Opportunity Power Knocks

Our house now has 9.975KW of solar panels on the roof and an SMA Sunny Boy 7.7KW inverter in the basement to turn all of that DC power into AC power.

While we wait for Xcel energy to provide us with a net meter, I wired up the Secure Power Supply (SPS) outlets to provide us opportunity power during the day. SPS can only be activated during a grid outage (or what is essentially one from the inverter’s POV when it’s disconnected from the power grid while waiting for a net meter from the power company). SPS provides up to 2000W of 120V AC power from an outlet (or outlets) connected directly to the inverter: no battery system necessary.

I wanted to do it up right, so I split the circuit into two outlets, activated by a three-way switch (complete with pilot lights to indicate power). One of the outlets is in the furnace closet, tucked away but central and accessible to the interior, and the other is on the exterior of the house, not too far away from the garage, should we need to charge our cars during an extended power outage.

And, of course, they must be outlets of a different color. I would have gone with green if they made them.


Author: PhilRW

software engineer, pianist, polymath

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