Dealer Spotlight: Dutch Solar Energy

In this edition of our Dealer Spotlight we’re highlighting Dutch Solar Energy. They sell and install solar solutions with a focus on commercial installations. We met with Melanie Hol, account manager at DSE, at one of their recent solar installations and talked about their company, the collaboration with Autarco and their latest installation.

Personal

Dedicated account manager with personal assistance throughout the project

Autarco total solution

Supplies and installs all components for a full Autarco total solution with kWh guarantee.

B2B focused

Dutch Solar Energy specializes in solutions for the commercial market.

A system of 21 powerful MHE solar panels


This solar energy system of 7.14 kWp consists of 21 Autarco MHE series solar panels. The yield is inverted by an Autarco LD Mark II inverter of 6 kW that is very compact and silent. The MHE series are new and innovative solar panels that deliver superior reliability and high performance.

The system has been designed beforehand in our Helios software. Using accurate aerial photos and innovative calculations Helios can automatically calculate the expected yield of the system. You can easily download a full project report which has all of the system’s details which is great to add to the quote that’s generated. After approval an order of the full bill of materials can be placed with one click.

“I always use the system report that Helios generates to send it to my customers. It’s a nice overview which has lots of information about the system, much more than other brands have. It’s definitely of added value to the quote we send.

“I’ve switched to selling Autarco because all products are from one brand, not only making it easier for us, but also being able to deliver higher performance and increased safety.”

Melanie Hol – Account manager

3 quick questions to account manager Melanie Hol


What are the main advantages of an Autarco system?

I’ve switched to selling Autarco because all products are from one brand, not only making it easier for us, but also being able to deliver higher performance and increased safety. Besides that they also provide the unique kWh guarantee and a perfect value for money.


How do you like the Helios software from Autarco?

The functionalities of Autarco’s Helios software are excellent and very easy to use. We use it to design systems for our customers and it automatically generates expected yield, a bill of material and a quote we can send to our customers. We can also download a project report which is the perfect companion to the quote.


Why do your customers choose Autarco?

Customers choose Autarco because I truly am confident in the product solution, and when you’re able to explain it properly the proposition sells itself automatically.

Solar project of 7.14 kWp


Dutch Solar Energy sold an Autarco total solution to entrepreneur Harrie van Cruchten in June of 2020 and installed it on his garden house. A system consisting of 21 powerful MHE series solar panels, including a kWh guarantee.

More information

Want to offer real value?Become an Authorized Dealer.

Join us today! As an Autarco partner you also benefit from attractive services and extensive marketing support.

Join us now!

21 powerful solar panels on garden house

Dutch Solar Energy sold an Autarco total solution to entrepreneur Harrie van Cruchten in June of 2020 and installed it on his garden house. A system consisting of 21 powerful MHE series solar panels, including a kWh guarantee.

Harrie is the owner of a camper van rental company and with his solar energy system he’s contributing to green energy. It also benefits him financially as the batteries inside the camper vans have to be charged.

System size

7.14 kWp


Solar panels

21x MHE series of 340 Wp
More details

Inverter

Autarco LD Mark II of 6 kW
More details

Mounting system

Matrix symmetrical
More details

Dealer

Dutch Solar Energy
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A safe solar energy system of 7 kWp


This solar energy system of 7.14 kWp consists of 21 Autarco MHE series solar panels. The yield is inverted by an Autarco LD Mark II inverter of 6 kW that is very compact and silent. The MHE series are new and innovative solar panels that deliver superior reliability and high performance.

The system was designed beforehand in our Helios software. Using accurate aerial photos and innovative calculations Helios can automatically calculate the expected yield of the system. Thanks to the Autarco total solution of solar panels and inverters this system can be covered by the kWh guarantee. This is insured by the kWh Guarantee Foundation, meaning for every kWh below the expected yield Harrie will receive a financial compensation.

For the owner this is not only a safe investment, but the system itself is also very safe. This is also thanks to the total solution from Autarco. The system only consists of parts from the Autarco brand, making everything work together perfectly with extra safety.

“The most important reason to become more sustainable is so that we can contribute to green energy.”

Harrie van Cruchten – Owner

3 quick questions to Harrie van Cruchten


Why did you choose an Autarco solution?

