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  • Yakub Ansari

Can grid-tied inverter operate in parallel with diesel generator?

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

The sole purpose of the grid-tied inverter is to convert DC [Direct Current] power generated from solar panels into AC [Alternate Current] power in synchronization with a reference power source electrically paralleled with it. Most of the time, this reference power source is a grid but if you want to use a diesel generator as a reference power source then there is some protection you will be required to successfully operate.

I heard this question lot of time from lots of creative people who think beyond the market standard practice and want to achieve something out of the textbook.

Here I am going to answer the question “Can grid-tied inverter operate in parallel with diesel generator?”.

The grid-tied inverter can be used in parallel with a diesel generator, but you will require a device called ZED advance to protect your diesel generator from the reverse power generated from the grid-tied solar power plant. Grid-Tied solar power plants produce reverse power during the excess power generation (that is when power generation > load demand) and this reverse power will burn down the diesel generator. ZED Advance protect diesel generator from this reverse power by ramping down the power generation from the solar inverter as per the load demand.

The above diagram shows how you can use the generator as a reference power source and run your grid-tied solar power plant.

As shown in the above diagram, you will be required the following.

Transfer switch to select a power source from Grid or Generator.

  • Input#1 with CT [current transformer] from Generator

  • Input#2 from Grid

  • Output#A to Input#2 of Combiner Box

The current transformer at Input#1 of the Transfer switch sends the load feedback to ZED Advance.