Small and Light Three Phase String Inverters Appear at Shanghai Expo

omnik solar inverter
Omnik solar inverter

The SNEC PV Power Expo was held from April 28 to 30 in Shanghai, China Thousands of PV industry companies with their own solar products attended the expo. Omnik New Energy from Suzhou, Jiangsu province also appeared at the expo and exhibited its small and light three phase string inverters there for three days.

Omnik is famous for string inverter manufacturing, and so it brought its high efficiency three phase string inverters and and single string phase inverters to the expo, which drew so much attention of the expo visitors. During the three days my colleagues and many customers from home and abroad discussed issues relating to inverters many times, and one customer from India even visited our booth several times to seek a cooperation opportunity.

The inverters brought to the expo were about 10 or so, and the most attractive ones were two: Omniksol-1K/1.5K-M and Omniksol-10K-TL2. The first one is a single phase inverter, while the second one is a three phase inverter. They don’t look special, but they have their special features that are attractive to customers.

Omniksol-1K/1.5K-M is a newly-launched product by the company in 2015. It weighs 5 kg and doesn’t need any transformers as many other inverters need. The highest efficiency of it can even reach up to 95.5% and its MPP tracking accuracy can be as high as 99.9%.

Omniksol-10k-TL2 is also a new product released by the company. This three phase string inverter weighs 22 kg, which is easier to install and transport and can help save cost.

During the three days Omnik also held a product conference to show the two products to customers who came to the expo to collection information and see new PV products. After the three day expo, Omnik’s staff have already established new relations with more customers from home and abroad.


Grid-Tie PV System VS Off-Grid PV System

There are basically three types of solar PV systems existing today for solar power generation at home, including grid-tie, off-grid and hybrid PV systems. However, as expense and efficiency are concerned, grid-tie and off-grid systems are more popular and most installed around the world. Now let’s compare them with each other and help you decide which system should be suitable for your house.

grid-tie solar PV system
grid-tie solar PV system

Grid-Tie System

1. This installation requires your system is connected to the local national (utility) grid.
2. After the connection, the system can feed the electricity (usually extra electricity) it generates to the national grid (this helps it earns money from the grid), and your home can get the electricity from the national grid once your system stops generating electricity at night or in special conditions.
3. The current form your solar panels generates is direct current (DC), which must be converted into alternating current (AC) for home use by going through a PV inverter. The current converted by the inverter must be compatible with the voltage of the local grid.
4. The inverter also needs to be a grid-tie type. An off-grid one cannot be used here.

Off-Grid System

off-grid PV system
off-grid PV system

1. Off-grid means the system is disconnected from the local national grid and cannot feed extra electricity to earn money.
2. This installation needs storage batteries, which usually cost a lot of budget.
3. This system is suitable for installation in areas where houses cannot be connected to the national grid or where residents are far away from grids and cities.
4. It needs a charge controller which is used to charge the batteries of the system.
5. The DC from solar panels usually goes to a battery and then to an inverter.
6. This inverter is an off-grid inverter.

Grid-Tie Advantages

1. It can constantly power your house unless the national grid is down and the system meets its special conditions.
2. It can help earn money from the local government by selling extra electricity.
3. It costs less compared with an off-grid system because it doesn’t need expensive batteries.
4. It works more efficiently because its DC doesn’t to go into a battery. This process causes energy loss.

Off-Grid Advantages

1. It can be used in remote areas where national grids cannot reach.
2. It can store extra energy and use it whenever your house needs.
3. It doesn’t need the grid-connecting process.
4. It is totally environmentally friendly.

Current Condition

In comparison, residents around the world prefer a grid-tie system more, and many countries like the UK, the US, the Netherlands and China are encouraging their residents to install this system. But In India, an off-grid system seems to enjoy more welcome because many regions in the country cannot reach national grids.

Chinese New Energy Company Releases New Solar Inverters for Distributed PV Power

Omnik New Energy
Omnik New Energy

Omnik New Energy (Omnik for short), a Chinese-German joint venture has released a new series of solar inverters. Its new products include single phase, three phase and hybrid inverters. By launching these new products, the solar energy company aims to help develop the distributed solar PV (photovoltaic) industry which is expanding across the globe.

These newly-launched products have capacities ranging from 1 kW to 20 kW, and their difference from traditional inverters is that they don’t need transformers except for one single phase inverter specially made for Japanese users. These products are specially designed and manufactured for residential and commercial solar PV systems which are known as distributed PV power systems.