It felt like a good choice to invest in a system with security of its return. The kWh guarantee came included making sure this system will perform like promised beforehand. When it doesn’t perform they will pay me for every missed kWh. Thanks to the total solution this system is also very safe which is also important to me.

What’s the reason for choosing solar to become more sustainable?

The most important reason to become more sustainable is so that we can contribute to green energy. Of course also to reduce our energy bills as the batteries in the camper vans need to be charged.

How was the cooperation between you and the installer?

I made a conscious decision to purchase my Autarco system with Dutch Solar Energy. They truly honor their commitments towards me and everything went according to plan.

Interested? Get a free roof scan and follow up from one of our Authorized Dealers near you.

Interested in becoming an Autarco Authorized Dealer? Click here to learn more.


Dutch school invests in sustainable energy from Autarco

In november of 2019 Van Herp Solar Solutions installed an Autarco total solution on the roofs of the school Sint-Janslyceum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. This system consists of powerful Autarco MHE solar panels, including the insured kWh guarantee.

It’s important to the school that they contribute to a better world and environment by generating their own solar energy. Since the installation of the solar energy system they have become more aware of their power usage and the amount they generate with the solar panels.

System size

245 kWp


Solar panels

732x MHE of 335 Wp
More details

Inverters

4x Autarco inverters
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Mounting system

Matrix symmetrical
More details

Installer

Van Herp Solar Solutions


A total solution of 732 powerful Autarco MHE solar panels


This solar PV system of 245 kWp consists of 732 Autarco MHE solar panels of which the yield is inverted by two Autarco UX inverters of 60 kW and two XLX inverters of 25 kW. The MHE series are highly innovative solar panels, made from 120 halfcut cells with multi-wire technology. These panels no longer have bus-bars resulting in superior reliability and high performance.

Sint-Janslyceum benefits from the unique kWh guarantee thanks to the Autarco total solution of inverters and solar panels. The system was designed beforehand in our Helios software. Using accurate aerial photos and innovative calculations Helios can automatically calculate the expected yield of the system, which is 218 MWh in the first year. This is insured by the kWh Guarantee Foundation, meaning for every kWh below the expected yield the school will receive a financial compensation. The business case that was calculated beforehand will for sure be met. A very safe and reliable investment.

“For us it is important to contribute to a better world and greener environment.”

Dorien van de Camp – Head of facilities

3 quick questions to Dorien van de Camp, head of facilities


Why did you choose an Autarco solution?

We chose Autarco because of their knowledgeable explanation of their products and their great references. The total solar solution appealed to us as all products are from one brand, which is important for the best performance and safety. That’s also why they can offer the insured kWh guarantee, making sure we meet the business case that was calculated beforehand. The service and support is also great, the system is automatically monitored at a distance and the installer gets notified when there’s an issue.

What’s the reason for choosing solar to become more sustainable?

As a school we aim to contribute to a better world and greener environment by generation our own solar energy. It’s also nice that we save on our energy bill.

How was the cooperation between the school and the installer?

The cooperation with the installer was great, they kept us up to date on the progress and they were really experienced with Autarco.

Interested? Get a free roof scan and follow up from one of our Authorized Dealers near you.

Interested in becoming an Autarco Authorized Dealer? Click here to learn more.


Dealer Spotlight: ETB Van Lanen

In this edition of our Dealer Spotlight we’re highlighting ETB van Lanen. With their 40+ years of experience in electrical engineering they are a great addition to our dealer network with focus on business to business.

ETB van Lanen sells and installs electrical solutions in agriculture, utility, industry and housing and recently they have expanded their activities with solar installations. Combining the Autarco total solution with their own AC solutions is highly beneficial for their customers. We met with Lamfred the CEO of ETB van Lanen at one of their long-time customers and talked about their company, the collaboration with Autarco and their latest installation.

More than 40 years of experience

ETB van Lanen has more than 40 years of experience in electrical engineering.

Autarco total solution

Supplies and installs all components for a full Autarco total solution with kWh guarantee.

B2B focused

ETB van Lanen focuses on B2B including agriculture, utility, industry and housing.

