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Which SolarEdge Optimizer Do I Need for 2020’s High Wattage Modules?

To Start Off: Briefly, How Do SolarEdge Power Optimizers Work? SolarEdge power optimizers are DC/DC converters that connect to each solar panel. The SolarEdge power optimizers track the MPPT of each module and communicate performance data to the SolarEdge monitoring portal. This is similar to the way that micro inverters work, except instead of having multiple micro inverters, you have a single SolarEdge inverter and multiple optimizers, each connected to a solar panel. Similar to micro inverters, power optimizers reduce the impact that shading has on the performance of solar panels. Also, if the grid or SolarEdge inverter shuts down, each power optimizer is equipped with the unique SafeDC feature which is designed to automatically shut down modules' DC voltage (unless connected to a StorEdge Inverter that is in backup mode). What is the Right Single-Module SolarEdge Power Optimizer for My Solar Panels? The compatibility between solar panels and SolarEdge optimizers depends on the power, VOC, and current of solar panels. This information can be located on a solar panel’s datasheet (datasheets for products can be found under ‘Downloads’ on each product page on Renvu). See the table below for SolarEdge power optimizers and the characteristics of modules they’re compatible with.


SolarEdge has expanded its product portfolio to account for modern high-power solar panels. Now there are more intermediate options available for ≤400W-405W modules:

  • If your module is ≤400W and has relatively high Voc but lower Isc, consider the P400.

  • If your module is ≤400W and has lower Voc but relatively high Isc, consider the new P401.

  • If your module is ≤405W and has high Voc AND Isc, consider the P405. Note that the 2017 NEC limits voltage to 80V during rapid shutdown; ensure your module is compliant at local lowest temperatures.


Manufacturers are starting to release 410W+ modules, and SolarEdge is ready to accommodate with the P485 and the P505:

  • If your module is ≤485W and has high Voc, consider the P485. Note that the 2017 NEC limits voltage to 80V during rapid shutdown; ensure your module is compliant at local lowest temperatures.

  • If your module is ≤505W and has high Isc, consider the P505. Note that the 2017 NEC limits voltage to 80V during rapid shutdown; ensure your module is compliant at local lowest temperatures.


SolarEdge also offers dual-module commercial inverters for 208V/3ph and 480V/3ph inverters.


What is the Right Dual-Module SolarEdge Power Optimizer for My Solar Panels?

Dual Module Solar Power Optimizer Comparison:



SolarEdge offers series-connected options as well as parallel-connected options. If your AHJ/utility operates under the 2017 NEC, then you will need a parallel module connection.


Under 2014 NEC or older:

  • If your modules are ≤365W each and have low enough Isc, consider the P730.

  • If your modules are  ≤400W each and have moderate Isc, consider the new P801.

  • If your modules are ≤425W each and have high Isc, consider the P850.


Under 2017 NEC or newer:

  • If your modules are ≤400W each and have low Isc, consider the P800p. Note that the 2017 NEC limits voltage to 80V during rapid shutdown; the parallel input allows modules to be independently connected to keep voltage well below 80V.

  • If your modules are ≤430W each and have low Voc, consider the P860. Note that the 2017 NEC limits voltage to 80V during rapid shutdown; the parallel input allows modules to be independently connected to keep voltage well below 80V.



SolarEdge has several power optimizers such as the P400, P401, P405, P485, and P505 for residential installations. While for commercial installations, you have the options of P730, P801, P850, P800p, and P860 optimizers. In this article, we will go over how SolarEdge optimizers work and help you discover which solar power optimizer is compatible with your residential or commercial installation.


Conclusion

We recommend SolarEdge’s Site Design Calculator for the exact calculations of your solar system installation. The tool recommends the power optimizer selections based on site size and PV module selection. You will need to download the Site Designer to use it.


Alternatively, if you go through the Solar Kit Guide, our guide will recommend the exact SolarEdge power optimizers you will need along with additional parts needed for a full solar system.


When you are ready, discover more SolarEdge Products here.