Given your research, would it be possible to purchase one of these; and easily hook it up to say, 2 of the largest energy producing panels today; and then mount all 3 of these on a single axle trailer?
You could potentially leave this inverter/solar panel trailer out at a remote farm somewhere..... Would this technically work?
TheMagster wrote:I just started looking at this today, I'm trying to determine if this is worthwhile, or a waste of money. As I understand it, it is a 7600W grid-tie inverter and a level 2 EVSE combined into one unit. I chatted with a rep at wholesalesolar about it, and told me that it will prioritize usage of power coming from the solar panels like this:
1) first priority is to charge your car
2) second priority is to feed the grid in your home (it connects to your main breaker and will feed power to whatever appliances are running in your house)
3) third priority is to feed the utility grid (sell power back to the power company)
That makes sense to me, and it could be especially advantageous if you are able to charge your car during the day and if your utility pays you a low rate for electricity that you feed back into the grid. For example, if you pay $0.12 per kwh and your utility buys back power at $0.03 per kwh, then this device would be effectively charging your car at the $0.03 per kwh rate, netting you a savings of $0.09 per kwh.
Downsides include: there's no option for a battery backup system, as this is a grid-tie inverter only. Your car would need to be able to charge in your garage during the daylight hours for the above scenario to work (so doesn't makes sense for someone that commutes to work in their EV). There's also a slight bit of extra wear and tear on the EV battery, since you would be charging during the hottest part of the day. Also your EVSE would be permanently installed in your garage, and not portable. You would need a second inverter if your solar system was over 7.6 kw.
I think this device could make a lot of sense for a solar carpark, something that a business might offer its employees. I'm not sure it makes sense for the average person to have at home though.
For me personally, I work from home, so I would be able to charge during the daylight hours most of the time. I live in the Pacific Northwest and charge in a garage, so temps wouldn't be an issue. But we have long, cloudy winters here, so I think it would only really benefit me during the summer months.
Initial cost is pretty high, the unit costs $2400 at the moment ($2k for the inverter, $400 for the EVSE cable...they are sold separately). An equivalent 7600W grid-tie inverter (by the same manufacturer) without the built-in EVSE costs $1575. So effectively you're paying $825 for the EVSE component of it, which seems pretty steep to me, especially since it isn't portable. It is a 40A EVSE, which is higher than most (can the Leaf handle charging at 40A?).
The other area for potential savings that they allude to is in the reduced cost of install. I'm planning to install my solar system myself as much as possible, but I'm required to have an electrician hook up all the wiring. With a traditional system I believe I would have to pay the electrician to install a sub-panel in my garage, then wire up a grid-tie inverter and EVSE on two separate circuits on that sub-panel. The cost of labor on all of that might outweigh the added cost of the 'luxury' of everything being in one box, with no additional wiring needed.