Alternative Technology at Home in Suffolk
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Grid Tie Inverter
I have been experimenting with a method of feeding the renewable energy we generate at home, into the electricity grid. This has the effect of making full use of the generated power without having to store it anywhere. In the USA there are Grid Guerrillas who feed power into the grid without permission, just for kicks, but my involvement is purely experimental at the moment. The big boys generate so much power that they manage to spin their electricity meters backwards!
The unit I had originally was the Mastervolt Soladin 120, which is tiny and only has a 100 watt capacity. It does not have UK approval and it has the two pin continental type plug arrangement. I have devised a switching system for my two 64 watt Unisolar panels so that they can be fed in series to power the Soladin, as it needs a minimum of 24 volts to operate successfully. The most power I have seen it feed into the mains so far is 87 watts, but it could probably do a little more on a midsummer day.
The large commercial domestic solar PV systems use much more powerful grid tie inverters like the Sunny Boy products, but I haven't yet plucked up the courage to spend £6,000.00+ on such a system, even with a grant. If done on a large enough scale, you can sell your excess power back to the electricity company. My Soladin experiment is just a way of dipping a toe into grid tie technology without spending a fortune, as it only cost £100.00 or so.
I have recently acquired a Mastervolt Soladin 600 grid-tie inverter. This is capable of 600 watts output and now has the important G83 certification for legal UK use. I am so impressed with this cost effective idea, that I now offer this link to a selection of grid tie inverters for sale.
I use giffgaff on the O2 mobile network, for the cheapest PAYG calls and texts with free data until December 2010.