Notes from Windward: #66


Grid-tie Review

getting up-to-date on the latest

  November 18:

     Now that winter is almost upon us, our work will shift to focusing on indoor things, on projects that got set aside as the gardens called and we needed to start getting ready for the arrival of the interns. One of the key projects along those lines involves establishing the grid-tie connection for the new workshop.

     Down the road we look forward to being a net producer of electricity, and the first step down that road involves installing the Landing's grid-tied inverter. This is a solid-state device that takes 24 volt direct current, converts it into 120 volt alternating current and feeds that back through our power meter onto the electrical grid. In effect, we'd be "returning" electrical power that we'd already consumed, and in the process running our meter backwards.

hooking up the PV panels to the grid

     This is a part of the world of renewable energy where the equipment and codes are evolving rapidly, so when Washington State University and Seraphim Electric Company offered a local training on installing grid-tie inverters to code, I figured that it was time to make sure that our understanding of what's required was up-to-date.

     Rising early, I headed down the grade to take the road to Goldendale (our county seat) and was taken back by the sight of the sun rising over the canyon's edge. I just had to stop and take a picture to share with you. Even after having lived here for almost two decades, there still are times when the beauty of this place takes my breath away.

the morning sun setting the river fog a'glow

     I always enjoy watching a professional do their stuff, especially one who's more than willing to talk about the details of what he's doing and why. We're used to doing our own research and generally figuring things out for ourselves, but there are situations in which that's not appropriate, and grid voltage is certainly such a case. Now that I'm confident that we're doing things the right way, the safe way, I'm looking forward to seeing this leg of our adventure get underway.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 66