can i sell power to diesel generator?

mahdi89

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
85
in my place we have no grid electricity..
we use a big diesel generator for about 50 houses
each house have its own kw energy meter
can my inverter sell power? is it safe?
is selling power to grid different than my situation here (engineering wise)?
 

Rednecktek

Solar Addict
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
771
is selling power to grid different than my situation here (engineering wise)?
Yes, MUCH different engineering wise. Right now the generator provides power by converting diesel fuel into electricity. The energy is stored as diesel fuel.

If you wanted a solar array to feed back into that you would need to set up a battery bank to store the electricity you generate, unless you can convert it from electrons to diesel (in which case, PM me! :) ) then that battery bank would need to parallel up with the generator somehow and have some sort of load balancing system to adjust the generator based on how much load the solar isn't producing. That makes sense, trust me.

For what you sound like you want to do, you're looking at revamping the entire "electrical grid" to balance between the two power sources.

Are you trying to make money or just pay a smaller power bill? If it's just the bill then the smarter plan would be to just build your system so you don't have to get power from the generator.
 

mahdi89

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
85
Yes, MUCH different engineering wise. Right now the generator provides power by converting diesel fuel into electricity. The energy is stored as diesel fuel.

If you wanted a solar array to feed back into that you would need to set up a battery bank to store the electricity you generate, unless you can convert it from electrons to diesel (in which case, PM me! :) ) then that battery bank would need to parallel up with the generator somehow and have some sort of load balancing system to adjust the generator based on how much load the solar isn't producing. That makes sense, trust me.

For what you sound like you want to do, you're looking at revamping the entire "electrical grid" to balance between the two power sources.

Are you trying to make money or just pay a smaller power bill? If it's just the bill then the smarter plan would be to just build your system so you don't have to get power from the generator.
got you
but if i returned excess electricity to the generator.. would help other house and the diesel bill of the generator owner will get lower? as it will work on less power?
my goal to lower the generator bill as its very expensive(1$ per KW) .. as my system is not that big (15kw battery 5kw inverter(6700w solar panels/about 26kw daily power, sometimes i have excess of 4kw(during day) so its like 4 $ a day wasted :D)
and am like out of budget to get a bigger system right now
 

Rednecktek

Solar Addict
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
771
Aaahhh, I see. The problem is that the only way to return power to the generator would be to install some sort of load balancing system to the generator that would control how much of the solar is hitting the grid and how much the generator needs to provide. I'm not sure if a simple grid tie inverter would do the trick, but it would definitely be able to supply to the load balancing controller the generator would need. I'm guessing that generator is somewhere in the 75KW range, and may be producing 440v 3ph, but that just means a little different inverter setup.

It's called "Paralleling" and we do it on ships all the time to get multiple generators to supply power. I'd hit up your local boat yard and maritime guys about figuring out the most cost effective way of getting a load balancing system involved. If you come up with a good plan and good info (because research, emails, and questions usually don't cost more than a few beers) you could try to take it to the community and see if, as a group, you can come up with the money. Yes, it'll be a pretty hefty up-front cost, but the fuel savings will add up pretty quickly.

Also, once you've got the load balancer in place it would most likely encourage other people to start getting into solar to help the "grid" there on the island.

Selling the idea to a group of people as an advancement is often times marginally easier than coming up with the capital yourself. You might even be able to pay off your share at 4kw/day of solar. :)

Another option might be to start emailing all these Alt-Energy and NewFangledBatteryCo and see if they might be interested in using your community as a test/advertising bed. They provide the work, you get the power.
 

RCinFLA

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
1,139
You could but would have to be absolutely sure you never allow your sell to cause generator sourcing to become zero.

You never want to push power into generator. The community loads must exceed your power push.
 
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