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Infini 3kw + off-grid myth?


Green Bum
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I opted to buy the infini due to its off-grid capabilities (providing AC power from PV panels without any utility availability) After installing 12X260W panels my understanding is that I have to connect with the utility with the small complication of automatically becoming a SSEG!! L

Can I run the Infini off-grid? Without any municipal power connected to the inverter?

Thanks

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Yes but then you need batteries. You should be able to install an Infini with zero feedback and therefore not become a SSEG. I have no real world experience in this regard but many folk do not feedback. You need either grid or batteries as one's output from panels is just too variable to be of any practical application.

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Thank you Chris,

  1. according to my municipality my system becomes an "embedded" system the moment I connect it to my municipal AC irrespective of exporting or not:(
  2. I have a 48V battery bank but my reading of my manual points to 3 off-grid options, all connected to the municipality??

I decided on the Infini due to its versatility, being in a regulated municipality I wanted the "legal" option of real off-grid

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You could plug your inverter into a 3 point plug and then it is a solar assisted UPS. I think your municipality is being very broad in its definition of an embedded system. I am totally off-grid so have no experience dealing with the authorities.

 

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1 hour ago, Green Bum said:

according to my municipality my system becomes an "embedded" system the moment I connect it to my municipal AC irrespective of exporting or not:(

There are two things municipalities are concerned with. The first is that even if you don't push back, you are grid-interactive and your installation must be safe so that it does not accidentally energize a line that is supposed to be dead. This is the regulation NRS-097-2-1. The second is the matter of spinning back meters and depriving them of income, and the suitability of your particular connection to the grid for such feedback. They are usually much more concerned about the first issue than the second, so even if you fit equipment to not feed back, the majority of the rules around embedded generators still apply to you.

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Thanks Plonkster, I am with you even though I did not realise the AC input side of my inverter could also provide problems for the muni.

My question remains, can a infini 3kw+ work as a true off-grid inviter without AC available?

:(

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48 minutes ago, Green Bum said:

Thanks Plonkster, I am with you even though I did not realise the AC input side of my inverter could also provide problems for the muni.

My question remains, can a infini 3kw+ work as a true off-grid inviter without AC available?

:(

Yes - with batteries

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1 hour ago, Chris Hobson said:

Yes - with batteries

Question though, because I don't know the inverter. With my own inverter there is this programmable stack and unless I actually load the required component, select the grid code, type in the password and click through the warnings related to anti-islanding, the inverter remains fully off-grid. So one might say it comes configured off-grid by default and you have to do work to make it a hybrid. How does the infini work, and how much work does it take to make it non-hybrid?

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9 hours ago, plonkster said:

Question though, because I don't know the inverter. With my own inverter there is this programmable stack and unless I actually load the required component, select the grid code, type in the password and click through the warnings related to anti-islanding, the inverter remains fully off-grid. So one might say it comes configured off-grid by default and you have to do work to make it a hybrid. How does the infini work, and how much work does it take to make it non-hybrid?

No matter the configuration if you don't connect the AC it will be in permanent "power failure" mode. Infinis have a load priority so in the absence of Grid it will automatically work solar/battery mode.

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23 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

No matter the configuration if you don't connect the AC it will be in permanent "power failure" mode. Infinis have a load priority so in the absence of Grid it will automatically work solar/battery mode.

Yes, that's more or less what I would expect, but what if I want it to behave like an Axpert, disconnect the grid above certain voltages and/or state of charge and fall back to the grid otherwise, can that be done?

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Jip full hybrid but from what one deduces the municipality will classify it as a SSEG since the inverter has the capability to feed back to the grid whether it is activated or not.

It has 5 grid-tie with battery backup modes, 3 off-grid modes and a grid-tie mode.

From what I can deduce @Green Bum has two options, either pay the SSEG fees and grid-tie, or not even connect the AC input side of the inverter, so that the municipality cannot point fingers. Any other configuration would be deemed to be illegal.

One would need a generator or a separate AC battery charger for poor solar production.

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...and a 4th solution;

Install and setup as grid tied with backup, but put a contactor in the AC feed line that is controlled by a photocell or timer etc. System is allowed to connect for grid-assist at night when no PV power available so that batteries can be charged and peak loads can be supplied via grid, during the day the contactor opens so no grid-tie.

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Thanks for your inputs! Yes I did consider joining the Axpert club... but I do not like batteries and always wanted to steer clear of them. I had to go back to my original reasons for getting involved in the world of power generation.

I had quite a lot of fun saving energy rather than generating it! If you drill down into using energy efficiently, you are soon faced with questions like, "what is really important to you and how does using this energy (resource) get you closer to what is really important to you. Someone once mentioned that in the theater of live we are actually always busy answering the question, who are we? One of the best ways of answering or clarifying that question for ourselves is by looking consciously at the value we attach to things.... I missed out on the breaking Ice discussion but was very impressed with the philosophical arguments put forward, especially by @plonkster in this line of thinking!

So getting back to my own topic and question, thank you again @Chris, I will try the system only with batteries and no AC and then,  I will try the three pin wall plug @Mark, I have no problem with experimenting with the illegal options, even considered hiding the AC in/out circuits in my wall and elaborate trucking games...   

Ultimately I will proceed in the direction of the official SSEG certification but one step at a time..

  1. first I want to install the system correctly, thank you for all your valuable inputs so far!!
  2. I want to pay a professional fee for someone to inspect and make the necessary changes to my installation, finally connecting to my DB and issuing a COC.
  3. I have already started talking to engineers that might be willing to consult and finally sign off...

So far its been a 16 month journey with lots of learning!!

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On 5/8/2017 at 0:55 PM, pilotfish said:

...and a 4th solution;

Install and setup as grid tied with backup, but put a contactor in the AC feed line that is controlled by a photocell or timer etc. System is allowed to connect for grid-assist at night when no PV power available so that batteries can be charged and peak loads can be supplied via grid, during the day the contactor opens so no grid-tie.

The infini can actually be configured to feed back to the grid in battery mode - in other words (at night) when no PV is available it can still feed back into the grid...

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2 minutes ago, superdiy said:

The infini can actually be configured to feed back to the grid in battery mode - in other words when no PV is available...

Yup, same issue with the Multi. Depending on what the sign-off guy thinks, he might say "but your equipment has the capability, and therefore...".

It's actually an interesting question. We have a Big Quattro at the office, configured to be a UPS and no more. So it literally cannot feed back ever... But with 5 minutes of configuration it can do it... must we now register for SSEG? Probably not.

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20 hours ago, Green Bum said:

I will try the three pin wall plug @Mark, I have no problem with experimenting with the " xyz ;) "  options, 

;)  It will be just like plugging in a UPS or a hairdryer... cannot feed back at all... 

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