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ASI Power Project Gallery

Grid connected gallery


Windspire 1.2 kW VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine) from Mariah Power. This unique 30 foot tall VAWT is amazingly quiet and does not harm birds or bats. This Windspire, installed at the Inbio Parque’s new Casa Autosuficiente exhibit, is the first such turbine to be installed in Central America.
windSpire2 Windspire 1.2 kW VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine) from Mariah Power.
SolarArray Solar array of Kyocera brand high efficiency poly-crystalline silicone solar panels.
solarArray2 Solar array of Kyocera brand - solar panels.
cabinetElec Electronics cabinet including Outback Power brand inverter, charge controllers, surge protection, performance monitoring components, etc. These are the ‘brains’ of the renewable energy system. Below the cabinet is the vented battery storage compartment.

Configuring the GE brand ‘intelligent meter’. This is a bi-directional meter that can separately measure power imported (purchased from the distributor) and power exported (delivered to the distributor).

This meter is also capable of calculating ToU (Time of Use) tariffs such as those recently introduced by CNFL which contain three different prices applied during five separate periods each day. In this type tariff the prices rise and fall depending upon the time of day and the corresponding demands upon their system – ie peak usage times equal peak prices, which are almost 500% higher than the lowest night time prices. These ToU tariffs provide powerful conservation incentives to consumers and significant savings for those who can either shift or reduce their peak period electrical demand.


Grid-connected hybrid (solar + wind) system

The Casa Autosuficiente exhibit at INBio Parque in Heredia is an example of a grid-connected, hybrid renewable energy system. As the name implies, a ‘hybrid’ system utilizes both solar and wind powered generation. Thus taking full advantage of solar resources during the day, and the dry season’s powerful wind, which often blow 24 hours per day.  The term ‘grid-connected’ refers to a home or business with a clean, renewable energy generation system which is also connected to the local electricity distributor with a billing meter. A grid-connected system draws power first from the owner’s on-site panels, turbine or micro-hydro generator, and then draws power from the distributor’s network only if demand exceeds on-site production. Unlike ‘off-grid’ systems, these ‘grid-connected’ systems may or may not have batteries to store energy for later use or for use during utility power outages.

Currently grid connected customers are not approved to export their excess power into the distributor’s network, or if they do, they are charged for that power as if they had consumed it rather than donated it to the distributor!

In the future, government regulations may be reformed to allow grid-connection and the authorized export of excess electricity to the grid. This exported power will help the distributors to meet their energy supply requirements, will help stabilize voltages on the local network, and also serve to reduce the country’s oil-fired generation and resulting GHG (Green House Gases).

And, if the Costa Rican government approves the policy reforms we’re seeking, the distributors will be obligated to credit the exported power back to the customer at a later time in the billing cycle or even the next month’s billing cycle. In this way, the customer or auto-generator accrues a positive credit when the excess power exported, and retires the credits when their consumption again exceeds their own power production. The positive credits may be retired in the same day, or billing month or even the following billing period.

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