Solar Inverters

As we all know solar energy is one of the key answers to our energy problems. But technology to harness this energy is fragmented, with no single solution to address all the issues. Existing Solar Inverter technologies force the user to make a choice of whether to invest in an off grid or on grid solution.

On Grid solutions are impractical where power outages & fluctuations are more, like in remote villages and many tier 2 cities. Power outages & fluctuations during the day time cause wasting solar energy, which can be neither used locally nor fed back to the grid. Besides the wastage, grid feed solutions cannot provide 24 hour power backup and users will have to invest in additional backup infrastructure. An Off grid solution involves heavy investment in batteries and maintenance of the same.

Here we are analyzing these inverters below

Off Grid Systems

                                                                             Courtesy: Whole sale Solar

Off grid connected solar is a solar electricity system with battery backup. During the day, the batteries get charged as well supplies to the load. During the absence of sun ie evening or rainy days, can utilize the stored power in the battery. As it is off the utility grid its called Off grid system. It is also known as standalone systems.

Now days off grid systems are connected to grid to ensure there is no black out. In the absence of solar & battery backup, it makes sure that the loads are working either in bypass mode or battery which is being charged from the grid.

While designing the system, have to make sure the connected load should be equivalent to the capacity of the inverter and have enough surge handling capability if there is an inductive load.

Merits:

  • Standalone independent system (Can be used for remote places, forest & hill areas where utility grid reach is not possible)
  • Back up

Demerits:

  • Recurring cost of batteries (based on the life of batteries it may vary. Improper charging of batteries may cause recurring cost even worse. Lithium Ion batteries are with longer life, but the cost is too high as they are in the initial stages)
  • More losses
  • High System Cost

Grid Tied Solar System

                                                                          Courtesy: Whole sale Solar

 Grid tied or grid connected solar is a solar electricity system without batteries. During the day time, the generated power will be feed to the utility grid, if the grid is available. These inverters take grid voltage as reference voltage and fed to the grid.

 In the absence of grid, it will not feed to the grid, even though solar is available

Merits:

  • No recurring cost
  • Fastest ROI
  • Highly efficient

Demerits:

  • No back up
  • It will not generate power, if there is a high fluctuations in the grid
  • It will not generate power, if the grid is not available

Why Hybrid system?

As we seen above, there are merits and demerits in both the systems. If we have a system with the merits of both systems would be the answer for hybrid system. Hybrid system is nothing but grid tied system with battery bank.

During the day time it will charge the battery as well as supply to the load. If there is excess energy is generating, will feed back to the grid.

                                                                          Courtesy: Whole sale Solar

 Why ThingsCloud?

 We are building the next generation of clean, connected, controllable inverter that can work round the clock, irrespective of the state of local grid. Also it can learn our usage patterns and store only as much we required to serve the load, the balance will be sold back to the grid. And what we need is actual 24 hour access to energy. We believe, it can actually make a difference and accelerate adoption of solar solutions among the masses.

Our patented technology gives users the freedom from having to choose between an on grid or off grid solution. With our grid interactive solution, users can generate, consume, store or sell the solar energy. In addition, our machine learning algorithms, coupled with mobile app which can control, monitor, and improve your power consumption, generation and storage patterns. Learning of energy requirement patterns can improve the life of battery by controlling the charge-discharge cycles.

The “Things HiFi” inverter from Things Cloud does all of this and more. “Things HiFi” sends all energy generation and consumption parameters to the cloud, where algorithms are run to ensure every system runs at peak efficiency. Our mobile app keeps the user up to date and gives him regular tips on how he can improve energy efficiency. We can push improved control system algorithms to the inverter from the cloud. It is an always on, always learning solution.

Why India needs Grid Interactive Inverters or Hybrid Grid-Tie Inverters?

Before we get to what grid interactive inverters are, let’s talk about what solar power is. Solar Power, as the name suggests is the conversion of sunlight into electricity.

We’ve used it in solar powered calculators, to begin with, and it is now increasingly becoming a popular substitute for electricity in offices, industrial spaces, and homes too.

As solar alternatives continue to become more popular each day, implementation has been increasing and it’s becoming less expensive than it was a couple of years ago.

To really understand the options available in the solar market and to help us make an informed decision when it comes to making a purchase, here is a brief of the basics..

The Solar Market is broadly categorized into three segments globally

1. Solar Off-Grid

Off Grid Inverters are principally meant to be used with solar power systems (or wind and hydro) for a home or business totally disconnected from the electric utility company.

Solar Off-Grid Inverter

Solar Off-Grid System

They can also be used for providing emergency backup power when the electric company’s power fails.

2. Solar Tie / Grid Tie

A grid-tie inverter is a power inverter that converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) with an ability to synchronize to interface with a utility line and provides net metering capability.

Net metering allows a solar power system owner to sell surplus energy back to the utility. This extravagantly reduces or even eliminates your electric bill.

Impressed yet? It gets better..

3. Solar Hybrid Grid-Feed: Grid Interactive Inverters

Grid-interactive systems are based on their grid-tied and off-grid counterparts.

Like the inverter in grid-tied systems, the grid interactive inverter can convert solar-generated DC power into AC power that is then fed directly to the grid.

Solar Grid-Tie Inverter

Solar Grid-Feed

Solar Grid Interactive Inverters or Solar Hybri Inverter Connection Diagram

Solar Grid-Interactive

In a grid-interactive system, however, the inverter does a lot more.

1. The inverter keeps the battery fully charged so that it can take over during power outages.

2. When the grid goes down, which is when the inverter kicks in, the grid interactive inverter seamlessly converts DC power into AC power from the fully charged battery while still converting solar generated DC power and using that as well.

You can check out our own highly efficiency Solar Grid Interactive inverter – ThingsHiFi.

With ThingsHifi, you can use solar energy to generate electricity for your home, office, or any kind of industrial setup. At the same time, you can stay care-free during power cuts because of its build in UPS.

That’s not all – power generated that is not used by you can be sent back. In effect, you can sell this power back to the grid.