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Old 01-25-17, 06:41 AM   #1
Ron342
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Default Inverter/single house circuit tiein for very small systems?

Hello solar folks
I have a small wind gen (12v about 100w at 16 mph wind) and a couple of 110 watt solar panels. They work together thru blocking diodes to keep a battery charged to run the sump pump if need be thru an inverter and maybe some lights in an outage.
But i was thinking that there must be some type of small controller which i could connect to one of my house 120 circuits which has some phantom or small frequent loads so that whenever either the wind gen or the panels was producing and had charged the batt, they could then pick up whatever of the load of that 120 circuit they could handle. Would have to isolate the house circuit if mains were out tho. And would be small but i would feel better knowing they work for a living!
Must be something like this in small countries where the power gpes out a lot??

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Old 01-25-17, 09:10 AM   #2
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You could always get a small wattage heating element for hot water heater. There are various charge controllers that have a "dump load" option. Here is a controller I have only setup. It has pretty many features for about 120-150$

Relay Driver - Morningstar Corporation
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Old 01-25-17, 09:57 AM   #3
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Ron,

Excellent idea to use your extra solar/wind watts to do something more than overcharge your lead acid batteries.

You can buy an inexpensive ($100?) inverter our there to convert the DC to high quality 240 AC and connect this directly into your circuit panel. The chesap invertes make lousy sine wave ac - avoid them as they will inttroduce terrible electrical "noise" throughout your home.

But danger lurks as you MUST have a cut out switch to remove this AC source from your system in the event of a grid power failure.

Yes, you can use the circuit breaker in the cb box, but there are devices that automatically open a circuit of the grid main voltage goes down. Safety first.

Yes, we say we will all "remember" to disconnect the solar/wind load when power goes out, but the reality is that we forget. Do what allows you to sleep at night knowing that linemen (line women too) are out there working on your mains with power failure and a small back fed AC source kills these workers every year.

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Old 01-26-17, 09:16 AM   #4
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Thanks Steve & Ford Guy
I think the wind gen controller does have a dump resistor as it is and that wouldn't be a bad idea to see if i could get a 200w water element to stick in one of the 3/4" holes in the water heater.
But i was thinking of a sort of small grid tie inverter that i could tie to a single house 120v circuit which had some pretty consistant small (or even large) loads.
That way it would only have to disconnect a single say #14 circuit from the mains on an outage but could pick up whatever it could otherwise.
Problem is it would have to be able to handle either or both of the generator or the panels or maybe a small (is it "islanding"?) Inverter for each.
But now i'm likely looking at $600 - $800 altogether
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Old 01-26-17, 12:07 PM   #5
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Ron,

Just get DC to 240 V inverter and bring it in with a double pole 20A breaker. This will "feed" all your parasitic loads, is quick, inexpensive and easy.

Otherwise you have to dedicate wires and all kinds of stuff just to do those 120 V circuits.

Just go 240 to the panel . . . . let the electrons fall where they be.

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Old 01-26-17, 01:31 PM   #6
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Just remember any power that goes to the power grid will be counted as consumption by the new dumb smart meters. The new dumb smart meters sense any power flow and assume that any power flow is consumption.

What I did for my grid vehicle to grid setup was switched breakers around, got almost all the parasitic loads on one line, and tied the inverter to that line. It cancels out about 1.5 amps of load wich is about half of it so I never have to pay for power I generate because I have a dumb smart meter.
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Old 01-30-17, 12:23 PM   #7
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What did you use for a quick disconnect to prevent backfeed?
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Old 01-30-17, 01:44 PM   #8
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You don't need a quick disconnect. The inverter shuts off with out the power grid input signal. It can't produce any power with out that input signal.
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Old 01-30-17, 01:59 PM   #9
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Most microinverters turn off when they don't get grid power. But not all - especially the ones made for 100% off grid situations.

But I also like to see an actual disconnect and this can be the 240 V double pole breaker in the panel.





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Old 01-30-17, 03:36 PM   #10
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My disconnect is where it plugs into the receptacle and the inverter has a 2.5 amp glass tube fuse on the high voltage side.

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