Using a generator to charge backup battery?

findlj

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May 12, 2022
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Hi, I'm new to the forum and am getting my 7.6kW solar array installed Monday. I have not bought a backup battery at this time but would like to do so and have the ability to recharge it via an Inverter/Generator. I intend to purchase a WEN GN875i 8750 Watt inverter/generator soon.
I'm finding it difficult to get information from my solar vendor on the logistics of attaching the battery they sell to a generator. While I like the company and the installation staff I've dealt with, they have not done this. They use the Enphase Encharge 10 primarily.

I'm looking for advice and recommendations on battery, transfer switch vs Interlock, installation issues, etc., especially from those who've already done this.

Thanks for the help in advance!

 

Ampster

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What are the circumstances where you think you would not have enough solar to charge the Encharge batteries? Is this a once a year scenerio or more often?
 

DThames

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Hi, I'm new to the forum and am getting my 7.6kW solar array installed Monday. I have not bought a backup battery at this time but would like to do so and have the ability to recharge it via an Inverter/Generator. I intend to purchase a WEN GN875i 8750 Watt inverter/generator soon.
I'm finding it difficult to get information from my solar vendor on the logistics of attaching the battery they sell to a generator. While I like the company and the installation staff I've dealt with, they have not done this. They use the Enphase Encharge 10 primarily.

I'm looking for advice and recommendations on battery, transfer switch vs Interlock, installation issues, etc., especially from those who've already done this.

Thanks for the help in advance!

What type of solar install will you have? A backup to a grid tied system may have certain limitations. A battery backup to a micro inverter grid tied system will have different limitations. It depends on many factors.
 

findlj

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What are the circumstances where you think you would not have enough solar to charge the Encharge batteries? Is this a once a year scenerio or more often?
I want to cover the case where the grid is down and there's very little sun for several days, as in winter for example. Also, the cost of the Enphase battery for 10kW is over $13K at this time. Not sure I want to put that much investment into a 10kW backup right now. I can buy a 8750 inverter/ generator for less than a grand and that would get me by in the emergency grid down scenario for most instances. After buying the generator, I want to use it to potentially charge the future battery.
 

findlj

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What type of solar install will you have? A backup to a grid tied system may have certain limitations. A battery backup to a micro inverter grid tied system will have different limitations. It depends on many factors.
A 7.6kW grid tied system with Enphase iq8 micro inverters. I plan to purchase an Inverter/Generator at 8750W soon. Eventually a battery backup. See post to Ampster above.
 

findlj

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What are the circumstances where you think you would not have enough solar to charge the Encharge batteries? Is this a once a year scenerio or more often?
Ampster, I'm very interested in the outback Hybrid battery system. Do you know, would that work with my Enphase IQ8 microinverters?
 

Ampster

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Ampster, I'm very interested in the outback Hybrid battery system. Do you know, would that work with my Enphase IQ8 microinverters?
If you are referring to the Outback Mohawk inverter and battery I am sure it can AC couple with IQ8 micros. Is that what you mean by, "work with"?
If you need a NEC 2020 compliant battery then the Mohawk inverter and Mohawk battery might be a good choice. If you are referring to an Outback Radian or Skybox hybrid, they both also do AC coupling so they would work with IQ8 micros. The question turns on cost and NEC 2020 compliance.

Technically I am not sure what a hybrid battery is? Inverters are described as "hybrid" because they interact with the grid like a GT inverter and operate like an Off Grid inverter when the grid is down. The battery is just a dumb storage device that is attached to the inverter.
The Tesla Powewall is actually an inverter and battery integrated in a package that is capable of AC coupling and is NEC 2020 compliant.
In this thread I talked about my experience with the Skybox:
Post in thread 'To Grid-Tie or Not' https://diysolarforum.com/threads/to-grid-tie-or-not.39917/post-505392
 
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