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  • FIRST POST
    • Merlin139
    • By Merlin139 26th Apr 16, 8:03 PM
    • 4,264Posts
    • 17,948Thanks
    Merlin139
    PV+ Grid Voltage Monitor
    • #1
    • 26th Apr 16, 8:03 PM
    PV+ Grid Voltage Monitor 26th Apr 16 at 8:03 PM
    Today I received a call from my Solar panel installers asking if I was intrested in getting a quote for one of the new Solar PV Batteries and also something called PV+. They claim it can increase PV energy production by upto 20% by cutting out voltage outages!

    http://matt-e.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/PV-v1-Installation-Manual-v6.pdf

    The link shows a PDF which explains what it does. Anybody know anything about them and if so do you think it makes any sense?

    I have someone coming to see me tomorrow morning.
Page 2
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 30th Mar 17, 9:13 AM
    • 5,787 Posts
    • 9,836 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Found a discussion on the electricians forum, and they are not impressed.

    The only benefit being if your property regularly goes over the permitted UK voltage range of 253V, as the inverter will shutdown to meet UK regs, and to prevent it pushing the local voltage even higher.

    If a property does regularly go over 253V, then the DNO has to fix this problem, even if there are SSEG's (small scale electricity generators) such as PV on the line.

    In 6 yrs I'm only aware of my WNW system shutting down once, for about 10 mins due to grid voltage. I know this because my ESE inverters are older and prior to the reg change, and one of those displayed grid voltage at 253V, rather than the usual (around here) 238V-244V. This shutdown happened on a sunny Sunday afternoon, exactly when it's most likely due to low demand pushing up grid voltage.

    Worth reading the comments on the electricians forum, several suggest that installing such a device between the inverter and the grid, may breach the regs that the inverter has to meet. Also, worth reading as I laughed so hard at this response to one comment:

    "It is very big in Germany, apparently!"

    "Something else was big in Germany in the 30's and 40's
    That didn't end well."
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Daniel0807
    • By Daniel0807 30th Mar 17, 10:24 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Daniel0807
    Thanks guys, cancelled order
    I have cancelled the order over phone and by tracked delivery letter. The guy assured me to refund my money to the credit card.
    Meanwhile I managed to register our inverter with Fronius. They gave me 10.5 years warranty. That and the low prices for replacement should get us covered.
    • theboylard
    • By theboylard 30th Mar 17, 2:32 PM
    • 1,125 Posts
    • 2,744 Thanks
    theboylard
    Save your money towards a battery system, or an ashp setup like Zed and savvybuyer?

    I'd flag it with your credit card company as well, let them know what you have done and that there may be a chargeback request coming if shyster & co don't return your money!

    Can't believe there are still companies like this trying it on?!
    4kWp, SSE, 16 x 250w EcoFuture BoB with retro-fitted SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 30th Mar 17, 4:19 PM
    • 5,787 Posts
    • 9,836 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    or an ashp setup like Zed and savvybuyer?
    Originally posted by theboylard
    Psst! Watch this space, 2 more sleeps to go.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 30th Mar 17, 4:39 PM
    • 3,699 Posts
    • 4,555 Thanks
    zeupater
    Psst! Watch this space, 2 more sleeps to go.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    ... Go on, spill the beans ... you know you want to ...

    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 30th Mar 17, 4:45 PM
    • 3,699 Posts
    • 4,555 Thanks
    zeupater
    ... several suggest that installing such a device between the inverter and the grid, may breach the regs that the inverter has to meet ...
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Hi

    Agree ... as posted on this thread last year ...
    Hi

    Just a thought .... further to the above, by externally overriding the G83 compliance of the inverter, I wonder whether being able to continue to export at higher voltages than the standard allows would be considered as invalidating the entire installation in the eyes of the DNO resulting in the potential for a pretty unwelcome letter dropping through the letterbox ? ....

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 30th Mar 17, 5:03 PM
    • 5,787 Posts
    • 9,836 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    ... Go on, spill the beans ... you know you want to ...

    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    I do, I do, I do!

    But I'll wait till Saturday afternoon, just in case, then update the main thread.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • POLLY1133
    • By POLLY1133 18th Jun 17, 7:08 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    POLLY1133
    Pv+
    I was persuaded to purchase a PV+ to my system last May on the promise that it would achieve £100 additional FIT payment based on income at that time of around £500.

    Since installation I have checked year on year and discovered I made £38 LESS FIT income since May 2016.

    I am in discussion with the installers as I feel the PV+ is not fit for purpose and that I was mis-sold.

    I am being told that of course my electricity bill will have reduced because of the installation of the PV+.........something impossible to analyse as home circumstances changed over that period. My son left home reducing the amount of electric showers taken and we now have a shower that is fed by our gas boiler in addition to the electric - we use this early morning/evening.

