A home operating on solar power stored in the PWRcell Whole Home Solar + Battery Storage System

Solar Power System from Generac Fulfills the Promise of Clean Energy Without Limitations with Whole Home Power

Generac joined the Solar Power Market with the cutting edge PWRcell and PWRzone product line. PWRcell is a 9kWh to 36kWh scalable battery storage systems with a single inverter and whole home automatic transfer switch. The PWRcell 3.6kWh Battery Module (3.0kWh usable energy) populates the PWRcell Battery Cabinets in configurations of three to six battery modules. Each system can include either one or two Cabinets.

The PWRcell inverter charges the batteries from the Photovoltaic Solar Array and converts DC power from the batteries or from the PV Array to power the house. The inverter has six modes of operation:

  • Islanding
  • Grid Sell
  • Self Consumption
  • Prioritized Charging from Renewables
  • Grid Support – Zero Export
  • ESS PCS* Operation: Import Only or Export Only

*ESS = Energy Storage System: PCS = Power Conversion System

A PWRcell Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) controls access to the grid through the utility meter. When the grid has power, the transfer switch provides access to the utility lines for importing power to charge the PWRcell battery modules and supply power to household loads. During a blackout or power outage, the ATS isolates the home or business from the grid. Power from the PV array or from the PWRcell battery modules feeds the main circuit breaker panel as if it was coming from the grid. Power management options allow heavy loads like air conditioners and well pumps to operate.

The PWRcell ATS includes Air Conditioner power management. Optional Smart Management Modules provide control over other, non-contactor heavy loads like water heaters and well pumps.

Generac incorporated the PWRview Home Energy Monitoring System into the PWRcell System. PWRview monitors energy use in real time, enabling homeowners to adapt and modify their energy use for efficient and economical advantages that reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

A man with a smartphone monitors his Home Energy use with the PWRview HEMS Home Energy Monitoring System.

Monitor your family home energy use the the Free PWRview SmartPhone App—Fully Compatible with Generac PWRcell.

A Generac 200 Amp PWRview Automatic Transfer Switch adds real-time monitoring to your Generac Generator

Power: PWRcell Versus Leading Competition

Hands down, PWRcell beats competitors like Tesla PowerWall and LG Solar Edge. A single PWRcell Battery Cabinet configured with 3 Battery Modules delivers up to 9kW of continuous power directly to the main circuit breaker panel for use by all the critical, essential, and conveniences of everyday life.

The 5kW Tesla and LG/Solar Edge each provide up to 5kW maximum continuous power. Encharge 10 maxes out at 3.84kW on a single battery. All three can only supply power to a 60-Amp subpanel.

PWRcell actually manages power to heavy loads instead of simply shutting them off. If the water heater is on and the air conditioner must start, PWRcell turns the water heater off and allows the air conditioner to start. Once the load stabilizes and power is available, PWRcell turns the water heater back on—while the air conditioner continues to run, if there is enough power available.

Competitors like Tesla, LG, and Encharge simply shut a load off and leave it off without management. If momentary power use requires the system to shut the water heater, it won’t turn on when power becomes available.

Usable Energy is the maximum energy from a single unit. Each 3.6kWh PWRcell Battery Module adds 3kWh of usable energy to a PWRcell Battery Cabinet. A cabinet with six PWRcell battery modules can provide 18kWh of energy with a peak current of 50 Amps and a continuous power output of 9kW.

  PWRcell Tesla PowerWall LG SolarEdge Encharge 10
Peak Current 50 Amps 30 Amps 30 Amps 24.6 Amps
Continuous Power 9kW 5kW 5kW 3.84kW
Useable Energy 18kWh 13.5kWh 9.3kWh 10.5kWh

 

The Generac PWRCell Inverter has a maximum input of 15kW from the PV Array.

A large solar array produces power for a modern, south-facing home with large windows.

This large PV Array produces renewable power from the sun for use by the home. The PWRcell clean energy system can sell excess power to the grid, provide backup power during outages and blackout, or power an off grid home.

PWRcell Solar + Battery Backup During Outages and Blackouts

One of the biggest complaints about early solar power bordered on a major drawback of grid-tied systems. During a blackout or power outage, the system shut down the array leaving the house without power—even though the sun shone, and the solar panels continued to produce power.

It is always dangerous and usually illegal to supply power to the grid during an outage. A grid-tie system adds power to the grid whenever an excess of power PV Array produces more power than the home can use. A grid-tie system cannot add power to the grid during an outage, so older systems simply shut down to remain in compliance.

The addition of a transfer switch solves the grid-tie issue. A transfer switch isolates the home from the grid while it produces its own power—a major improvement for homeowners tired of power outages rendering their solar panels useless during an outage.

During an outage or blackout, PWRcell uses the PV array during the day to power the house and keeps the batteries charged. When the sun goes down, the system draws on battery power to keep the lights on and the home comfortable.

However, competing systems often shut down the PV array and switch to battery power the moment the power goes out, even though the sun is still shining. When the sun goes down, partially depleted batteries continue to discharge through the night and into the next day.

PWRcell keeps the batteries charged until the sun goes down and resumes charging when it comes up. With a correctly sized system, there’s no need to run out of power just because the utility deemed it necessary to shut off power to the entire region.

Generac PWRcell Battery Cabinet and Inverter installed in a garage.

Generac PWRcell Battery Cabinets, PWRcell Battery Modules, PWRcell Inverters, and PWRcell Automatic Transfer Switches include NEMA 3R enclosures rated for indoor and outdoor use. Battery modules operate in temperatures up to 122 Faharenheit.

PWRzone: Solar PV Array Components

Generac PWRzone Components let you build and configure your PV Array with Solar Panels from any manufacturer*. PWRzone SnapRS provides simplified array connections while complying with National Electrical Code 690.12 which requires a rapid shutdown device for each solar panel in the array. With SnapRS, Solar Panels connect in series from the negative terminal of a panel to the SnapRS which connects to the positive terminal of the next panel.

Each array zone connects to a PV Link 2500-Watt MPPT Optimizer. Generac’s MPPT Optimizer uses advanced algorithms to provide maximum power under shaded conditions and complex rooflines like domed rooftops. The PV Link MPPT Optimizer connects to the first and last SnapRS device.

PWRzone connects Five PV Panels together with 5 SnapRS devices using only 10 connections plus two more for the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) device. A similar 5 panel array requires 22 connections using competing MPLE (Module Level Power Electronics) devices. Reducing the connection count and replacing five MPLE devices with a single MPPT device increases overall reliability with fewer points of failure.

Arguments in favor of competing MPLE systems claim that MPPT can’t handle complex rooflines or shading. PV Link utilizes the solar panel’s built-in diodes to optimize power when a panel becomes shaded, recalculating the maximum power point anytime a portion of the array becomes shaded or comes out of shade. PV Link efficiently manages up to six azimuths in each array.

MC4 connectors make quick rooftop connections for the MPPT Optimizer and SnapRS devices.

*Generac does not manufacture or sell solar panels.