plugin grid tie inverter

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plugin grid tie inverter

Postby danpaul » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:24 pm

Hi, has anyone used one of those chinese plugin grid tie inverters off ebay? Are they legal to use? And if you make more power than you are using and spin the metre backwards will this cause problems with the energy provider?
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby Tracker » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:43 am

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Appliances connected to 240v are supposed to be tested and approved, prior to sale and use.
A device which generates a potentially lethal voltage, and especially because it is connected to the general grid, must surely demand formal approval..

Having said that, I do know some folk who had some old 12v panels gathering dust and has had them connected to a device bought on Ebay, and have been working for years, generating about 100w..

I suppose that you would never buy panels and such an inverter, and expect a financial return..

The answer to your question remains unanswered... WinkWink

Most of the simple ones only generate small power levels.. There are inverters that are the equivalent of any standard and approved system... If you have 1000w of panels sitting around, and want an inverter, I would be sure you could pick up a local one , pretty cheap.. If you only have say 200w of panels, then I can't imangine you will ever cause the meter to reverse...
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby danpaul » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:14 pm

what i am thinking is if you lived in a rental house or a house that you plan to move from in the next 3 years or so and were to buy a cec approved inverter and say 1kw of solar panels. Wired it to a 3 pin plug so you are not tampering with any of the hard wiring? ;)
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby zzsstt » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:11 pm

danpaul wrote:what i am thinking is if you lived in a rental house or a house that you plan to move from in the next 3 years or so and were to buy a cec approved inverter and say 1kw of solar panels. Wired it to a 3 pin plug so you are not tampering with any of the hard wiring? ;)


1/ You can't simply wire a plug to an "installed" device and avoid the regulations.

2/ The inverters that come with plugs are almost certainly not approved

3/ Any co-generation system must (legally) be approved by your power company, and they would reject any modified ("add a plug") installation or unapproved inverter or panels

4/ Your rental agreement would need to reflect the changes, including putting panels on the roof, to avoid issues with the building insurance if your panels or inverter caused a problem.

5/ Clearly you couldn't claim the STC's or FIT for the system unless it was permanently installed and approved

Your choices really are to ask the landlord to install a "proper and approved" system, or to botch something with no approval and hope that nobody finds out and it doesn't burn the house down!!
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby Tracker » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:32 pm

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That pretty much sums it up..!... ;)
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby franks » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:35 am

you can get 2nd hand 1-1.5KW Grid Inverters approved on eBay around $150-200..and panels at $0.90 per watt..can do a 1KW install for $1.5k, as a DIY..watch out you dont have a smart meter it will measure your generation as usage (you will pay more)
If you still have a spinning meter setup...dont tell and hope you wont get caught :)
dont take the risk..get a system instsalled for legit under $2k
3.04kW Grid Tie system 16 of 190W PVs, Samil 3.3kW
3.8kW PV Stand Alone Off Grid.. 5-8kWHr Per day
24 of 190W PVs
Midnite Classic 150 & Lite MPPT
8 of 6V 600 AH flooded cells (24 volt 1200 AH)
Outback VFX3024E Inverter Charger
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby KPrawn68 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:16 pm

Another point missed was the inverter must have protection between it and any load and not be on a RCD protected circuit which most power CCTs in houses are nowadays
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby Inspector » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:09 pm

KPrawn68 wrote:Another point missed was the inverter must have protection between it and any load and not be on a RCD protected circuit which most power CCTs in houses are nowadays


And this is just one of the reasons why those "eBay" plug-in inverters will never pass AS4777.3 or CEC requirements.

I'd hate to be the person trying to explain to the courts after someone was killed by one of these devices, why I thought it was perfectly OK (safe and legal) to connect such a device to an existing power circuit, when the safety switch trips off, however these things can stay on "up to 2 seconds" after the power (grid) has been disconnected. The "2 second rule" is in AS4777.3. The safety switch must disconnect in milliseconds, leaving the "dodgy" inverter cranking out AC voltage while some poor bugger is haning off an appliance on the other end of the circuit (or worse - child is sticking metal objects like bobby pins into a power point). Those chinese (and other) companies claiming their device(s) comply with AS4777 don't fully understand the requirements and intention of Australian Standards. A safety switch is not the be-all-and-end-all of safety devices, and this is a prime example of where they are unsuitable in providing the protection they claim.
"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept".
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby zzsstt » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:04 pm

Inspector wrote:And this is just one of the reasons why those "eBay" plug-in inverters will never pass AS4777.3 or CEC requirements.



http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/DIY-Solar-Grid-Tie-inverter-AS4777-Dutch-Cut-your-power-bill-Use-idol-panels-/190650014125?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item2c63a059ad

eBay Advertiser wrote:AS4777 approved and rebate approved for Australia

Simply install a wind turbine or solar panels, connect to the inverter,
and plug the inverter into any wall outlet to generate your own electricity.


The holy grail of Solar DIYer's, a plug-in (no electrician required) AS4777 approved 250W grid tie inverter. For only $250 I can see a queue of people wanting these!
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Re: plugin grid tie inverter

Postby Inspector » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:04 pm

Just because they advertise that it's AS4777-compliant doesn't mean it is. I can guarantee if you contacted the seller to ask for a copy of the approval certificate, they would either (1) not reply, (2) ask you if you can arrange to get it certified for them and be there exclusive Australian agent for their product (this has happened to me), or (3) verbally abuse you (I've had this too). Unless you have a copy of the certificate (which should be issued by an Australian-based certifier AFAIK) and can verify with the certifier that the certificate is valid, I wouldn't be touching them at all. It's been awhile since I looked it up, but I'm 95% sure one of the AS4777 requirements is that an approved grid-tie inverter needs to be hard wired, or if connected using plug/sockets, not use the standard Australian 240v plug/socket arrangement (eg: SMA and other approved inverters have a different plug/socket connector for the AC side).
Last edited by Gordon-Loomberah on Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: removed excessive quoting
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