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  • FIRST POST
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 5th Dec 16, 3:57 PM
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    Martyn1981
    On-grid domestic battery storage
    • #1
    • 5th Dec 16, 3:57 PM
    On-grid domestic battery storage 5th Dec 16 at 3:57 PM
    Hello!

    Right, as discussed elsewhere, battery storage for self generation (typically PV) is interesting (to some), and gathering momentum in the UK. So here's a thread to discuss it, and watch it develop.

    I've called it on-grid, as off-grid is so much more specialised. And domestic as commercial scale storage, or grid scale can be chatted about on the Green & Ethical energy issues thread.

    So, where are, well this article lists about 20 systems that are available or should be available soon:-

    Introducing CleanTechnica’s New Home Battery Overview Page

    Jumping straight in with personal opinions:-

    Economical - Not yet. Prices are falling fast, the range of products is expanding fast, and large numbers are being deployed in some countries, either because the price of leccy is high (Australia & Hawaii) or because subsidy schemes exist (Sweden & Germany).

    Where are we today. My needs are a 4kWh system. That's 4kWh of useable capacity, which would mean about 8kWh of lead acid (LA), or about 5kWh of lithium ion (Li-ion). My research has found batts in the high £2k and up range. I need the price to be nearer to £1.5k.

    The Tesla Powerwall II, installed is approx £6.5k, which works out at about £2.2k for 5kWh, but of course, it doesn't work quite like that, as smaller systems will cost proportionately more.

    Environmental - Tricky one this (to say the least). Until storage is needed, it's not environmental. Renewable energy (RE) generation currently displaces gas generation, which is a demand follower. Once gas generation is pushed down to zero (at times) we need storage, but we aren't there yet.

    However, to push gas generation down to zero, we need more RE, and to ensure it is viable/economic/profitable, we will need storage - chicken and egg situation.

    The advantage of storage to the environment, is to take peaks of RE and timeshift them to peaks in electricity demand. On a domestic level, this works quite well as PV generates during the day into the afternoon (or evening) depending on the month, so any stored leccy is available for the evening peak 5pm to 7pm.

    That's the background, and now here's a thread to discuss options, prices, economics, and watch things unfold. Enjoy.
    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.
Page 10
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 22nd Aug 17, 5:16 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Lots of domestic storage news, but nothing major, just some small steps along the way:

    1. Home battery safety - a while back I mentioned that there were concerns over fire risk from batteries, and that Australia was considering a rule requiring they be fitted outside in special enclosures. But not all Lithium batts are a fire risk, and not all batts are Lithium, so after consultation the report has been delayed as it's now felt the requirements go to far making it unfit for purpose.

    So at least they are making sensible progress in putting together some guidelines.

    Over 3,000 responses bring halt to Standards Australia’s ‘outdoor enclosures’ guidelines


    2. Life expectancy and warranty lengths - In my calculations, which seem to fall short of being economical so far, I've stressed the point that I'm working on warranted life expectancy years/cycles. I know that's not fair, but till we know better, I personally don't want to bet £1,000's on life after warranty. So I'm hoping in the future to see something like 10,000 cycles and 15yrs.

    So this article interested me, not so much the 'batts on the roof' idea, but the mention of a 20yr warranty on the batts, which bodes very well for the future, I think?

    ‘Microstorage’ solutions can enable 20-year warranties for lithium, JLM says


    3. Batts are expensive, and returns on PV are getting tighter, so for new entrants, it may be some time before they can invest in PV and batts, and hope to breakeven.

    So, EDF have an offering, that I think we've discussed before, where they install the PV for free, then charge you a lower than usual tariff for the leccy, about 10p/kWh. After 20yrs the PV system is yours.

    Now, I wasn't that impressed before, as I pay EDF 12p/kWh for leccy, so if the PV system supplied half your leccy for an average house, that would be about 1,800kWh out of 3,600kWh, saving you 12p-10p = 2p x 1,800kWh = £36pa, with a 20yr lease on your roof, and locking you into a 20yr tariff deal with them too.