Aiming to expand its UK solar market, the solar energy company also participated in the Ecobuild 2015 exhibition held in London from March 3 to 5, 2015. During the three days in London, the general manager of Omnik Franz Zhao appeared and communicated with those who visited its booth for relevant information consultation. At the exhibition Omniksol-2k-TL2, Omniksol-3k-TL2-S, Omniksol-1k-M and other newly-launched inverters were displayed.

Headquartered in Suzhou, China, Omnik is an innovative high technology solar company, specializing in R&D and manufacturing and marketing PV inverters, with offices in the UK, the Netherlands and Australia. Outside China Omnik mainly focuses on selling inverters, while in China the company sells inverters and builds distributed solar PV systems for local customers.

Contact the company
Address: bioBAY Park A4-414, XingHu St. No.218, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Postal code: 215123
Tel: +86-512-6956-8216
Fax: +86-512-6295-6682

Solar drones bring a new phase of utilizing solar energy

Facebook solarplane
Facebook solarplane

Solar Impulse 2 is still flying on its mission around the world. This is a typical example for taking advantage of solar energy other than utilizing it to generate power and heat water. Drones are also one of the greatest inventions of mankind, and so far they have been combined with solar power. A new creation comes: solar drone.

Social media giant Facebook hopes to bring the internet infrastructure to the world and has started a solar drone project. It is reported that a prototype of this drone (Aquila) has already been tested somewhere of the UK.

Together with Facebook, the biggest search engine company Google acquired a U.S. unmanned-aircraft solar developer Titan Aerospace in April 2014. This suggests the search engine also hopes to develop business in the solar drone field.

Why are they now turning to solar energy? They haven’t officially released any good reason for this yet, but this is a tendency for solar energy development. The current reality is energy shortage is threatening us, air pollution is protruding mainly because people have burned large amounts of biofuels, and solar energy is free, clean and usable now.

As these projects take into effect, more global citizens will see what solar energy really is and will probably turn to solar. In fact, its effects have been proven by solar power plants, home solar PV systems, solar water heaters and so on.

Apart from all these reasons, solar energy has also been proven successful in power generation. Previously people thought it was too expensive for them to turn to solar power, while today the situation has completely changed, for its power price is even cheaper than that generated by biofuels.

Coming back to solar drones, we find they are seemingly suggesting something to us. Protecting the environment will continue, cheaper power prices are in high demand, and innovative ways for the further development of our world are extremely necessary. Thus, solar drones will become new leading devices that can transform our world, and be able to encourage more people to go solar and reduce air pollution.

Two Ways That Make Solar Electricity Even Cheaper

solar power houses
solar power houses

Although solar electricity has already become cheaper than ever before, we still have ways to make it even cheaper. Traditionally solar goers save money by installing cheaper or fewer solar panels, buying cheaper PV inverters, or employing cheaper laborers. No doubt, these are excellent methods, but they are not essential methods. Recent industry news stories have revealed two essential methods that can reduce its price ultimately.

1.Make solar panels much more efficient than ever before.

No matter whether it is in a distributed solar PV system or in a solar power plant, one of the two most important components is solar panels because they convert sunlight into direct current. Based on this concept, scientists have researched solar panels for years, and of course their research focus has been on solar cells which are cells of solar panels. Now solar scientists have released a new invention that they can push solar panels’ average maximum efficiency (25.6%) to a new higher record 46%, a figure which is even higher than the 40.1% achievement researched by a team of Australian scientists.

However, there is an obvious question about it: are these cells more expensive than common cells since they work more efficiently? The answer is no. The study was aimed to research some cells that have higher efficiency but don’t cost too much or make financial trouble for consumers. Most commercial solar cells are made from silicon. To make them work more efficiently, these scientists have used tandem solar cells, which can generate more electricity. Their specialty lies in that they can absorb sunlight in multiple ways. If one light-absorbing material is used, the theoretical limit efficiency can reach up to 34%. But when two light-absorbing materials are combined in tandem, the highest efficiency will turn up to 46%. Their smart strategy is to combine silicon and the metal-halide perovskite, which can be manufactured at low cost.

2.Global PV inverter prices are estimated to drop 20–25% by 2020.

Solar panels are one of the two most components in solar power generation, and what is the other half? It is PV inverters, because they work to convert the direct current generated by solar panels into the alternating current that powers every house. In common conditions they are considered the most expensive products in the whole power generation system. But the good news is their prices have declined rapidly from the beginning. The most recent report from Global Data estimates their prices will continuously go down. There must be some critical reasons for that.

PV inverters’ costs have been decreasing rapidly because the global PV systems and solar power plants have dramatically grow in number and watt. According to the report, their prices are estimated to fall by 20–25% by 2020. The global average cost for them was $0.48 per W in 2010, which will drop to $0.13 per Watt by that time. Apart from massive production and installation, another great contributor is tariff cuts, which influence installations and demands for solar power too.

