The new class of solar controller / inverter and charger products (CICs)are coming
Some of them, like the Victron Quattro have been around for awhile. Though the Victron is technically only an inverter/charger the “multigrid” and “easy solar” are coming soon to North America.
So what is this new class of solar device?
It allows you to store your solar power in batteries. You can feed the grid. And you can use both grid power and battery power to run your home.
So, no more worries about not enough sun. No more worries about grid failures. Your nest is secure.
Are solar inverter/charger/controllers a good idea?
Take the Helios solar inverter. It comes with mppt solar charge controller, highly efficient inverter, and grid or generator powered charger.
But what happens if one of these devices fails. With a system that is individual parts, you replace one part. With a system that is combined, you replace everything all at once.
Are they ready yet?
Some of them do look very good. I’m sticking with my Morningstar controller and my Victron inverter,
Programmed for use with our lithium batteries?
This is another question. Morningstar updated their firmware allowing me to use a 6 year old controller to charge new lithium batteries.
Still. The new ICCs can be paralleled. So you can increase capacity as your needs grow. Or use multiple smaller units to create redundancy and enhance your mini grid.
What features should I be looking for?
- ultra low idle draw on the inverter
- highly efficient solar controller with mppt
- expandable parallel ability