New product alert! This week, Generac–the national leader in backup generator solutions-turned clean energy company–added three new releases to their ever-expanding product lines. First, Generac is adding a microinverter option to their existing string & hybrid inverter options for solar installations. The second product is a new backup generator that is designed primarily to recharge PWRcell batteries. And, finally, Generac’s third new product is an energy management system designed to improve and increase battery performance. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about these new products.
- Generac is launching three new products: a microinverter, a new generator to charge their batteries, and an energy management system
- These products help Generac to meet their mission of providing energy independence and whole home power
- You’ll be able to purchase Generac’s new products in Q1 or Q2 of 2022
- Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to receive quotes for solar or solar-plus-storage systems (and be sure to make a note in your profile if you’re specifically looking for Generac products!)
What’s included in Generac’s product release?
There are three products included in Generac’s latest product release–a microinverter, a new backup generator, and an energy management system–each of which is described in greater detail below. These products add to Generac’s extensive existing product lines, which include back-up generators, energy storage systems, string inverters and optimizers, monitoring apps, and more.
The aim of all of these products is to provide energy independence. Since 1959, Generac has offered backup standby generators to provide resilience for home and business owners. After acquiring Pika Energy in 2019, Generac entered the energy storage industry, providing clean alternatives to backup generators. Now, with these new products–especially the energy management system–Generac can provide whole home backup.
But what’s unique about Generac’s new products is that they come from the first major manufacturer in the solar industry to sell both string inverters and microinverters. Instead of focusing on just a single type of inverter system technology, Generac is providing a “supermarket” of solar solutions, recognizing that different technologies are useful in different situations.
The first new product is a microinverter that provides an alternative to their existing hybrid/string inverter and optimizer solution. The fact that Generac is introducing a microinverter shouldn’t be a surprise: earlier in 2021, Generac acquired Chilicon, a US-based manufacturer of microinverters. In other words, Generac isn’t reinventing the wheel; rather, they’re leveraging Chilicon’s decade of experience developing, testing and iterating on microinverter design, putting sharp new branding on Chilicon’s inverters.
This week’s product launch includes two new microinverter models. The first is a standard microinverter that’s designed to place one inverter per solar panel (1:1), supporting solar panels up to 420 Watts. The second, and more exciting product, is a 2-to-1 microinverter, which is designed to control and capture the output of two 360W solar panels at once (2:1).
What’s particularly useful is that the 1:1 and 2:1 microinverters can be installed together in series, providing you (and your installer) with a lot of flexibility in the design of your system. Combined with modular trunk cables, the new PWRmicro modules should make installation even more efficient.
Generac’s bread and butter is making generators. But while most of their generators are designed primarily to back up your home, what’s unique about the PWRgenerator is that it’s designed primarily to back up your battery backup: it is the first generator of its kind designed to recharge an energy storage system directly. In other words, if your battery runs out of charge and you’re in the middle of a snowstorm (i.e., the sun isn’t shining), the PWRgenerator can kick on so you’re recharging your battery from the generator instead of your solar system, so you can keep running your home indefinitely when the grid is down.
The PWRgenerator uses the same REBUS architecture as the PWRcell batteries, meaning it is easily integrated into a Generac storage system: it plugs right in and ties into your existing Generac app. The PWRgenerator is built to be quiet (it runs at only 60 decibels, the same level as a conversation), efficient (so efficient that it’s certified for grid-support) and reliable (it’s designed to run for days at a time).
The final component of Generac’s product launch is also the final piece that ties together all of your home’s clean energy products in a neat bow: an energy management system. Energy management systems are the best way to get the most out of an energy storage system, and Generac’s is no different: the PWRmanager is a load management system designed primarily to increase the performance of your battery.
Similar to a battery saver mode on your phone, which shuts down unused apps when your state of charge hits a certain threshold, the PWRmanager hardware and software solution keeps power available for the things you need by temporarily turning off the things you don’t. The PWRmanager also allows you to power your largest loads without requiring additional batteries through much of the same process.
This particular product is Generac’s second generation of a load management solution, with a focus on both a mobile-first user experience–see how much run time you have left in your battery on your phone!–and an efficient install process–90 minute install! The PWRmanager allows you to route 12 relays (basically controllable circuits) through the device and then plugs directly into your main electrical panel, running leads down from the panel into the PWRmanager and back up into the main panel.
When will these products be available?
Typically, during this third week of September, the solar and storage industry holds its largest conference and trade show: Solar Power International, recently rebranded to North American Smart Energy Week. As a result, many manufacturers time the launch of new products to coincide with this week. While the conference was scuttled for a second straight year, companies are still moving ahead with their new product launch events and demonstrations, just in a virtual format.
However, product launches don’t necessarily mean that these new products are available to purchase today: in the case of Generac’s new product launch, the PWRgenerator, PWRmanager and PWRmicros will land either in Q1 or Q2 of 2022.
Start electrifying your home today with EnergySage
When these products do become available, you can find them on EnergySage! We work with Generac PWRpartners throughout the country to bring you quotes for the whole suite of Generac products and compare them head-to-head on EnergySage. When you sign up for a free account to receive custom solar or solar-plus-storage quotes for your home or business, indicate that you’re looking for Generac products and we’ll do our best to make sure you see them in your quotes!