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By: Energy Recyclers  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Battery, Renewable Energy, Inverter

energy recycling battery discharge testing electronic load energy recyclers ltd new zealand nz renewable energy grid inter-tie inverter net metering solar photovoltaic peter young michael harrison allun bennett renewable energy energy recyclers ltd discharge Auckland company Energy Recyclers Ltd has designed an inverter suitable for grid-connected distributed generators such as solar and wind energy systems. The Energy Recycler is a DC-AC inverter designed to allow DC energy to be fed back into the AC power grid. It is only around a third the size of a typical inverter used for renewable energy systems, and is cost-competitive. The Energy Recycler can convert 2, 4 or 6kW of DC power into single, dual or three-phase power ­ a typical solar-powered household has 1-2kW of solar panels. A solar grid interface inverter costs around $6000 for a 6kW system and $3000 for a 2kW system. The 6kW unit can be linked with more units to achieve a capacity of up to 102kW. It has a serial communications port so it can be accessed and controlled remotely. Energy Recyclers Ltd director and designer Michael Harrison says the inverter has taken four years to develop. The company has been set up as an offshoot of west Auckland electronics manufacturer Innovative Energies to focus on the Energy Recycler product. Harrison says the compact size and economy of materials is due to the use of high-speed switching and power electronics ­ a different basis from the large copper and iron-based transformers of standard inverters. Moreover, the Energy Recycler is designed specifically for grid connection, rather than having to also cope with the requirements of an independent battery-based system. Harrison says the inverter has three distinct uses: · Battery testing for telecommunications and UPS applications ­ it acts as a controllable load for discharge testing of battery banks without heating up the battery room with wasted energy; · Acting as electronic load for soak testing of power supplies ­ it saves money and power by recycling energy back into the grid; · Grid interface for solar or wind power generation ­ it acts as the link between DC solar panels or wind generators and the AC power grid, allowing energy to be fed into and drawn from the grid for net metering. The battery testing application is the primary use of the inverters so far, with 300 sold for telecommunications applications in China. In Christchurch, standby DC power equipment manufacturer Invensys Energy Systems (formerly Swichtec Power Systems) is evaluating the Energy Recycler for soak testing. Harrison says to swap them over for use as a household inverter is only a matter of changing the software and the way the display screen is set up. The 6kW primary module sells for under in China. "And we still get a good profit," says Harrison. "Our competitors can't meet that price." But Harrison believes their greatest potential is in the household-scale solar market, and this is where the company aims to expand. Harrison says the complexity of the design has increased as a result of adopting high-frequency switching techniques, and more safeguards are needed. "In the old styles of inverters, there used to be high impedance between the electronics and the grid [which gave a protective buffer function]. "It's like having a tug of war with the grid - if you're out of synch, the grid always wins. There's been lots of development on getting everything on the technical side right." The device has been designed to conform to anticipated European standards on power quality and the amount of harmonic currents allowed into the grid interface. Says Harrison: "We thought eventually there'd be concern about the amount of harmonics produced by generation. We're not aware of any standards in Europe yet, although Japan has them." Harrison and fellow shareholders Steve Sangster, Ivan Thompson (sic) and Peter Young are seeking investment, to build a new production facility; protect the Energy Recycler through patents; market it into the renewable energy area; and refine it through R & D. Harrison says Energy Recyclers would consider an alliance with an Australian company, which would give it potential access to Australian Greenhouse Office renewable energy development funding and a larger market than New Zealand. energy recycling battery discharge testing electronic load energy recyclers ltd new zealand nz renewable energy grid inter-tie inverter net metering solar photovoltaicpeter young michael harrison allun bennett

The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011

Keywords: Battery, Battery Discharge, Battery Discharge Testing, Energy Recycling, Inverter, Renewable Energy,