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So now I have a solar PV system how do I make the most of it???
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# 2121
jackieblack
Old 15-03-2012, 1:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Martyn1981 View Post
Jackie, if Mch is poor, try this site afterwards:

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/anomacts/

Click on sunshine, and Mch 2012 then see how this year compares to an average of 30 years.

Weather has gone bad here too, freezing fog, it's almost like Winter!

Mart.
Hi Martyn
Someone, (I think it may have been zeupater) pointed me towards that website around this time last year.
I do have a look occasionally, it's interesting to see how my % generation vs prediction compares.... it's generally been pretty accurate
Not of any real use, but interesting (if slightly nerdy )
2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

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# 2122
degs
Old 17-03-2012, 7:53 AM
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Had my Solar Panels installed last month and took great delight in seeing my disc type metre going backwards, and actualy winding the reading back. To my reasoning if it winds back 10 units then I have to use 10 units to end up were I started from so the 10 units are free. Last week B.Gas wanted to fit a smart metre but on finding I had solar panels said they aren't compatable and fitted a small digital metre. I might be wrong but I don't think these new metres wind back when you feed in.
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# 2123
Martyn1981
Old 17-03-2012, 8:23 AM
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Originally Posted by degs View Post
Had my Solar Panels installed last month and took great delight in seeing my disc type metre going backwards, and actualy winding the reading back. To my reasoning if it winds back 10 units then I have to use 10 units to end up were I started from so the 10 units are free. Last week B.Gas wanted to fit a smart metre but on finding I had solar panels said they aren't compatable and fitted a small digital metre. I might be wrong but I don't think these new metres wind back when you feed in.
Hi degs, you're right, they don't wind backwards, but that'll save you having to pay for any backwards units!

As you get 3.1p for the assumed export units, any backwards units would go against future import units, so you'd be paid twice for export (and at the full import price too).

At least it's been sorted fast, so need to worry about getting it fixed later, or having to pay money back, if you got an undersized import bill as a result of a lower reading.

Mart.
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# 2124
John_Pierpoint
Old 17-03-2012, 10:30 AM
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If you small white postcard sized meter with a liquid crystal display is like mine, it flashes one flash per Wp being imported and displays constant red when exporting. It also cycles round through its registers and now displays rEd - attempting to make alphabet out of its display - to let the meter reader know that someone has been fiddling the meter.
This will be interesting when the supply company makes its 24 monthly inspection of the equipment as required by legislation.

It is a very simple way of know if the panels are making spare export electricity, the import meter if red and the generation meter is flashing away at a speed you soon get good at recognising. Side by side in my hall.

I am expecting a drawn out "misunderstanding" with my supplier.

==============================================

This site has been discussed before:
http://www.ref.org.uk/fits/index.php...sioned&dir=asc
I do enjoy the retrospective commissioning dates, do we really believe this one was powered up as a Hogmanay celebration?
FIT00007357 1 IV24 Hydro Commercial 50 1922-01-01 No Export HD/EXGEN/01 Scotland N/A Highland R00016SYSC

Any way getting to the point:
Some adopters of retro (?) fit PV panels seem to be on a "PV-N/0-4/01" deal; some on "PV-N/0-4/02"
My contract with British Gas appears to be "PV-R/0-4/02"

My guess is that the "R" represents retro fitted as against new build.

Anyone know what the difference is between 4/01 and 4/02 deals?

Last edited by John_Pierpoint; 17-03-2012 at 11:09 AM.
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# 2125
Brian99
Old 17-03-2012, 9:01 PM
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Originally Posted by John_Pierpoint View Post
If you small white postcard sized meter with a liquid crystal display is like mine, it flashes one flash per Wp being imported and displays constant red when exporting.
Eh ?? It flashes once per watt-hour, ie 1000 times per kWh.

Watts = flashes counted per hour

or (easier to do!)

Watts= Flashes counted per minute x 60
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# 2126
EricMears
Old 17-03-2012, 9:14 PM
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Measuring generation or consumption by watching flashing lights would be almost a full time occupation ! There are electronic devices around that can do the counting for you and display the result.

Or there are plenty of cheap meters around that give a very good idea of current flowing in a particular wire by clamping a sensor around the cable. One such meter clamped around main supply cable is pretty well useless but it's reasonably easy to rearrange house wiring such that generation and supply can be measured in separate cables. Depending on your level of expertise it would either be a DIY job or you may need professional help.

