Smart grid features allow Sunny Boy TL-US to power Connecticut farmhouse

Tim Brady, owner of Shaggy Coos Farm in Easton, Connecticut, had a long-time desire to power his home with clean, renewable energy. He recognized the positive environmental impact of installing PV, but wanted to wait until it was equally impactful financially. Once Brady recognized the significant savings possible by combining the reduced rates offered through the Solarize Easton-Redding-Trumbull solar discount program with state and federal incentives, he was ready to pull the trigger.

Smart grid features were a must
Sunny Boy TL-US

Sunny Boy TL-US inverters are hung in the farm’s barn.

Sunlight Solar Energy of New Haven, Connecticut, worked with utility company engineers to design a project that would meet the specific grid requirements in the area and receive approval. Engineers determined it required an inverter in which the power factor could be changed, or the project would be denied. Luckily, Sunlight Solar Energy was familiar with an inverter that could do just that: the Sunny Boy TL-US with Secure Power Supply.

“We have been using SMA products regularly for our installations because of their quality and innovative technology,” said Zak Poston, director of operations for Sunlight Solar Energy. “For this particular project, the smart grid features of the Sunny Boy TL-US with Secure Power Supply were especially imperative as it was necessary to adjust the power factor to meet the requirements of the utility company. The fact that we were able to easily do this shows the advanced capability of SMA inverters because they can adapt to the needs of the grid.”

Project details

The 12 kW array includes 48 Phono Solar modules and three SMA Sunny Boy 4000TL-US inverters, each with Secure Power Supply. Situated on the barn, it is expected to generate 14,997 kWh of energy annually and will provide 100 percent of the farmhouse’s energy. In addition to the smart grid features provided by the Sunny Boy TL-US, Brady benefits from its unique Secure Power Supply feature, which provides 1,500 watts of daytime power from each inverter in the event of a grid outage. That allows him to focus on what matters most: the Scottish Highland cows, turkeys, chickens, ducks and pigs that really brighten the farm.

This post was originally published in 2015. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

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