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To hybrid, or not to hybrid, that is the question.

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  • To hybrid, or not to hybrid, that is the question.

    I live in SE Florida. I have installed a 10 KW net (11.76 KW DC) grid tie system using 2 - 5K Solar Edge HD Wave inverters. I am waiting for FPL to approve my system and swap meters.

    My questions are related to converting this to a hybrid system. They are, in no particular order;

    1) Does it make sense to purchase the bits & pieces (batteries, etc.) now and add that to the total cost of the system when claiming my 30% federal tax credit?

    2) After hurricane Irma this year, we were without power 5 days. I used a 5,500/6,500 watt portable generator backfed into my panel to run important systems, including well pumps, one A/C at a time, Hot water heater, refrigeration, etc. I did this with judicous switching on & off circuit breakers. I would like to accomplish the same with a hybrid system (no generator), with perhaps less turning off & on circuit breakers. Is this a reasonable goal?

    3) Has anyone worked with (or investigated) the Solar Edge HD Wave inverters in a hybrid system?

    4) What bits & pieces would I need to implement this goal.

    5) My thought is to put together the entire electrical/electronics pieces first then grow the batteries. What I mean is to put in all of the charge controllers, transfer switches, etc., for the system I want in the end, but start small with the batteries adding more capacitiy as I can afford them. Is this a sound approach?

    6) A totally unrelated question, does anyone know what the $1 million dollar tier 2 insurance policy would generally cost?

  • #2
    HD-Wave can't be converted to a true hybrid system. The best you can do is AC couple in a battery through its own inverter, and hope that it simulates the grid well enough to satisfy the grid-tie inverter's startup checks. In Europe, within the SolarEdge universe there is an AC coupled StorEdge battery inverter intended to do what you'd like, but that configuration is not available in the US yet.

    Even if you get it to work, your loads plus charging current need to be consuming everything the HD-Wave is producing, or it will crash. The HD-Wave output can be throttled down to help avoid this, but that is a manual adjustment and not really a viable control technique.

    You won't be using a conventional mppt charge controller in this setup, unless you plan on installing a separate PV array for the battery charging.
    CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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    • #3

      instead of $5,000 of batteries, invest in a couple tanks of propane, and a propane adapter kit for your generator. Your 5Kw generator will produce more power than batteries and inverter can - espically if powering well pump and air cond. That would take a really beefy battery & large (6-8Kw) inverter
      Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | 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 ||
      || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
      || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

      solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
      gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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      • #4
        I agree with Mike.

        The cost of the batteries and a hybrid inverter will be a lot more expensive than a house sized generator running on propane. Also a battery system will provide less power than a generator especially for heavy loads like an AC system.

        Batteries work well for small loads at night if you don't want the noise of the gen set but IMO it is not practical to use them to run your house loads for days..

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        • #5
          Sensij, so the first problem is, there is no direct method of using the HD Wave to integrate into a hybrid system. The next problem is, when operational the HD Wave must deliver 100% of the power generated to a load, or it gets upset.

          BTW, Solar Edge StorEdge seems to be available in the US. I chose HD Wave due to it being newer technology, and since we have net metering (until the politicians get paid enough by the utility companies) for the moment, a grid tie system seemed the right choice.

          Will I need to turn off the solar system (sounds like something a super villain might say) when I crank up a generator?

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          • #6
            Sounds like you want to be a guinea pig for new technology. If so delay the install until late next year and see what new options arise over the next 12 months. This market is hot as unlike conventional PV which has become a commodity, hybrid tech seems to be a way for manufacturers to hook folks into specific technology sold by specific companies.

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            • #7
              PeakBagger, too late to delay the install. The panels are on the roof and the inverters are in the garage. FPL says they will have the meter installed within 6 days.

              I just shot off an email to Solar Edge tech support, with some questions. We'll see what they say.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by aceinc View Post
                Sensij, so the first problem is, there is no direct method of using the HD Wave to integrate into a hybrid system. The next problem is, when operational the HD Wave must deliver 100% of the power generated to a load, or it gets upset.

                BTW, Solar Edge StorEdge seems to be available in the US. I chose HD Wave due to it being newer technology, and since we have net metering (until the politicians get paid enough by the utility companies) for the moment, a grid tie system seemed the right choice.

                Will I need to turn off the solar system (sounds like something a super villain might say) when I crank up a generator?
                The Storedge model in the US is a true hybrid inverter, which handles the PV system as well as a DC coupled battery. It is an upgraded version of the 7600A inverter, and would have been used instead of the HD-Wave. The AC coupled storedge that is compatible with your Hd-wave is not in the US as far as I know.

                Yes, when your generator is on, you need to disconnect your other sources (PV and grid), usually with a transfer switch.
                CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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