Schneider Electric awarded patent for the smart charge technology

by | Jul 3, 2018 | Blog posts

The patented smart charge technology helps customers maximize self-consumption of solar power

  • With the smart charge technology, the Conext™ SW inverter monitors for excess power flow to the grid and initiates battery charging automatically



Schneider Electric, the global leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation today announced that it has successfully patented the technology for its smart charge feature. This invention provides significant competitive advantages to Schneider Electric’s Conext™ SW hybrid inverters for AC-coupled, residential self-consumption installations.


The technology behind Schneider Electric’s US patent 20170222438A1, “self-regulated power converter” allows a system with PV and storage to prioritize critical loads until PV generation is in excess, at which point the system prioritizes storage of the excess energy. The patented technology is agnostic of PV inverter and requires no communication between PV inverter and hybrid inverter.


In a typical AC-coupled installation, if power generated from the PV array exceeds the critical loads, the excess power is exported to the grid. Generally, the battery is only automatically charged when fully discharged or a user manually initiates charging. The problem with this approach is that if consumers want to maximize self-consumption rather than exporting excess power, there needs to be a way to seamlessly store the excess energy.


With the smart charge technology, the Conext™ SW inverter monitors for excess power flow to the grid and initiates battery charging automatically. If the critical loads exceed PV power generation, the hybrid inverter automatically suspends battery charging and starts discharging to re-prioritize the critical loads.


“This technology really helps customers maximize consumption of solar power and is well adapted for new installations and retrofits,” says Sau Ngosi, Director of Engineering at Schneider Electric Solar Business. “Some customers are more interested in storing excess energy rather than exporting to the grid. The smart charge technology allows the Conext SW inverters seamlessly prioritize PV harvest between critical loads and storage, thus maximizing self-consumption”


For more information about Conext™ SW hybrid inverter, please visit Schneider Electric Solar website.

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