Staar Surgical, a contact lens manufacturer based in California, is set to reduce operational costs and improve the reliability of its operations by installing a rooftop solar microgrid. The 1.1 MW grid-tied microgrid, located at the company’s production facility in Lake Forest, is expected to save $325,000 in annual electricity bills and provide energy resilience during utility grid disruptions.
The microgrid, designed and installed by solar contractor ReVamp Energy, includes battery energy storage. It is powered by a 780 kW rooftop array with SolarEdge DC-optimized inverters, and additional capacity is installed on two newly-constructed carports. The system is projected to cut the manufacturer’s electricity costs by approximately 50%.
One of the key advantages of the microgrid is its ability to prevent losses incurred by spoiled production runs. In the contact lens manufacturing process, each lens needs to be continuously heated in an industrial kiln for several days. Any power interruption lasting more than a few seconds can ruin an entire production run, resulting in significant financial losses.
To address this issue, a 450 kW battery will store excess solar production and provide backup power for up to 24 hours, depending on the facility’s load requirements. Additionally, a generator is included to ensure uninterrupted production.
ReVamp Energy has designed custom-made switchgear that automatically switches the site’s energy supply to backup power in the event of a power outage. The microgrid can be managed through the SolarEdge monitoring platform, allowing Staar Surgical and ReVamp Energy to track key parameters such as solar energy production, consumption, and battery energy levels in real-time from a single platform.
Jay Cutting, president of ReVamp Energy, emphasized the importance of SolarEdge technology in meeting the client’s requirements for high energy production, reliability, and intelligent control. The use of power optimizers and highly-granular performance data enables efficient and cost-effective operation and maintenance of not only the solar installation but the entire microgrid.
By implementing this solar microgrid, Staar Surgical aims to achieve significant cost savings while ensuring uninterrupted production and reducing the risk of spoiled production runs.