An added benefit to Grid-Ties Solar systems.
The new line of SMA Sunny Boy Inverters come with an innovative new feature, the emergency power outlet. The Secure Power Supply (emergency power outlet) provides electricity to a single outlet when the grid is down and the sun is shining. It is important to stress the fact that the emergency power outlet can only provide 15 amps when a sufficient amount of sunlight is available. The Emergency Power outlet is made to be utilized as a backup solution on Grid Tied Solar Systems.
The following inverters with the emergency power outlet is as follows:
SMA Sunny Boy3000TL-US-22
SMA Sunny Boy3800TL-US-22
SMA Sunny Boy4000TL-US-22
SMA Sunny Boy5000TL-US-22
SMA Sunny Boy6000TL-US-22
As you can see, the emergency power outlet is only available with 3000 – 6000 watt inverters. The 3000 watt inverter will be less capable of supplying a consistent 15 amps compared to the larger 6000 watt inverter. There is only one Emergency Power Outlet allowed per Inverter. More information on the the Sunny Boy TLs can be found on the SMA Website.
Is it worth the extra cost?
We believe that the extra cost to add an emergency power outlet is worth it. The additional cost will vary between $150-200. The emergency power outlet is not a complete backup solution, but it does provide a small sense of security knowing that you will be able to utilize some of your solar energy when the grid is down.
I would like to back up a few loads. Should I use the Emergency Power Outlet or a battery bank?
It all depends on the importance of your load. In almost all cases, a battery backup system is a better solution for your critical loads. The Emergency Power Outlet is completely dependent on sunshine. Power Outages often occur at night or during in-climate weather when the sun is blocked by dark storm clouds. The only benefit of the emergency power outlet is the significantly lower price when compared to battery systems.
How does the Emergency Power Outlet work?
When the grid fails, the Sunny Boy Inverter will display that there is a grid failure. At this point you will need to confirm that there is still potential production from sunlight. The next step is to press the switch located on the Emergency Power Outlet. The switch will trigger a relay programmed on the Sunny Boy Inverter. In result, the Sunny Boy Inverter will supply up to 15 amps to the Emergency Power Outlet. The Emergency Power Outlet should be a GFCI protected outlet and located in a watertight enclosure.