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What is "grid-buddy"?
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# 1
Hetty17
Old 28-02-2012, 2:06 AM
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Default What is "grid-buddy"?

Anyone know anything about “Grid-buddy”, from Renewable Solutions UK, which will (they say) save your generated electricity for use later? (I got a flyer with the post yesterday.)

Sounds potentially interesting, but their style of advertising (see below) doesn't make me confident; some further & technical information would be useful. I could ring the company, but prefer to do a little research first. A search on Google, this site and Navitron brings up no relevant results. The company's own website doesn't mention it either.

Relevant extracts from the flyer: (capitalisation and punctuation is theirs)
“ Imagine if you could ALSO use the electricity you generate AT NIGHT!.. and be able to use your lights,TV and fridge-freezer in a power-cut!! IT IS NOW POSSIBLE WITH OUR GRID-BUDDY TM HYBRID PV SYSTEM
[…...]
Our Grid-buddy TM system allows you to STORE unused electricity from the day (that you would normally export for only 1.5p per unit) and USE IT AT NIGHT (making it worth an average 14p per unit instead)- saving up to an additional £230 on your electricity bill !!
Unlike conventional PV systems, we can enable you to use your system DURING A POWER CUT, and have the luxury of using lights, TV and fridge-freezer for up to 24 hours at a time!!
[…]
** PS – The Grid-buddy TM system is also available for installation to EXISTING PV and WIND TURBINE systems – contact us to arrange an assessment.** ”


Any views?
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# 2
Fruit and Nut Case
Old 28-02-2012, 10:09 AM
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Presumably some method (humungous set of batteries?) to store your daytime-generated electricity. Also some method of providing a pseudo-grid sine wave to fool your inverter into thinking that there has not been a power cut.

Sounds possible in theory but I can't persuade Google to find any details.
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# 3
Martyn1981
Old 28-02-2012, 12:08 PM
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My guess would go with Fruit & Nut too. Clever electronics and a big, big battery.

I posted this on the 'So now I have ......' thread a few weeks ago, check out the 'diddy' battery on page 2, yes, that's it, the box the size of a PV panel!

http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/02...eat-blackouts/

Big bucks I expect.

Mart.
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# 4
sly_dog_jonah
Old 28-02-2012, 12:58 PM
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I got the same flyer through Royal Mail's junk delivery service* today, googled grid-buddy and found myself on MSE once again...

Their website and the flyer use two assumptions which always rile me about PV advertising:

1. that your import electrcity rate is very high (they quote 14p, 40% more than what we pay)

2. they calculate PV electricity savings on the basis of 50% consumption of what you generate.

It's somewhat amusing (and telling) that they have trademarked Grid-Buddy, done a huge Royal Mail campaign, yet not updated their website describe this product.

* despite opting out months ago and following up again on this.
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# 5
sly_dog_jonah
Old 28-02-2012, 1:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martyn1981 View Post
Big bucks I expect.
Probably right, but big savings possible too. Our PV generation over the course of the year exceeds our total consumption. Of course the majority of generation is in the summer, but even in winter if we could store the daytime generated electricity to use in the evening when we cook we could cut our import down significantly. No matter how much we try to shift electricity consumption to daylight hours, there will always be a significant chunk that has to be used when the sun is down.

Such a device would make a bit of a mockery of the deemed export element of the FiT tariff though.
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# 6
Kernel Sanders
Old 28-02-2012, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sly_dog_jonah View Post
1. that your import electrcity rate is very high (they quote 14p, 40% more than what we pay)
Furthermore, they have ignored all those on Economy 7 tariffs in calculating (choosing?) that 'average'.

Is it not true that the battery that can store over its lifetime, more power (in £ terms) than its own cost, has yet to be invented?
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# 7
rogerblack
Old 29-02-2012, 2:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernel Sanders View Post
Furthermore, they have ignored all those on Economy 7 tariffs in calculating (choosing?) that 'average'.

Is it not true that the battery that can store over its lifetime, more power (in £ terms) than its own cost, has yet to be invented?
It's probably borderline, it may be in some cases possible.

Regrettably, it's not there yet.

However.
In order to do this sanely, you need around 5kWh, probably 10kWh of batteries.
At best, this is going to be a really significant slice of the cost of the panels.

If you pair this with an economy 7 tariff, and are able to charge it at night too, this can shrink the size of the battery moderately, but has issues of its own.
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# 8
Fruit and Nut Case
Old 19-03-2012, 4:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renewable Solutions View Post
Hi to all,
We have read the comments posted on the forum with interest and are pleased to have the opportunity to reply...

