Intelligent Energy

SolarEdge raises $37M to tackle dirty, shaded solar panels

SolarEdge raises $37M to tackle dirty, shaded solar panels

Posting in Energy

Investors see potential in one company's tech developed to tackle three problems that plague solar panels: dirt, shadows and shade.

SolarEdge Technologies has carved out a niche for itself in the solar industry by tackling three perennial problems that can reduce the energy output of panels: dirt, shadows and shade. And considering its recent funding round, investors are betting that solar power optimization is a growing and potentially lucrative sector of the industry.

SolarEdge announced Monday it has raised $37 million in a Series D round led by Norwest Venture Partners. Existing investors Opus Capital, Walden International, Genesis Partners, Vertex Venture Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and GE also participated in this round, SolarEdge said. GE expanded its investment in the company through its GE Capital equity business. Dror Nahumi, partner at NVP, will join the company’s board of directors. The company said the $37 million will be used to accelerate its global expansion and production plans as well as strengthen its balance sheet. To date, SolarEdge has raised nearly $100 million.

The Israeli company makes solar power optimization and photovoltaic monitoring solutions. Meaning, it has developed software and electronics that make your solar panels perform better.  Power output can drop by more than 20 percent if a solar panel is misaligned or if dirt, shadows or shade covers just a few cells.

SolarEdge created a three-fold system that consists of power optimizers, a solar PV inverter and a web portal that allows the user to monitor each module and detect problems. The power optimizer is embedded in the solar panel. The inverters, which convert direct current to alternating current for the grid, also are connected to each module. This allows the solar modules to better react to changes in sun irradiance and temperature and to minimize power loss on cloudy days. The company claims its system can increase solar power output up to 25 percent.

Photo:  Flickr user pranav, CC 2.0

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Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure