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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
solar power inverter



Please bear with me, I'm not very learned in these kind of things, but would like to become more educated.
My understanding with this Power Inverter: I would have my Solar Panels outside, preferably on the roof, the wires from the panels would run to this inverter (which I would presumably have inside to help with keeping it cool), and I could then either plug directly into the (female) inverter for power, or else use the male plug and plug into one of my home outlets, which would then backfeed electricity into my home?

Any help in explaining would be more than helpful, thanks.
 

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The inverter comes with a plug to plug into your mains source (110-120V plug). You hook up the solar panels to the screw terminals. However, I couldn't find any specific information on the operation of this model. Many grid-tie systems completely turn off if they lose mains power because they don't have separate systems for the house side and the appliance side of the inverter. You have to have them plugged in and the power grid has to be up for it to work; it just slows down or reverses your power meter (depends on local regulation, so do some research!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The inverter comes with a plug to plug into your mains source (110-120V plug). You hook up the solar panels to the screw terminals. However, I couldn't find any specific information on the operation of this model. Many grid-tie systems completely turn off if they lose mains power because they don't have separate systems for the house side and the appliance side of the inverter. You have to have them plugged in and the power grid has to be up for it to work; it just slows down or reverses your power meter (depends on local regulation, so do some research!).
Thought that's what I was doing! :D:
 

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I don't think it's as simple as pugging into the wall to back feed your home. If you want to use solar power you plug into the inverter which is being fed by your solar panels.
 

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My understanding with this Power Inverter: I would have my Solar Panels outside, preferably on the roof, the wires from the panels would run to this inverter (which I would presumably have inside to help with keeping it cool), and I could then either plug directly into the (female) inverter for power, or else use the male plug and plug into one of my home outlets, which would then backfeed electricity into my home?

Any help in explaining would be more than helpful, thanks.
These grid tie inverters are a rather suspect import from China. I read about them a few years back. I see that they claim better quality for 2014 but I still see no certifications.

You do have the basic idea of how they work with the exception of that they sense the grid and will not deliver any power if the grid is down. The other issue is some electric companies require special certification and inspection to hook a grid tie system up. These will not pass since they lack UL cert here in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies.
I am basically looking for something to run in a grid down scenario, to power a swamp cooler or two, along with another fan or two, and maybe a couple other small items.
After seeing this Inverter, I was figuring it would be nice to have something set up beforehand, that would also help offset current electric drains on the everyday household usage, as well as already be there and set up if the "emergency" need arise.

Sounds like this may not be what I'm looking for though
 

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Go to Youtube and look up Missouri Wind and Solar. This guy starts out his videos from the very basic systems to advanced set ups. If you are doing a grid tie, the most important thing he hits on is to have the inverter on a breaker box of sort between the the inverter and the panels.
 

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Thanks for the replies.
I am basically looking for something to run in a grid down scenario, to power a swamp cooler or two, along with another fan or two, and maybe a couple other small items.
After seeing this Inverter, I was figuring it would be nice to have something set up beforehand, that would also help offset current electric drains on the everyday household usage, as well as already be there and set up if the "emergency" need arise.

Sounds like this may not be what I'm looking for though
A typical "Grid Tie" inverter won't provide backup power in a power outage. They sense grid frequency at exactly 60.0 HZ, then sync with the grid, then start to feed into the grid. Over a few minutes, they will ramp up to full output (provided your panels are getting full sun, and everything is sized and configured correctly)

If the grid goes down, so does your grid tie inverter.

BUT, YES, you can take a cheap Chinese grid tie setup and plug it into an outlet and feed the grid.

Stay away from cheap Chinese inverters. If only because they are incredibly inefficient and unreliable.

Lets look at this experiment another way. You want backup power provided by solar panels. And, you want to do it cheaply. Purchase a quality 12v inverter/charger. And a solar battery charger, couple it with a 200W solar panel and 2 6V golf cart batteries (about 220 Amp/Hr rating)

Presto, you have a small amount of back up power. Will it be enough to run a fridge? Not for too long. The 220AH batteries will provide 110AH @ 50% depth of discharge, 12V. OR about 1332 Watt/hours.

But, such a system has merit, as it can provide significant power for reasonably short periods of time. And, if components are chosen well, it can be upgraded with more panels and batteries, as time and money permit.

What this will do, if configured properly: Charge batteries from grid, charge batteries from solar when selected. And automatically switch from grid power to inverter power (like a UPS) when power goes out.

What it won't do: Automatically charge batteries from either solar or grid. You must choose to switch between them. Won't provide pure sine wave power (unless you spend a fortune on inverter) and it won't run your fridge for weeks on end.

Xantrex makes a nice 1000W or 1800W inverter charger/auto switching unit that is 12V (can be powered from car too) and is very reasonably priced.
 

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I also wanted to add, that for the same money as a small solar setup, you can purchase a really nice and efficient Honda Inverter generator, such as the EU2000i.
 
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A typical "Grid Tie" inverter won't provide backup power in a power outage. They sense grid frequency at exactly 60.0 HZ, then sync with the grid, then start to feed into the grid. Over a few minutes, they will ramp up to full output (provided your panels are getting full sun, and everything is sized and configured correctly)

If the grid goes down, so does your grid tie inverter.

BUT, YES, you can take a cheap Chinese grid tie setup and plug it into an outlet and feed the grid.

Stay away from cheap Chinese inverters. If only because they are incredibly inefficient and unreliable.

Lets look at this experiment another way. You want backup power provided by solar panels. And, you want to do it cheaply. Purchase a quality 12v inverter/charger. And a solar battery charger, couple it with a 200W solar panel and 2 6V golf cart batteries (about 220 Amp/Hr rating)

Presto, you have a small amount of back up power. Will it be enough to run a fridge? Not for too long. The 220AH batteries will provide 110AH @ 50% depth of discharge, 12V. OR about 1332 Watt/hours.

But, such a system has merit, as it can provide significant power for reasonably short periods of time. And, if components are chosen well, it can be upgraded with more panels and batteries, as time and money permit.

What this will do, if configured properly: Charge batteries from grid, charge batteries from solar when selected. And automatically switch from grid power to inverter power (like a UPS) when power goes out.

What it won't do: Automatically charge batteries from either solar or grid. You must choose to switch between them. Won't provide pure sine wave power (unless you spend a fortune on inverter) and it won't run your fridge for weeks on end.

Xantrex makes a nice 1000W or 1800W inverter charger/auto switching unit that is 12V (can be powered from car too) and is very reasonably priced.
This guy said it all.
 
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