Any-Grid™ PSW-H fuel-saver scenario for grid blackout – Highlighting unique capabilities
In many areas worldwide, millions of households have grid-tied inverter systems that feed solar power into the grid. Typically, some of this power is used by the household appliances and anything beyond that is injected into the public grid. While this helps reduce power costs and benefit from renewable energies, it is typically no protection from grid failure. If the public grid fails, such systems no longer function. Regardless of how much power is produced by the solar panels, it cannot be used by the grid inverter because it cannot operate without a stable grid. While a power outage can be a problem, it is even more frustrating when knowing that solar power is available but simply cannot be used.
Often in such scenarios a gasoline or diesel generator (genset) is used as backup. While this solves the problem of the power outage by providing alternative power, it does not allow the use of installed PV power. This means high cost for fuel and wasted solar energy. The advantage of a genset is that no expensive batteries are required. It also means that significant quantities of fuel must be stored to keep the genset running and supplying power to all AC loads.
The Any-Grid™ PSW-H hybrid inverter charger with MPPT solar charge controller can function without batteries and just an AC power source, either from a public grid or a genset such as in this example. The advantage is that up to 4.8 kWp of PV power can be used for the 5 kW models (less for smaller variants) in tandem with the genset, without any risk of back-feeding into the generator, which would damage it. This is because the PSW-H reacts extremely quickly to changes in AC loads, typically within 30 ms. This capability makes it ideal for use in a genset fuel-saver scenario with or without batteries. Due to the high permitted PV voltage of up 450 Vdc (250 Vdc for the 120 Vac models), many existing grid-tied PV systems can be plugged straight into the PV input of the PSW-H, without need for re-stringing the solar panels.
In some areas of the world the PSW-H may be used together with the grid (grid-interactive) permanently or even feed excess solar power into the grid. In those countries where this is not permitted or specific norms are required for such operation, the PSW-H still provides an excellent fuel-saver opportunity for times when the grid is not available for prolonged periods or just as a safety measure, drastically increasing independence from the grid and providing a high level of flexibility.
This fuel-saver configuration is also useful for mining, farming, construction and other commercial activities that want to benefit from solar power in an environment with no grid. Such operations are potentially not ready to invest into large and heavy battery banks. Here too, the PSW-H helps save fuel, costs and CO2 emissions. And if batteries are added later, the PSW-H can adapt and connect to them. This way the genset can be turned off automatically by the PSW-H when not needed for long periods of time, saving even more costs and reducing noise. When there is insufficient solar power for the loads, the genset is automatically started up again to provide power to the loads and optionally charge up the battery bank.
Learn more about the Phocos Any-Grid Hybrid Inverter Charger