Solar Era: SME Excellence Business Award And Top Business Service And Quality Award 2022/2023

Every hour, the amount of solar power produced by the sun is sufficient to meet the world’s energy demand for an entire year. It is a non-vanishing renewable source of energy which is eco-friendly. Given the abundance of sunlight across the country, solar power has the potential to supply electricity that is both environmentally friendly and economically attractive in the long run.

Here’s a simple illustration of how solar energy works:

  1. Sunlight hits the surface of solar panels. Direct Current (DC) electricity is produced and routed to an inverter.
  2. An inverter converts the electricity into alternating current (AC).
  3. Meter measures the amount of electrical energy produced by the panel and monitor performance of the system.
  4. Excess solar electricity produced, which is not fully consumed by home owner, sells back to the grid. For most houses, the excess can be used to offset the bills for water and gas.

The ability of using solar power to reduce carbon emissions and lessen reliance on fossil fuels to protect our environment became a major push factor for Kent and Michelle, to step into the solar energy industry. Armed with a construction and engineering background, Kent noticed that renewable energy was gaining recognition and seized the opportunity to enter this niche market. From there, their company Solar Era was born.

Founders of Solar Era, Michelle and Kent

The route to where Solar Era is now, an established award-winning company, was not an easy feat. In Singapore, utilizing solar panels to generate power has always been an unfamiliar term to many. Fully understanding how solar energy works and its accompanying benefits requires beyond technical knowledge, it requires substantial experience and passion as well. Nevertheless, owing to Kent and Michelle’s expertise in solar energy, they were able to gradually build a solid customer base which is currently still growing.

Through the years since the company was established, Solar Era has completed many remarkable projects. One such achievement would be the installation of solar systems for several HDB blocks in Woodlands, Dover, Choa Chu Kang and Jurong West. Since not every single existing HDB flat has ample space on its roof for solar panels, the mentioned HDB flats were the selected ones to be put forward by their respective town councils for this solar energy project. With the advantage of being able to generate power as well as to prioritise green effort, it is no wonder that many future HDB BTO are in plans to be built ready with solar panels.

When asked about their other assignments, the one that left the deepest impression would be the water boats. In the past, these water boats relied on diesel which has a high consumption rate, is noisy and has a high maintenance cost. Thus making the switch to solar energy was an ideal move. Of course, such project comes with its own set of challenges to overcome. As water boats are on the ocean 24/7, they had to use a non-conventional approach and install solar panels made with marine-grade materials in order to increase its durability. Furthermore, being constantly on the sea waters means any excess energy generated cannot be sent back to the grid. As such, these water boats are equivalent to standalone off-grid systems that require their own battery to store any excess solar power. Proud to say, Solar Era managed to accomplish this with the expertise they possess.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay

Other significant projects include installing solar panels for schools like Singapore Polytechnic and SIM, where they are using solar power for research purposes. Also, the “Here Is SG” project that is a joint collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board and Phunk Studio, where they installed the solar panels to power a sculpture that is located at the front of Marina Bay Sands.

To ensure that they are providing the best solar solutions to their clients, Solar Era makes it a point to constantly upgrade their knowledge as well as the products that they bring in. Formerly, solar cells were made with polycrystalline which is not pure silicone, therefore its efficiency was not as high. Now, solar cells are made with monocrystalline which in turn have higher efficiencies, meaning they are more space-efficient since they can produce more power per square foot. From 2023 onwards, Solar Era will start installing N-type solar panels that have an efficiency rate of 22.5%. Its transition is faster, as compared to the previous P-type solar panels that have an efficiency rate of 18%-19%. Hence with the upgraded panels, consumers will be able to generate more power output with the same amount of surface area. This works in favour especially to those ships/boats or buildings with space limitations.

Solar Era has come a long way from when it first started, from a 2-person team they expanded to the current team of more than 30 staffs. They have their own house of engineers and installation team, rather than outsourcing their works to subcontractors, to ensure top-notch quality is provided for every project. What makes them stand out further is that their engineers will customise designs for all the projects, such as optimising the allocated roof space and to make it more cost efficient. This ensures that all clients will be able to obtain the optimal results for their solar systems.

Looking forward, Solar Era has many plans in place. First thing first, they would like to resume their office operations in Malaysia which halted due to the pandemic. Currently for handling projects based over there, their engineers will design in Singapore and they will provide the materials for their business partner to help with the installation in Malaysia. Once they resume operations, they will be able to personally oversee the entire installation process.

Secondly, Solar Era intends to start a new branch that provides consultation services to clients who wishes to engage their designing services and expertise. For several commercial projects, these clients have their own team of installers to install solar panels. However, they require the know-how of Solar Era’s engineers to design the system that works best for them.

Lastly, something that Solar Era wishes to work on is sourcing the best energy storage system that is ideal to be installed for all projects to store excess solar power.  As the efficiency rate of solar cells increases, it will be ideal for consumers to be able to have a storage system that is able to store excess energy generated and available to be used whenever necessary. To ensure future-proof, Solar Era has readily designed the solar systems for their clients in a way that eventually, adding a battery will be nothing more than just a simple step.

For more information on their product offerings and services, visit

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