Can I link multiple grid tie inverters to the same generator?

Thank you all for your input, my issue is below.



I have constructed a bicycle system that runs a 1/2hp dc motor with a serpentine belt that, while under load, can generate about 80volts and 1-2 amps. The issue I am trying to remedy is that all grid tie inverters I can find max out voltage at 60V-- leaving me with wasted potential energy. I first want to verify that I cannot link inverters in series and if that is indeed true, I look for creative ideas on how to use my excess energy potential. I am currently running solar grid tie inverters since I do not run the risk of a high wind scenario and can control the speed of my motor so usage of the diversion load is not an option (but it can be).

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Can I link multiple grid tie inverters to the same generator?

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm going to suggest you stop before you get into trouble.

    First of all, GT inverters are meant to be powered by solar panels, not DC generator output. Second, they all have to be installed with proper permits and permission - otherwise you can have all sorts of bad things happen (and even if not your fault you will be blamed). Third, the type of inverters you're looking at are generally cheap junk not worth wasting two cents on. Avoid them like the plague.

    What you could do with your bike gen is use it to charge a battery that powers an off-grid inverter. One thing you will soon find is that you don't get much power at all: 80 Volts @ 2 Amps is 160 Watts, which is pretty dismal. I doubt you could keep pedaling at that rate until you produced 160 Watt hours. You'll be amazed at how hard it really is.

    Fun experiment though. :D
  • stereophonics29stereophonics29 Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Can I link multiple grid tie inverters to the same generator?

    160 watts from a human powered renewable energy source is far from dismal. The gearing of this bike allows it to be pedaled for .5-1 hour depending on physical capability. Though it is clearly not as much as much as other sources, this was a way to show children (and adults for that matter) the true cost of the energy they use. Now that it has fulfilled its purpose, it is an exercise bike that happens to produce energy. I appreciate your opinion and input on grid tie inverters.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Can I link multiple grid tie inverters to the same generator?
    The issue I am trying to remedy is that all grid tie inverters I can find max out voltage at 60V--
    I think that your more fundamental problem is that you are looking at "plug-and-play" grid tie inverters, in the 150 to 500 watt range. Any serious grid tie inverter will have a maximum input voltage of anywhere from 300 to 600 volts and must be connected to your electrical system by a permanent connection, with permits and inspections.
    The units that you see on eBay are not UL-listed and are not legal for use in the US and most other industrialized countries. They are also unsafe.

    Much as I hate to say it, using the bike for directly driving opportunity loads that would otherwise take grid power (pumps, electronics, etc.) or charging batteries are the only ways to make use of that low level of power. And the battery option will cost you much more per kWh than buying the same electricity from the grid.

    If you are totally off-grid, it would be another addition to PV power, good in the winter when you cannot get out as much to exercise.

    And, what Coot said....
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: Can I link multiple grid tie inverters to the same generator?

    I dunno -- there are some micros with Vmpp in the 20 to 30 volt range. Connect the bicycle generator outputs to a small MPPT charge controller, perhaps one of the smaller Morningstars, and have them feed a 24 volt battery (two 12 volt motorcycle batteries in series should work). Use a relay to disconnect the DC inputs to the micro when the generator output isn't feeding the MPPT controller.

    Totally not to Code, but should be doable.
Sign In or Register to comment.