Why was the Inverter Master developed ?
After installing my grid tied system in the spring 1998, I discovered that the overall efficiency was lower than expected. Switching the inverter to "silent" mode overnight and on rainy days improved the operating efficiency. The manual switching worked, except you are not always around to switch modes. Because of the need of an automatic solution, I developed the Inverter Master.
How does the Inverter Master operate ?
The Inverter Master uses current shunts to sense the amount of energy being inputted into the system from the PV panels, wind generator, etc. When the input current exceeds a programmed value for a specified time and the battery voltage is greater than the programmed sell voltage the inverter is switched to "sell" mode. When the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing, the input current will drop below the programmable silent current level causing the Inverter Master to switch the inverter back to "silent" mode.
What other functions does the Inverter Master perform ?
The Inverter Master can download and store 128 complete inverter configurations in it's internal non volatile flash memory. After a complete power loss to the inverter for service or customer "maintenance" any of the configurations can be uploaded in about a minute. The Inverter Master an also operate as a "remote" for the Inverter.
How many input sources does the Inverter Master support ?
The Inverter Master supports up to four 50 or 100 milli-volt shunts which can have a full current rating between 10 and 500 amps.
How is the Inverter Master configured ?
The Inverter Master is configured using it's 2 by 40 LCD display and six soft menu buttons.
What does the Inverter Master require for installation ?
The Inverter Master uses the Trace SWCA, Sine Wave Communications Adapter, for power and communications to the inverter. The SWCA is available from Solar Hacker Software or any authorizedTrace / Xantrex dealer. A current shunt needs to be installed in the Negative lead of all renewable input sources.
If I have both PV and Wind will the Inverter Master operate correctly ?
Configuration options allow the current inputs to be evaluated one by one or combining of all the input currents. For example if it's raining and the PV is only outputting 2 amps, but the wind is blowing and wind generator is producing 4 amps, for a total of 6 amps. If the minimum "sell" current was programmed for 5 amps, then the inverter would switch to "sell" mode.
How many inverters will the Inverter Master control ?
The beta / field test units only control one inverter. The production units will control one or two stacked inverters initially, with plans to control up to four stacked inverters.
How is the Inverter Master Software Updated ?
The software to operate the Inverter Master is stored in flash memory similar to a digital camera. Software updates will be available via the Internet.
What are the future additions are planed for the software ?
Data logging with storage for a month of data from the various inverter meters and current inputs. I plan to enhancing the software using suggestions and ideas from my customers.
What is the projected pricing on the Inverter Master ?
The Inverter Master will have a list price between $350 and $450. I'm trying to keep the build cost down on the production units. Final pricing will be set when the production design is complete and the quotes are in from my suppliers.
Are Inverter Master units available now ?
A limited number of beta / field test units are available now please contact me.