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KACO 02xi grid tie inverter

At the Intersolar North America trade show last week Kaco New Energy had their new highly anticipated 02xi series grid tie inverter on display. The grid tie inverter is well suited for residential and light commercial applications and is offered two sizes, 1500 watts or 2500 watts. The enhancements of the new 02xi series include an improved digital signal processor, a CEC efficiency of 95.5% and integrated AC/DC disconnects. All solar panels on the market are compatible with the KACO 02xi series since it allows both positive or negative grounding. The aluminum NEMA 3R rated enclosure increases the cooling effect which gives the inverter an advantage in hot...

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PVPowered gird tie inverter enhancements

We visited the PVPowered booth last week at Renewable Energy World 2009 (rew 2009) in Las Vegas, according to the company’s representatives the PVPowered residential grid tie inverters have made some improvements to simplify the installation. PVPowered has included a single knob AC/DC disconnect with a wire raceway. Integrated disconnects is a trend we’re seeing with grid tie inverters, seems like now this is becoming a standard feature on new models from various manufacturers. The picture of the PVP3000 was taken at PVPowered’s booth at rew 2009, PVPowered offers 9 different residential string grid tie inverters in their product family including models ranging from 1.1 kW to 5.2 kW. The company says the benefits of the integrated disconnects eliminates the need for unnecessary conduit which saves money on installation materials and shortens the time to install their grid tie inverter. Check out the specifications sheet below, what do you think about PVPowered residental string grid tie inverters? What do you think their unique features are over SMA, Fronius or...

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closing up rew 2009

Today ends Renewable Energy World 2009 Confrence & Expo in Las Vegas….it was a great event, I got to reconnect with many friends and business partners in the industry. I did notice this year the attendance was quite low compared to the last couple years so you can say that the economy has caused companies to scale back in the renewable energy industry too. I want to share some interesting pictures with you. Below is a typical setup of how a grid tie system is connected your electric meter. The picture highlights a Solectria residential solar grid tie inverter, on the left side of the inverter, thats the DC disconnect. On the right side, thats the AC disconnect right above the revenue grade utility meter. Doesn’t seem too complicated, wouldn’t you agree? I got some great close up pictures of the Skystream 3.7 wind power system. A user friendly feature of the Skystream 3.7 is that the grid tie inverter is built into the head of the wind turbine. The picture below shows the housing in which the grid tie inverter sits inside. A closeup shot of inside the head of the Skystream 3.7 that shows the guts of the grid tie inverter. The downside to having the inverter and communications interface built into the head of the inverter is that if you ever need to service the grid tie inverter you would have to access the top of your tower, which could be very inconvenient. What do you think? Regardless, the Southwest Windpower, the company that makes the Skystream 3.7 booth at the trade show will continuously busy, it seems like there is still extremely high demand for their products. The back of the housing seems to features a heat sink cover to help the built in grid tie inverter to stay cool, notice the short antenna? That’s there to monitor the output and overall performance and health of the system through a wireless connection. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this short review of our experience at the leading renewable energy expo of the year. If your interested in checking out more pictures of our experience please check out our...

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interconnection agreement 101

If you’re considering to grid tie your wind turbine or solar panels, you need to understand the interconnection agreement. Since your clean energy system will interact directly with the grid it will require you to enter into an agreement with your utility company. The interconnection agreement covers the terms and conditions of the clean energy system which will be interconnected. Specifically these agreements contain information about the technical specifications, safety, power quality, building permit required and insurance information. To ensure success of your grid tie wind turbine or solar panel project obtaining and reviewing the interconnectionagreement at the start of your project. Each utility has their own interconnection agreement, so its best to call your electric utility and ask for a copy of their agreement. There is a national standard when it comes to connecting to the grid and many utilities are following the standards. The standards of connecting to the grid focus on the grid tie inverter meeting both UL and IEEE standards. An inverter that is listed UL 1741 has “utility interactive” printed on the case which signifies that the inverter is fully compatible with IEEE 1547...

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What is anti-islanding on a grid tie inverter?

Linemen who work for the utility company have a dangerous job because they are the people who are dispatched when an electrical line has gone down. Even though most linemen assume the line is live when they reach the scene to repair a broken connection, its still important to think about their safety. That is why most grid tie inverters on the market have an “anti-islanding” function built into the inverter’s software. The term “anti-islanding” refers to a feature of a grid tie inverter that senses when there is an power outage and shuts itself down and stops the production of electricity. There is a common misconception within solar panel and wind turbine consumers that if there was a blackout their grid tied system would keep them going through an outage, well this is not true because of grid tie inverter anti-islanding feature will stop the production of electricity when the gird goes down. You have to realize that when you own a grid tie system, the energy is stored in the grid, so the system is as reliable as the grid itself. When the grid goes down, the anti-islanding feature on the grid tie inverter will realize that either there was a sudden change in system frequency, voltage, rate change of frequency, increase in kW beyond normal levels, or a change in kVAR and shut down the inverter. When the inverter shuts down your system is no longer producing electricity for the safety of the people who will be working on the grid to repair it. There are grid tie inverters that are still under development such as the TerraWatt Power inverter which works during an outage because the inverter redirect the power being generated by a system back into the property without shutting down and keeps the linemen safe because the TerraWatt Power inverter does not send electricity into the grid when it senses there is an...

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