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  • SMA Inverters with Emergency backup?

    I have see a few references to a new SMA grdi tie inverter with "emergency backup" capability. Its not a Sunny Island, rather it looks like an grid tied inverter with small battery bank that is capable of high discharge. It looks like the system actually generates power even when the grid is down and uses the battery to buffer the load when the sun is out. They dont represent it as something that will run for long without sun but I expect if the price is right there are more than a few folks that would be real interested in this inverter, inlcuding myself. Obviously its price dependent.

    Anyone have any more info on this unit?

  • #2
    Originally posted by peakbagger View Post
    I have see a few references to a new SMA grdi tie inverter with "emergency backup" capability. Its not a Sunny Island, rather it looks like an grid tied inverter with small battery bank that is capable of high discharge. It looks like the system actually generates power even when the grid is down and uses the battery to buffer the load when the sun is out. They dont represent it as something that will run for long without sun but I expect if the price is right there are more than a few folks that would be real interested in this inverter, inlcuding myself. Obviously its price dependent.

    Anyone have any more info on this unit?

    It is their (not yet actually available) TL-US series. (3000, 4000, 5000). There is some "preliminary" data on the SMA web site, including the following:
    One of many unique features to the TL-US residential series is its innovative Emergency Power Supply ability. With most grid-tied inverters, when the grid loses power, so does the solar-powered home. SMA’s solution allows daytime energy to be isolated from the grid and be fed directly to the home via a dedicated power socket, providing residents with access to power as long as the PV system generates electricity.
    It is listed as an optional feature, with no pricing information that I could find. Nor any technical information on just what is included in the option. They do indicate that the emergency power output goes only to a separate dedicated line which they expect you to run to an outlet in the house. It is only active when the normal grid-tie output is down and is only powered when the panels are getting input. There is a lot more we all want to know!
    SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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    • #3
      Hello everyone. My name is Greg Smith and I am a technical trainer for SMA America and I wanted to touch base on the original question about a Sunny Boy with a "battery backup" capability.

      The 3000/4000/5000TLUS inverters do indeed have an emergency power switch that will provide 12A to a load(s) when the grid is down and the sun is up, however there are no batteries in this system. It uses the solar energy during the day to provide power to the switch. As we know more about this revolutionary new feature we will pass along the information. The best sources would be our social media sites and the Solar Academy training.

      Solar Academy schedule: http://www.sma-america.com/en_US/smasolaracademy.html
      SMA Corporate Blog: www.SMAInverted.com
      Facebook: www.Facebook.com/SMAAmerica
      Twitter: @SMA_America
      YouTube: www.Youtube.com
      Keyword Search: SMA America, playlist

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      • #4
        Thanks to Greg for the info direct from the manufacturer. I will be nice to be able to answer the hundreds of threads started by peopel who went grid tie and want to have theri grid tie system run when the utility is down.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Greg_Smith View Post
          The 3000/4000/5000TLUS inverters do indeed have an emergency power switch that will provide 12A to a load(s) when the grid is down and the sun is up, however there are no batteries in this system.
          Is that 12 amp at 120 volts or 12 amp at 240 volts?
          SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by inetdog View Post
            Is that 12 amp at 120 volts or 12 amp at 240 volts?
            Hey Dog,

            It will be 12A @120V (1440W) and will be sent to a recommended standard GFCI outlet with an ON/OFF switch (not included). Here is an example of one that I bought at Lowe's for the recent Solar Power International event for our booth: http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-...8#.UIq-j29QTSg I had a guy that started complaining in one of my classes a few weeks ago that he would like more than 12A. I said 12A was better than zero! That is enough to plug a computer UPS into and keep charged so that you can plug some lights into the UPS at night. Those small 3.0 cubic feet refrigerators only require 100W or so. That is enough to keep the beer cold.

