A stalwart of the solar industry since 2010, GoodWe has seen its influence and offerings go from strength to strength. One of the world’s top reflector manufacturers, and recipient of countless awards for quality excellence, GoodWe is a name to be trusted. They will soon be featured in Season 6 of Open Homes Australia where they will be showcasing their inverter and battery storage solutions.
Energy Matters is proud to host GoodWe Country Director for Australia and New Zealand, Dean Williamson, this morning via the Road to Zero podcast. We asked Dean to provide insight into his journey with GoodWe.
Describe your journey so far in the solar/renewable energy industry
Starting 12 years ago, working for a local retailer selling residential solar power systems, I remember 5 kW systems almost unheard of, and installed for about $25,000. I then moved on to selling small commercial solar where 40 kW systems were typically around $100,000.
In 2013, I became the sales director of the manufacturer Zeversolar, which was formed as a result of the joining of two factories in China. I found the first 12 months challenging because one of the old brand names had a bad reputation in the industry and it took some time to rectify that.
After 3 years, SMA has acquired 100% of Zeversolar and many functions for Zeversolar and SMA are combined, including sales. Therefore, I became an employee of SMA, as an account manager who looks after the distribution network for both brands.
Then in 2019 I joined GoodWe as Country Director for Australia and New Zealand.
Why did you choose to work for Goodwe?
When I spoke with GoodWe, I saw that they understand and see the importance of catering to the local market. I’ve also seen a lot of potential and opportunity for growth, and by speaking with installers, I’ve seen that the product has proven to be reliable. I also saw the potential to work with our HQ and be an influencer to improve and grow the brand in the region, by also creating a local team.
After the establishment of the distribution network, it strengthened the domestic service team, and then set up local marketing and human resource departments, in addition to strengthening our sales and service team.
I’m proud of the fact that we have the ability to develop a product specifically for our local market, work with HQ, and do it very quickly when we see patterns or trends in the local market. One of our strengths is the speed in getting to market to meet demand.
Our customers are always looking for the latest technology. Is there anything in the pipeline for GoodWe that will take your offerings to the next level?
GoodWe boasts an R&D department of over 700 employees, which helps explain why we have the largest range of inverters in the solar industry, spanning both GoodWe and GE branded product ranges.
The team is constantly developing products to make improvements that not only help the end consumer, but also installers – making products more compact, lighter, easier to install, and with simple to operate features.
In terms of new technology, we will launch an EV charger early next year, and we also have a “Sunshine” BIPV solar roof tile system for the new construction market. It all goes towards a complete system solution that we call “Eco Smart Home”. We have invested heavily in BIPV, and have also developed a lightweight, flexible panel system for commercial buildings where the weight of roofs is very limited.
We also develop warehousing systems on a commercial scale which is a growing market in Australia.
We’re always looking to add value for our customers, so we just launched integration with the Solar Analytics monitoring platform for both the GE and GoodWe brands.
Do you have a favorite product or a GoodWe product? What distinguishes this product?
ES G2 – The new low voltage hybrid inverter, which has a lot of benefits from the previous first generation model.
Why did you choose to participate in Open Homes Australia?
In April we launched our road show truck, which we call the Smart Innovation Vehicle, the first of its kind in Australia, and over the past year we’ve been touring Australia, participating in consumer events. We’ve found that consumers are doing a lot of homework now on solar energy, especially energy storage, with an eye on the future and phasing out fossil fuels, especially higher energy bills. Homeowners now want the best system solution for them and we believe our products deliver just that.
We chose to participate in Open Homes because we want to continue to help provide that knowledge and help keep consumers informed about how GoodWe and GE brand products can provide energy independence, lower bills and keep essential loads running during power outages. This is a continuation of our marketing strategy to build consumer awareness of our brand.
Having this stand on such a high quality and reputable offer at Open Homes, is something we are very excited about!
Tell us more details about the products you will be showcasing at the show?
We will take you to a large, new home in Victoria, to showcase our energy storage system consisting of 2x GE Hybrid High Voltage Inverters, along with GoodWe Lynx F High Voltage batteries on a dual phase system.
The GEH Hybrid Inverter is a custom model as part of our GE range of premium inverters – it is the largest inverter of its kind on the market and includes some amazing features such as a built-in breaker box for neater installation, on-side switching, 4 MPPTs so that up to 4 strings of Single inverter solar panels, perfect for larger properties and complex rooftops. It also has a “Smart Shadow Scan” feature which is a learning algorithm that monitors and optimizes solar panel performance in all-day shading situations.
In addition, the owner also benefits from a free 12-month subscription to Solar Analytics, a great feature exclusive to the GE brand. Solar Analytics is a consumer-friendly monitoring platform that installs with one simple click through the GE monitoring tool. It provides incredible system monitoring and reporting, showing performance, energy usage, and any alarms or notifications, plus it also learns how the system is using energy and offers options to switch to other electricity providers to show even more potential savings on energy bills – potentially thousands of dollars each. general.
We will also install our own EV charger. The average residential system is now increasing in size, it used to be around 6.6kW and we now see 8kW to 10kW being the norm, as homeowners try to increase their rooftop area to generate and store as much energy as possible. The electric vehicle market is growing at an exponential rate in Australia, so it only makes sense to use future solar and energy storage systems so that electric vehicles can be charged at home, using the energy generated.
What changes would you like to see in the industry to provide consumers with better confidence that renewables are a viable alternative to fossil fuel-based technology?
More discount options for energy storage and electric vehicles in all states Standard rooftop solar proven return on investment, but more education and clarity on energy storage to increase battery uptake. Batteries also have a lot of benefits to help stabilize the grid and in times of peak demand as we’re seeing in South Australia, to have the ability to draw energy from consumer batteries to help provide stability to the electricity grid.
More clarity and transparency on options and processes for installing new systems, upgrading and augmenting old systems (it has become something very frequent in recent years), and guidance for showing whether energy storage is appropriate for the user – because in some cases it is not the best course of action.
More guidance on avoiding bad installers and what to ensure for a quality and secure system install. Also, more focus on the future of electric vehicles and what is being done to improve the infrastructure for charging and using electric vehicles. More education and incentives are needed.
Australians are known for their early adoption and high absorption of solar energy. This means that there are many Australian rooftops with old, outdated and inefficient photovoltaic systems. What message do you want to send to those who aren’t sure if they should invest in the upgrade?
Most of the old systems were put on a high feed-in tariff, which has now been greatly reduced. As a result, most of these now face higher bills because these systems were typically much smaller than modern systems, which are not meeting the demand for their energy uses with older, less efficient technology.
Our advice is to stick to higher tariffs if you still have them – hold onto them until they run out, before looking into making changes to your system. In most cases, it’s best to upgrade depending on the age of your system, with some possible workarounds depending on the circumstances. A reputable installer will be able to evaluate, guide and provide costs on the best long-term options and the best use of the investment.
Are you looking for solar energy? Get up to 3 FREE solar quotes for a system with GoodWe inverter and battery today!