Author Topic: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)  (Read 1461 times)

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Offline steve30

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Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« on: September 20, 2017, 05:42:29 pm »
Has anyone here used SolarEdge voltage optimisers?

One of the blokes I had in for a quotation spoke quite highly of them and seemed to use them for all their installations.

I didn't think there'd be much benefit to them for my system as the panels are all pointing in the same direction and aren't really subject to any shading. Therefore I didn't think it would be worth the extra cost, or the risk of having electronics on the roof (where they are inaccessible).

For those not aware, they are basically maximum power point tracking DC-DC converters that sit on the back of the solar panel.

I'm not going to be using them, but I'm curious to know of people's opinions of them (if any).
 

Offline jc101

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Re: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 06:20:22 pm »
I have them on my SolarPV install, partly as a couple of panels can get partially shaded in the winter but also as it enables per panel monitoring and management.  So as the panels age differently the string isn't limited to the worst performing panel.  With the SolarEdge monitoring site I can see the output of each panel over time, so it's easy to identify if there is a problem with a single panel that needs looking at.

Given they weren't that expensive I was happy to have them for monitoring alone, so if a panel did go iffy I could identify the specific panel that needed attention with the click of a mouse.
 

Offline SvanGool

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Re: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 11:25:15 pm »
I do fully agree with jc101, my panels are also sometimes partially in the shade and I also like the individual monitoring capabilities very much. Also the communication and integration of the web-service based portal of SolarEdge works outstanding 24/7.
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Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 04:56:38 am »
IMOP unless you have some severe partial shading problems they simply add cost, complexity and reduced reliability.

OTH if you enjoy gadgets and don't care about money/payback, why not!
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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Re: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 06:21:14 am »
IMOP unless you have some severe partial shading problems they simply add cost, complexity and reduced reliability.

This. Actually also the advice a salesman that uses the things in some cases gave me.
An engineer never has a problem. He just needs more time.

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Offline SvanGool

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Re: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 08:16:08 am »
... and don't care about money/payback, why not!

My payback is 7 years, not worse than anyone else here in the country. You don't know what (or if) I paid anything additional, so keep your judging for yourself !
# Don't hurry, the past will wait. #
 

Offline jc101

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Re: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2017, 08:27:27 am »
During the winter months I get a shadow from a neighbours attic room window run across the bottom of some of the panels. This was modelled during the design and so the optimisers were a simple solution.

Given the system performs better than the official figures suggested, and with real time monitoring we make better use of them, payback should be around the 5 year mark for me.
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2017, 09:30:13 pm »
... and don't care about money/payback, why not!

My payback is 7 years, not worse than anyone else here in the country. You don't know what (or if) I paid anything additional, so keep your judging for yourself !
Actually I was answering the OP in general terms. Obviously your specific installation has specific details that neither I nor anybody else could be expected to know about. So perhaps before making rude replies you should be more considerate.
 

Offline bicycleguy

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Re: Voltage Optimisers (SolarEdge)
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 06:19:29 am »
One important item that nobody talks about is fire protection.  The DC voltage in a string is high enough to arc if any defect in the insulation or connections are present.  As the plastic insulation ages cracks are likely.  Rodents might chew, etc.  Once the arc starts, unlike with HV AC, nothing, including metal conduit will stop it until the panels stop putting out the HV DC.  The newer SolarEdge inverters detect arcs and shut off the DC at each optimizer.

Google 'solar panel fire' and you will find articles like this:
http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_30061421/solar-panel-fires-concern-local-officials

edit: added a better link about HV DC
http://www.acsolarwarehouse.com/news/solar-fires-dc-arc-faults-on-solar-systems/
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 06:58:21 am by bicycleguy »
 


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