The Power optimizerWith a power optimiser, the solar power is optimised per panel. This is interesting if you have a relatively large amount of shade on your roof. In that case, a string inverter will have a lot of trouble maintaining the correct current, while the power optimisers ensure that each panel yields its own individual value.
In the example shown here, the four panels deliver 296%, while a string inverter would deliver about 200%. If you have a lot of shade, power optimizers will pay for themselves.
The best-known supplier of power optimizers is SolarEdge. In principle, Robisol supplies the SolarEdge system if you opt for power optimisers. Before a system is chosen, however, your configuration and connection values are always examined. The SolarEdge system namely requires a minimum number of power optimizers to function properly. It is important that you have sufficient inverters per orientation side in a string. In addition, the small solar panels can have three, four or five panels connected per power optimiser. Your configuration is presented to you in advance so that you know exactly what you are choosing.
A great added value of the SolarEdge System is the monitoring software that allows you to read the yield from each power optimiser. The safety of the system is also well guaranteed with arc detection and other controls. Moreover, the string can easily be de-energised by switching off the inverter.
Besides SolarEdge, Robisol also offers the possibility to combine power optimizers with a string inverter. This can be interesting if you have a roof of which a limited number of solar panels are in the shade. The solar panels that are regularly in the shade are then fitted with a power optimiser that ensures that the panel always makes its contribution to the strength of the power circuit.
One disadvantage of power optimisers, however, is their lifespan. The BiTile Solar Roof is well-ventilated, so power optimizers last a relatively long time and the system can also be easily dismantled to replace optimizers. However, we do pay close attention to the configuration. If optimisers have to deliver their maximum voltage for a long time, this is not good for the lifespan. Adding extra electrical components to the roof makes the installation less maintenance friendly by definition. Our advice is therefore to only use optimizers in situations with a lot of shade. Nevertheless, we regularly install solar roofs with power optimizers. This is mainly because we have many customers who like to have detailed information about the performance of their PV installation. This is an argument that we gladly welcome, because it is of course very nice to generate your own energy and to be able to see in a nice app how your efficiency increases every day.
Below you will find the product sheets of the power optimizers and corresponding inverters that we supply. The terms 1- and 3-phase refer to the number of groups the inverter is connected to in your distribution board. For installations higher than 3,600 W Robisol generally supplies three-phase inverters so that the energy can be neatly distributed on the power grid.