In many regions of the country, private solar customers are recognizing the benefits of energy stability, the long-term economic benefits and the environmental friendliness of solar and storage systems. But they probably still have questions about how a solar system and battery affect them on a personal level.
“My problem with storage in the pandemic was realizing that it is very important for people to get a $ 30, 40, 50, 60, and 60,000 contract for a product that they have never had before,” said Daren Goldin, owner of Miami. Solar installer Goldin Solar. “They have never had solar before, they are usually the first of their friends or family to buy this and so there is a lot of trust in and involved in the sales process.”
To build this trust, Goldin invites customers to view a working Solar + storage system – in their own home.
Goldin has an 11.7 kW solar array in his townhouse in Coconut Grove, paired with three Tesla Powerwalls. His home was also the first in the Southeast to use a Tesla Backup Gateway 2 and became a demonstration site for Goldin Solar to show potential customers how reliable the technology is.
Goldin leads customers to his side courtyard and points to a light inside that is connected to the main switch of the house. He asks customers to keep an eye on the light, turns on the circuit breaker, simulates a power failure and shows how quickly the system switches to emergency power.
“You hear the click and it’s like lightning – if you blink you would miss it,” he said.
Coconut Grove is a suburb in the south of Miami – a regional hotbed for hurricane activity. The super storms cause annual grid outages and make energy resistance a necessity for residents who survive the storms.
“Chances are you’ll want to keep your family home during hurricane season,” Goldin said. “The chances are this hurricane season will be worse than normal. They are only getting worse with climate change. “
Goldin’s House is a modern townhouse of the type found in upscale neighborhoods across the country. The device has a flat roof with an 18-inch. Parapet wall that surrounds it and hides the array from the street view. The array on the roof consists of 41 SolarWorld 280 W modules and the associated SolarEdge P300 optimizers, a SolarEdge SE11400 US inverter and an 18-inch SnapNrack Series 100 rack. Spacers and bespoke boots made of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) for flashing.
The roofing is a newer version of TPO and requires the bespoke boots that have been welded to the surface with additional TPO material.
“That was the only challenge we really had with the installation as it was a different process that was a little more sophisticated,” said Aldo Sosa, installation manager and crew leader at Goldin Solar. “It’s not just about drilling holes and installing the screws with some waterproof sealant.”
Solar was originally installed in the building in December 2016. Goldin Solar added three Tesla Powerwalls and the original backup gateway in 2020. After the manufacturer contacted the installer about the new model, Goldin added the Gateway 2 system later in June.
The gateway 2 is the component that connects the powerwalls to the network. It monitors the batteries and transfers power to the backup memory in the event of a failure.
“The idea is basically that in any conventional solar system, the inverter is the brain of the system and also the interface to the grid,” said Goldin. “You need to make sure you aren’t sending power to a failed grid and accidentally electrocute a power line worker who is trying to fix the grid. Instead of going straight from the grid to your expense, it goes to the backup gateway first and then to your expense. This closes the grid and you can have a small power island. “
Because Goldin’s Solarin array already uses a SolarEdge inverter, the powerwalls are AC coupled to the system and the Tesla gateway communicates with the entire system over AC power lines. Thanks to the AC coupling, several powerwalls can be installed one after the other and easily retrofitted to existing solar systems.
Since the initial installation of the Solar + storage project at Goldin, his company and its installers have been using Tesla energy storage solutions on around 30 solar systems per month, around half of which are new solar systems. Batteries can prevent homeowners from buying and burying gas-powered generators in their yards. This is beneficial in metropolitan areas like Miami, where there isn’t much free land for it.
“I have a 5 foot wide side courtyard. There is no way in the world to ever put a generator in this house, but this powerwall is 6 inches from the wall, ”said Goldin. “The battery backup is far superior to a generator because there are no vapors, no noises and nothing to refill. Forget the three block line from the gas station while the hurricane hits. “
Goldin reduced energy consumption in his home to use the Solar + storage system and equipped it with LED lighting, a hybrid water heater and a control panel that shows the individual performance of his circuit breakers so he can see how much electricity is something like his refrigerator has been used up and directs power loads to where they are most needed.
“His house is the most optimized I’ve worked on, but he’s also giving it to other properties. I hope that in the future not only people with money but also people with fewer resources will have access to it, ”said Sosa.