Two such basic meters and a bit of mental arithmetic would do the job or there are some meters that can accept multiple inputs and do the arithmtic for you.
N Derbyshire.
4kwp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
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# 2127
John_Pierpoint
Old 18-03-2012, 12:57 AM
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It is not completely rocket science.
It is an LED a grown-up version of the little flashing red light in modern cars to warn off thieves.
One glances at the two meters:
The importing consumption meter is on permanent red.
The generation meter by its side is flashing at one flash every two seconds.
So we have a home grown generation of 30 x 60 = 1.8 kW, so turn on a small heater, perhaps the tumble drier on the "cool" setting or ideally a 1kW immersion heater if I had one.

It is not actually as calculating as that, a quick glance registers as "free juice" ! - click on the immersion = two flashes on the generation meter to one (say) on the importing meter = 1/3rd price electricity.
If its the other way round: pause - Ah DW has just turned on the kettle.

John

PS. Anyone know what "PV-R/0-4/02" signifies ?

Last edited by John_Pierpoint; 18-03-2012 at 1:01 AM.
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# 2128
Kernel Sanders
Old 18-03-2012, 1:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian99 View Post
or (easier to do!)

Watts= Flashes counted per minute x 60
Or, even easier (and quicker!) to do

Watts = Flashes counted in 36 seconds x 100


Also, from another thread...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernel Sanders View Post
You can also estimate your generation by measuring the frequency of the flashes with the stopwatch on your phone; simply divide 3600 by the timing, hence every 12.00 secs = 300W, every 9.00 secs = 400W etc.

Last edited by Kernel Sanders; 18-03-2012 at 1:22 AM.
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# 2129
Martyn1981
Old 18-03-2012, 7:21 AM
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Anyone know what the difference is between 4/01 and 4/02 deals?
I didn't, but I do now!

Normally you'd owe me a beer, but I'm just as nosey as you, so I had to find out, once you asked.

Breakdown of PV-R/0-4/02 tariff code:
PV - photovoltaic
R - retrofit
0-4 - upto 4kWp tariff
02 - second year of FITs. Installs before April 2011 get coded 01, first year. Installs registered April 2011 to Mch 2012 get coded year 02

Here are some of the sites I hit

http://www.ref.org.uk/fits/index.php...fitid&dir=desc

click on Back to REF website, to learn more, and

google PV-R/0-4/02 + OFGEM to find a list of installs and their appropriate codes, scrolling down, the first one to have April 2011 was also the first to be coded 02.

Quick tip for googling, click and hold your left mouse button to the left of PV above, then holding the button down, drag to just after the M (in OFGEM), let go, then right click in the highlight, and one of the options will be to google the highlighted phrase. Much quicker and accurate.

Now, about that beer?

Mart.
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# 2130
cazarol
Old 18-03-2012, 10:15 AM
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Caz, sunny explorer is a bluetooth interface, what you need is a model name, possibly a Sunny Boy 4000?

Hopefully then we can check to see if it has MPPT.

Edit: apologies for the abbreviation, multi point power tracking, allowing two different feeds that don't effect each other.

Edit2: Not doing well today, sorry. To measure roof angle, two ways, take the dimensions of the triangle (post them if this is tricky) and use calculus to work out angle. Or watch as 'clever clogs' wife downloads a spirit level app to smart phone and measures the angle by holding it to the roof(s) total time about 1 min. Who do you reckon the smart one is?

Mart.
Good Morning Mart and all other solar lovers !!
At last I have got the name of my Sunny Boy, it is a SB4000TL-20, so fingers crossed this is the correct one for my panels etc. It seems that once we had a few days of good sunshine so higher production my system got the hang of it and is now producing quite satisfactorily, imo.
Yesterday we produced 6.3 and the day before being 6.5, both with not much sunshine at all. Our highest ever is 11.342 on a good sunny day. All in all am feeling a lot happier with production all round. Its just making sure I use as much as poss during the production times, have got timer switch for washing machine etc. Every little helps !!
only up to 0.812 so far on this damp morning, not much washing done for that production !!
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# 2131
EricMears
Old 18-03-2012, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Martyn1981 View Post
To measure roof angle, two ways, take the dimensions of the triangle (post them if this is tricky) and use calculus to work out angle. Mart.
Just noticed this (from last month) quoted above.

Not sure how you'd use calculus to do this ! I'd use trigonometry and specifically Sine, Cosine or tangent - all of which can be evaluated within msExcel
N Derbyshire.
4kwp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
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# 2132
Martyn1981
Old 18-03-2012, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cazarol View Post
Good Morning Mart and all other solar lovers !!
At last I have got the name of my Sunny Boy, it is a SB4000TL-20, so fingers crossed this is the correct one for my panels etc. It seems that once we had a few days of good sunshine so higher production my system got the hang of it and is now producing quite satisfactorily, imo.
Hello Caz, I was only thinking about you yesterday, and wondering if you'd heard back yet.

