What Does A Power Optimizer Do?
It is necessary to know what options are available when determining which solar equipment. Different systems best suit different conditions. Ideal for conditions where shade is prevalent or when your solar system falls on several roof surfaces of different orientations, a power optimizer.
Let’s dive into the details!
A power optimizer is a mixture of a string as well as a micro inverter. It is a module-level electronic power (MLPE) unit, which increases the energy output of the solar panel system by continuously measuring each individual solar panel’s maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and changing DC characteristics to optimize energy output. The panel optimizers relay performance characteristics through a monitoring system to facilitate operations and any necessary maintenance of the solar panels.
The Solar Industry’s Top Power Optimizer
SolarEdge is the industry leader in DC optimizers. SolarEdge’s monitoring platform allows module-level monitoring for the user, client or owner, free of any extra charge.
Optimizers effectively allow for modular designs and configurations of solar systems–with multiple orientations of panels, tilts, azimuths, and types of module in a given series. Whether your roof or ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system is shaded, a system with panel optimizers can produce more energy harvest than a device paired with a string inverter. That is because if only one or more panels are shaded in a series of panels their output is reduced to the “lowest common denominator” of that set. Although an optimizer-inverter system can be marginally more costly than a string inverter system (2-3 percent more for the entire device), the financial gains from increased energy production will outweigh additional costs and are generally worth the investment if your solar project site has several azimuths, tilts, or is shaded.
Power optimizers such as SolarEdge also come with the integrated protection features. One such feature is a quick-shutdown solution when the grid goes down, intended to make the network easier for installers and emergency workers like firefighters to work or connect. As the National Electric Code (NEC) covering solar electrical installation is undergoing new revisions, MLPE such as power optimizers should play an important role in making solar installations safer to operate around and easier to maintain.
Solar panel optimizers such as SolarEdge effectively deliver many of the same advantages as microinverters. Optimizer systems such as SolarEdge appear to be slightly cheaper than Enphase microinverters, particularly as the size of the device increases. One important thing to remember is that most power optimizers, such as SolarEdge, bear a 25-year guarantee from a supplier. The SolarEdge inverter package bears a manufacturer’s warranty ranging from 12-25 years–note that this is longer than most (usually 10 years) string inverter warranties.
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