Siemens contributes microinverters and EV charge infrastructure to ‘net zero energy’ house demo



Siemens has installed microinverters and an electric vehicle (EV) charging station as its contribution to a ‘net zero energy’ house demonstration which is complete with solar panels fitted by 1st Light Energy.

The Germany-headquartered engineering and electronics multinational launched its M250 microinverter while its VersiCharge EV charging station was originally launched in 2011. The new demonstration brings the two together with California-based 1st Light Energy’s solar installation to create a house where Siemens claims “the total amount of energy used in the home is equal or less than the power generated by the on-site renewable sources”, in other words, achieving ‘net zero’ energy use. Siemens has not yet revealed the location of the project.

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A microinverter is fitted beneath each photovoltaic (PV) panel, converting the direct current (DC) energy generated by the PV into alternating current (AC). The principle of a microinverter is that it transfers the maximum output from the solar panel to the home or grid regardless of shading or orientation of the panels. Enphase is perhaps the best known microinverter specialist in PV at present.

Siemens claims its microinverters can be fitted to any make of solar module, or any wattage. The M250 has integrated grounding and comes with free monitoring. In the June launch, Siemens launched 215W and 250W models.

The company has previously worked on other ‘zero energy’ home projects with microinverters, notably for television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in 2011, but the new demonstration project is the first to include a residential demo of the Siemens VersiCharge EV charger infrastructure. The universal charger allows for quicker charging of any EV, according to Siemens. It also allows the homeowner to charge at off-peak times in regions where time-of-use charges are applied to electricity bills, with a built-in delay function.

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