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Solaredge Technologies Inc  (SEDG)
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Solaredge Technologies Inc

Business Description


We have invented an intelligent inverter solution that has changed the way power is harvested and managed in a solar PV system. Our direct current (“DC”) optimized inverter system maximizes power generation at the individual PV module level while lowering the cost of energy produced by the solar PV system and providing comprehensive and advanced safety features. Our system consists of our power optimizers, inverters and cloud-based monitoring platform and addresses a broad range of solar market segments, from residential solar installations to commercial and small utility-scale solar installations. Since we began commercial shipments in 2010, we have shipped approximately 6.7 gigawatts (“GW”) of our DC optimized inverter systems and our products have been installed in solar PV systems in 121 countries.


Historically, the solar PV industry used traditional string and central inverter architectures to harvest PV solar power. However, traditional inverter architectures result in energy losses as well as systemic challenges in design flexibility, safety, and monitoring. More recently, microinverter technology was introduced in an attempt to resolve these challenges, but this technology has certain inherent limitations. We believe that our DC optimized inverter system, consisting of an inverter and distributed power optimizers, best addresses all of these challenges.

Our system allows for superior power harvesting and module management relative to traditional inverter systems by deploying power optimizers at each PV module while maintaining a competitive system cost by keeping the AC inversion and grid interaction centralized using a simplified DC-AC inverter. The entire system is monitored through our cloud-based monitoring platform that enables reduced system operation and maintenance (“O&M”) costs. Our system enables each PV module to operate at its own maximum power point (“MPP”), rather than a system-wide average, enabling dynamic response to real-world conditions, such as atmospheric conditions, PV module aging, soiling and shading and offering improved energy yield relative to traditional inverter systems. In addition to higher efficiency, our system’s installed cost per watt is competitive with traditional inverter systems of leading manufacturers and generally lower than comparable microinverter systems of leading manufacturers. Furthermore, our architecture allows for complex rooftop system designs and enhanced safety and reliability. Our technology and system architecture are protected by 121 awarded patents and 161 patent applications filed worldwide as of December 31, 2017.

We primarily sell our products indirectly to thousands of solar installers through large distributors and electrical equipment wholesalers and directly to large solar installers and engineering, procurement, and construction firms (“EPCs”). Our customers include leading providers of solar PV systems to residential and commercial end users, key solar distributors and electrical equipment wholesalers as well as several PV module manufacturers that offer PV modules with our power optimizer physically embedded into their modules.

Our DC optimized inverter system maximizes power generation at the individual PV module level while lowering the cost of energy produced by the solar PV system and providing comprehensive and advanced safety features. Our solution consists of our power optimizers, inverters and cloud-based monitoring platform and addresses a broad range of solar market segments, from residential solar installations to commercial and small utility-scale solar installations. Additional features and hardware that can be added to our solution includes a battery pack for storage of energy generated and a home energy automation system which enables greater savings for the system owner. We also recently announced the first inverter-integrated electric vehicle (EV) charger.

The key advantages of our solution include:


Maximized PV module power output. Our power optimizers provide module-level MPP tracking and real-time adjustments of current and voltage to the optimal working point of each individual PV module. This enables each PV module to continuously produce its maximum power potential independent of other modules in the same string, thus minimizing module mismatch and partial shading losses. By performing these adjustments at a very high rate, our power optimizers also solve the dynamic MPP losses associated with traditional inverters. Independent testing from Photon Laboratories as well as tests performed by PV Evolution Labs according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shade test have confirmed that our technology provides power harvesting that is superior to traditional inverter systems.


Optimized architecture with economies of scale. Our system shifts certain functions of the traditional inverter to our power optimizers while keeping the DC to AC function and grid interaction in our inverter. As a result, our inverter is smaller, more efficient, more reliable and less expensive than inverters used in traditional inverter systems. The cost savings that we have achieved on the inverter enable our system to be priced at a cost per watt that is comparable with traditional inverter systems of leading manufacturers. As a PV system grows in size, our inverter benefits from economies of scale, making our technology viable for large commercial and utility-scale applications.


Enhanced system design flexibility. Unlike a traditional inverter system that requires each string to be the same length, use the same type of PV modules and be positioned at the same angle toward the sun, our system allows significant design flexibility by enabling the installer to place PV modules in uneven string lengths and on multiple roof facets. This design flexibility:


increases the amount of the available roof that can be utilized for power production. Unlike traditional inverter systems, our system does not require each string to be the same length, use the same type of PV modules or be positioned at the same angle toward the sun. As a result, our system is significantly less prone to wasted roof space resulting from rooftop asymmetries and obstructions.


reduces the number of field change orders. For example, some installers use remote tools to estimate the size and configuration of an installation in connection with the customer acquisition process. This is especially common for high-volume residential arrays, where an exhaustive survey of rooftop obstructions would be uneconomical. In some cases, installers discover that their preliminary design, based on remote tools, cannot be implemented due to unexpected shading or other obstructions. With traditional inverter system designs, an obstructed module may require a significant system redesign and a modification of the customer contract to take into account the changed system design. Our DC optimized inverter solution enables an installer to compensate or adjust for most obstructions without materially changing the original design or requiring a modification to the customer contract.


Reduced balance of system costs. Our DC optimized inverter system allows significantly longer strings to be connected to the same inverter (as compared to a traditional inverter system). This minimizes the cost of cabling, fuse boxes and other ancillary electric components. These factors together result in easier installation with shorter design times and a lower initial cost per watt, while enabling larger installations per rooftop.


Continuous monitoring and control to reduce operation and maintenance costs. Our cloud-based monitoring platform provides full data visibility at the module level, string level, inverter level and system level. The data can be accessed remotely by any web-enabled device, allowing comprehensive analysis, immediate fault detection and alerts. These monitoring features reduce O&M costs for the system owner by identifying and locating faults, enabling remote testing and reducing field visits.


Enhanced safety. We have incorporated module-level safety mechanisms in our system to protect installers, electricians and firefighters. Each power optimizer is configured to reduce output to 1 volt unless the power optimizer receives a fail-safe signal from a functioning inverter. As a result, if the inverter is shut down (e.g., for system maintenance, due to malfunction, in the event of a fire or otherwise), the DC voltage throughout the system is reduced to a safe level. In recent years, new safety standards have been introduced in the U.S. and in Europe that require or encourage the installation of safety measures such as these. Our DC optimized inverters comply with the applicable safety requirements of the areas in which they are sold, providing incremental cost savings to installers by eliminating the need for additional hardware such as DC breakers, switches or fire-proof ducts required by traditional inverter systems.


High reliability. Solar PV systems are typically expected to operate for at least 25 years under harsh outdoor conditions. High reliability is critical and is facilitated by systems and components that have low heat generation, solid and stable materials, and an absence of moving parts. We have designed our system to meet these stringent requirements. Our power optimizers dissipate much less heat than microinverters because no DC-AC inversion occurs at the module level. As a result, less heat is dissipated beneath the PV module, which improves lifetime expectancy and reliability of our power optimizers. Our power optimizers’ high switching frequency allows the use of ceramic capacitors with a low, fixed rate of aging and a proven life expectancy in excess of 25 years. Further, we use automotive-grade application specific integrated circuits (“ASICs”) that embed many of the required electronics into the ASIC. This reduces the number of components and consequently the potential points of failure.




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