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Thread: Best quality and Best buy for grid-tie inverter?

  1. #1
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    Default Best quality and Best buy for grid-tie inverter?

    As I collect my solar panels, I'm nearing 1KW, and had begun to consider battery costs until I took time to email our electric company to ask about a grid tie in. The local power provider is an electric Co-op here in Texas, and has said they will install a "forward and reversing KWH meter" if I complete their insurance requirements and paperwork application for "Under 10KW Co-generation". I emailed them to ask if there were types and brands of inverters they perferred, to which they said they had no company list and it was up to me as most inverter companies have improved because of the push for Green acceptance. I was very happy to hear grid tie is a real possibility, although they have no rebate program like TXU/On-Cor, a large metroplex electric company who is buying wind energy from the large wind farm in West Texas.

    What grid-tie inverter of a 1.5-2KW rating is working for you, and who has the best prices and warranty service? To keep a balanced usage of this small array, should the inverter be a 220v version so it provides to both legs of the incoming power?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  2. #2
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    I tend to prefer the fanless inverters, like the Xantrex GT series. But to pass inspection and insurance, the PV panels need to be UL certified, no homemade panels.

    http://store.solar-electric.com/xagt25grties.html 2.8KW Xantrex

    http://store.solar-electric.com/fr18wauttiei.html 2Kw FRONIUS

    http://store.solar-electric.com/pv20wagrtiei.html 2kw PV Powered Designs

    http://store.solar-electric.com/suboy70700wa.html 700W SMA

    Also check prices at sunelec.com
    Since the dawn of time it has been mankind's dream to blot out the sun.
    Montgomery Burns

    "Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."

    spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

    http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
    battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    gear :
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV || || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

  3. #3
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    Pardon me for butting in here but this is something I'm just starting to look at.

    I'm assuming the 2.8KW Xantrex would work for me? I'm mainly looking at power for my 240v well pump, sump pump and septic pump? Obviously not all running simultaneously. And would it make sense to use this setup or a larger inverter in conjunction with a 120-to-240v transformer? Thanks so much.

  4. #4
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    Grid Tie inverters are nearly always 240V to match the power feed at the house. They do not power any appliances, they only backfeed the active power grid.

    They first sense and monitor the grid power for 5 minutes, and only then, do they start to output power. Every couple seconds, they try a high voltage spike, to test to make sure the Grid is present, and they are not getting fooled by a generator. If the voltage rises (too high of grid impedence) they shut off. If the grid fails, they shut off. They pass every possible watt, into the grid.
    Since the dawn of time it has been mankind's dream to blot out the sun.
    Montgomery Burns

    "Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."

    spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

    http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
    battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    gear :
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV || || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

  5. #5
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    Thanks for responding. OK I guess I'm confused. What I'm looking for is an inverter that is monitoring the grid so that in the event of a grid failure backup batteries and/or PV panels can power my devices.

  6. #6
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    Check the Outback 3048, no grid tie in, but can have to circuits/breakers that will allow battery backup to take over so fast it is seamless. Expensive: $1,900+/-

    Bill

  7. #7
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    Default inverter 5 minute lockout at every utility glitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike90250 View Post
    ...
    They first sense and monitor the grid power for 5 minutes, and only then, do they start to output power. Every couple seconds, they try a high voltage spike, to test to make sure the Grid is present, and they are not getting fooled by a generator. If the voltage rises (too high of grid impedence) they shut off. If the grid fails, they shut off. They pass every possible watt, into the grid.
    My hope is to find a 'hacker' or better yet, some inverter company that makes their inverter software, open source. I want to be able to config that 5 minute lockout constant. I have utility glitches here every hour or so and I cannot tolerate the inverter being DOWN at every glitch for a full 5 minutes.

    Any other thoughts more than welcome. I have to decide on the inverter purchase today and would rather direct my $$$ to the right place.

    sara dot j at embarqmail dot com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepsake View Post
    My hope is to find a 'hacker' or better yet, some inverter company that makes their inverter software, open source. I want to be able to config that 5 minute lockout constant. I have utility glitches here every hour or so and I cannot tolerate the inverter being DOWN at every glitch for a full 5 minutes.

    Any other thoughts more than welcome. I have to decide on the inverter purchase today and would rather direct my $$$ to the right place.

    sara dot j at embarqmail dot com
    That will be a difficult one to overcome as you will loose the UL listing as soon as you modify the inverter.
    Rich
    WWW.solarsaves.net

    NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design

    http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html (Voltage drop Calculator among others)

    www.gaisma.com

  9. #9
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    Depends where you live.


    All-purpose inverter? You really can't go wrong with SMA although it does have moving parts that might be a concern to some.

    http://www.sma-america.com/en_US/pro...s-4000-us.html


    Live in a hot and dusty climate? Power-One is the answer. The only NEMA-4 inverter on the market, also one that won't start to derate until 122 degrees F which might be important if you happen to live in Phoenix, Albuquerque and other assorted hot climates.

    http://www.power-one.com/renewable-e...outdoor/series

    Also kind of keen on the Solar Edge system. The inverter comes with a 12 year warranty and comes in a package with a central inverter and DC optimizers all included. Very nifty.


    Bottomline, if the average temperature rarely or never exceeds 100, I'd go with SMA, if it goes above 100, I'd go with Power-One.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregS View Post
    Thanks for responding. OK I guess I'm confused. What I'm looking for is an inverter that is monitoring the grid so that in the event of a grid failure backup batteries and/or PV panels can power my devices.

    So you're really looking for a grid-tie battery backup system. Hope you're pretty handy or got lots of the $$$$ to throw around

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