Costa Rica Solar Solutions is one of the first to install feed-in limiters and what we have learned!

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Costa Rica Solar Solutions is one of the first companies to install the Feed In Limitation option for Central and South America. As mentioned in our previous post Solutions and Options for the new solar regulations in Costa Rica, we are installing a SolarEdge Monitoring system which will

  • Set limits imposed by network restriction
  • Increase self-consumption
  • Offer highly competitive cost grid limiting device
  • Offer fast response time –follows rapid power changes (<1 sec)
  • Allow for advanced Metering of Consumption, accurate information on loads and self-consumption, System owners can reduce their electricity bills by changing consumption behavior.
  • Be used in conjunction with the SolarEdge Storedge and Tesla system.
  • Allow for battery back up when the grid is down.

Since December we have installed 6 systems and have learned a lot about how this integrates with the SolarEdge Inverters and Power Optimizers.

Terminology

  • Feed-in or Export: The power injected to the grid. This valued in the portal is represented in green when the Consumption, Solar Production and Self Consumption is shown.
  • Consumption: The total power consumed by the site, including purchased from the grid and produced by the SolarEdge system. This is calculated by the inverter using its production values and imported energy measured via a meter (CT and modbus) that is installed at the load consumption point (Breaker Box on the L1 and L2 Lines).  This value is indicated on the SolarEdge portal in Red.
  • Self-consumption: The PV power consumed by the site and not fed into the grid. This value is calculated by the inverter using the Inverter information and the Metered Consumption. This value is indicated in the SolarEdge portal in Blue.
  • Solar Production: The Solar power produced by the SolarEdge system. This value is indicated in the SolarEdge portal in Green.
  • Import: The Power that is purchased from the power company. This value is indicated in Red on the consumption slider bar.

Here are three different examples on how the system works.

feed-in_limitation_system-sketch_eng
Example 1: Residential Home with a Feed-In Limiter and no two way meter for the power company.

  1. The homeowner has changed consumption patterns to match solar production hours.
  2. Large daytime solar demands maximize self-consumption.
  3. Perfect example of how the power optimizers work with the inverter to slow the production to meet the self consumption requirements with out over producing and feed into the grid.
  4. Perfect example of how to evaluate usage patterns to determine the Tesla Battery size.
Example 2: Residential Home without Feed-In Limitation, has a two way meter with the power company.

  1. Homeowner’s main consumption is during the day.
  2. Grid Consumption is lower at night and during the day the solar system is overproducing to compensate for the night time usage and is perfectly balanced out.
  3. Perfect example on how the Tesla Battery system will peak shave and over come the night time usage.
Example 3: Luxury Home with a Communication Control Gateway (CCG) and a Feed-In Limiter. This home has two inverters and needs a CCG to communicate with the Feed- In Limiter. The home is rented out during the month and has a high consumption almost 8,000 kWh per month. This home does not have a two way meter and does not have net metering until expected policy changes. Click here for more detailed information of project.

  1. The main consumption is during the night time usage for air conditioning.
  2. Perfect, example of how the power optimizers and the two inverters increase or reduces production to meet the self consumption demand. This shows how intelligent the SolarEdge system is.
  3. Historical data will help us design the Tesla Battery system and information in case of in correct billing.

 

Lessons Learned

Since we have been installing the Feed in Limiter solutions we have learned a lot about how well the SolarEdge system works together with the inverters,power optimizers and metering (modbus) system.

This is not only for limiting energy feeding into the grid (because of the shift in policies) but also to use as a tool for the consumption patterns and data that might be needed for battling the billing department with the power companies.

By using this tool we can now design better systems for using Tesla Batteries. We now have the ability to see how much energy the client need for the night time usage and can size the battery needs.

This data can also help the clients to see what their consumption patterns are and help them make changes to use more self consumption than importing from the grid.

As many of the competing companies are trying to find ways to over come the lack of current policy, the end result may be the same but the technology will be different. Since the SolarEdge power optimizers is working with the SolarEdge inverters to meet the demands of the consumption we see a higher efficiency and are marveled by the cutting edge technology.

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