Meander office building turns into a 428 kWp solar-powered social housing complex

When office space reinvents itself  into sustainable housing with solar, 250 social rental homes offer low energy bills to their tenants.

The Meander office building was opened in the late 1990s and served as a town hall in Nieuwegein (Netherlands) for a long time. In recent years, the complex has been completely renovated and transformed into a residential building with over 250 social rental homes. In order to meet the wishes of future tenants and the requirements of today, each home has its own heat pump and a connection to solar panels. The houses are also gas free (the majority of households in the Netherlands use gas for heating and cooking), so that each resident has an extremely low energy bill and energy consumption is not at the expense of the environment.

The installer NewSolar, responsible for the installation of more than 420 kilowatt peak, equipped each home with 6 solar panels from Trina Solar. For the technology and conversion behind the solar panels, micro-inverters from APsystems were deliberately chosen. By using micro-inverters, it was not necessary to install a separate inverter in each home, so that no unnecessary space was taken up in the homes. This also precludes improper use by the tenant / resident due to the lack of additional electrical equipment in the apartments.

The ability to give each resident access to his or her yield, at virtually no additional cost, was a decisive factor in choosing APsystems.

Only 2 micro-inverters are installed per home, the QS1 and the YC600, to which 4 and 2 solar panels can be connected respectively. By using these micro-inverters, no additional facilities (e.g. wiring) is required per home and a very short installation time is guaranteed. This is made possible thanks to standard integrated Zigbee communication features in all Microinverters and Energy Communication Units (ECU) from APsystems.

Thanks to APsystems’ unique Shared Monitoring, each resident has access to his own yield thanks to a login code via his mobile or tablet, for example. When using the ECU-R (Energy Communication Unit), managing and maintaining an overview and remote monitoring is possible, so services can be easily provided without even paying a visit to the tenants.

Ecological transition report – APsystems, the high tech solar company – published in MANAGEMENT, French magazine, September 2020


Discover the exclusive interview from Olivier Jacques, President, Global Executive VP at APsystems, who looks back on the background and prospects of APsystems.

Extract: In 2020, APsystems celebrates 10 years as a leader in the microinverter market. A cocktail of innovation and daring, APsystems optimizes photovoltaic installations with state-of-the-art products and monitoring accessible to all. Thanks to its openness and its ability to adapt, the company has positioned itself as a benchmark in its sector in 120 countries and can boast of being profitable since 2012. Camille Erder, journalist for Management meets Olivier Jacques, President, Global Executive VP at APsystems.

Camille Erder: How do you explain the hypergrowth of APsystems?

Olivier Jacques: APsystems started in 2010 as a research laboratory in Silicon Valley. When I took over as Executive VP a little over five years ago, I understood that we had to focus on marketing by opening up internationally and offering simple and connected products. APsystems has strongly contributed to the democratization of the solar energy market thanks to its software accessible to all. Our ability to innovate and adapt has enabled us to export our range of products and services all over the world and to build trusted partnerships with many companies, both in the industrial and tertiary fields and in the residential sector.

The DNA of the company is its profitability and the secret of our success is the regular questioning of our positioning, the free will of our teams and the overall nature of our multicultural company.

Camille Erder: Does the ecological transition impact your projects?

Olivier Jacques: The energy transition pushes us more than ever to innovate in order to provide ecological solutions while preserving user comfort. For us, technology is the answer … APsystems favors interactions with energy suppliers to advance in the ecological transition, by finding alternative energy sources and by adapting our future installations.

Read the entire interview (Available in French).