trustworthy or not.

Sounds more complicated?

Russ

NABCEP Russ
02-04-2011, 01:11 PM
Learn something every day. Now the question is whether the Solar Edge type are equally trustworthy or not.

Sounds more complicated?

Russ

Yes it is and thus is the reason I don't recommend it.

vtkahns
02-04-2011, 03:14 PM
What makes it more complicated ? It sounds to me that it takes 2 tasks normally combined in the inverter and breaks them up into 2 separate tasks. The MPPT and voltage matching is done at each module with the 25 yr warranted powerbox (their name for the gizmo) with 50% less components of an enphase m-i so they say. Then the dc is sent to a simpler centralized inverter (12 yr warranty) that can handle 8-24 modules regardless of make, model, age, shading, etc. Makes for easy expansion at a later date.. panel replacement.. whatever.. as long as the inverter is sized for the capacity.

I'm taking the plunge and will report back on my experience. I will be using 18x245W Solarworld mono modules with the solaredge powerboxes SB250-AOB and the SE5000US inverter.

I'm excited .. and hopefully will not have any negative feedback for years to come.

$4.65/watt pre state and fed incentives which cut it in half or so.

NABCEP Russ
02-04-2011, 03:33 PM
What makes it more complicated ? It sounds to me that it takes 2 tasks normally combined in the inverter and breaks them up into 2 separate tasks. The MPPT and voltage matching is done at each module with the 25 yr warranted powerbox (their name for the gizmo) with 50% less components of an enphase m-i so they say. Then the dc is sent to a simpler centralized inverter (12 yr warranty) that can handle 8-24 modules regardless of make, model, age, shading, etc. Makes for easy expansion at a later date.. panel replacement.. whatever.. as long as the inverter is sized for the capacity.

I'm taking the plunge and will report back on my experience. I will be using 18x245W Solarworld mono modules with the solaredge powerboxes SB250-AOB and the SE5000US inverter.

I'm excited .. and hopefully will not have any negative feedback for years to come.

$4.65/watt pre state and fed incentives which cut it in half or so.

I didn't mean to discourage you from going with it. From an installer's standpoint theres more complication and consequently more opportunities for mistakes to be made in the installation process. You're doing the work of both micro-inverters and a central inverter. You have the added complication of installing hardware on the roof while still having to mount a central inverter as well. One of our main reasons for being able to install Enphase at or close to the same price as a central inverter is because of the simplicity of the installation. Everything is streamlined on the roof, punched through into the attic, combined in a subpanel with overcurrent protection, then it's a single line running back to the interconnection point with a quick stop at a meter and a disconnect switch.

If you have someone willing to do it though, that's fine. $4.65/ watt is a ridiculously low price though. I would definitely check and make sure you're dealing with a reputable installer. Make sure that includes everything you're going to need. I know personally, if I installed a system with the cheapest no name chinese panels, a solectria inverter (going for the cheapest items), and a non-homemade mounting system, I couldn't do it that cheap. I actually just recently proposed that price per watt for a 350kW system.

Good Luck, I hope it works out for you.

vtkahns
02-04-2011, 06:02 PM
3 of the quotes I received.. from large (multistate) alternative energy companies were in the $4.65 to $4.75 / installed watt range. I had a quote using a SMA Sunnyboy inverter with Solarworld panels.. the solaredge product with the solareworld panels... and suntech panels with a sunnyboy or solectria inverter. At least up here.. that seems to be the going rate.

I don't think they are getting any kick backs from the government like I will be.

I picked a local company that has been in business originally in construction, now in all phased of energy conservation (energy audits and the like) and alternative energy installations. http://www.facebook.com/BuildingEnergy

I see your point as to installation steps.. I guess their problem from my perspective.

I will post info when I move forward...the end of March/ beginning of april and continue to welcome feedback here.

dj905
04-27-2011, 02:19 PM
How did your install go? I am interested in an update on SolarEdge.

Thanks,

David

Naptown
04-27-2011, 02:50 PM
The price is very low indeed.
However If he is in the states this is also the slowest time of the year for installations and sales due to the long wait for the return of incentives. (Things generally pick up right after the first nice day of the year) so this could have been sale prices to keep the installers busy and in business.

vtkahns
04-29-2011, 01:30 PM
So this was not a "sale" price exactly. There was an initiative in my town brokered by a VT environmental group that picked some towns to coin the phrase "solar towns" and went out for bids from installers to get some supposed excellent pricing. I ended up shopping around after talking with the chosen company and found better prices at 2 of 3 of them.. and the one I picked was eager to try Solaredge. They had no installs of it under their belt but had done many enphase and central inverter type installs. From what they read and heard, they were excited to try it. I was game.

So. .$4.65 / watt before a state incentive of $0.75 / watt (down a ton from a year ago where I think it was > $2.00) and the 30% fed tax credit (i still can't tell if I need to reduce my basis by the state incentive or not but that's another story.. 2 tax folks said don't have to ..we'll see ) .

The system is up and running and we have had no problems.

http://monitoring.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/public?name=GoSolarVT#dashboard_

is the public portal I had them enable for me.. The private one offers the panel by panel charting of power, voltage, powerbox voltage, current and energy.

I took a few screen shots of what it looks like that I will attach here.

The install was painless.. one ethernet wire (custom pinout on the inverter side that needed to be crimped ) to my router and it started talking. An email or two to the support email address at solar edge and they had the portal up and running.

They are adding the "play" button type gizmo the enlighten portal has for enphase so that will be entertaining.

The data agrees roughly with my home TED which I also use with its-electric to get really cool chart of power over time...

I can post more info if there is interest..

russ
04-29-2011, 03:03 PM
Hi vtkhans - Thanks for the update - sounds and looks great.

Russ

vtkahns
04-30-2011, 07:46 PM
If anyone is interested..

https://picasaweb.google.com/vtkahns/SolarInstall201104121415?authkey=Gv1sRgCPGt6JLwubb CjQE&feat=directlink

russ
05-01-2011, 01:33 AM
Thanks Steve - Nice slide show and a neat installation!

Russ

SolarEnima
08-01-2011, 03:03 AM
Thanks for the postings on SolarEdge on real-life installations. Note that SolarEdge is one of the only string inverters with transformerless/groundless technology and passive cooling.

I'd be interested to hear about applications where SolarEdge would be appropriate and Enphase would not.

SolarEnima

russ
08-01-2011, 05:55 AM
Thanks for the postings on SolarEdge on real-life installations. Note that SolarEdge is one of the only string inverters with transformerless/groundless technology and passive cooling.

I'd be interested to hear about applications where SolarEdge would be appropriate and Enphase would not.

SolarEnima

The 'only string inverters with transformerless/groundless technology and passive cooling' sounds like salesman BS to me.

Mike90250
08-01-2011, 12:37 PM
transformerless/groundless = not legal in USA (yet) AFIK.