In addition to the two major breakthroughs, there is also one important element worth your attention. That’s market transfer. The solar market including solar panels and PV inverters markets has transferred to North America and Asia-Pacific, and China has become one of the most prominent players. Its solar panels and PV inverters are relatively cheaper, and indeed this can make solar electricity even cheaper too if you choose them.

5 Basic Tips to Know for Home Solar

Home solar is one invention of the new century, but it has expanded to different parts of the world. Since it becomes so popular, it is possible you may decide to power your house with solar power someday. As for home solar power, there are five basic tips you need to know before you build such a system. Below are the five basic tips for you.

Tip 1: Learn the process of how electricity is generated at home.

To generate electricity with sunlight is not a very complicated process. Generally speaking, you need to install a solar PV system in your house which consists of solar panels, a PV inverter (or microinverters), a two-way meter (optional), batteries (optional), racks, wires and so on. These solar panels function to convert sunlight into direct current, which will the be fed to the PV inverter that converts it into alternating current. Why should it be converted? Because your house’s power system can only consume alternating current.

Tip 2: The system does need a rooftop or a spot on the ground.

Since solar panels are part of the system, and they must be installed somewhere. The common installation area is a rooftop which must be under your name. If possible, the roof had better face south, west or east but never north, for these directions guarantee more sunlight can be absorbed. At the same time a slant roof is better than a flat one for the sake of absorbing more sunlight. This has so much to do with the sunlight angle. Or if you don’t think it is possible to install them on your roof, and your alternative is to install them on a piece of ground that belongs to your house.

Tip 3: Keep a clear idea about the lifespan of the system.

The average lifespan of it is about 25 years, while some business owners say their systems can last for 30 years. Indeed this is also possible if the system is well-maintained by you. Another question is: what is the lifespan of your solar panels? They are really good stuff, for they can last for 30 years or so. The flaw is their efficiency declines as they become old. The last question is: what’s the lifespan of your inverter? The maximum figure is between 10 and 15 years. Therefore, you will have to replace your inverter once during the system’s entire life.

Tip 4: You can keep track of the output of your system.

As solar technology improves, you can use some certain software to monitor your system. By doing so, you can learn how much electricity your system generates each day, month or year. What you do is download some software provided by the solar system installer or supplier on to your PC or mobile phone. The power generation statistics will be automatically transmitted to your devices daily.

Tip 5. The system installer will offer you his warranty.

The warranty usually can be available for 5 to 10 years. Besides, each installer also offers extra maintenance options. This means you can get a longer warranty as long as you pay some money for him. Usually this expense is not that expensive, but this service also differs from country to country. Before buying this service, you should let them clearly tell you how much you do enjoy.

These tips are just very basic ideas about home solar, and can be helpful for some who have no any idea about home solar power. If you need to know more, please consult professionals, who will explain even every detailed step for it to you.

How to install and maintain your PV system?

home PV system
home PV system

How do install a home PV system? This is a question always asked and concerned about by those who wish to go solar. But others think this is not a big issue because installers will help you solve the problem. My answer is you had better learn something about it.

First, you should make your self clear that your community permits this. I have heard that some communities don’t approve this. So, making sure of this will save lots of your energy.

Second, before the solar panels are transported to your home, you need a slant rooftop with an area of at least 30 square meters. The rooftop had better be a slope with a certain angle, for this is the best for absorbing sunlight. If you don’t have such a rooftop but only a flat one, you need racks to support your solar panels with such an angle. Or if you don’t think installing panels on your rooftop is possible, you can also ask the installer to install them on the ground to which you own the property right.

Third, when your panels arrive, you may pick out a spot on your rooftop or ground to install them properly. No matter whether you install them on your roof or on the ground, you should make sure they face south, east or west, so that they can catch the most sunlight and generate the most direct current.

Fourth, install some racks on your roof or on the ground to fasten solar panels. After this process you can install the panels on them in the angles that suit your local latitude condition the most.

After the installation, you may connect your panels to the solar inverter or microinverters for the sake of converting direct current into alternating current. Finally, connect your whole PV system to the local utility grid. If you are intended to do so, you may also need to install the prepared batteries into the system to satisfy the constant power supply for your house. Some who have enough financial support can connect to the grid and install batteries.

Once the installation job is over, you must be considering how to maintain it. To be honest, such a system doesn’t need too much of your time for its maintenance. You only need to make sure the panels are always clean, without anything like bird droppings, dust or snow on them. Three or four times of cleaning in a year is enough, unless you meet special extreme conditions. In addition, make sure your solar inverters are free from dust and moisture.