The SB4000TL-20 does have dual MPPT, so is perfect for your split system. It's an inverter that I've noticed gets mentioned a lot on other forums (and it's smaller brother the SB3600 also dual). Both seem to be very well respected, from the comments I've read.

Glad production is picking up, I'm seeing similar with an ESE orientation, not so much fun 2 months either side of winter solstice!

Mart.
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# 2133
Martyn1981
Old 18-03-2012, 12:40 PM
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Just noticed this (from last month) quoted above.

Not sure how you'd use calculus to do this ! I'd use trigonometry and specifically Sine, Cosine or tangent - all of which can be evaluated within msExcel
Hello Eric, funny the things you partly remember from school. 30 years on but I still remember 'The Cat Sat On An Orange And Had Hiccups', or

TCS
OAO
AHH

e.g. Tan = Opposite dived by Adjacent, how sad, can't believe that stuck!

so for my roof angle, which in feet is 7 high, by 12 long, by 13.89 hypotenuse, I can use

inverse Tangent 7/12, or
inv Cosine 12/13.89, or
inv Sine 7/13.89, or

let my wife use the spirit level app on her smartphone!

Mart.
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# 2134
EricMears
Old 18-03-2012, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Martyn1981 View Post
funny the things you partly remember from school. 30 years
Even longer ago it was :
Some Of His Chums Are Having Trouble Over Algebra
Sine : Opp/Hyp
Cos : Adj/Hyp
Tan: Opp/Adj

And even earlier than that (so I'm told) it would have been :-
Some People Have Curly Brown Hair ( Till Painted Black)

where P was 'Perpendicular' & B was 'Base'

Computers have taken all the fun away - who gets a laugh from Excel's "Insert Function" ?
N Derbyshire.
4kwp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
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# 2135
Kernel Sanders
Old 18-03-2012, 2:30 PM
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Computers have taken all the fun away
Let's not forget the reason we are able to have fun on here!
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# 2136
GaryMo
Old 18-03-2012, 3:41 PM
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I don't remember a phrase as such but just the (made up) word SOHCAHTOA.
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# 2137
John_Pierpoint
Old 19-03-2012, 1:45 AM
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Thumbs up Harvested enough electricity for a round of srinks


hWh on day of week.

4.91 Monday
3.63 Tuesday
7.60 Wednesday
12.94 Thursday
3.21 Friday
3.23 Saturday
16.36 Sunday



30 degree elevation facing SE in S.Essex. 3.6 nominal Aurora inverter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martyn1981 View Post
Breakdown of PV-R/0-4/02 tariff code:
PV - photovoltaic
R - retrofit
0-4 - upto 4kWp tariff
02 - second year of FITs. Installs before April 2011 get coded 01, first year. Installs registered April 2011 to Mch 2012 get coded year 02

Mart.
Ne interesting to see if the government attempts to pick out < 2011-12-12 & < 2012-03-03 commissioning dates any further news of legal developments?

Last edited by John_Pierpoint; 19-03-2012 at 1:53 AM.
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# 2138
Lemoncurd
Old 19-03-2012, 3:00 PM
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Have just submitted my 4th quarterly FIT reading. We've had our panels for a year so just wanted to check how they'd measured up to the predicted generation. The figure from http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/apps4/pvest.php# was 2880 kWh for the year, double checked my spreadsheet for actual generation and the figure was.......



exactly 2880 kWh!!!

Last edited by Lemoncurd; 19-03-2012 at 3:08 PM.
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# 2139
RoxyK
Old 19-03-2012, 6:11 PM
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Phew! Have finally read this thread from the beginning, just in time to get an installation date of next Tuesday. I can't wait. My neighbour got panels installed a couple of weeks ago and of course delights in telling me what he's generated that day. Soon I'll have no need to be jealous plus I'll be paying less for better panels

System will be 3.84kWp (16xSanyo HIT240S40SE10) south facing, 30 degrees with Eltex 4.4HE-t inverter.

Already downloaded FIT application forms from Good Energy.
16 x Sanyo HIT 240w panels, 3.84kWp, south facing, 30 degree slope in the SW, 4.4 Eltek HE-t inverter installed 27/03/12
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# 2140
jackieblack
Old 19-03-2012, 6:22 PM
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Beautiful day today , 13kWh generated (best since 1st September 2011), makes up for some of the day of 1kWh and 2kWh we've had lately
More weather like this, please
2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

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