Solar Server interview with Lior Handelsman, VP of Marketing & Product Strategy and founder of SolarEdge

Lior Handelsman. “Taking a lead in the integration of PV generation, energy storage and home automation, we launched a new suite of smart energy management products.”
Lior Handelsman. “Taking a lead in the integration of PV generation, energy storage and home automation, we launched a new suite of smart energy management products.”

In the new Solar Interview Lior Handelsman, VP of Marketing & Product Strategy and founder of SolarEdge, talks about HD Wave inverter technology, energy storage, and home automation.

 

Solar Server: Congratulations on the Intersolar Award 2016 for SolarEdge’s HD Wave technology, Mr. Handelsman. What impact will your innovation have on the PV value-added chain? How will the Intersolar Award 2016 affect SolarEdge’s sales & marketing strategy?

Lior Handelsman: Thank you. We are very excited about this prestigious award and the recognition from such a respected group of judges. The award highlights the degree of innovation of the technology which makes a leap for inverters by transforming the power/kg interdependency, while also achieving higher efficiency. The HD-Wave technology inverter line is 2.2kW-6kW, 14.5L, 9.5kg, has up to 99% weighted efficiency and excellent reliability. We expect this innovation to have a significant impact on the PV value chain. The new inverter can enable significant reduction in manufacturing & shipping costs, greater market diffusion, and hasten PV proliferation.

With the new inverter being lighter and smaller, the new inverter is simple and easy to install. This can reduce installation costs for installers. After ramp up and mass market release, SolarEdge aims to pass some of the cost reductions on to customers, but initial pricing has yet to be determined.

There is a large market potential for inverters powered by HD-Wave technology and it is expected that the new inverter will quickly gain market share. While the topology is currently designed for single-phase inverters, the same technology can and will be applied to future inverters with higher power levels that can leverage the benefits to even more extensive results.


Solar Server:
In which locations are the HD Wave inverters available, and does SolarEdge plan a more extensive rollout throughout 2016?

Lior Handelsman: The initial market release will be localized in Europe in 2016 and we plan to expand the market as the introduction continues.


Solar Server:
At Intersolar Europe, SolarEdge announced the integration of PV generation with energy storage and energy automation. What does this mean for installers and customers?

Lior Handelsman: In 2015, SolarEdge announces its energy storage solution, StorEdge, which is a DC coupled storage solution that increases self-consumption & offers power backup. In Germany the solutions also support AC coupling. When we initially introduced the solution its compatibility was limited to the Tesla home battery Powerwall. At Intersolar EU this year, we presented additional battery compatibility with LG Chem’s new high voltage RESU10H and RESU7H batteries.

This year we did introduce home automation solutions. With inverters taking an extended role in energy management, this was a natural progression for SolarEdge. Taking a lead in the integration of PV generation, energy storage and home automation, we launched a new suite of smart energy management products.

The device control suite, which includes an immersion heater controller and load switching devices, directs excess PV energy to power appliances during the day in order to shift energy consumption to match PV generation.

This offers installers an additional revenue stream and system owners the ability increase their self-consumption and increased convenience.


Solar Server:
ees Europe imposingly demonstrated the importance of energy storage solutions. How does SolarEdge contribute to this growing market?

Lior Handelsman: Batteries are being added to PV systems in order to increase the amount of self-consumption. While of course the quality of the actual battery is important, it is the inverter that is responsible for its functionality. For instance, you can buy a top-of-the-line guitar, but if you don’t have a talented musician to play it, then it simply becomes decoration. In a PV plus storage system, the smart inverter controls when the PV is utilized, stored in a battery or transferred to the grid; and controls when the battery is charged, idle, or discharged to generate the maximum economic return. As such, SolarEdge is a leader in the inverter market developing cost-effective innovative solutions, such as StorEdge™, to integrate PV, storage, home energy consumption, and grid feed in.


Solar Server:
Which markets will be the most important for your HD-Wave technology and energy storage in terms of geography and in terms of applications?

Lior Handelsman:  In the long run, we see the HD-Wave technology inverter being a game changer for the global inverter market. However, for the introduction, the inverter will only be available as a 1-phase inverter. This will mean that the initial markets will be markets that use 1-phase inverters for their residential installations. In the future, we will offer the HD-Wave technology inverter also as a 3-phase inverter.