Grid Tie Inverter fooled by Inverter based generator?

28 Posts
Dec 17, 2008 01:28 pm
Grid Tie Inverter fooled by Inverter based generator?

Pure curiosity, Non battery backup grid tie inverters by design are supposed to shut down when the grid goes down. The trigger appears to be low voltage and/or frequency out of a set range for a set duration. With a standard gas generator and the house islanded (shut off from grid), the voltage and frequency from a typical gas generator varies widely and would not satisfy the inverters trigger point so the grid inverter stays off line.

The question for the crowd is what happens when a inverter based gas generator is put on line in place of the gas generator? In theory the good units are designed to put out "utility grade power adequate for sensitive electronics" so, is the voltage and frequency good enough to fool the grid inverter to keep on running? A definite problem would be if the solar system puts out more power than is needed in the house as the generator couldnt adjust for high voltage, therefore the solar in theory could only be used to reduce the amount of gas used.

I am not advocating this as a solution or a viable means of backup power but it does bring up some intriquing possibilities. (It might also bring up some interesting warranty claims on grid inverters, so caveat emptor).

So has anyone tried it or know of someone who has?

578 Posts
Dec 17, 2008 01:40 pm
Re: Grid Tie Inverter fooled by Inverter based generator?

generally standard generator backups hooked up by electricians, must have a transfer switch that will not allow power to go from the house to the grid when it (the grid) is down.  pv grid tie inverters operate under the same principle but simply cut out unless the grid is there.

so yes, in theory in daylight, you may be able to trick your pv inverter.  but also, in theory, you may send power backwards to your generator or generator inverter, which may not like that Wink.

the real answer that serves the forum here is that legit setups exist for what your after, so no frankensteining is necessary.  the sunny island is the most familiar to me, i will put some links below.


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