Inverters for solar power (part 1)

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Been looking for a good inverter for more than an year now. My search began well before I even the blueprints for my house was drawn up, yet after tracking many difficult routes I am back to square one.

Initially I was looking at Grid Tie Xantrex or Sunny Boy inverters. Unfortunately neither company has a local agent in Sri Lanka. Well sunny boy does have an agent but it's staffed by a bunch of idiots who probably cannot tell the difference between AC and DC.

The second problem with these grid interactives inverters is that they are very expensive. In other countries governments are very keen to adapt renewable energy but here in Sri Lanka they are very keen on Solar power. So while Australia provides subsidies for inverters and solar panels, the Sri Lankan government is borrowing heavily to build a coal power plant. So grid tie inverters are out.

I was then looking at inverter chargers that can switch between two or three sources depending on consumption and availability. The sources of energy of course being the PV panels, the grid and the battery bank (which you really cannot call a source in it's own right). Again Xantrex and Sunny Boy are not affordable. There are few cheap chinese versions avaiable but most of them aren't pure sine wave.

Then I came across a local company (Vence) that offers a range of inverters and Online UPSes. One of their product has a feature they called 'Solar Power Server' and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I inquired about it and their sales rep told me that it can draw power from solar panels, I thought my search has ended.

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