A New/Better Inverter coming?

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BilljustBill
BilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 219 ✭✭✭
My hope is that someone else caught the full topic on the CNN News channel this morning about a new development of a much better solar DC/AC inverter.

I just got on the last minute of an interview talking about some company developing a better inverter so that solar panels' output is put to better use. The push was directed toward investing not in improved batteries or better panels, but on investing and profiting from companies that will improve inverters....

Anything new out there?

Bill
Bill

Comments

  • Kamala
    Kamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    Didn't catch CNN. I doubt there will be "much better" inverters coming anytime soon. The technology is at its peak for the components available.

    However, consider that, 50 years ago, inverter's were exotic devices and very expensive (except in very low power applications.) just like netbooks, iPods and cell phones were. What was required was a market. That market now exits, marginally. The difference between the cell phone and the inverter is that one uses/manages little power while the other manages much power.

    Due to the space race of the 60's we have miniaturization of components which yields small, complex low power devices. But this is not easily scalable to high power devices (although there has been some progress here.)

    50 years ago, it was possible to build a inverter with vacuum tubes. But would've made little sense. But building computers did, to some. (Thanks.)

    Active electronic components are a product of the 20th century. From tubes to bipolar transistors to MOSFETS. There will need to be another similar breakthrough for the inverter to become "much better."

    Calls for investment make me suspicious. Just me.:roll:

    I believe it will take a breakthrough similar that of electron valves to transistors to make such an advancement. Perhaps Eric Drexler's vision of nanotech will come to pass. (The Feynman prize is still awarded.)

    Sigh,
    K
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    Inverters already run at over 90% efficiency. It is unlikely that there will be any major improvement there. They could always work on getting the prices down, though! :p

    What the industry really needs is significant improvement in the efficiency of solar panels and storage batteries.

    You can also bet that if any such breakthrough occurs, the "popular press" will be the last to tell us about it. :p
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    i pretty much agree with coot on all he said. i do think if somebody manages an extra improvement, even if it is a small one in any area, it is a plus for us. i think batteries may show the biggest improvement forthcoming as the need is great for evs and not just for storing solar power. if improvements happen in every area, be it batteries, pvs, inverters, etc., this is additive and makes the overall improvement so much better.

    kamala,
    you've dredged up memories of my using an old tripplite inverter and it had a screen on top of it that used to vibrate and it drove me crazy trying to quit it down. i loved the reaction when all of the neighborhood lost its power and my place shined like a beacon in the dark.:D
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    Apollo is doing some very nice work with SEGIS for NMU. I think you folks have to give up on DC relays and solenoids and move into the future with smart grid based appliances. Variable speed/load adjustable appliances are the way California is going and as they say...As California goes... OK, maybe you do not want to follow everthing we do out here!

    The software is easy! It is the hardware/appliances that need to be built. A heat pump keeps the house at 75F and if a cloud obscurrs the sun the controller knows the goal is sell energy, or keep the battery charged, or turn down the wattage on the heat pump and see if the cloud goes away. The controller would know the system power curves, what time of day it is, what the primary goal of the day is, and let me interface from the web or at home! The data is already here!

    "the above was directed at the outback forum, not that anybody at Outback is doing anything but in the hope that they would give up on DC load controll and move forward" Maybe this is what the OP heard on CNN?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    Apollo is doing some very nice work with SEGIS for NMU. I think you folks have to give up on DC relays and solenoids and move into the future with smart grid based appliances.

    Grid? What's a "grid"? :p
  • nsaspook
    nsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    Apollo is doing some very nice work with SEGIS for NMU. I think you folks have to give up on DC relays and solenoids and move into the future with smart grid based appliances. Variable speed/load adjustable appliances are the way California is going and as they say...As California goes... OK, maybe you do not want to follow everthing we do out here!

    The software is easy! It is the hardware/appliances that need to be built. A heat pump keeps the house at 75F and if a cloud obscurrs the sun the controller knows the goal is sell energy, or keep the battery charged, or turn down the wattage on the heat pump and see if the cloud goes away. The controller would know the system power curves, what time of day it is, what the primary goal of the day is, and let me interface from the web or at home! The data is already here!