    Any views appreciated, my thoughts are if we are generating more electricity to use then we should have generated more FIT? Sorry, I am not very knowledgeable but at a loss as to where to get professional advice. Thank you!!
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 18th Jun 17, 7:27 AM
    • 5,787 Posts
    • 9,836 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Hiya Polly, if the system is supposed to increase generation, then of course you are right, it would generate more FiT, or to be more clear, more generation per annum clocking up on your PV meter, the TGM (total generation meter).

    As the last 12 months have not been a great PV period compared to others, then if the PV+ has achieved nothing, then I'd expect you to see a drop of perhaps 0 to 5% on generation from the 12 months before that, reflecting the comparatively poor weather.

    Their argument that your import bill will have reduced is somewhat lame, as you first need to generate more PV leccy, before you can use that to reduce your import leccy.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • POLLY1133
    • By POLLY1133 18th Jun 17, 12:02 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    POLLY1133
    Thanks ever so much, confirms my thoughts!
    • POLLY1133
    • By POLLY1133 30th Jun 17, 2:56 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    POLLY1133
    PV+ and solar generation 2016
    I am in discussion with my solar and PV+ provider as the 20% increase in generation did not happen after we had a Matte:e PV+ installed in May 2016.

    I am being advised that weather was poor and generally 2016 was a bad year for solar generation - around 12-14% down on 2015 therefore my 9% reduction in 2016 was pretty good!

    Can any of you solar experts confirm this is the case please. Many thanks!
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 30th Jun 17, 3:09 PM
    • 5,787 Posts
    • 9,836 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    I'm no where near you, but if it helps, and builds up some examples, my numbers for whole years, with all systems operational (against PVGIS targets) are:

    2013 - 104%
    2014 - 108%
    2015 - 106%
    2016 - 102%
    2017 - 97% (current prediction if the rest of the year is average).

    And just to be pedantic. If the average drop was 12-14%, which I don't believe, then if the PV+ was working as they claim, wouldn't you have gotten 86% + 17.2% (20% of 86%) = 103.2% of average annual target (120% of their stated national average of 86%)?
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 30th Jun 17, 3:16 PM
    • 5,787 Posts
    • 9,836 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    If this helps, you can look at the Met Office anomaly maps. Scrolldown and select:
    climate variable - sunshine
    year - 2015 and 2016 (one at a time)
    period - annual
    map type 1981 -2010 (giving a comparison against 30yrs of data)

    I'm no expert but it looks like 2016 was an ok year (95%-105% of average), whilst 2015 was better. However this is sunshine, and of course PV varies by temperature as well, but it may help you (in some way?)

    Met Office anomaly maps
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • pinnks
    • By pinnks 30th Jun 17, 5:34 PM
    • 496 Posts
    • 1,127 Thanks
    pinnks
    To add to Mart's data, mine is:
    2015 - 103% (first full year of both systems)
    2016 - 101%
    2017 - 100% (predicted based on year to date)

    June 2016 was poor but the rest of the year not that bad as the overall position shows.

    HTH
    Wiltshire - 5.25kWp
    3.5kWp: 14 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 4000TL, WSW 40 degrees, June 2013
    1.75kWp: 7 x Phono Solar 250 Onyx, Sunny Boy 1600TL, SSE 45 degrees, March 2014
    • POLLY1133
    • By POLLY1133 3rd Jul 17, 9:33 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    POLLY1133
    Thank you so much for this information, I have a rep meeting me at my house on Thursday. They are looking at dirty panels (bird muck) and trees - although rainfall seems to keep the panels clean and I was up at 6 am and have monitored sunlight and there was no tree cover. Have been offered my money back if no improvement in a year's time but hoping to have an earlier resolution - no guarantee the company will be operating in a year's time! Again, I am very grateful to you!
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 3rd Jul 17, 10:26 AM
    • 5,787 Posts
    • 9,836 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Thank you so much for this information, I have a rep meeting me at my house on Thursday. They are looking at dirty panels (bird muck) and trees - although rainfall seems to keep the panels clean and I was up at 6 am and have monitored sunlight and there was no tree cover. Have been offered my money back if no improvement in a year's time but hoping to have an earlier resolution - no guarantee the company will be operating in a year's time! Again, I am very grateful to you!
    Originally posted by POLLY1133
    All the very best for Thursday, but expect a lot of BS. If you want some extra ammo (be prepared), I've only given my panels a light wash every 2 or 3 years, but never really noticed any difference in performance, before or after.

    The Energy Saving Trust, state:

    Solar PV maintenance

    Solar PV needs little maintenance – you'll just need to keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don't begin to overshadow them. In the UK panels that are tilted at 15° or more have the benefit of being cleaned by rainfall to ensure optimal performance. Debris is more likely to accumulate if you have ground mounted panels.

