Best Grid Tie Inverter for small system???

cards385cards385 Registered Users Posts: 21
If I want to start small with just a couple 120 Watt panels or so and expand it later, what would be the best Grid Tie Inverter to get for such a small start up system. I cannot see my system getting above 1500 or 2000 Watts for 2 or 3 years. College tuition repayment will hold me back for awhile. Your sugesstions would be appreciated.

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Grid Tie Inverter for small system???

    in general i don't think it will matter much as long as the inverter will fit the bill now and when expanded upon in the future. i do assume this to be a straight gt system for it's a bit trickier if it's battery backed gt. some of those sizing programs may fit well to determine what is best for you. know that sometimes the same pvs may not be available in the future, but substitution may be possible.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,355 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Grid Tie Inverter for small system???

    You might wish to consider the enphase.

    Tony
  • cards385cards385 Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Best Grid Tie Inverter for small system???

    Yes it is going to be straight grid tie. Don't some Inverters have a minimum DC voltage requirement? Some are only 48 volts. I plan to start with only 4 panels to make it 48 volts. Maybe I am wrong but a Sunny Boy needs much more power to operate so I couldn't start small with a SB. Please correct me if I am wrong.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,717 admin
    Re: Best Grid Tie Inverter for small system???

    Very few GT inverter operate below ~200 VDC minimum input from the solar array. The Enphase unit (1 GT inverter per ~200 watt panel with ~240 VAC output).

    It is very difficult to "legally" grow a GT system. In theory, most utilities require a finalized panel and building permits before it is legal to connect to their grid.

    Legally, you are supposed to get a building permit/inspection for each time you up your array size. And the utility is to be notified (with the option of inspection) each time the system is up sized. It would be a paper work blizzard (and, in our area, permits and inspections are not cheap either).

    I would really suggest that you 1. conserve and 2. save money until you can install the system all at one time (or at least in ~3 kW minimum chunks or so).

    Pay off your tuition and other loans first. Your savings there (plus savings from conservation) will swamp any savings you will obtain by installing a GT connected Solar array.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • AntronXAntronX Solar Expert Posts: 462 ✭✭
    Re: Best Grid Tie Inverter for small system???
    cards385 wrote: »
    If I want to start small with just a couple 120 Watt panels or so and expand it later...

    If you want to set up small system just as an experiment or for fun, then go with off-grid system just to power your computer and few lights. Then save money for serious 2.5 - 3 KW grid-tie setup. Best would be to skip small setup and start saving for big system right away. Your small system adventure will cost you about same as grid-tie inverter for big project.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,470 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best Grid Tie Inverter for small system???
    cards385 wrote: »
    If I want to start small with just a couple 120 Watt panels or so and expand it later, what would be the best Grid Tie Inverter to get for such a small start up system. I cannot see my system getting above 1500 or 2000 Watts for 2 or 3 years. College tuition repayment will hold me back for awhile. Your sugesstions would be appreciated.

    I'd vote for the Xantrex GT series, I think the small is a 2.8KW, KW

    If you can find some of the high voltage GridTie panels, 3, 90V panels should get you running.
    Use the sizing tool http://www.xantrex.com/support/gtsizing/index.asp to get the right configuration, and hope you can find the same panels in a couple years, as you scale up.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

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