Recently, I was able to get a sneak peek at a brand new SolarEdge product that mainly targets new home construction. SolarEdge is working closely with Schneider Electric to test and release a 200A Main Electrical Panel that has the components of the SolarEdge Backup Interface Unit built in as well as inputs for multiple SolarEdge Hub inverters, and a Generator all built in and included. The optional SolarEdge EV Charger Kit also can connect to the Energy Hub inverters. This panel is scheduled to debut at SPI in the fall, and then likely to start shipping soon after, and with general availability for Q1 2023.
You can see the panel open and exposed in the following photos. The Backup Interface Unit electronics is in the small box with the E-Stop button at the upper left. Since the main breaker is wired directly to the Backup Interface Unit, there is no restrictions on the backfeed breaker allowed on this panel. Multiple SolarEdge Hub inverters and battery units can be easily connected and serve the home for both TOU and emergency backup applications. The CTs for the SolarEdge energy monitor are visible on the conductors leading up from the main breaker and meter assembly, and allow for smart home energy management. The plug for the generator input is also visible at the lower right of the panel. This new offering is a recess only panel at this point; we will have to see if a surface mount option becomes available that will cater more to retrofit applications.
This new main panel allows for either partial or whole home backup. A 100A buss bar at the top half of the panel is split from a second 100A buss bar at the bottom half. With smaller SolarEdge systems, only the bottom half of the bus bar would be wired and contain the essential breakers (i.e. ‘protected loads’) that would be powered during an outage. Larger systems would be able to energize the full 200A bus bar during an outage event. An example of a larger system would be the new SolarEdge SE11400H Hub inverter, or perhaps two SE7600H Hub inverters, along with multiple LG Chem RESU Prime or SolarEdge Energy Bank Batteries.
Inside the garage, and on the back of the panel, is a bracket that allows easy mounting of a SolarEdge Energy Hub inverter. Wiring from the inverter to the BUI portion of the panel through a wire chase built in the back of the panel. DC wiring from the PV Array and SolarEdge optimizers would be run as normal from the roof to the inverter, and land on the terminals provided in the inverter, and utilizing the provided knockouts at the bottom of the Energy Hub inverter.
This solution looked very clean and elegant, and avoided the need to install multiple units on the outside wall of the home. On a retrofit install, it would typically you would see a Backup Interface Unit, multiple disconnects, an E-Stop Button for Rapid Shutdown Compliance, and other devices on the outside wall. All would then need to be connected and would require gutters or multiple EMT conduit runs. However, at this install site, you only the Schneider Main Electrical Panel was visible on the outside wall, as the SolarEdge Hub inverter, and both SolarEdge Energy Bank Batteries were located inside the garage.
Look for more information on this new Main Panel Offering as we come closer to the official unveiling at Solar Power International this September!
Written by: Glenn Hall, AEE Solar Sr. Applications Engineer