SolarEdge Begins South African Rollout Of Powerwall-Compatible StorEdge Solution

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Israel’s SolarEdge has begun rolling out its Powerwall-compatible StorEdge inverter solution in South Africa, which is expected to help homeowners increase their solar self-consumption, as well as provide reliable backup power during grid interruptions.

self_consumption_and_backupStorEdge is considered an ‘all-in-one’ solution for grid-tied solar arrays with energy storage, and its DC-optimized inverter allows for both managing and monitoring solar electricity generation, enabling solar homeowners to consume more of their own solar energy, as well as providing electricity to pre-selected loads in the event of grid disruption.

“Smart energy management allows storing of solar energy in a battery to meet export limitations, offer demand response and peak shaving, and perform time of use shifting for reduced electric bills.”

According to PV Magazine, several solar PV systems that include the StorEdge solution have already been commissioned, with more expected in the near future. BrightBlack, a Johannesburg-based energy solutions provider, installed the first such system, a 3 kW solar array paired with a StorEdge inverter, nine power optimizers, and a 6.4 kWh Tesla Powerwall system. Kwikelec, a Port Elizabeth-based solar company, installed a 5 kW array with the StorEdge system 20 power optimizers, and a 6.4 kWh Powerwall for energy storage.

By allowing solar homeowners to have more control over time-of-use, as well as better monitoring and management of the solar electricity consumption and generation, the StorEdge solution is claimed to not only help customers save on their systems’ overall costs, but to also boost the energy efficiency of those systems.

“With load shedding required to stabilize South Africa’s electric grid, PV coupled with storage provide backup power during grid interruption for backed-up loads, in addition to increasing self-consumption. With SolarEdge’s StorEdge™ solution, homeowners only need a single inverter to manage and monitor both solar energy generation, energy consumption, and energy storage. This system design not only reduces system costs, but is more energy efficient.” – Joachim Nell, General Manager Africa & Emerging Markets for SolarEdge


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6 thoughts on “SolarEdge Begins South African Rollout Of Powerwall-Compatible StorEdge Solution

  • One cool aspect to this is that they’re keeping all the storage stuff on the DC side. Much more efficient architecture than AC conversion back and forth, from both capital equipment and energy loss standpoints.

    • What exactly do you mean by all the DC stuff on the storage side? I would like to learn more.
      I’m interested in buying this inverter. I’m attracted by the solar edge power optimizers, and the ability to see output per pannel. I am also attracted by the idea that I could install it as a grid tie inverter, and install the battery and auto transformer later, which I understand is only like a couple hundred bucks, and the ability to control everything if you buy all their pieces parts. It’s also 7.6kw so it has room to grow. Are there other inverters I should consider, or is this a good choice?

      • Wow, more detailed questions than appropriate for commenting on a forum plus some beyond my knowledge. Best to speak with someone who installs many different systems
        Or perhaps one of the mail order solar houses.

        My point was that AC to DC conversion and back is expensive and lossy, but the voltages are standardized. Gaining agreement for DC interconnection standards is hard but technically much better.

      • If you want per-module monitoring and a way to add storage later, I agree that optimizers systems look like the best solution today.

        SolarEdge optimizers and inverters must be used together, but the resulting simpler inverter costs much less.

        Other companies like Tigo and eIQ Energy offer optimizers which can be used with pretty much any inverter. More expensive, but you gain the freedom to chose other inverter/storage solutions, e.g. Fronius, SMA…

        One micro-inverter manufacturer is working on an “AC battery” (effectively a combination battery + inverter), seemingly for load shifting only, not backup power.
        It’s not available yet, and IMHO will be the priciest option, only interesting for already-installed micro-inverters systems.

        Note that running part of your home on battery/backup power will require it to be segregated on its own load center aka breaker panel. Keep this in mind if you’re doing any rewiring.

        • The tech is moving so fast that I decided not to install home solar yet. I’m going to wait until it standardizes more.

    • To be fair, DC-AC conversions are now 96+% efficient, while DC-DC reaches 98%. It’s getting to the point where losses in the wiring matter almost as much.

      That said, I agree, DC-DC is simpler and more elegant IMHO. I particularly like the optimizers approach, where the MPPT/DC-DC is done for each PV module and in a way eliminating voltage conversion further down.
      String voltage is independent of length/insolation/etc. For SolarEdge systems, it is about 350 V (grid peak), making it very well suited to batteries around that voltage.

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