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drafts:off-grid_documents:choosing_dc_and_or_ac_solar [2019-01-03 00:01]
mleeftink created
drafts:off-grid_documents:choosing_dc_and_or_ac_solar [2019-01-22 10:42] (current)
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 ====== Reasons why to choose DC and/or AC coupled solar in Off-grid Power Systems ====== ====== Reasons why to choose DC and/or AC coupled solar in Off-grid Power Systems ======
 +
 +Under construction
  
 ===== Introduction ===== ===== Introduction =====
 Off grid systems have traditionally used DC coupled solar. This was an easy choice because batteries are also DC. Off grid systems have traditionally used DC coupled solar. This was an easy choice because batteries are also DC.
 +
 As off-grid systems have become larger now also AC coupled solar is used. AC coupled solar systems use strings of solar panels configured in 100-600 Vdc strings going to a grid feed inverter which converts directly to 230 Vac As off-grid systems have become larger now also AC coupled solar is used. AC coupled solar systems use strings of solar panels configured in 100-600 Vdc strings going to a grid feed inverter which converts directly to 230 Vac
 +
 +An AC coupled solar system looks like this:
 +
 +{{:​drafts:​off-grid_documents:​ac_solar.png?​200|}}
  
 A DC coupled solar system looks like this: A DC coupled solar system looks like this:
  
-A AC coupled solar system looks like this:+{{:drafts:​off-grid_documents:​dc_solar.png?​200|}}
  
 +===== AC and DC solar compared =====
  
 +==== AC solar advantages and disadvantages ====
  
-===== Using both DC and AC coupled solar =====+**Pros:** 
 +  * Less and thinner ​AC cabling 
 +  * PV array can be far away from the installation
  
 +**Cons:**
 +  * 1.0 rule
 +  * Programming needed
 +  * System will not recover from low battery if there is no backup generator
 +  * Potential clock and timer issues ​
 +  * Not suitable for boats or vehicles
  
-The big advantage of the DC solar system is its simplicity. It is a very ‘robust’ design that allows a very reliable ​and efficient charging of batteries.+==== DC solar advantages ​and disadvantages ====
  
-However it depends on the battery inverter do all the work on supplying the 240V loads.+**Pros:** 
 +  * Better for charging batteries 
 +  * More efficient if most energy needs to be stored 
 +  * Easy to setupDefault products can be used, no programming needed 
 +  * Fail-safe in case batteries are too far discharged
  
-Also, as DC solar strings are typically much lower voltagethe wiring requirements are larger. Often only 2 or maybe up to 6 panels to a pair of 4-6 mm wires.+**Cons:** 
 +  * Not so suitable for very large arrays (max voltage ​250V) 
 +  * the battery will be worked harder
  
-In very large systems with 20 panels or more, this can require a lot of cable runs. 
  
-If the solar array is very far away from the battery ​and other DC distribution,​ it is a lot more efficient with wire cost to run AC back, rather than ELV (<120V DC) solar. +===== Advantages ​and disadvantages explained =====
-  +
-## Solar Inverters Supporting Loads+
  
-Very large systems will typically have large loads.+==== DC is simpler to set up than AC ====
  
-AC solar inverters can support these daytime loads and increase the sustained and total kW power that the system can supply.+The big advantage of the DC solar system is its simplicity. It is a very ‘robust’ design that allows a very reliable ​and efficient charging of batteries
  
-# Battery Charging+==== DC will work the battery harder than AC ====
  
 +In a DC system the inverter/​charger will do all the work on supplying the 240V loads.
 +The grid-feed inverters will support the AC Loads. Very large systems will typically have large loads. AC solar inverters can support these daytime loads and increase the sustained and total kW power that the system can supply.
 +
 +==== AC allows fro a larger solar array than DC ====
 +
 +DC solar strings are typically much lower voltage, the wiring requirements are larger. Often only 2 or maybe up to 6 panels to a pair of 4-6 mm wires. In very large systems with 20 panels or more, this can require a lot of cable runs.If the solar array is very far away from the battery and other DC distribution,​ it is a lot more efficient with wire cost to run AC back, rather than low voltage DC.
 + 
 +==== DC is better for battery charging than AC ====
 Victron DC MPPT control is very quick and very precise, much less than a second. Victron DC MPPT control is very quick and very precise, much less than a second.
  
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 Depending on the battery technology (lead acid or lithium) this can lead to other issues where the only charge supply source is the AC solar due to lack of fine current or voltage fidelity (eg inrush current and overshoot). ​ Depending on the battery technology (lead acid or lithium) this can lead to other issues where the only charge supply source is the AC solar due to lack of fine current or voltage fidelity (eg inrush current and overshoot). ​
  
-# Black Starts+==== DC can recover from empty battery while AC can not (black start) ====
  
 When a system reaches a critical low level of battery, Many of the services shut off to protect the batteries from permanent damage. ​ When a system reaches a critical low level of battery, Many of the services shut off to protect the batteries from permanent damage. ​
- 
 One of those services is the AC output of the battery inverter. This provides the grid forming service that the AC solar inverter requires to start up. One of those services is the AC output of the battery inverter. This provides the grid forming service that the AC solar inverter requires to start up.
 So even though there is abundant solar, if the battery inverter has shut down, it will not be able to charge the batteries. So even though there is abundant solar, if the battery inverter has shut down, it will not be able to charge the batteries.
drafts/off-grid_documents/choosing_dc_and_or_ac_solar.txt · Last modified: 2019-01-22 10:42 (external edit)