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  • Using no export grid tie inverter

    I posted another general set of questions about my new system design. This is specific to the inverter.

    The system engineer at my PoCo told me (in writing) that I don't need permission from them to use a grid tie inverter as long as I don't plan to export (net metering) power to them. He went on to say there are several inverter models that have this option to use grid power when needed but to not export power to the grid.

    My specific question is which inverters do this and what is the best of them? I got some technical info from an online solar site about the SE having some controls that allow no export and limited export, etc. Are there others that do this without having to buy expensive communication modules like with SE. at least from what the tech support guy told me, it adds about $500 for the communication gateway along with the required optimizers. In total about $2700 for the inverter and all the modules.


  • #2
    Originally posted by df0rster View Post
    My specific question is which inverters do this and what is the best of them? I got some technical info from an online solar site about the SE having some controls that allow no export and limited export, etc. Are there others that do this without having to buy expensive communication modules like with SE. at least from what the tech support guy told me, it adds about $500 for the communication gateway along with the required optimizers.
    Ther is no communications gateway for SolarEdge. They have a built in Ethernet port that you can use. You do need a consumption meter for zero feed in.
    this will be ( and is ) the case for all other inverters to Support zero feed in; a consumption meter will have to be added.

    Originally posted by df0rster View Post
    In total about $2700 for the inverter and all the modules.
    Also FYI modules are the proper term for solar panels. A solar panel is really a group of solar modules in a single plane, with an array being a single installation of modules.

    I think you you were referring to the optimizers when you use the term modules...
    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

      Ther is no communications gateway for SolarEdge. They have a built in Ethernet port that you can use. You do need a consumption meter for zero feed in.
      this will be ( and is ) the case for all other inverters to Support zero feed in; a consumption meter will have to be added.



      Also FYI modules are the proper term for solar panels. A solar panel is really a group of solar modules in a single plane, with an array being a single installation of modules.

      I think you you were referring to the optimizers when you use the term modules...
      The quote I had from Civic Solar called it a "SolarEdge Control and Communication Gateway SE1000-CCG-G" and it was about $500 in addition to the inverter and optimizers. This is what the tech guy there had quoted me as a package deal to be able to limit export. I didn't see a meter but I'll have to look into that for my purposes. I kind of think he wasn't too sure what he was selling me.

      But if I can do it with any inverter that will open up my choices. I'm liking the SMA for the secure power outlet for backup power.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by df0rster View Post
        The system engineer at my PoCo told me (in writing) that I don't need permission from them to use a grid tie inverter as long as I don't plan to export (net metering) power to them.
        You asked this in another thread you started and EXPORT means ship any excess power out to the grid. In other words you are only allowed to buy power, not sell any. Anything you export is lost to your neighbors and you will receive no credit.
        MSEE, PE

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        • #5
          Originally posted by df0rster View Post

          The quote I had from Civic Solar called it a "SolarEdge Control and Communication Gateway SE1000-CCG-G" and it was about $500 in addition to the inverter and optimizers. This is what the tech guy there had quoted me as a package deal to be able to limit export. I didn't see a meter but I'll have to look into that for my purposes. I kind of think he wasn't too sure what he was selling me.

          But if I can do it with any inverter that will open up my choices. I'm liking the SMA for the secure power outlet for backup power.
          SolarEdge uses a WattNode with a couple CTs for metering which allows it to limit export power.

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          • #6
            Some low end no-export inverters seem to have high self consumption if they don't see well balanced loads on L1 & L2, so I'd check on that factor before you purchase.
            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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            • #7
              Originally posted by df0rster View Post

              The quote I had from Civic Solar called it a "SolarEdge Control and Communication Gateway SE1000-CCG-G" and it was about $500 in addition to the inverter and optimizers. This is what the tech guy there had quoted me as a package deal to be able to limit export. I didn't see a meter but I'll have to look into that for my purposes. I kind of think he wasn't too sure what he was selling me.

              But if I can do it with any inverter that will open up my choices. I'm liking the SMA for the secure power outlet for backup power.
              That part is not needed unless you have a large system. Usually commercial

              sma can do it but you will need rapidshutdown as well as the consumption meter.

              The secure power system is not a backup backup system just a marketing tool with limited capabilities.
              OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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              • #8
                Originally posted by df0rster View Post
                I'm liking the SMA for the secure power outlet for backup power.
                It's useful during outages. Add a $99 UPS from a big box store if you want power at night to charge phones, run a few LED lights etc.

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                • #9
                  Just to put closure to this thread, I'll be going with a net meter option so no longer need to worry about zero export. After an initial discussion with a real person at the PoCo it is not as big a deal or as expensive as I initially thought to do net metering.

                  I'll keep posting questions in my original thread regarding inverter and other equipment selection, etc..

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