    But ..... the latest offer includes batts too, and something I think is important an annual increase of "the retail prices index or 2.5% – whichever is lower." note 'whichever is lower', which doesn't sound too bad.

    So perhaps 80% of your leccy, and you have PV and batts, assuming that's important to you, in order to take part in changing the way the UK gets/uses it's leccy.

    I'm torn on this deal, but I do think it's a very interesting idea for those that don't believe they can afford a PV system.

    Should homeowners warm to EDF Energy’s free solar panel system?

    Of most interest to me (and possibly those on here with PV already) is that a scheme like this may drive up the installation rates of batts, and speed up the industry a bit.


    So, all together, nothing too exciting for us, but hopefully some important steps on the way to affordable batts.
    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.
    • Davo456
    • By Davo456 24th Aug 17, 9:33 PM
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    Davo456
    Home Switch 4.8Kwh system £2274
    So, I have a 3KwH solar array which I've happy with.

    Would something like this, make economic sense ?

    ok, its not as pretty as the Tesla ones, but I think I could mount it quite easily in the loft perhaps.

    I haven't found any real feedback on the company or the equipment on-line, and it does seem quite reasonably priced ? or is it too cheap to be any good ?
    Any feedback would be much appreciated.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 25th Aug 17, 8:52 AM
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    Martyn1981
    So, I have a 3KwH solar array which I've happy with.

    Would something like this, make economic sense ?

    ok, its not as pretty as the Tesla ones, but I think I could mount it quite easily in the loft perhaps.

    I haven't found any real feedback on the company or the equipment on-line, and it does seem quite reasonably priced ? or is it too cheap to be any good ?
    Any feedback would be much appreciated.
    Originally posted by Davo456
    Hiya and welcome.

    Can I first caveat myself by being a teeny weeny bit rude, but as you are a new poster, can I just check you have nothing to do with this company?

    I'm only being cautious as I don't want to be tricked into appearing to endorse something .... but .... I also thought it looked quite interesting, so many thanks.

    I'll add the links:
    Home Switch
    AC Battery Storage Systems
    ME 3000SP Inverter Data sheet - see bottom of page

    This appears to be a DIY install with step by step instructions - no idea if this is easy or not.

    I also note the packages go up in price by the same cost as the battery unit, so I suppose you could add on later, rather than 'risk it all' at the start.

    Prices look good, eg 7.2kWh is roughly half the size and price of a Tesla PWII, before install costs. But whether it would payback is still questionable until prices fall in the future.

    Maybe one to watch, I'm really not sure myself, but certainly interesting, but I wouldn't want to be the first to jump!

    But thanks again, certainly an interesting read and interesting idea/prices.
    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.
    • Davo456
    • By Davo456 25th Aug 17, 9:02 AM
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    Davo456
    Hi Martyn,

    I can confirm I have nothing to do with this company, other than being amazed by the low price.
    And that's why I was thinking there was a catch!

    I was actually looking at DIY power walls made by 420+ 18650 cells - maybe that's just my engineer background shining through, when I saw someone mention the Hoemswitch LifePo batteries were cheap.

    I tried to find reviews, and also a forum where anyone else had discussed this and that's how I came across this thread.

    Spoke briefly to them yesterday, and they have sold around 1000 to date, and its expandable - so people have started with 2 batteries, and move to 5, one at a time.

    One thing I am curious of, the unit only seems to supply 13A back into the house fuse board - I'm sure that's what he said, so its not a way of running your house.

    With the 4.8kwh battery, 6000 cycles, I think it works out at about 7p/kwh which I think is close to what we pay now with EON for normal supply - I need to check this.

    Other thing I was amazed at, is you don't need to be MCS registered to do this. So a basic electrician with Part P should be able to do it for you,
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 25th Aug 17, 10:49 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Hello again.

    I've watched a few things on Youtube, but a lot goes over my head. This article has the story of a battery build using a written off Leaf batt, very yum yum!