Installing a 294 kWp Autarco system


ETB van Lanen sold an Autarco total solution to agro-entrepreneur Jan de Haas in April of 2020, after which they’ve installed it in May. A system consisting of 878 powerful MHE series solar panels totaling 294 kWp.

“This solar solution is one of many steps they are taking to make their agro-business more sustainable. It fully consists of Autarco products making a highly reliable and safe system. This also allows Autarco to insure the system’s performance which gives me a lot of confidence in selling solar to my long-time customers.”, says Lamfred van Lanen

This system was engineered beforehand in Autarco’s free Helios design software. One of its features is the ability to create a system design on recent aerial maps. Helios automatically calculates the expected yield and after approval an order can be placed for all required materials, all with the press of a button.

“Helios allows us to accurately model the system on aerial photos. This helps with optimizing the system before installing but also to visualize the installation for my customers. I can easily generate a project report PDF from Helios which has all the information I would like to present to my customer.”

“The insured performance guarantee by Autarco truly sets them apart from other solar brands and is a huge USP when selling to my customers.”

Lamfred van Lanen – CEO

3 quick questions to CEO Lamfred van Lanen


How do you like the support by Autarco?

I really like working together with the Autarco team, they do what they promise and deliveries are nicely on time. Communication is fast and efficient and if there’s an issue it gets resolved quickly. Most issues however can be prevented beforehand by their Helios software, which allows us to accurately model the system and make optimizations before installing.


What are the main advantages of an Autarco system?

All products are by one brand, all from Autarco. From the inverter, to the mounting system, cables and solar panels, all products are made by Autarco and work perfectly together. This allows them to insure the system’s performance which truly sets them apart from other solar brands and is a huge USP when selling to my customers.


What is the most important reason for working with Autarco?

The main reason is the insured performance guarantee. We have really long relationships with our customers and we don’t want to risk that by just selling any solar solution. With Autarco I’m really confident in their system’s performance and safety, which makes me confident to sell solar solutions to my customers.

Solar project of 294 kWp


May 2020 ETB van Lanen sold and installed an Autarco total solution to agro-entrepreneur Jan de Haas. A powerful system made with 878 MHE series solar panels and UX inverters.

More information

Want to offer real value?Become an Authorized Dealer.

Join us today! As an Autarco partner you also benefit from attractive services and extensive marketing support.

Join us now!

Agro-entrepreneur invests in sustainability with help of SDE+

ETB van Lanen sold an Autarco total solution to agro-entrepreneur Jan de Haas in April of 2020, after which they’ve installed it in May. A system consisting of 878 powerful MHE series solar panels totaling 294 kWp.

Thanks to the SDE+ subsidy De Haas was able to invest in sustainable energy through solar. This PV total solution is one of many efforts made by the company to make the entire business more sustainable.

System size

294 kWp


Solar panels

878x MHE series 335 Wp
More details

Inverters

UX inverters up to 60 kW
More details

Mounting system

Apex R5
More details

Dealer

ETB van Lanen
More details

335Wp Autarco total solution of 878 powerful solar panels


This 294 kWp solar PV system consists of 878 MHE series solar panels of 335 Wp. The yield is inverted by 5 Autarco inverters of up to 60 kW. The MHE series are highly innovative solar panels, made from 120 halfcut cells with multi-wire technology. These panels no longer have bus-bars resulting in superior reliability and high performance.

ETB van Lanen sold and installed this system. They were able to model the panel layout in detail on accurate aerial photos in our free Helios software. This software package automatically calculates the expected yield based on the layout design. This way agro-entrepreneur Jan de Haas knows what to expect from his new system’s performance.

“Autarco’s total solution appealed to me because it ensures me all components work seamlessly together.”

Jan de Haas – Agro-entrepreneur

Benefitting from the SDE+ subsidy


The financial model for these kinds of projects in The Netherlands is driven largely by SDE+ subsidy, a production subsidy from the government that guarantees the market value of energy generated through renewables for a 15 year term. In other words, for the first fifteen years you receive a cash subsidy over every kWh generated. At the moment the SDE rate is just under €0.10/kWh so our insured kWh guarantee with a compensation rate of €0.10/kWh and 15 year term fits perfectly.

3 quick questions to agro-entrepreneur Jan de Haas


Why is a solar total solution important to you?

