From its off-grid roots in the 1980s and 1990s, solar electricity generation has evolved into a “mainstream” business proposition for residential and commercial users looking to supplement and offset grid electricity. Part of that success has been the adoption of simple power-conversion systems, so-called grid-tied inverters designed to simply connect solar to the grid, as distinguished from the original off-grid inverters designed to work on their own with lead-acid batteries. However, the rapid adoption of residential energy storage-- projected at an astonishing 81% CAGR between now and 2021 (Technavio) with some 97% of these systems connected to the grid (GTM Research)-- means that future growth will depend on smarter, more agile power conversion designs that can do much more than either type.
These next-generation solar systems will require a wider range of operating modes to satisfy user needs, as well as require features more in line with advances in energy storage technology and specifically the rapid adoption of lithium battery chemistries. Off-grid inverters designed for the lead-acid age and the simple grid-tied inverters designed for solar’s mass adoption stage will yield to more advanced types, such as Morningstar’s MultiWave charging platform. This presentation will highlight the advanced technologies and features that will define this important new category serving renewable energy power conversion and energy storage management.
This session will benefit anyone intending to include energy storage with a residential, commercial or agricultural solar electric system, as it will cover the power conversion technologies and features most applicable to advanced operating requirements (such as back-up power and “solar priority” hybrid operation) and more compatible with the latest energy storage technologies.
John White– Senior Account Manager, Morningstar Corporation