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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    melbourne
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    65
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    938

    Default Can a generator be used to turn on solar?

    What I want to know is can I pull the main fuse and connect a small generator to the house and leave the solar panels connected? Or even a car battery with an inverter to make the inverter think the mains is still connected? I am worried that the inverter may pump a huge current back into the generator and blow it up or cook the car battery or destroy the inverter.
    I have a 6.6 KVA solar system with a Solex inverter connected to the grid. Our power goes off about once every two weeks I was supposed to get an inverter that could take a battery but was given this next to useless thing instead. During the day in summer I run an up to 1500watt variable irrigation pump house pump and several freezers which is too much for my 2000watt generator but easy work for the panels.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Little River
    Age
    75
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    1,138

    Default

    Any electricity generated has to be used. If the house is not using it the inverter will try to push the surplus into the generator by increasing the output voltage. This may blow the generator or it may result in the voltage exceeding the inverters settings and it shutting down. Then as a load comes on the inverter will restart.

    The only way to find out is to try it and see if you let out the magic smoke. My feeling is that it might work but as to how stable it will be is unknown.

    It probably won't cook the battery in the battery/inverter case but it may let the smoke out of the inverter.

    Either way the only way to find out may be expensive.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    4,475

    Default Re: Transfer switch from inverter to generator

    To save you rebuying the magic smoke or "guess" approach, one purchases an automatic transfer switch.

    e.g. PMTS Series - PowerMax Converters

    or this style which is fully automatic (well, 50 ms):

    GEYA PV Solar Inverter Automatic Transfer Switch 2P 63A 240V 50Hz Solar To Grid | eBay or
    GEYA Automatic Transfer Switch for AC Generator 4P 63A 80A 220V~240V Din Rail | eBay

    And something far more professional than an ebay cheapie Automatic Transfer Switch - CAPS Australia


    These accept multiple inputs, such as mains, solar or gen, decides which is "best" (one can set this) and feeds that automatically to the house.


    I've seen them with a PC or arduino connected, with wifi and an Ap, to do data logging, cool graphs and override functions remotely.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    4,475

    Default

    Here is a device that does the whole LOT in one unit!

    Nice!

    Inputs: Mains, battery, solar..... starts your generator AND does battery management too.

    They can be set up in parallel and also for three-phase. Neato!

    5KVA 4000W Solar Inverter 48V 230V Pure Sine Wave Hybrid Inverter Built-in 60A MPPT off-Grid Solar Controller Battery Charger

    OR

    EASUN POWER Hybrid Solar Inverter 5500W 90A MPPT Charger 220V 48V 5.5KW 450Vdc Grid Tied Touch Screen Inverter with CT Sensor


    He8a6fc841939486b830e2910694158f9N.jpg

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Little River
    Age
    75
    Posts
    1,138

    Default

    If you look at what all of those automatic units do is to, when the mains fails, switch over to generator and some disable your solar unless you have a battery compatible system.

    One of them will automatically switch to generator and leave the solar connected, so that you can look for the magic smoke.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Ringwood, VIC
    Posts
    472

    Default

    You need a control system that can reduce the solar pv output to match the load. Fronius inverters can be controlled as can a couple of others.
    Or a dump load that can be turned on instantly to match the load to production.
    Look at systems such as victron multiplus gx.
    Its doable but not trivial.

    A little easier with dc coupled pv than ac.

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