    See from reply #20 August 17 2014

    Hadn't spotted the 6,000 cycle claim, that is interesting, but their warranty is 5yrs and links back to China. Doesn't mean it's no good, but I'd personally want to wait till the warranty was stronger, perhaps a bigger UK name. Seems harsh but you need the longevity to get your money back.

    I don't think it's 7p, as you can only use 90%, but 80% is probably a safer max (maybe less, by building in some redundancy by going a bit bigger again).

    So £2,274 / (6,000 x 4kWh) = 9.5p/kWh, ignoring lost interest etc. Or 7.5p/kWh for the 7.2kWh package.

    The limit on return is down to the inverter which is 3,000W AC, though it does say "1.5*Pnom ,10S; 1.2*Pnom ,30S"

    I'm not sure what that means, is it 4,500W for 10 seconds & 3,600W for 30 seconds?

    I'm wondering because a while back I mentioned that you may need DNO approval, which I couldn't understand, then it was pointed out to me, that if the battery/inverter can discharge more than 3.68kW, then theoretically you could export more than 3.68kW, hence the approval of the DNO ..... even though you don't want to export from the battery (unless being paid to do so?)


    I certainly think it's interesting and very promising for the future. My main concern is the warranty, and as it dawned on me a few posts back, the warranty may be an easier way to reach economic viability than falling prices, for example:

    I can save about £120pa from reduced leccy import savings and £30pa by then being able to switch to a no-standing-charge account. So a 10yr warranty gives me £1,500 to play with, but a 20yr warranty gives me £3,000 to play with, even though it may be the same battery, same cycles etc.

    More interesting, my personal example is based on 4kWh useable, so fits the 4.8kWh offering on the site. So we see that at £2.3k it doesn't work on 10yrs, but does work on 20yrs, using my rather unfair current mental rules.

    This is good fun!
    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.
    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 26th Aug 17, 10:25 AM
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    ASavvyBuyer
    I can save about £120pa from reduced leccy import savings and £30pa by then being able to switch to a no-standing-charge account. So a 10yr warranty gives me £1,500 to play with, but a 20yr warranty gives me £3,000 to play with, even though it may be the same battery, same cycles etc.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    The Home Switch system looks interesting:
    Home Switch
    AC Battery Storage Systems

    Looking at the info on the 2.4kW model (for about £1.5k) I reckon we could save about £100/year on reduced leccy import (including the standing charge, as they tend to break even at around 1,000kWh/year, with the much higher unit rate for no standing charge tariffs).

    We would still need to import during the winter months, as our generation in low then, so not likely to reduce it even further, even with a bigger model.

    That works out as taking about 15 years to break even (assuming inflation & lost interest cancel each other out).

    So a 5 year warranty, and needing to pay for returning it to China if it fails in that time, does not seem to make it economically viable for us.

    Think it needs a longer warranty supported from the UK, or a much lower price to start making economic sense, for us.
    Rhondda Cynon Taf, 4kWp, W roof, 30° pitch, 16 x 8.33 Eternity 250w E+10 panels, Solar Edge SE4000-16A Inverter + P300 Optimisers & REUK Diverter
    + Toshiba RAS-10G2KVP-E Ultra High Efficiency Air Conditioner/Heat Pump
    • theboylard
    • By theboylard 31st Aug 17, 10:57 AM
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    theboylard
    Couple of bits in this piece concern me, but I'll wait for those that know way more than I do to comment?

    Questions economic benefit of home battery storage, or not as the case may be?
    4kWp, SSE, 16 x 250w EcoFuture BoB with retro-fitted SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 7th Sep 17, 4:20 PM
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    Martyn1981
    ffu 13 - august
    Electricity imported - 94kWh (123kWh in August 2016)
    Generated - 309kWh ( 326kWh in August 2016)
    Battery discharge - 93.91kWh
    ImmerSUN diversion - 47.64kWh (95kWh in August 2016)

    Bit of context - we were away on holiday or the first week of August, and then the kids were away from home for another 10 days, so probably our electricity and hot water demand were a bit lower than typical. Again shy of 100kWh/month, and if I average across the 9months of install so far I'm avoiding importing 73kWh/month. At current electricity import prices this battery will take at least 10 years to recover its costs - which is longer than the warrantied life-cycle of the batteries. Starting to feel like an expensive and futile experiment! Certainly feeling like a 4kWh battery isn't quite big enough for my daily usage, probably 6kWh would be a better size.

