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Get the edge on with home solar

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Some say there’s nothing new under the sun. While that may be true, there are great new ways to take advantage of Bermudan’s sunshine. It appears it’s getting easier to go solar!

Nick Duffy, the Divisional Manager at Bermuda Alternate Energy, answered some questions about a fantastic product they carry called SolarEdge.

What would you say to someone who has concerns about affordability of the product?

Purchasing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system is one of the best investments available. A well designed solar system will pay for itself in 5-7 years, a 14-20% return on investment, after which the system will continue producing electricity for free for the next 20+ years.

BAE Solar systems are also expandable so a customer with a limited budget can start with a ‘small system’ that will reduce the monthly BELCO bill and use the savings to finance an upgrade over time.

All of the local banks are also offering ‘Green Loans’ at attractive rates to help finance solar for homeowners.

Why this line of products?

SolarEdge has been a market leader and innovator in the field of Solar Photovoltaic Electronics since 2006. Their products are installed in over 130 counties and the company has enjoyed phenomenal growth, now listed on the S&P 500.

Unlike other solar electronics companies, they have developed specific product lines for the Residential & Commercial markets and can now offer residential customers a complete Energy Eco System.

Can the SolarEdge stand up to Bermuda’s climate? Does it come with protection/warranty?

A solar PV system is made up of many components: roof mounts, rails, fasteners, system electronics, inverters, solar panels, batteries and more.

SolarEdge manufactures electronics including Power Optimizers and Inverters. Only the Power Optimizers are deployed on the roof and the inverters are normally mounted indoors or in a protected location.

SolarEdge equipment is warranted for up to 25 years, which is the minimum expected lifespan of a solar PV system.

All BAE solar systems are engineered to withstand hurricane force winds and we have systems going back to 2010 that have now weathered multiple major hurricanes and tropical storms without any damage.

How does SolarEdge compete with other solar products that are available on-island?

The SolarEdge Home Hub System uses direct current (DC) optimized technology that allows it to harvest more energy from the solar panels and store more energy in the battery than competing systems that are alternating current (AC) based and must do multiple conversions to move energy in and out of the battery.

SolarEdge products have record breaking efficiency, delivering more savings to the customer throughout the lifetime of the system.

Do you feel that Bermuda has the capacity to go fully solar? One for every house?

Almost every home in Bermuda has the capacity for adding some solar, but some roof designs are less ‘optimal’ for adding enough solar to offset the monthly BELCO bill.

Solar is most efficient when located on the roof faces that face southeast, south, and southwest, but these are not always available or are very small.

Sometimes other options are available and we have designed custom Solar Pergola solutions as well as ground mounted systems, such as the one shown in the photo.

Any last thoughts to share?

For our 2023 residential solar systems, we are encouraging all our customers to install the SolarEdge Home Hub Inverter, which provides the foundation for adding additional functionality such as Enhanced Consumption Monitoring, Battery Storage, Backup Power and Solar EV Charging, at any time in the future without needing to make upgrades to their existing equipment. The SolarEdge Home Hub system is designed to grow and expand organically with the needs and budgets of the homeowners.

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