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Beating the Achilles Heel of Grid-Tied Solar Electric Systems

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Aug 10, 2013 01:01 AM
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by Alex Wilson last modified Aug 07, 2013

Author name:  Alex Wilson Blog Category:  Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights A new inverter from SMA allows us to draw some daytime power from our PV system when the grid is down, even without batteries The 18 kW PV array on our barn is a group-net-metered system with some of the output going to other houses. Click to enlarge. Photo Credit: Alex Wilson One of the biggest complaints I hear about most solar-electric (photovoltaic, PV) systems is that when the grid goes down you can’t use any of the power that’s produced. Consumers have spent thousands of dollars on a PV system, and during an extended power outage during a bright, sunny day when the PV modules are certainly generating electricity, they are disappointed that none of that electricity can be used. This problem applies to net-metered PV systems that do not include battery back-up. Off-grid systems work just fine when the grid is down, but the vast majority of the roughly 300,000 PV systems in the U.S. are net-metered systems without batteries, and most of them lose all functionality when the grid is down. read more






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