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top 4 solar photovoltaic grid tie inverter features

Most grid tie inverters that are included in a solar electric system are over 90% percent efficient and include the following features: Weather Proof Enclosure – most grid tie inverters from Kaco Solar, Fronius, SMA, Xantrex, Enphase Energy and other major manufacturers are designed to be installed outdoors because they have weatherproof enclosures. AC/DC Disconnects – Newer grid tie inverters have built in AC/DC disconnects for safety and could have an over current protection feature. Some people like to add additional disconnects around the inverter to remove the inverter if it needs to be serviced. Ground Fault Protection – The National Electric Code (NEC) requires that roof mounted solar electric systems must be grounded. Most grid tie inverters have built in ground fault protection built into the inverter. Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) – tracking the peak power point of a solar panel array is important to maximizing your energy harvest. Solar grid tie inverters on the market today take advantage of MPPT technology. Are there any other features of a solar grid tie inverter that you think is important, that we missed on this...

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The importance of ground fault protection

Don’t want to get electrocuted by your solar power system? Make sure you have ground fault protection in check. Most grid tie inverters such as the Xantrex GT Series have built in ground fault protection. According to NEC (National Electric Code) for solar photovoltaics states all roof mount solar photovoltaic arrays must have ground fault protection. What ground fault protection does is grounds the inverter itself through a grounding rod which prevents you from being shocked when touching the inverter. The picture above is the Xantrex GT series PV Ground Fault Breakers that disconnects the solar photovoltaic array if a ground fault occurs in the wiring. Grounding your system also limits voltages due to line surges, lightning, or accidental contact with higher voltage lines. In addition grounding stabilizes voltages because the earth is a common reference point for the system. If there are over current devices on the system grounding provides a path for these devices to operate. Does this make sense? Without being too technical, its important that your system is grounded for obvious reasons, and since most grid tie inverters come with ground fault protection you have no excuse not to ground your solar photovoltaic...

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Outback Power Introduces SMARTRE

Outback Power, a company that typically focused on off-grid inverters showcased a new product line at the Solar Power International 2008 trade show in San Diego, CA called the “SMARTRE” product line. SMARTRE is short for Smart Renewable Energy which is a grid tie with battery backup inverter line that focuses on easy installation. The SMARTRE inverter operates similar standard grid tie inverter, although during a utility outage, the Outback SMARTRE will switch to the battery bank and still keep your critical loads powered through an outage. For customers who want security when the grid is down but also want to take advantage of being connected to the gird, the SMARTRE solution is the product that meets those needs. The SMARTRE product line will be available in power levels up to 6.3kw and is suitable for residential and small commercial projects. The SMARTRE inverter’s integrated AC switch, transfers to the battery bank flawlessly when the grid goes down without effecting data sensitive loads like computers. SMARTRE is capable of providing as much as 69 kWh of storage during outages. The inverter charges the AGM batteries using a multi-stage charging process which prolongs battery life up to 10 years. The SMARTRE is a versatile product and can be installed both indoor and outdoors and can be either wall or pad mounted. Outback Power backs the SMARTRE grid tie inverter with battery back up with a 5 year warranty, which is odd because in California for your grid tie solar power system to qualify for the rebate your inverter needs to have a 10 year manufacturers...

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