Common PicoCell application is to act as a standalone solar controller, where solar power is matched with AC load’s (pump) power at any given time using variable frequency drive feature of the PicoCell. Therefore, there is no need for energy storage, and Picocell balances power between solar and the pump in this case.
However, in some critical applications, it is necessary to run loads when the sun doesn’t shine (during the night). There are few solutions to this problem, where SunTech Drive developed product: “SolHybrid”, a universal hybrid controller operated by PicoCell which offsets electrical grid or diesel power using solar PV system.
In this case, generated solar power does not get exported to the grid (net metering), but rather is used to offset AC grid consumption by the given AC motor. Such solution is very popular with areas in the world with unstable or variable grid voltage, which usually fluctuates, and is outside regular operating voltage range. SolHybrid, when connected to the PicoCell, is capable of “blending” the power so that solar PV and grid share power required by AC load – pump.
Another benefit of the Power Blending Controller is that it provides power factor correction for single phase AC loads when connected to the grid through the Power Blending Controller. So, previously heavy inductive loads, with huge in-rush current, operate at unity power factor with wind an additional soft start feature. Diesel/gasoline gen-sets can be connected to the Power Blending Controller, and used as source of power instead of grid.
In situations where electrical grid is not available, and diesel/gasoline gen-sets cannot be employed, it is possible to use battery back-up system. In this case product called: Battery Hybrid Controller should be used instead of the Power Blending Controller. The Battery Hybrid unit controls charging and discharging of the battery bank from solar while PicoCell is running AC load. For specific cases where daily duty cycle is important, it is possible to program the timer so to store the energy from solar panels during the day, and run the AC load for desired amount of hours over the night time.