    "the above was directed at the outback forum, not that anybody at Outback is doing anything but in the hope that they would give up on DC load controll and move forward" Maybe this is what the OP heard on CNN?

    In 10 or 15 years when the current set of stone age appliances need replacement maybe then grid smart will be available but I still haven’t see a common interface or protocol defined yet so it's a total mix-mash of incompatible devices to far.

    Work is being done but common standard is still a work in progress.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-43343-Energy-Policy-Examiner~y2010m6d8-NIST-smart-grid-home-area-network-group-leans-towards-socket-interface-for-appliances

    The company I work for is in with these guys for a standard.
    http://www.usnap.org/
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    I can only hope that the Apollo venture works out...

    Maybe this is what the OP saw,
    Just released: the GT30 from Schneider Electric
    Tranformerless, lightweight new design is ideal for small commercial systems up to 90 kW


    30kW model is smallest member of the GT Series of three phase invertersThere have been many changes since Schneider Electric purchased Xantrex. The most significant is Schneider Electric’s commitment to quality, which has taken form in the newly launched GT 30. This competitively priced 30 kW grid-tie inverter has a number of features that make it extremely easy to install in small commercial projects:



    Lightweight, only 165lbs. (no cranes, no structural engineering, low shipping costs)
    Integrated AC and DC disconnects
    Wall mounts just like smaller residential string inverters
    Parallel as many inverters as needed
    Made in Livermore, CA (meeting ARRA requirements), the transformless 208 volt design is 96% efficient, giving it an edge over many other three phase inverters. Click here to view the datasheet.



    Call or email your SunWize Sales Manager for pricing and delivery information.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    Grid? What's a "grid"? :p

    Marc,
    you are the grid when you are off-grid! As you know... My workmates always tell people that I do not have "electricity". I am quick to point out that they are the ones that do not have electricity when the utility goes down!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    Grid? What's a "grid"? :p

    it's a waffle design.:p
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    Marc,
    you are the grid when you are off-grid! As you know... My workmates always tell people that I do not have "electricity". I am quick to point out that they are the ones that do not have electricity when the utility goes down!

    Are you referring to that plan my neighbors have where I put more panels on my roof, add more batteries and a bigger inverter, then run AC lines to their cabins? :p
    I'm still waiting for them to volunteer to pay for it.

    Although right now I'm nervously watching news on a 26 hectare forest fire that's about 10 kms from the place. We're tinder-dry and full of dead pine trees. I'm sitting in town smelling and watching smoke from all directions (14 new fires this morning) and listening to the water bombers overhead.

    Soooo ... Maybe I'll soon be asking for input on the new system for the new cabin.

    I was just there last weekend making sure everything was in working order for the kids' vacation visit next week.

    Sorry ... rambling ... nervous. :blush:
  • nvyseal
    nvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    Are you referring to that plan my neighbors have where I put more panels on my roof, add more batteries and a bigger inverter, then run AC lines to their cabins? :p

    Funny you mention that, I was talking to a friend the other day, and he wanted to know if he bought an electric car if he could park it over at my place and charge it up from my solar panels. They think just because i generate, i should give i should share. Thank god i dont have a vegetable garden and a farm
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    Ask them to share their ATM passsword !

    Or go to Defcon and get the Jackpot program that works on many ATM's
    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 ,

  • BilljustBill
    BilljustBill Solar Expert Posts: 219 ✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    nvyseal wrote: »
    Funny you mention that, I was talking to a friend the other day, and he wanted to know if he bought an electric car if he could park it over at my place and charge it up from my solar panels. They think just because i generate, i should give i should share. Thank god i dont have a vegetable garden and a farm

    Your neighbor sounds much like the fellow who caught a lot of "diggin" comments about burning wood in a new EPA certified wood stove. They didn't like the smoke, they thought burning wood was lower class, etc.... But when the snows started and kept going, the power went as did most neighbor's heat.

    One late icy evening, without asking, a may I, a please , or even a thank you, the fellow found one of his most vocal neighbor's raiding his wood pile...

    Right or Wrong, the fellow yelled at him and gave him 15 seconds to get passed the property line.....

