Alt-e Store Explains the MicroGT500 Microinverter

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We have included a transcript of the video below:

Hi, this is Amy from the Alt-e store. I want to show you Magnum Energy’s grid-tied microinverter.

This inverter is a 500 watt inverter. So what it does is it connects to two solar panels. It's got two MPPT ports inside it, so you get all the benefits of the module level electronics but you only have to install one of these for every two panels. This cuts your installation time dramatically by just having to do half the number of microinverters and then still getting your module-level inverting MPPT processing.

Now they've done a real nice job with how to interconnect these. They come with a proprietary connector right on them. What you do is you get one end connector; the cable comes with the connector with bare wire on the end. You see it's a line one, line two, and neutral and so you connect that to the inverter. This then goes to your pass-through box or combiner box or however you're transitioning from the bare wire on the roof in the area of the array into conduit to leave the roof. You just get one of these, bring this to the to the combiner box or pass-through box, and this then connects to your next one, to your next one.  This just goes right along up to 14 solar panels in one string. If you're doing more than 14 panels you just do another branch and bring them into combiner box. You're going to wire those multiple strings in parallel, so you've daisy chained up to 14 solar panels with seven of the microinverters all together, using their integrated cable. Then when you get to the end, you just use their end cap. Cap it off and you've got a nice watertight cap at the end. No extra tools required or anything. This gives you a really nice easy way to daisy chain these all together up to 14 panels in one string.

The really nice thing about this is, it can do both 60 cell and 72 cell panels, so you can do up to 310 watt panels. This gives you a lot of options and it minimizes the clipping. It does output 250 watts, so you're going to get a good solid AC output from it. It's, of course, you certified for UL1741, it's allowed to be connected to the grid.

It does support rapid shutdown. If the grid shuts down, these will automatically disconnect and gives you immediate rapid shutdown. All that will be live will just be from the solar panel just to the microinverter. That complies with National Electric Code rapid shutdown.

It's got a 25-year warranty. That is tremendous. Your panels are generally warrantied for 20 to 25 years. Now you've got your microinverter right up there with them. The same long-lasting warranty. So this is going to just be a very carefree system.

Now those of you in the industry, you probably recognize the name Magnum Energy as an off-grid inverter company. This is where the magic really starts going on. You can do their grid-tied inverter and if you want it to do grid-tie with battery backup for occasions when the grid goes down, you can add one of their Magnum inverters to the system with a battery bank. You will actually be using an adapter. They [MicroGT500 microinverter and MS-PAE inverter/charger] will communicate to each other. You can do an intelligent AC coupling where if the battery bank starts to get full, the Magnum off-grid inverter will tell the grid-tied inverter, “Whoa slow down. I'm starting to fill up here!” And it will slow down and will manage charging the battery bank through your solar panels when the grid is down.

Now wait a minute, you might be saying; I just said that you you're going to be disconnected from the grid if the if the grid is down, but with an AC-coupled solution like this, what happens is the grid-tied inverter is going to be connected through the battery-based inverter and that's going to be connected to the grid. When the grid is up, it'll just transfer it right through. When the grid goes down, the inverter will disconnect the inverter from the grid but the battery-based inverter is going to put out a nice clean signal. It's going to fool the grid-tied microinverters into thinking the grid is still up, so it will safely stay up. You're going to still be powering your critical loads from your solar panels through your battery bank, but you'll be disconnected from the grid. You're still going to be complying with UL1741. And the linemen working on fixing the electric grid are going to be safe.

Because the grid-tied microinverters and the battery-based inverter are talking to each other you don't need to have a diversion load, so you don't have to have any kludgy external relays. They’re going to communicate to each other and intelligently manage charging up that battery bank. If you figure you're doing up to seven of the 500 Watt microinverters in one string, that gives you 3,500 Watts. You can easily take one string and connect it to a 4,000 or 4,400 Watt battery-based inverter that's going to keep you right within the realm there.

A really nice thing about that is you don't have to do the battery backup of your whole system. If you just want to do one string to one inverter, and then if you have multiple strings you can keep the other strings straight grid-tied. Those will just shut off same as usual when the grid goes out and you're just doing one of the strings. A 3,500 to a 4,000 Watt inverter and you've got that going to your critical loads panel. Of course, when the power is out your loads are going to be significantly smaller than when you've got the grid up. You're not going to be powering up your hot tub and going in the sauna or anything like that when the grid is out. You don't need to have your whole system backed up. The nice thing with that is you can have a smaller battery bank, smaller inverter, and just have a portion of your grid-tied system doing the backup. Once the grid comes back up for five minutes, your whole system's going to come back up again so it's a nice solution.

We've got an optional web communication unit. This is the GT communication unit. It's optional, but really highly recommended. This will allow you to connect your whole system to the web, so that you can remotely monitor this. The system and it will communicate with both the grid-tied microinverter and your off-grid inverter, so this will give you a nice online view of your whole system.

I hope this was helpful. If so, give us a like and a share and be sure to subscribe to our Alt-e store channel. We'll notify you when we've got new videos coming out and don't forget to go to our website at where we've been making renewable do-able since 1999.

If you'd like to learn more about Magnum Energy PV+Storage Solutions, please reach out here.

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