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Small grid-tie inverters? - Page 17

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Posted by rdaignault on July 21, 2008, 5:08 am
On Jul 18, 11:59 pm, "Vaughn Simon"

Hi Vaughn,  I wish I could design up devices like this.

This will accept single 18 volts input.  The unit is settable for most
situations upto 55 volts input.  Works, well and is very simple to

It is best not to discuss paybacks.  Does anyone calculate the payback
on their LCD widescreen or dishwasher?
This is a great thread.


Posted by Roderick on June 21, 2008, 4:25 pm

I agree that the device you list is illegal practically anywhere in
the US.  But then again, so is the DIY way that some people wire an
extra circuit into their garage or attic.  I'm not condoning this sort
of thing, but it would probably work.

Will it turn the meter backwards?  Assuming the device actually does
work, it should.  Most meters are bidirectional, whether designed that
way or not.  The old clock-type meters generally don't have a one-way
ratchet on them because the issue of someone driving power back into
the lines was nonexistent until recently.  The only time a one-way
meter would be installed was if they caught someone driving power in,
or a homeowner asked about it.  In states that net-meter, the digital
meter goes both ways, of course.  I suspect you'll be disappointed by
the amount of power the device puts out.  To actually see the meter
turn backwards, you may need to get rid of all the phantom loads in
your house by flipping off the circuit breakers for everything except
your device.  The various clocks and power bricks around the house can
add up to hundreds of watts - more than your inverter can put out.

Every once in a while, the idea of micro-inverters seems to surface
again, in the form of a tiny inverter embedded in each panel, or for
every few panels.  The idea is that if one or more panels is shaded,
the only power lost is for that panel, and not the whole string.  It
sounds like a great idea, but I have to ask, why would someone install
panels where they knew there would be shade at some time during the

Posted by spaco on June 23, 2008, 12:43 pm
 Answer to the question below:
Anyone who puts in panels without tracking across the sky has this
problem to some extent.
   Right now the sun is shining brightly in western Wisconsin and I am
generating only 5% of what will be coming in at noon.    I estimate that
I loose about 37% of the sun in a day due to excessive angles that, I
suppose, could be eliminated with panels at various angles, if they
weren't so expensive.  And that's in March.  I must be loosing even more
now in June.

Pete Stanaitis


Posted by Maury Markowitz on June 23, 2008, 12:43 pm
Not an issue.

There are two separate goals here. One is to directly compare two very
different technologies in order to see if the claims of the aSi crowd
are what they say. The second is to _begin_ the process of starting a
grid-tie system, as Ontario now offer an extremely lucrative .42/kWh
price for PV fed into the grid. I'm not sure how long this offer will
last, so I want to get started as soon as possible. Once I've
convinced myself of the statistics, one way or the other, I'll finish
the buildout by covering my garage roof. Using either technology I
should end up with about 2 to 3 kWh peak.

As it seems there are no appropriate solutions in this space, I'm
currently thinking of just attaching the panels to a string of 100 w
incandescent light bulbs with a Kill-o-watt meter. I am a little upset
that the energy created in this process will go entirely to waste,
especially because it's during the "light soak" time when they're
producing more than average energy.


Posted by Uncle Ben on June 23, 2008, 5:56 pm
Maury, you surely are aware of the small inverters available widely in
computer stores that produce 120 VAC from 12 VDC.  They are used for
charging your laptop battery and other things from you car.  The price
is proportional to the power-handling ability down to as low as $0.
Maybe one would be useful to you for testing purposes.


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