OutBack Power Enables Cost-Effective Energy Storage, Backup for Grid-Tied PV Systems
OutBack Power Technologies, Inc. announced the general availability of its FLEXcoupled ac coupling solution. The integrated system allows installers to more easily retrofit grid-tied solar power systems with advanced grid-hybrid capability, enabling owners to store energy from their PV systems while tied to the grid and use it during utility outages and emergencies. For owners of grid-tied systems, the AC Coupling GSLC175 system from OutBack Power delivers all of the energy storage benefits of grid-hybrid systems in an advanced, electro-mechanical solution that is cleaner, more compact, better performing and less expensive than competing options.
Energy-storage-based systems represent the largest growth area in solar installations today, but for the many owners of grid-tied, grid-dependent systems that donâ€™t deliver electricity when the utility goes down, ac coupling is increasingly a viable option to maximize existing PV system investments by adding backup power functionality. With grid failure and instability on the rise and so-called 100-year storms now annual events, energy storage is essential to provide true power reliability and independence.
OutBack Powerâ€™s ac coupling system is unique in that its foundation is the Radian inverter/charger which already incorporates desirable ac coupling features including split-phase capability, dual ac inputs, transfer switching, power management flexibility, multiple operational modes for a wide range of energy scenarios, and greater dynamic stability. This enables a more elegant, advanced electro-mechanical coupling center (the GSLC 175-AC-120/240) to achieve ac coupling instead of relying on costly, complex frequency circuitry, transformers and diversion loads used in some conventional systems.
â€œOutBack Powerâ€™s ac coupling system allows us to increase storage capacity for customers and ensure that they donâ€™t leave any PV power on the roof, regardless of the gridâ€™s status,â€ said Jeff Shaw, owner of Gulf South Solar, an OutBack Power installer. â€œOur company is seeing interest from grid-tied system owners who are considering updating their systems to gain grid-hybrid advantages. This mirrors the forecasted growth for the ac coupling market over the next 10 years.â€
Harvey Wilkinson, general manager of OutBack Power, said, â€œThe owners of grid-tied solar power systems know how frustrating it is when the traditional utility goes down; they generate enough renewable energy to power their critical needs, but without the right bi-directional inverter and storage solution, their properties go dark when the grid fails. AC coupling from OutBack Power gives homeowners and businesses whoâ€™ve invested in solar energy the option to better manage their electricity and gain off-grid independence during outages, thus contributing to greater grid utilization and stability.â€