The use of renewable energy is increasing rapidly. Hence, to reduce the consumption of electricity from utilities, you can install a grid-tie inverter. Using a limiter, one can monitor the power load. On top of that, they can also save the excess power, going back to the grid.
According to recent research, GTI with a power limiter saves at least 40% of power from utilities. This study also suggests if one has adequate resources and infrastructure, it is better to use a limiter. Moreover, it’s a budget-friendly approach that can save pretty much money at the end of the year.
In simple words, the limiter works as a smart meter. It notifies the GTI to store the excess power with a systematic configuration. Let me explain how this limiter aids in reducing excess power consumption.
How does inverter configuration technology work?
Solar power plants (SPP) are installed through a specialized configuration. Hence it is divided into a singular SPP system, which is in turn connected to the grid. However, the isolated SPP is not connected to the utility grid directly.
You must be aware that solar radiation might cause power fluctuation. That’s the reason the battery plays the role of a mediator and works as energy storage as well. To connect the network, one standalone inverter is used in isolated SPP. On the other hand, you need to install a grid inverter in a grid-connected SPP.
In addition, the configuration is not as simple as it appears to be. If you want to install a distributed generator, you have to several crucial standards. Therefore, you can ensure safety and enhance electromagnetic compatibility.
For more elevated infrastructure, I have suggested considering public distribution voltage quality. Interestingly, for each requirement, you need to acquire a separate configuration method.
Understanding the function of limiter
As the name suggests, a limiter monitors the maximum limit of power consumption. Hence, a sensor called a ‘current transformer’ is installed in the system to set a limitation of power.
For example: if your house consumes an average of 5kW energy and the maximum output is 5kW, in that case, all the solar energy is going into your house. Remember, solar electricity prioritizes your house first, then the grid.
If your house is consuming 2.5kW, simple arithmetic shows that the system is likely to export not more than 2.5kW (5kW – 2.5kW = 2.5kW).
Take another example, if your house consumes only 1kW and the solar is at 5kW. Hence, the system would export 4kW. It means you can have 4.5kW generated energy, 1kW consumed energy, and 3.5 kW exported energy.
How can limiters reduce power consumption?
Once you understand the configuration method, you might think, why would I use a limiter here? Or why would I waste my money to install another device here? I know it is legit to have this confusion in mind.
I won’t say, ‘You MUST install a limiter in your GTI system.’ What I can suggest is, it is ideal to use a limiter. In the long run, you can reuse the excess 40% of power if you are ready to pay the bills of a limiter. Let me explain how?
It is evident that, typically, the average efficiency of the inverter is 94.8%. It can produce 2.9 kWh of energy per day. However, when PV power meets the supply power, the PV is divided into loads and a small portion of the grid.
In some situations, if the PV is unable to produce enough power, the battery takes control to supply energy. In contrast, a limiter can store the surplus power and send it back to the utility grid when it produces excess power. Moreover, the inverter power can be adjusted as per the load power requirement.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a solar export limiter work?
Solar export limiters set up a stipulated energy export rate. If the solar panel can generate more energy and your house, consume less than that, the limiter exports the excess power to the grid.
What does an inverter limiter do?
As the name suggests, a limiter delivers the power needed to run the household. Hence, it prevents delivering the excess power and sent it back to the grid.
How does the power limiter work?
The power limiter uses a sensor resistor circuit. It is placed in a series of emitters or the outpass of the transistor. It calculates the voltage and exports the excess power.
How much solar can I put back into the grid?
Most electricity retailers dictate the current acceptable capacity up to 5kw. Based on your power consumption rate, you can save up to 3.5kw of maximum power.
What does a solar limiter do?
On a sunny day, when the solar panel produces a huge quantity of energy, the limiter exports the surplus energy back to the grid.
As per the research and scientific tests, it is evident that home-based solar power plants have the ability to supply 40% of local load power. The excess power generated from PV is usually in a small capacity. A homeowner can make up to $3,000 per year from the combination of energy incentives.
Hence, it is suitable for home SPP applications. Moreover, it doesn’t supply a colossal amount of power which can impact power network stability.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.