Leading global solar inverter company SolarEdge has launched a new residential three-phase hybrid inverter range on the Australian market, in a move it says will offer “unprecedented design flexibility” for rooftop solar systems.
SolarEdge says the hybrid range, which has been expanded to include a 10kW inverter (alongside 8.25kW, 7kW and 5kW), addresses typical rooftop solar design restrictions, such as varying panel types and string lengths.
“With fewer, longer strings, the inverter (allows) for a simpler installation of larger, more profitable systems … (and) for multiple orientations and tilts on the same string,” the company said in an emailed statement.
The DC optimised inverters are also battery ready, and designed to allow for the direct connection of multiple SolarEdge batteries, which are due to be launched in Australia in 2021.
“Supporting a simplified and cost-effective plug and play installation of the SolarEdge battery, when available, the hybrid inverter presents a single solution for both energy storage and on-grid PV,” the company said.
The inverters are also said to allow for easy future upgrades, such as other “smart energy add-ons,” that could be used to harness excess energy production and thus improve economic returns and more “upsell opportunities.”
The new inverter range comes as the focus on this integral part of rooftop PV systems come under the spotlight, for the role they will play in helping to manage Australia’s vast and growing distributed solar resource.
Just last month, the Australian Energy Market Operator stressed the urgent need for improved inverter standards, to help it gain more visibility over the increasing rooftop solar pie, and give it the ability to “curtail” rooftop solar output when needed.
As RenewEconomy reported AEMO’s latest Electricity Statement of Opportunities focused in great detail on the issue of booming rooftop solar uptake, which the market operator says can affect voltage management, frequency control, system strength, restart capabilities and push “minimum” demand down to levels where the grid will be difficult to manage.
It is seeking new inverter standards, particularly to ensure they can “ride through” system faults, and is proposing a bunch of market changes that could encourage more demand to create a solar sponge to soak up excess power to make it more manageable.
South Australia, which is at the bleeding edge of Australia’s rooftop solar market growth, has gone ahead and introduced a first batch of approved inverter suppliers and agents that will ensure that new rooftop solar installations have the ability to “ride through” system faults, can be subject to changing export limits and can be disconnect from the grid if needed.
SolarEdge’s existing inverter range is included on this list, but One Step is awaiting confirmation that the new range also complies with the S.A. standards.
Other features of the new inverter range include:
Single vendor for all warranty and service issues, and seamless system operation
Up to 200% DC oversizing when battery is connected, for battery charging and improved low light performance
Supports (optional) smart energy devices and future system upgrades
Fast inverter commissioning directly from a smartphone using SetApp
Excellent reliability with standard 12-year warranty (extendable to 20 or 25 years)
Panel-level monitoring via built-in Ethernet or Wi-Fi (optional cellular connectivity also supported)
Advanced safety features, including SafeDCTM and integrated arc fault protection
IP65 rated for outdoor or indoor installations