Charging Optimization in AC Coupled PV Systems

The Potential Behind Modern PV System Design

This week’s topic is “Charging Optimization in AC Coupled PV Systems” with Ryan Light. This is a FREE lecture offered as part of the #SolarMOOC- SolPowerPeople’s Open Massive Online Course: March 7, 2013: 4PM Pacific, 6PM Central, 7PM Eastern

Although AC Coupling has been around since as early as the 1990’s, it is still very new to many PV system designers, installers, and even manufacturers.

Leading inverter manufacturer SMA began development of AC Coupling capable inverter technology in the 1990’s, but it was referred to as recently as September 2012 in SolarPro Magazine as still being “the Wild West” of PV.

In the beginning of Solar PV we had off grid battery based systems: American hippies  recharged their volskwagon 12V batteries that had been depleted playing music all night long with the next days sunshine.  Fast forward a decade or so, and we found ourselves realizing the growing need for a utility grid that could support the expanding power production of grid-tied PV systems.  Here we are today: back to wanting the batteries and reliability that comes with being able to access your energy production whether the grid is functioning or not.  The beauty of it is we do now have the ability to have it both ways: AC Coupled PV systems that have the potential to be grid interactive with battery back up in a smart and efficient design.

A hinderance to this rapidly growing technology is the lack of understanding, and this lecture will help to dispel some of the mist gathered around this rapidly expanding design method.  As the solar industry continues to grow every year (there’s no stopping it!), designers and installers will want to gain a better understanding of AC Coupling in order to stay competitive in the marketplace and prove their expertise.

Ryan LightIn this lecture, Ryan Light will define AC Coupling and will introduce several types of AC Coupling inverter designs and how they differ.  He will help those who attend to understand how these systems function including charging points, charging times, and reading setting callouts.  Mr. Light will offer a practical look at working with a DC Coupled PV system, including the benefits and potential headaches and limitations.

You are invited to join Ryan Light, SolPowerPeople, and others from around the world on Thursday to attend this one-hour lecture: Register Here 

Ryan Light is the co-owner at IRIS LLC and has many years of experience in Renewable Energy design and installation. Mr. Light’s background is in Industrial Technology and Economic Development with work experience at John Deere, General Electric, Peace Corps, MidAmerican Energy, Department of Defense and Eastern Iowa College. Ryan started down the Renewable Energy road at Iowa State University quickly moving from the theoretical to the practical while serving at a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal West Africa. While working overseas Ryan has worked primarily on Off Grid Battery systems ranging from portable emergency units, communications arrays, hospital/clinics, schools, private residences and military applications.

Upon returning home to Iowa Ryan has worked on Energy Efficiency and undertook the challenges of developing a two year associate program focused on training Small Wind and Solar Installers. With the program firmly established Ryan moved back into private industry by starting IRIS LLC. Project IRIS is currently working on include military contracts based on portable power systems consultant work in business development for a local company, missionary/NGO systems used in Asia/Pacific regions, and regulation/legislation with ISETA (Iowa Small Wind and Solar Trade Association).

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