Solar Hybrid Inverters -v- Solar-specific Inverters
What roll do these Inverters play in a Micro Power Grid System ?
"Solar-specific" and "Solar Hybrid" inverters are also called OFF-Grid and ON-Grid Inverters.
Solar-specific inverters: Commonly called a "Solar Only" Inverter, can Only convert Solar DC Voltage into 240V AC, for Consumption, and Exporting the excess energy into the State Grid Distribution Lines when the Solar Array is Generating more Energy than is being Consumed.
During a State Grid Outage: Whilst Solar is Generating more Power than is being consumed, the Premises may Operate normally, However if suddenly Cloud Cover causes the Solar Power to drop to less than consumption, the Inverter will Shut Down. Some inverters may restart when Solar recovers or obviously the State Grid comes back on line.
Solar Hybrid inverters: Are Bi-directional, that give the option to manage DC & AC energy from several sources like Solar, Wind, Aqua Power and a Fuel Generator. We are only aware of two Hybrid inverters (LUX & YiY) that have an Automatic Generator Start (AGS) Function, obviously for Automatic Starting requires a Generator with a Starter Motor & Battery, as those Inverter will automatically Start & Stop the Generator as programmed, this can be Programmed or DOD or Time triggered by the Inverter Software, as over Discharging shortens the life of most Energy Storage Technology, other than Super Capacitor Batterys & Flow Batteries.
If you are State Grid Connected, it's Smarter to install a Hybrid System with Energy Storage "Behind The Meter", then you alone have the Choose to offer your normally Un-used/Excess Power for a FIT, if you chose to Export.
For those contemplating Freedom from Power Bills, should also consider a Plug & Play All in One "Micro Power Grid" designed to easily be relocated if required, the Size of a 2 door recommend purchase a Hybrid inverter that has an "Uninterrupted Power Supply" (UPS) & Auto Generator Start (AGS) function, those function are Set & Controlled by the Inverter, as it will first use Energy Storage to Power your premises, before looking for the next source of Power, energy from the batteries will first be Drawn with No disruption to the power supply when the State-grid fails or solar stops Generating!
By law all Inverters Connected to the State Grid must have Anti-islanding Protection, this is an important & sophisticated safety feature built into all grid connect inverters, where the inverter's monitoring circuits detect the loss of grid power in fractions of a second, and switches off the ability to Export energy to protect linesmen working on the power lines kilometres away!
Inverter-Islanding or Anti-Islanding They are both operation modes that relates to a System that operate in isolation from the Electricity Distribution network, e.g. State Grid. NB: Retailers are NOT Distributors!
Meaning that Your Solar, Aqua & Wind Turbines Power Station has the ability to connect into the State Grid or Generate power independently in the event of a State grid power outage, however it is more complicated ...For more information Click here to Read More!
Can a Solar Only Inverter work during a state grid Outage ?
Commonly NO, Solar Only Inverters (without Energy Storage) need to have 240V AC power input into the inverter to continue Operating whilst Solar is being Generated, if there is No 240V input, and Not enough Solar Power being generated to Operate the Equipment being used, this will Cause a Disconnect, a DELTA inverter is one of the exception to that rule, as once the Solar Array increases to provide enough Power the 240V Supply will be provided !
Once disconnected, Solar Only Inverter will stay Shut down until Solar Power increases or the State grid reconnect. The Delta inverter will let Solar supply Power to your Premises, while the Solar is Generating enough Power, if the Solar Power drops below the Inverter start-up OR Energy Draw, the Inverter will dropout!
The Solution: ADD a Hybrid Inverter & Battery Systems, as that allow your system to work as a stand alone Power Station during a State Grid Blackout if Connected. These are commonly incorporated with Energy Storage & fuel Generator.
Ideally the correct sized battery bank will supply the building's full power needs for a Full 24hour Day, even if the solar array is not producing enough power at that time.
The State Grid connected system with an energy storage system should shut down any feed into the State Grid during a blackout, while allowing the Solar &/or Battery system to Power the premises. That should be your First priority.
Hybrid inverters converts and directs DC power too the Battery System first.
If you already have a Solar Array and looking to upgrade your energy independence by adding energy storage, a "Solar Only inverters" will Not charge your batteries, you could replace your solar inverter with a UPS Hybrid Inverter, it is actually better to install a new Hybrid inverter with those features incorporated.
If you are going to invest in Batteries, we strongly recommend you purchase the largest Battery bank you can afford, as an Inverter is the heart of a micro grid, that simply converts your battery DC voltage into AC voltage into either single or three phase power. Remember: It is easier to add additional Solar panels to increase your energy Generation anytime, than increase your energy storage capacity!
Without a doubt Energy Storage is the Foundation stone of energy independence, allowing you to create the best self sufficient Micro-Power-Grid possible!
NB: We recommend a 5kW inverter be the smallest, as that will cover all residential energy demands, in Australia a 5kW inverter is commonly the maximum size allowed when exporting energy/power into the state grid, unless you have upgraded to 30kW three phase wiring, you can use 10kW Inverters.