Inverter maker SolarEdge adds “smart panels” to rooftop offering

Source: SolarEdge

Inverter maker SolarEdge has branched beyond the “smarts” of rooftop solar systems to the panels themselves, with the launch of its own PV offering on the Australian residential market.

SolarEdge says the 300 Watt so-called “smart panels” come pre-assembled with power optimisers, with a guarantee of “superior quality control,” better safety standards, and easier installation.

The Israel-based company says the panels, combined with its inverter and aggregated control and data reporting products, will offer retailers and installers a “panel-to-grid solution” from a single vendor.

SolarEdge’s promise of a “simplified logistics and warranty process” might be well timed, too, with Australia’s booming rooftop solar market getting some unwanted media attention lately for some small but significant gaps in industry regulation and quality control.

In particular, there has been concern around the used of DC isolators in rooftop solar systems, which became mandatory as a safety measure, but are now being linked to a number of key safety risks, including fires.

For its part, SolarEdge claims its panels have higher safety standards to others on the market, due to the company’s trademarked SafeDC technology being embedded in the technology.

“The smart panels offer all the SolarEdge benefits of industry-leading power production for a faster return on investment, improved design flexibility … panel-level monitoring with real-time performance information, as well as enhanced safety.”

The panels are also covered by a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty that cover panel performance, workmanship, and parts over those time periods.

For SolarEdge, the move into the panel market is the latest manifestation of the company’s plans to become a vertically integrated distributed solar generation and grid services company.

Last year, the company launched its aggregated control and data reporting service, in a move that took it beyond rooftops, to the network-level of distributed energy management.

“Our grid services enable the aggregation and synchronisation of multiple PV systems to create a distributed network. This is an important milestone in making solar energy ubiquitous,” said SolarEdge co-founder Lior Handelsman, at the time.

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