Are there any safety or legal issues with being grid tied?
There are many ways to backfeed power to the grid, especially with renewable energy. You are correct that in some cases it can be dangerous and illegal. Since this technology is fairly new, the industry is lacking certain codes and certifications that would otherwise need to be in place. For example, with computers there are various UL and ETL certifications that computers must pass before customers will accept them. That doesn’t mean federal law requires those certifications. It’s based on consumer demand.
Since our industry is so new, the consumer demand is still developing, along with codes and certifications. So although we may provide safe products, we don’t really have anything to certify it to.
Legally, we cannot be held responsible for use/misuse of any of our products. Everyone’s scenario is different and we simply cannot cover every issue that may come up. Safety-wise we can assure you that our products always have circuit breakers (sometimes fuses) and we try to use only inverters that are UL or ETL listed. Having said that, some grid tie inverters have not been listed yet. Our products have many other safety features such as temperature controlled fans, high temperature wire, etc. These features are designed into our products here in the USA, so you will not find a lot of the same features from competitor products.
We have many happy customers using our hybrid box, and the grid tie inverter has proven to be extremely versatile. As far as safety goes, the most important features it has are:
- Power is never “forced” back to the grid. It is designed to never create it’s own grid. If your grid is down, the grid-tie inverter shuts off. How does it do this? It constantly senses your grid’s sine wave so that it can generate the same wave back. No wave detected, no wave generated.
- Outputs are protected by either a circuit breaker, or built-in inverter fuses.
- The grid tie inverter is also protected by temperature controlled fans.
We hope this helps. Please let us know if you have questions on any of our products and we'll be happy to help.