<snippity>
You need to have permission to post as a company representative on the MSE Forums.
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# 9
sly_dog_jonah
Old 19-03-2012, 8:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sly_dog_jonah View Post
It's somewhat amusing (and telling) that they have trademarked Grid-Buddy, done a huge Royal Mail campaign, yet not updated their website describe this product.
It seems the website has now been updated with some information about this product:

http://renewablesolutionsuk.com/whic...y/grid-buddy-3

Our generation meter is in a discreet location within the house near the CU, so it's unlikely this device could be housed nearby. However it's interesting that the battery bank looks like it can be located somewhere else (e.g. in the loft).
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# 10
EricMears
Old 19-03-2012, 9:47 PM
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It doesn't sound wildly different to my uninterruptible Power Supply.

However, mine was exceptionally cheap at just over £300 and still only runs a couple of computers, a Sky+ box , a couple of lights and the central heating system for a couple of hours. To upgrade the batteries to last overnight supporting a useful load would probably involve buying another thousand pounds worth of batteries. That's really not justified by the possible savings.

I hope the schematic wiring diagram shown is greatly simplified. As shown, it would seem to leave the grid connection live in the event of a power cut. Sharing your reserve supply with a few neighbours is bad enough but electrocuting the repair crew really isn't a good idea.
N Derbyshire.
4kwp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
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# 11
Martyn1981
Old 19-03-2012, 10:16 PM
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Looking at the web-site, quickly, that looks the same as the article I found post #3.

Interesting that there are a few companies looking at this issue, and the costs to savings could be interesting.

Costs: In fairness, shouldn't really think of the spare generation as free, as technically we are getting paid 3.1p for it. And I assume 25% losses in the system, so those units not being exported are actually worth 4p.

Savings: Tier 2 leccy would be 10p, so 6p savings, or if like me on one single tariff (plus a daily standing charge), about 14p, so 10p savings. Or, if such a device helps you eat into tier 1 leccy too, then maybe 17p, so 13p savings.

Do any of those assumptions make sense, it's getting late and I'm tired?

Interesting. So as always in life, I guess it all comes down to 'how much?'

Oh, and also, how much room is needed for the battery bank, and how long do they last, and ...... ok, so it comes down to a lot more than just 'how much?'

Mart.
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# 12
EricMears
Old 19-03-2012, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martyn1981 View Post
Oh, and also, how much room is needed for the battery bank, and how long do they last, and ...... ok, so it comes down to a lot more than just 'how much?'

Mart.
My 4x 12v 26Ah batteries take up a space 40cm x 40cm (allowing air gaps) by 15 cm tall and would supply around 1 kw for an hour or two. Apparently rrp of a set like that would be around £200 (mine were good s/h so a lot less). If you wanted to upgrade that to 3kw for 8hrs you'd presumably want another dozen sets.

I understand they're supposed to be good for several thousand cycles - which the way mine is used (only discharging if there's a power cut) should be several hundred years but if you were going to discharge & recharge every day you might need to replace every 5 or 10 years.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Martyn1981 View Post
Costs: In fairness, shouldn't really think of the spare generation as free, as technically we are getting paid 3.1p for it.
Very few of us will be measuring exports and being paid 3.1 ppu. 'Norm' is to get 1.55p for everything generated (same as 3.1p for half of it). For the purposes of this calculation, you can therefore usually assume you're getting it for nothing.
N Derbyshire.
4kwp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).

Last edited by EricMears; 20-03-2012 at 9:47 AM. Reason: export cost
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# 13
sly_dog_jonah
Old 20-03-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricMears View Post
Very few of us will be measuring exports and being paid 3.1 ppu. 'Norm' is to get 1.55p for everything generated (same as 3.1p for half of it). For the purposes of this calculation, you can therefore usually assume you're getting it for nothing.
Until smart meters come along that will be able to measure (and transmit) export. At which point the 'deemed' export of 50% will probably be replaced with accurate export payments (which will benefit the majority who export >50%).
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# 14
mysterons
Old 22-03-2012, 9:40 AM
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Nothing new here it's just an existing product re-badged in an attempt to cash in on people who've recently invested in pv

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/ind...c,16936.0.html
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# 15
EricMears
Old 22-03-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterons View Post
Nothing new here it's just an existing product re-badged in an attempt to cash in on people who've recently invested in pv

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/ind...c,16936.0.html

I see the Navitron users agree with my guestimate of the cost of batteries required.
N Derbyshire.
4kwp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
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# 16
Fruit and Nut Case
Old 22-03-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterons View Post
Nothing new here it's just an existing product re-badged in an attempt to cash in on people who've recently invested in pv

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/ind...c,16936.0.html
Nice link. Thanks.
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