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Dream setup/Wishlist
#1
During a long drive I was considering solar equipment and realised that the ideal situation for typical residential solar going forward is probably the following device:

A solar charge controller with an integrated BMS, grid tie inverter with a CT clamp limiter sensor and another CT clamp for load consumption (integrated monitoring). Add in wireless connectivity for good measure.

If you had such a box with 7 or 14 leads coming out of it that you could simply connect your used electric car battery pack cells, that product would sell by the millions because it would remove much of the systems integration that plague current solar installations. The device would have to be certified, of course.

Does anyone think that this would become a reality sometime? Do you have any other ideas for the dream setup?
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#2
Gonna be almost impossible to find a solar charge controller with integrated bms. heck, even chargers/inverters don't have bms's. The reason is because they are generally built around lead acid based systems, which do not need a bms, not like lithium based systems do.

I doubt it will become a reality and be very profitable because having the modularity is the advantage. If a charge controller dies, you replace the controller. If the bms dies, you replace the bms. If the inverter dies, you replace the inverter. If all these equipments are built into a single unit, you start running into problems of repairability.
Also, heat is a big issue. A charger puts off heat, and inverter puts off heat. So putting them together would be a bad idea.
Sure you could put the bms inside the charger, but then that could cause other issues.

Another problem is expandability, or flexibility. If someone builds a system with Lead Acid, they only need 4 (12V), or 8 (6V), or 12 (2V) batteries. If they go with Lithium Cobalt and the like, then they would need 13-16s. If they go with LiFePO4's, then 18s could be needed. So if the bms is part of the charger, then it would need to be able to handle a large range of configurations. Or, you could have one for each configuration. Doing this would be cost prohibitive as you would need to keep inventory of each item to keep production costs low, and then hope to sell the units.

IMHO, having each specialized device be separate is a good thing. Allows for easy repairability if needed, general maintenance, expandability when needed. The biggest issue is the communications between devices. At least Batrium is working hard at making their system communicate with various different types of inverters and chargers to help with this aspect.

As time goes on, I think there will begin to be a standardization of protocols and comms so that parts can be interchanged without needing interpreters and such. Just like all automobiles use the standard can-bus for cross platform comms. Sure, there are some specialized comms, but for the majority, they are standardized.
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#3
I have it all except the car
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#4
Dream #1: Controller communicating with local grid and weather forecasts to smartly manage dis-/charging. Charge battery when there is plenty of clean energy (eg. around noon and middle of night) paying off-peak rate. Discharge into the grid during peak times (eg. early morning and late afternoon) to receive premium rates.

Dream #2: Related to #1: some kind of interface to schedule hot water, EV charging, washer/dryer, pool pump and whatnot to cover needs while minimizing costs & pollution
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