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Integrated AC coupling solution for PV system energy storage

29 Jul 2013  | Steve Taranovich

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OutBack Power Technologies recently rolled out its FLEXcoupled AC coupling solution. The integrated system allows installers to easily retrofit grid-tied solar power systems with advanced grid-hybrid capability, enabling owners to store energy from their PV systems while tied to the grid and use it during utility outages and emergencies.


Figure 1: OutBack Power Technologies' FLEXcoupled AC coupling solution.

Energy-storage-based systems represent the largest growth area in solar installations today, but for the many owners of grid-tied, grid-dependent systems that don't deliver electricity when the utility goes down, AC coupling is increasingly a viable option to maximise existing PV system investments by adding backup power functionality. With grid failure and instability on the rise and so-called 100-year storms now annual events, energy storage is essential to provide true power reliability and independence.

 The AC Coupling GSLC175 system

Figure 2: The AC Coupling GSLC175 system.

For owners of grid-tied systems, the AC Coupling GSLC175 system delivers all of the energy storage benefits of grid-hybrid systems in an advanced, electro-mechanical solution.

This AC coupling system is founded on a Radian inverter/charger, incorporating desirable AC coupling features including split-phase capability, dual AC inputs, transfer switching, power management flexibility, multiple operational modes for a wide range of energy scenarios, and greater dynamic stability. This enables an advanced electro-mechanical coupling centre (the GSLC 175-AC-120/240) to achieve AC coupling instead of relying on costly, complex frequency circuitry, transformers and diversion loads used in some conventional systems. This system enables users to allocate a budget for professional-grade energy storage with Energy Cell GH batteries instead of the minimalistic batteries and boxes that are bundled into multi-brand systems. The AC coupling is UL1741-compliant from end-to-end, and it creates generator-friendly battery backup power for existing grid-tied inverter systems.

Outback's white paper can be found here.

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