Autarco’s total solution appealed to me because it ensures me all components work seamlessly together. The inverters work beautifully together with the panels and with everything in between. Cables are really important to me too as you sometimes hear about fire hazards when cables don’t connect properly. With a total solution from one supplier that’s not an issue.

What’s the reason for choosing solar to become more sustainable?

Sustainability is something we have to improve continuously, both now and in the future. With our new solar PV system we’re able to produce our own energy which we use in our company.

Can you share some details about your solar PV system?

The Autarco system we chose for consists of more than enough solar panels to cover our needs. The inverters are equipped with a system that makes sure the main fuse isn’t overloaded when production is high.

Interested? Get a free roof scan and follow up from one of our Authorized Dealers near you.

Interested in becoming an Autarco Authorized Dealer? Click here to learn more.


Autarco presents the latest in module innovation; the MHI Series

High power output of over 200 Wp/m2

Powerful panels up to 375Wp, featuring multi-busbar technology and 120 halfcut monocrystalline cells

A combination of innovations


Our latest solar panel series features 166mm large-size silicon wafers and monocrystalline PERC cells. The new panels come with the same innovative design features introduced with the MHE series allowing high power output of more than 200Wp/m2. Based on superior multi-busbar technology, the MHI series integrates advanced halfcut cells and non-destructive cutting.

The MHI series now comes with a 12 year product warranty and insured 25 year power output guarantee to 83.1%, thanks to our experience in manufacturing halfcut and multi-busbar technology.

MHI series key features


  • 166 mm large-size silicon wafers
  • Monocrystalline PERC cells
  • Available from 355 to 375Wp
  • Innovative design with high power output of over 200 Wp/m2
  • Superior multi-busbar technology, halfcut cells and non-destructive cutting
  • 12 year product guarantee
  • 25 year power output guarantee to 83.1%
  • PID resistant
  • Available in standard, black frame and full black

Additional benefits of Autarco’s total solution approach


  • Insured kWh guarantee: Our total solution approach allows us to insure kWh performance, when yields are lower than promised the foundation compensates in cash.
  • Reduce fire risk: The entire Autarco solution is provided with Staubli MC4 connectors for reduced fire risk together with our inverter integrated AFCI detection.
  • System design software: Helios software ensures mounting materials are automatically compatible with new MHI dimensions.

Deliveries of MHI365 and MHI370 are available from July. From today our Authorized Dealers are able to make system designs in Helios using the new MHI series. For more details view the full technical details below or download the datasheet.

View MHI technical details

New process for system registration and monitoring setup

Recently Autarco made a significant improvement to its Helios software. From this moment on, registering a system and setting up the monitoring no longer takes place in MyAutarco, but directly in Helios. Therefore, all steps in the process from design to asset management are now in Helios. Information is automatically validated and fulfilled serial numbers are provided, to make the process from designing, quoting and registering PV-systems even more easy. The result of all this is the Digital Twin, an exact copy of the installed system, that forms the basis for our monitoring and asset management services.

Monitoring setup


On completing the monitoring setup, serial numbers for inverters and monitoring adapters are paired. With this, Autarco can collect monitoring data from the PV-systems, in order to analyze these and show them in MyAutarco. Also, a page in MyAutarco is created, that the end customer will get access to.

The following data is required in order to perform the monitoring setup:

  • End customer contact details;
  • Inverter(s) serial numbers;
  • Monitoring adapter(s) serial numbers.

Registration


On registering a system, you confirm that the system as designed in Helios exactly matches the real installation. Adding serial numbers and pictures completes the administration, that will be verified by Autarco. Once verified, the kWh guarantee can be issued.

In the registration process the following information needs to be confirmed and provided:

  • End customer contact details;
  • Installation address;
  • Layout;
  • Valid inverter selection and string plan;
  • Completed monitoring setup;
  • Solar panels serial numbers;
  • Pictures.


Are Autarco modules bankable?

Yes, Autarco modules are bankable. ABN Amro, Triodos, ASN and most major banks in The Netherlands are willing to finance projects using Autarco’s products. If this isn’t the meaning of bankable, then what is?

