Whether or not a potential photo voltaic buyer is wanting to save cash on their utility invoice or would like to help the planet, as a salesman, your job is to point out them how a photo voltaic system will likely be price their funding. In lots of instances, providing merchandise outfitted with module-level energy electronics (MLPE) might be the distinction between making a sale or not.
For a very long time, the favored conception about photo voltaic panels was that they weren’t prepared for prime time and that the expertise wasn’t environment friendly sufficient for broad adoption. That each one modified when MLPE got here onto the scene. Whereas MLPE isn’t for each photo voltaic system, it stays a prime promoting level with regards to convincing customers that the time is now to go photo voltaic. That is very true of residential photo voltaic programs, the overwhelming majority of which make the most of MLPE.
What makes MLPE so enticing to householders? Each microinverters and dc optimizers resolve a number of the issues that may come up in photo voltaic programs that use common string inverters. These issues can have a huge impact on the worth proposition for potential prospects. Listed here are a number of the prime advantages MLPE provide that you should use to safe a sale:
Shading and soiling losses
Shading and soiling losses are a serious reason for hesitancy in photo voltaic prospects—and with good purpose—however MLPE can go a good distance in recapturing a few of these losses. A string inverter requires a minimal quantity of working voltage to show a good portion of the array on each day. Ideally, the solar rises in a transparent sky, and the system quickly begins producing electrical energy. The difficulty begins, nevertheless, when it’s a cloudy day or modules get soiled or in any other case obstructed.
If one panel in a string is affected by shading or soiling, each panel after it within the sequence will likely be as nicely. Conceivably, this might trigger your entire string to underperform sufficient that the inverter might fail to achieve working voltage. This situation is compounded if a number of strings are affected—say, an animal decides to construct its nest on the connection between two strings. A buyer may go months earlier than realizing that their photo voltaic system isn’t saving them any cash.
To forestall eventualities like this, the shopper has to commonly preserve their system—clearing particles, trimming timber, and different repairs. That might be an impediment to going photo voltaic in any respect for a lot of prospects. With MLPE programs, although, a few of that repairs anxiousness is mitigated due to module-level MPPT performance, which ensures that every module’s output is maximized, no matter any panels round it that may be underperforming.
Elevated design flexibility is one other method MLPE may also help prospects maximize their photo voltaic programs.
As a result of each roof is totally different, the extra inflexible necessities for strings can typically restrict the variety of modules you’re in a position to set up. This may influence the worth proposition sufficient that you simply lose a buyer. With MLPE, nevertheless, if there’s a small roof aircraft that will get good solar, you may be capable to slot in one other couple of panels there while not having to wire attic runs or come up towards firewalls.
If maximizing roof area requires panels to be at totally different orientations, MLPE may also compensate for orientation mismatch loss.
Monitoring and distant performance
One other method MLPE maximizes worth is in its strong monitoring and distant capabilities, each on the module and fleet ranges. For instance, within the earlier situation, with the nest knocking out a big proportion of an array, a buyer whose system’s sensible monitoring provides efficiency metrics would be capable to shortly detect an issue earlier than it started to considerably increase their electrical energy payments.
Sometimes, a photo voltaic system simply must be reset, as a laptop computer or cellphone may. In lots of MPLE programs, the installer can remotely isolate the problematic panel and restart it. This connectivity additionally permits for extra responsive fleet administration for in-person upkeep.
Compliance and security
Fast shutdown necessities are in impact in most states and have been steadily gaining traction throughout municipalities in states that haven’t but adopted the related NEC. These necessities defend firefighters in the event that they ever should ventilate your roof throughout a fireplace. Module-level shutdown is vital as a result of even when a string inverter is turned off, the wires coming off panels will nonetheless carry a present and will pose a hazard. MLPE, whether or not a microinverter, optimizer, or devoted shutdown system, can lower off the facility on the particular person panel stage.
Although a buyer’s locality won’t at present require speedy shutdown, it might sooner or later—by which case, they may wish to set up it upfront. Regardless, the extra security, in addition to the potential to restrict the harm of a hearth, are each enticing promoting factors for purchasers. In these modules with distant performance, a buyer may even be capable to shut off energy themselves by means of an app on their cellphone. This could be notably helpful if a neighbor alerted them to a fireplace whereas they weren’t at residence.
Who Is MLPE For?
Module-level energy electronics aren’t a one-size-fits-all resolution. If a buyer desires to put in a big array on the roof of a industrial constructing, choosing microinverters on every panel won’t be cost-effective. If they’ve a upkeep staff to maintain the system in working order, a number of the advantages of MLPE turn out to be much less vital. Nevertheless, for a house owner with a 30-panel array who doesn’t wish to fear about sustaining their system, MLPE simply may be what places them excessive in committing to going photo voltaic.
John Bumgarner is Common Supervisor of Photo voltaic and Storage for Mosaic, a number one financing platform for U.S. residential photo voltaic and energy-efficient residence enhancements. Bumgarner is a longtime photo voltaic business skilled with almost 15 years of expertise managing new accomplice growth and coaching, enterprise intelligence and portfolio administration.