New Inverters to Maximise Solar Power Investments

Inverters are improving the cost-efficiency of solar systems with energy storage.
Published: Mon 28 Apr 2014

Consumers can now maximise their solar power and energy storage investments regardless of how incentives, utility policies and grid rates may change.

OutBack Power Technologies, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of advanced power electronics for renewable energy, backup power and mobile applications, has developed three new inverters that include energy balancing technology to ensure users get the most out of their solar power and energy storage investments.

Creating a “future-perfect” system

The new inverters have been designed for global markets and feature Advanced Battery Charge profiles for compatibility with lithium-ion and other advanced battery chemistries coming into wider usage, as well as lead-acid.

This technology is expected to remove buyer uncertainty, caused by changes in energy policy. It is intended to give buyers the confidence to invest in solar today with a “future-perfect” system.

The inverters represent future-perfect installation solutions for dynamic utility environments, including those in California, Hawaii and many other locations where governments are changing solar incentives or utilities are modifying buy-back policies of surplus renewably generated electricity.

The technology ensures that users can store renewably generated power for future use and prioritize consumption, effectively “zeroing-out the load on the grid” while using it when needed to meet surges and spikes in demand.

“Commercial and residential customers want to know that the PV systems they buy today will deliver tomorrow, regardless of how policies change,” explains Phil Undercuffler, director of strategy for OutBack Power. “

He adds: “The inverters ensures they can intelligently balance stored energy and utility power, so that smaller, more cost-effective systems will deliver superior performance and reduce overall grid dependency, while eliminating the solar variability that utility companies say is impacting the grid.”


Compatibility

OutBack’s Advanced Battery Charge profile further maximizes the investment in solar power and energy storage by incorporating charger settings for advanced battery technologies. Installers can coordinate specific charging profiles for lithium-ion, aqueous-ion, flow, fuel-cell, and other battery types now reaching the market.

The new range of technology can suit varying voltage standards and electrical load requirements in emerging countries, and provide advanced grid management options for those regions that may not support full grid-interactive operation.

All models support AC coupling through a compatible OutBack Power load center to provide a cost-effective path for upgrading or retrofitting existing grid-tied systems with energy storage capability.

Inverters like these and cheap solar technology and installation will see solar power development soar to new heights.