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Sunny Island w/ Grid Tie?

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  • #16
    Which Sunny Island model do you have? My SI6048 has a setting 12.3 Time-Controlled Operation.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Salts View Post

      I don't think they do. I have a Sunny Island 6048 and I see no reason it would require a solar system or any other power generation device. So long as it has charged batteries, it will produce power.
      If it required solar input, how would it produce power at night? The Sunny Island 6048 can charge the batteries using multiple power sources. Either then grid or a generator on the AC2 terminals, or solar/wind/hydro on the AC1 terminals. The AC1 terminals are connected to the loads.. AC1 is an output but can function as an input so long as the power sources connected to the AC1 can be throttled via frequency control. The AC2 terminals are input only so far as I can tell.. which is strange because the AC2 is a bidirectional inverter.. why have a bidirectional inverter on an input only terminal?

      If he connects the grid to the AC2 terminal and hooks up the battery, all he needs is a few menu setup items and the Sunny Island will charge the batteries.

      I don't have a Sunny Island inverter.
      I was of the understanding that the Sunny Island inverter was needed to be coupled to the Sunny Boy to work with the grid. So obviously you are talking about using grid power strictly for battery charging. Do you connect a single 120 volt leg to the inverter or both hot legs?

      Connecting grid power to AC1 really makes no sense to me as what are you doing at this point is using a excessively expensive inverter as a battery charger. What are you powering with the inverter while your output terminals are being used as inputs?

      I know these inverters are pretty sophisticated creatures. I guess it's time to pull up a manual and do some reading.



      2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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      • #18
        Originally posted by littleharbor View Post


        I don't have a Sunny Island inverter.
        I was of the understanding that the Sunny Island inverter was needed to be coupled to the Sunny Boy to work with the grid. So obviously you are talking about using grid power strictly for battery charging. Do you connect a single 120 volt leg to the inverter or both hot legs?
        You do not need any solar inverter or solar panels in order for the Sunny Island to work. In such a case, it would just be a simple battery inverter with the capability of using the power from the grid (when available) or a generator to charge the batteries.

        The Sunny Island is a 120 volt inverter, if you want 240, you have to have two of them. Our setup uses two. From what I can tell, most 240 volt inverters require a 240 volt generator in order to charge batteries, but with two Sunny Islands, you can use either a 120 volt generator or a 240 depending on how you wire them.

        Connecting grid power to AC1 really makes no sense to me as what are you doing at this point is using a excessively expensive inverter as a battery charger. What are you powering with the inverter while your output terminals are being used as inputs?

        I know these inverters are pretty sophisticated creatures. I guess it's time to pull up a manual and do some reading.
        You can never connect grid power to AC1. AC1 is only for loads and renewable energy inverters capable of frequency shift power control. AC2 is for connecting a generator or the grid. When your batteries are full and the sun is shining but the home is not using enough juice and you have extra power available, the Sunny Island can do one of two things. 1) it can flip a relay on and send the extra power to an alternative load like heating water or running an irrigation pump or something, 2) it can do the frequency shifting thing and throttle back the PV array to match the required loads.

        EDIT: I just confirmed with SMA Support there is a 3rd option: If the Sunny Island has too much incoming power and not enough loads, it can back feed to the grid. This explains why AC2 is also a bidirectional inverter.
        So once your batteries are charged and the loads in the home are all satisfied, if the SI has excess power, it can start net-metering back to the utility grid. Nice!

        I'm just now learning all this. I am currently installing two of the SI 6048 units in my home. I live in a rural area and we lose power out here for a week at a time and I'm tired of listening to a generator scream all day long just to keep the freezers cold and the sump pump going.

        As I learn about the SI units, I'm learning that they are far more flexible than other inverters. In fact, so much so, that it makes them appear overly complicated, but really its all the configurable options and capabilities.

        An Outback Radian 8048 inverter weighs in at around 125 lbs and is rated ofr 8000 watts 240 volt split phase operation. Each of the Sunny Island inverters weigh about 140 lbs and are only 6000 watts on 120. That's a huge difference. You know they say: Quality and weight are usually related to each other.
        Last edited by Salts; 09-10-2019, 12:50 PM.

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        • #19
          Amazing. They did seem overly complicated to me as well. I have owned a couple Sunny Islands and could have kept them and swapped out my existing inverter but opted to sell them off as my trusty Trace inverter fills all my needs and is all hooked up and running. I broke the seal on the original factory box 15 years after it left the factory. I think it will outlive me.
          2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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          • #20
            Originally posted by littleharbor View Post
            Amazing. They did seem overly complicated to me as well. I have owned a couple Sunny Islands and could have kept them and swapped out my existing inverter but opted to sell them off as my trusty Trace inverter fills all my needs and is all hooked up and running. I broke the seal on the original factory box 15 years after it left the factory. I think it will outlive me.
            It has taken me a few times through the manual and a few emails with SMA to figure them all out myself. They could have cleared up a lot of confusion with some simple English in the manuals but for some reason they didn't.

            Quite simply put, all loads go on AC1, and all energy generators (supplies) that can be throttled via frequency shifting go on AC1. Energy Supplies that can not be throttled go on AC2. If AC2 can not accept the back feeding of excess power generated from stuff on the AC1 circuit, then the SI needs to know this via the menu selection for PV Only, Grid, Gen, or GridGen settings.

            Those two simple lines put together could have saved me about 10 hours of research, but instead, they included the information but broke it up in a way that didn't make sense.

            I own a Radian 8048 as well.. and the more I learn about the SI units, the more apparent it becomes that they are far superior in almost every way.

            One thing I'm going to miss though.. the SI6048 doesn't have any way to look at it with my web browser. They used to sell a "webbox" but discontinued it. A $145 item now costs $700 because they stopped making the $20 box they sold for $145.
            If you want to be able to log into the unit now, you need to buy three separate pieces of equipment that total up to about $1200. That's not going to happen.

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            • #21
              Keep an eye on eBay for a webbox. You can even have eBay notify you if any come up for sale.
              2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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