We could end there and have the shortest blog post ever. However, we are aware that our proposition is different to other component brands and are happy to explain more. Autarco handles product risks and product quality better than any component brand and we can back that claim up with reports from independent and well recognized companies in the industry as well as historical system performance data.

We are very proud of our approach to manufacturing high quality and reliable products and have nothing to hide.

What is our manufacturing approach?


Autarco does not own any factories ourselves. We have our own designs and specifications that are tighter than the industry standard and then contract the best factories in the market to manufacture these products on our behalf. This is a modern approach to manufacturing that is the standard in many industries more mature than the relatively young solar PV industry. Good examples are the electronics and automobile industries where brands work with a variety of specialized component manufacturers and themselves focus on design, assembly and service.

This approach not only allows us to deliver exceptional levels of quality and reliability, but also gives greater flexibility in rapidly changing markets, such as the solar market we are in.

Where do we produce our products?


Our MHE Series modules are produced by Chint, a global electronics giant with annual revenues greater than US$10bn. Founded in 1984, Chint has developed a business network in over 140 countries and regions with more than 30,000 employees. Chint’s solar brand Astronergy is one of the most recognized brands in the market and is regularly featured in:

  • DNV GL Top Performer in all tests (Thermal Cycling / Damp Heat / PID).
  • Bloomberg Tier 1 lists.

How does solar panel production actually work?


Typically products are defined and produced as follows:

  • A single certified product code relates to a set of endorsed components (cells, backsheet, glass, etc.) called a Constructional Data Form (CDF) or simply a Bill of Materials (BOM).
  • For each component in the solar panel there is a range of certified suppliers of higher and lower quality, meaning it is possible to have different levels of quality within the same product code. Without proper control, buyers should assume they will get the most convenient (cheapest) option.
  • The certificate will also list a number of allowed factories. Many of the other “OEM” factories are smaller locations with poorer quality equipment, lower automation and looser quality control than the main factory. Even within the main factory, different production lines will often have different levels of automation and equipment age.
  • The module will have a production process with criteria for each step with regards to tolerances that are acceptable. This defines among other things the number and length of micro-cracks that are allowed before a module is deemed to be defective.

So when you buy a solar panel from a factory or third party without knowing the exact BOM, production location and quality specifications you may be receiving an inferior product to one that the same brand would use in their own projects. Component brands know they can get away with delivering cheaper versions to the rooftop/distribution market and as long as there are no massive failures, lower performance will have no consequence for them.

How does Autarco manage quality


Autarco has a stake in the performance of all of our systems so we do everything possible to control quality:

  • We restrict the components used to a specified BOM of only the best components.
  • We only allow production on the most advanced production lines.
  • We enforce higher quality specifications than industry standard.

In this manner, an Autarco module is not just identical to any other module produced by Astronergy, it is in actual fact likely to be of superior quality. To give two concrete examples with the MHE series (without going into nerdy quality assurance details):

  • We only use the superior original Staubli MC4 on our modules, while Astronergy normally uses an MC4-like connector.
  • We have tighter dimension tolerances than Astronergy normally applies, to remove inconvenient gaps in the middle of the modules and issues during installation.
  • We apply stricter cell sorting to ensure a more aesthetic module.

We have third party audit and quality reports available on request if required.

What about warranties and guarantees?


At Autarco we believe intensely in the benefits of our total solution approach with insured performance guarantees. A performance guarantee that financially compensates when the system is underperforming is far more meaningful to rooftop solar owners than the solar panel component warranties, but any system performance guarantee we offer is always in addition to all the industry standard solar panel warranties, including:

  • 10 year product warranty
  • 25 or 30 year power output guarantee

Our agreements with Chint have the following statements;

“Chint declares hereby that all PV modules produced for Autarco Group BV or any of its subsidiaries are covered by the Chint “Limited Product Warranty” and 25 year “Limited Peak Power Warranty” terms on which you find enclosed.

The above means that, in case Autarco Group BV is no longer actively trading, any warranty claim against a faulty PV module manufactured by Chint for Autarco Group BV or any of its subsidiaries will be honoured by Chint as per the “Limited Product Warranty” and 25 year “Limited Peak Power Warranty” terms provided that it is a proven product defect.”