    I'd bet you could barter with your neighbor to provide transportation to town for supplies/groceries, to work, or to provide a safety net for medical help in case of national economy problems... ;>)

    Bill
    Bill
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    nvyseal wrote: »
    Funny you mention that, I was talking to a friend the other day, and he wanted to know if he bought an electric car if he could park it over at my place and charge it up from my solar panels. They think just because i generate, i should give i should share. Thank god i dont have a vegetable garden and a farm

    tell him yes, but that you will be using the power you put into it by driving it.;):D8)

    hmmm? does he have a garden or farm? if so, ask him when he was going to share all of his food with you.
  • russ
    russ Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    Just go over some night, crawl into the neighbor's bed and tell them you decided to share.

    See if they get the idea.
  • BajaGringo
    BajaGringo Solar Expert Posts: 40 ✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    Although right now I'm nervously watching news on a 26 hectare forest fire that's about 10 kms from the place. We're tinder-dry and full of dead pine trees. I'm sitting in town smelling and watching smoke from all directions (14 new fires this morning) and listening to the water bombers overhead.

    Soooo ... Maybe I'll soon be asking for input on the new system for the new cabin.

    I was just there last weekend making sure everything was in working order for the kids' vacation visit next week.

    Sorry ... rambling ... nervous. :blush:

    No apology required. I was living in the Sequoia National Forest above the 6500' level when one of the big Sequoia fires hit California years ago. I was all packed up when the fire actually hit the ridge top less than a km away from us. I was starting to pack everything in the trailer when the wind changed direction, blowing the fire back into itself and that front put itself out. In total it burned something like 70,000 acres as I recall.

    I remember how nerve racking it was - will keep you in our prayers...
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    marc,
    what's the latest on the fire situation and isn't there anything you can possibly do now to thwart it if it should head towards your place being there is some distance and time right now?
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?
    niel wrote: »
    marc,
    what's the latest on the fire situation and isn't there anything you can possibly do now to thwart it if it should head towards your place being there is some distance and time right now?

    So much for good news: as of this evening it's active again, and has expanded from 26 hectares to 150! I was just out there today and it looked like everything was under control. A few hours later and ... POOF!

    There's good news!
    As of this morning the fire closest to us is listed as "100% contained". We have the best fire-fighting crews here in BC. There are currently over 200 wildfires burning in the province, and they are somehow managing to keep things mostly under control. Gusty winds threatened to make it worse yesterday, but they've calmed now too.

    I met a couple of our neighbors in town yesterday; they'd come in to get away from the smoke. I'm going out there today to see where the exact location is and how clear the air is. Fortunately there is a large logging road about half-way between us and the fire; makes a nice brake. We're not out of the woods yet (pun intended); hopefully in the next little while it will be out.

    Now lets hope they can get the others out too, and that more lightning (and idiots - there' a province-wide outdoor fire ban and no smoking in the parks) doesn't start more fires.

    The air all around is still full of smoke and the sun is an orangish-brown blob.

    Thank you everyone for your concern. :)
  • nvyseal
    nvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    Sorry to hear about those firefighters :(

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38507618
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    hmmm. i remember watching the weather channel on the subject of wildfires and i remember them saying that the more greenery around you the better it will insulate you from the heat and flame even if only to buy you short time. can you water a large area around your place and i wonder if it would be in time should it go towards you? clear as much dead plant and tree materials away from you as you can. i know it may be hard for you to do, but the effort may just pan.
    my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife and all of your neighbors.:-)
    keep us abreast of the situation.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    Large logging roads need to be at least 300 feet wide to even have a chance BTW. When it gets bad down here in the Sierra that is what the dozer guy's try to do, if they have time... The last one nearby was thought to be looking good when it blew up and burned 16,000 acres in 2 hours. Buenas Suerte Amigo!

    So are you going to stay? That is always the question!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: A New/Better Inverter coming?

    So much can change in one day.
    I went to town in the morning; you couldn't see it from the top of the hill for all the smoke that settled in the valley. By afternoon the wind changed, smoke cleared, and the skies were blue!
    They've decided not to update the fire out by the cabin anymore. I don't know why. Perhaps because 150 hectares is nothing compared to some they're fighting. It's the 6,300 hectare fire at Alkali Lake that's causing trouble for us here in town. Over 300 fires burning.

    Got to play it by ear.