Add battery back-up power option to existing grid-tied PV and solar systems: Page 6 of 14

August 05, 2013 //By Mark Mays
Add battery back-up power option to existing grid-tied PV and solar systems
Mark Mays of OutBack Power explains how to add a battery back-up power option to existing grid-tied PV and solar systems.
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It should also be noted that the “one size fits all” AC Coupling solution really needs diversion loads to divert any excess energy in systems that either have too much PV power and/or too small of a battery bank which could put dangerous charge levels into the batteries. While it can be argued this energy can be used to heat water or run pumps, that “benefit” often comes when not necessarily demanded, and if the diversion load can no longer accept the available energy, the GT inverter must still be shut down. In addition to the complexity, diversion load implementations can also be expensive, requiring undesirable invasive installations which can make this design a poor choice for those who want simplicity and cost control in their AC Coupling system. The extra expense of all the associated control and coupling hardware plus adding a more expensive inverter/charger often means skimping on energy-storage with lower-grade batteries and enclosures, lowering overall system performance and utility.
 
OutBack’s AC-Coupling solution: another approach is to keep things elegantly simple by outlining some basic sizing and operational guidelines by which a simple BB inverter, a battery bank, and a remote-operated relay can be added to an existing GT inverter system to tie in the building’s available PV power to the critical loads during grid loss. The rest of this article discusses an advanced electro-mechanical solution from OutBack Power with an option for automatic generator control if desired. Unlike most frequency dithering solutions, our control circuit consists of the two OutBack inverter Auxiliary (AUX) ports and two OutBack relays. This cleaner, more compact component design allows the safe lock-out of the GT inverter when the batteries are full, and also keeps the GT inverter locked out if an optional generator is started and running in the system. Integrated with a more advanced, smarter inverter/charger such as OutBack’s Radian series with dual AC inputs and advanced
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