SolarEdge to provide inverter technology for Tesla’s solar-powered Powerwall battery

May 4, 2015 19:27
3 minute read.
Solar panels

Solar panels. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Herzliya-based SolarEdge Technologies Inc. will be teaming up with electric-vehicle industry leader Tesla Motors to provide an inverter solution for the Californian company’s new solar-powered Powerwall home battery system, the Israeli firm announced on Monday.

SolarEdge will be supplying an inverter system that will enable photovoltaic (PV) and grid integration with Tesla’s recently announced Powerwall home battery – a storage pack capable of supplying electricity for homes when the sun goes down. Combining their technologies, the partners said they are building upon SolarEdge’s DC-optimized inverter solution and Tesla’s automotive-grade energy-storage technology to provide a more economical solution for residential solar generation.

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“Tesla’s collaboration with SolarEdge unites leading organizations in two rapidly growing industries, solar energy and energy storage, to bring homeowners a more cost-effective and integrated energy generation, storage and consumption solution,” Tesla CTO J.B. Straubel said. “SolarEdge’s commitment to improving the value of PV systems through product innovation, combined with more than 1.3 gigawatts of successful deployments, makes it an ideal partner for Tesla to develop and introduce this new energy-storage solution to the PV market.”

Tesla, which has dazzled the electric-car market with its fastcharge car batteries, announced its new wall-mounted rechargeable battery last week.

The Powerwall will be available in two models, a 7-kilowatt- hours daily cycle version for everyday use and a 10-kWh weekly cycle version for backup in the event of a power failure or disaster. The two are priced at $3,000 and $3,500, respectively.

The battery is designed to collect solar energy accumulated daytime hours and use it to power the home in the evening and morning, when electricity usage is highest but sunlight is lacking.

“We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun.

You don’t have to do anything – it just works. It shows up everyday and produces ridiculous amounts of power,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at last week’s launch event for Powerwall, which was fully powered by solar-charged batteries.

The batteries could potentially provide a sort of “smart grid” solution without actually needing a smart grid, according to Tesla. Although they are marketed as a solution for storing solar power, the batteries can also store electricity from the grid during less-expensive offpeak hours and then supply it to the home during the expensive peak hours when there is highest demand.

As for electric cars, such a device could help alleviate the problems an electric grid would face if large numbers of people suddenly needed to charge their cars at home, Tesla said.

The Powerwall, integrated with the SolarEdge inverting system, is expected not only to serve as a backup power source when needed, but also to help homeowners maximize self-consumption and become increasingly energy independent, according to SolarEdge.

Operating with just one SolarEdge DC-optimized inverter, the home battery will have low operational and maintenance costs and will include remote monitoring and troubleshooting. The system employs SolarEdge’s SafeDC architecture, which enables safe voltage levels in the event of inverter or grid disconnection, as well as integrated rapid shutdown functionality, the company said.

Since beginning commercial shipments in 2010, SolarEdge has delivered approximately 1.3 GW worth of DC-optimized inverter systems and other products for installation in photovoltaic solar systems in more than 70 countries, according to company data.

“Like SolarEdge, Tesla recognizes the need and opportunity to develop innovative solutions designed to lower the cost of solar energy and make clean, renewable energy more feasible for customers around the world,” SolarEdge marketing and product vice president Lior Handelsman said.

“Tesla’s industry-leading battery- storage technology makes it a natural fit for this endeavor,” he said. “Together, we are taking the first step toward widespread adoption of integrated solar-energy generation and storage in the residential market.”

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