            I want to make sure that everyone is clear on this new EPS feature though. It is an option only for the new line of 3000/4000/5000TLUS inverters and does not utilize batteries. This EPS will not be available for any other Sunny Boy series. A question that is on everyone's mind is what will happen if the weather conditions do not support a full 12A production from the inverter. I am waiting for that information from Germany and will post it as it arrives. This new TLUS inverter is already in operation though in Japan. In fact, it was specifically made for that market and redesigned for North America. The EPS was a specific requirement for the Japanese utilities. So, we know it works we are just waiting for more technical data and the manuals to be translated from Japanese


            The Sunny Island is still the best solution for an AC coupled retro fit for a battery backup system. We have a few webinars coming up- in fact we are putting one on our schedule for next Wednesday. I will go through the setup and configuration of a live Island and you will be able to see it in action on our HD cameras. It will be a free event, as all our webinars are, and you can register here once the class has been setup: http://www.sma-america.com/en_US/smasolaracademy.html

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            • #7
              I wonder what the additional cost for this will be, I imagine there's going to be a decent price per watt bump on these but it sounds like a very cool idea and something that many people do ask about and are quite interested in.

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              • #8
                I dont expect it would be major cost, most of the electronic components are in the device to make a 60 HZ output. More importantly they are ramping up production for the Japanese market so if thats gets their volume up and gives them an option that diferentiates them from outher grid tie suppliers, they may not bump up the price signficantly. After Sansy I expect many grid tie folks would be willing to pay a few bucks more.

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                • #9
                  The SMA unit has reached SMA Academy finally!

                  There is currently an SMA Academy Webinar available for Registration for April 2nd, 2013. The earlier session (2/26) is apparently full. It is a one hour webinar, and you can register here.
                  http://www.sma-america.com/en_US/sma...e_webinar.html
                  I am already signed up and will report if any interesting tidbits come up there.
                  SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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                  • #10
                    Interesting note for EV owners: If you have a Chevy Volt, you could charge your car from the TL's 120V 12A socket if you set the charger on the car to 8A input (normal is 12A). Possibly same for a Nissan Leaf (I don't know the charging specs for 120V). Of course, we have to wonder if this 12A socket would support anything with a heavy start-up draw (refrigerator or water pump) or would it be recommended to install a computer UPS (as mentioned above) in front of it just to buffer those instantaneous loads?

                    These are interesting units but more viable for areas where grid failure is more expected than in the USA. Such as the caribbean, India, Japan (less so now that their new leadership is re-starting Nuclear plants).
                    PowerOne 3.6 x 2, 32 SolarWorld 255W mono

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                    • #11
                      Inetdog, thanks for signing up, I will be interested in your findings

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bonaire View Post
                        ...Of course, we have to wonder if this 12A socket would support anything with a heavy start-up draw (refrigerator or water pump) or would it be recommended to install a computer UPS (as mentioned above) in front of it just to buffer those instantaneous loads?...
                        Definitely one of the questions I hope to see addressed in the webinar. The panels simply will not be able to provide any overload beyond whatever may have been built into the design by derating the output. Will be good to find out how the source will react to an overload or passing cloud (auto reset, manual restart, etc.)
                        The literature so far does not seem to indicate any external OCPD is required.
                        SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Some recent press release of PowerOne + Panasonic seemed to indicate they were going to design something like this plus the UPS-component or larger (ie. home power "hub") for such locations who want this standby power due to grid issues. But can it be cost effective? Would it eventually sell well in the USA? If they do use Li-Ion cells (kinda like how Panasonic sells cells to Tesla) - perhaps it would be a good growing solution.
                          PowerOne 3.6 x 2, 32 SolarWorld 255W mono

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                          • #14
                            Germany apparently is changing their incentive program to encourage short term battery backup. The theory is that when there is a sudden demand in power due to a plant or transmission line tripping out that the house would "island" for a few minutes until the grid caught up with the imbalance. I am waiting to see what solutions come up for that program

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by peakbagger View Post
                              Germany apparently is changing their incentive program to encourage short term battery backup. The theory is that when there is a sudden demand in power due to a plant or transmission line tripping out that the house would "island" for a few minutes until the grid caught up with the imbalance. I am waiting to see what solutions come up for that program
                              That is an interesting yet expensive program. Should be interesting how it is worked out. If politicians are involved probably not well.
                              NABCEP certified Technical Sales Professional

                              [URL="http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showthread.php?5334-Solar-Off-Grid-Battery-Design"]http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...Battery-Design[/URL]

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

                              [URL="http://www.gaisma.com"]www.gaisma.com[/URL]

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