    Once fitted, your installer should leave written details of any maintenance checks that you should carry out from time to time to ensure everything is working properly. This should include details of the main inverter fault signals and key trouble-shooting guidance. Ideally your installer should demonstrate this to you at the point of handover. Keeping a close eye on your system and the amount of electricity it’s generating (alongside the weather conditions) will familiarise you with what to expect and alert you to when something might be wrong.

    The panels should last 25 years or more, but the inverter is likely to need replacing some time during this period, at a cost of about £800. Consult with your installer for exact maintenance requirements before you commit to installing a solar PV system.
    And don't forget, whilst their claim that 2016 was an 86% year is clearly false, you should still have gotten 103.2% if their product had given you an uplift of 20% compared to 'average'.

    So use real facts, figures, and their own claims against them.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 3rd Jul 17, 1:34 PM
    • 3,699 Posts
    • 4,555 Thanks
    zeupater
    Hi

    Information provided below is from PVOutput team 'United Kingdom' for the past 4 years. The team consists of 548 systems of which around 250 currently contribute on a daily basis therefore the sample size would prove statistically significant.

    Average Generation kWh/kWp per day - percentage is 2016 vs year
    2016 - 2.185
    2015 - 2.243 - 97.4%
    2014 - 2.276 - 96.0%
    2013 - 2.209 - 98.9%

    2016 when compared to the previous 3 year average resolves to a relative generation of 97.4% (2.185/((2.243+2.276+2.209)/3)), therefore a 'reasonable man' consideration would be that the reduction in generation due to irradiation conditions would be in the region of 2.6% which is certainly in line with the Met Office sunshine analytics figure provided by Martyn1981 in an earlier post.

    It is important that POLLY1133 accurately compares 12 month generation post-installation for the same periods pre-installation in energy terms (kWh) as opposed to FiT payments as this removes tariff variance.

    From information provided, annual payment reduced by £38 on a historical 'estimate' of £500. The annual uplift for FiT between 2015 & 2016 was 1.21%, therefore suggesting a 7.5% (38/(500*1.0121)) reduction in generation for this particular site which suggests that the FiT 'estimate' of £500 needs to be addressed urgently prior to any discussion with the vendor.

    Irrespective of the accuracy of the data, it is clear that the provision of technology claiming to benefit generation is not performing in line with any technical or financial claims made.

    Regarding 'bird muck' - considering that the generation periods being compared are annual, it is extremely unlikely (or even unreasonable) to assume or claim that a temporary reduction in output would resolve to anywhere near a 20.9% (1-((100*0.925)/((100x1.2)*0.974))) fall in annual generation against claims & expectations, this being due to the natural cleaning effect of rain combined with year on year long term averaging (birds tend to target panels on a regular basis!).

    Regarding shading - it would be unreasonable to assume that shading related to trees would seriously impact annual generation (in the region of 25%) between two consecutive years without the shading source being extremely close to the array in question and the shade being almost immediately obvious.

    It's no use in considering FiT income in any discussion unless claiming compensation for reduced generation. Accurate data on energy generation is needed to be gathered together urgently - this can either be from the quarterly submissions or downloaded directly from the inverter.

    HTH
    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 03-07-2017 at 1:44 PM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • POLLY1133
    • By POLLY1133 3rd Jul 17, 4:15 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    POLLY1133
    I shall digest the information you have kindly let me have and be prepared for them to come! They are coming Wednesday now but I shall stand my ground, I was certainly mis-sold! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    • Merlin139
    • By Merlin139 3rd Jul 17, 6:12 PM
    • 4,264 Posts
    • 17,948 Thanks
    Merlin139
    I shall digest the information you have kindly let me have and be prepared for them to come! They are coming Wednesday now but I shall stand my ground, I was certainly mis-sold! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Originally posted by POLLY1133
    If this system can do what it says then they should be able to show you proof backed up by facts and figures. The company that wanted to install one with me was Save Heat Energy. Based in Durham. because they installed my system I would be charged only £875.00

    As I have said to them get 2 systems in houses next to one another. 1 with the system and 1 without. Then they could show you proof. I am still waiting after nearly a year for them to comeback to me. They won't because it dose not work!

    My 3.975 kWh SolarEdge system produced:

    2015 4158 kWh's
    2016 4061 kWh's

    I should also point out that I have a shading issue that causes a reduction of nearly 10% This being the reason I got a SolarEdge system with Micro Optimisers.

    If they are not prepared to refund your money go down the small claims court route.

    Hope you get the result that you want.
    • POLLY1133
    • By POLLY1133 4th Jul 17, 7:03 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    POLLY1133
    Yes thank you Merlin139, it is the same company!

    I have now calculated from the date of installation rather than quarterly readings

    2015-2016 2885 kWh's - the year immediately before installation of PV +
    2016-1017 2843 kWh's - the year from the date of installation

    Enough said, readings would be ok had I not 'invested' in the PV+!
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