The solar panel Warranties are also fully insured by Munich Re or Lloyd’s of London.

The Dealer and end customer in effect receive four different levels of security on the warranties:

  1. Autarco: Primary and EU based cover
  2. Chint: Underwrite Autarco product warranty
  3. Product Warranty Insurer: Underwrite Chint product warranty
  4. kWh Guarantee Insurer: Underwrite Autarco kWh Guarantee

Conclusion


Our manufacturing approach means Autarco will never be listed in the Bloomberg Module Tier 1 list ourselves as one of the requirements is to own the factory. However, the Autarco MHE Series module is at least as good as the Astronergy modules on the list. Bankability is a measure of a banks willingness to finance a project and we have never experienced a bank unwilling to finance an Autarco project, conversely, our partners have typically been able to lend at lower rates thanks to the security provided by our insured performance guarantees.

In short, yes, Autarco modules are bankable.


Important details regarding Tigo optimizers

Solar panels can’t always be installed with the ideal layout, sometimes shading of buildings and trees in the near vicinity can cause lower yield than expected. We supply optimizers from Tigo to reduce yield loss thanks to shade. This solution allows you to install an optimizer on either one or more solar panels per string. Visit the Tigo website for important recommendations regarding which combinations are possible and what to look out for when designing a PV layout.

More details on the Tigo website

Pig farm chooses solar for sustainability and certainty

Solisplan installed an Autarco total solution at Pig Farm Netterden in September of 2019. A system consisting of high reliable and powerful Autarco MC solar panels including the unique kWh guarantee.

For the pig farm it’s important to have their CO2 footprint be as low as possible and with solar they can be fully self-sustainable. It was also important to them that their investment was secure and with the insured kWh guarantee they are benefitting from a no risk investment.

System size

463 kWp


Solar panels

1.520x MC of 305 Wp
More details

Inverters

8x Autarco UX inverters
More details

Mounting system

Apex R5
More details

Dealer

Solisplan


A total solution of powerful and reliable Autarco MC solar panels


This solar PV system of 463 kWp consists of 1.520 Autarco MC solar panels of which the yield is inverted by six Autarco UX inverters of 50 kW and two UX inverters of 60 kW. These MC solar panels have a really high color consistency and are very powerful at 305 Wp. The Autarco MC solar panels currently have the best value for money.

Pig Farm Netterden benefits from the unique kWh guarantee thanks to the Autarco total solution of inverters and solar panels. Solisplan used our innovative Helios software to fully design the system. The software automatically calculates the expected yield of the system, which is 484 MWh in the first year. This is insured by the kWh Guarantee Foundation, meaning for every kWh below the expected yield the company will receive a financial compensation. The business case that was calculated beforehand will for sure be met. A very safe and reliable investment.

“The kWh guarantee is of great value to us as we now have certainty with our investment.”

Jos Rijk – Co-partner

Benefitting from the SDE+ subsidy


The financial model for these kinds of projects in The Netherlands is driven largely by SDE+ subsidy, a production subsidy from the government that guarantees the market value of energy generated through renewables for a 15 year term. In other words, for the first fifteen years you receive a cash subsidy over every kWh generated. At the moment the SDE rate is just under €0.10/kWh so our insured kWh guarantee with a compensation rate of €0.10/kWh and 15 year term fits perfectly.

3 quick questions to Jos Rijk, co-partner at Pig Farm Netterden


Why is a solar total solution important to you?

We chose a total solution by Autarco because we liked to be fully taken care of by one company in the entire process. The installation happened very smoothly by Solisplan, an Authorized Dealer of Autarco. They made sure our business operations could continue like normal during installation.

What’s the reason for choosing solar to become more sustainable?

For us it’s important to have our CO2 footprint as low as possible and with solar we can be fully self-sustainable at our pig farm.

What is in your opinion the added value of a business case with kWh guarantee?

The kWh guarantee is of great value to us as we now have certainty with our investment. If the system’s yield in the future is lower than calculated beforehand we will receive a financial compensation per missed kWh. This makes for a solid business and we’re sure it will be met.

Interested? Get a free roof scan and follow up from one of our Authorized Dealers near you.

Interested in becoming an Autarco Authorized Dealer? Click here to learn more.