    Maybe I should look again at variable-rate tariffs and perhaps consider an additional night-time charge-up on an economy7-type cheap rate?
    for context, the battery here is an 8kwh lead acid, hence the short life expectancy, though the unit is fully upgradeable, so bigger and better batteries can be swppoed in at a later date.

    so 'taking one for the team' seems to apply here as we all learn from this experiment.
    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 7th Sep 17, 4:35 PM
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    Martyn1981
    STA points to ‘obvious flaws’ in battery degradation study

    The battery degradation model used in the study was developed after tests were carried out on LiNiCoAlO2/C6 18650-type cells, meaning a Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide battery was used. The STA has stated this chemistry is not suitable to use in this application as it has a "low number of discharges", adding that its “short lifecycle and rapid degradation rate is well understood”.

    “For domestic solar PV applications, a battery that can discharge over 10,000 times is needed (like Lithium Phosphate or Lithium Titanate). Fundamentally the study seems to show us what the industry already knows - that choice of battery is vital and this is not a suitable battery for a PV installation,” the statement adds.
    personally i'm shocked at the marriage choice of a 4kwp system and a 2kwh battery.

    what little i've learnt so far suggests that oversizing the battery is sensible to reduce dod, rate of discharge, and to build in some spare capacity for later years as batt capacity falls. there's also an economy of scale issue too.

    to start with such a small battery seems to be asking for trouble.
    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 7th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
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    Martyn1981
    like buses, 3 posts come along at once.

    Suns, E3 / DC, Senec and LG Chem dominate German residential PV storage market

    Nearly two-thirds of all solar storage systems sold in Germany come from these four suppliers. According to EuPD Research, about 16,800 photovoltaic storage systems were sold in the country in the first half of the year. Falling prices and an attractive rooftop market are driving demand upwards.
    of interest to me is that the battery subsidy is actually quite small at 19pc for the period reported, and 16pc from 1st july.

    or looking at it another way, the grid benefits from large amounts of storage, but avoids 81pc to 84pc of the cost, and doesn't have to provide locations either.

    too simple, too obvious, and too cost-effective for a uk scheme perhaps?
    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.
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 8th Sep 17, 9:21 AM
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    NigeWick
    Couple of bits in this piece concern me
    Originally posted by theboylard
    How many batteries used in the research? Who funded it? Since Nissan have had their used Leaf battery for home storage scheme, they allegedly haven't had enough batteries from vehicles to cope with any demand. Then there's the research suggesting that V2G battery use increases the life of vehicle batteries.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 8th Sep 17, 9:33 AM
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    Martyn1981
    How many batteries used in the research? Who funded it? Since Nissan have had their used Leaf battery for home storage scheme, they allegedly haven't had enough batteries from vehicles to cope with any demand. Then there's the research suggesting that V2G battery use increases the life of vehicle batteries.
    Originally posted by NigeWick
    yep, both nissan and renault's plans to re-use batts have run into problems as the batts are simply lasting too long, so supply has fallen short.

    long term i suppose this will resolve itself, and should of course be seen as good news.
    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 8th Sep 17, 5:17 PM
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    zeupater
    How many batteries used in the research? Who funded it? Since Nissan have had their used Leaf battery for home storage scheme, they allegedly haven't had enough batteries from vehicles to cope with any demand. Then there's the research suggesting that V2G battery use increases the life of vehicle batteries.
    Originally posted by NigeWick
    Hi

    Don't worry about it at the moment .. doesn't really matter about the technical details, it's just seems to be based on overpriced & undersized battery systems ... I'd even guess what systems were the offenders ...

    Essentially, you can't do much other than to agree with the conclusion at the moment, I'd certainly question the economic benefits of domestic battery systems at the moment too ...

    The only reasonable prices (£/kWh) for a decent offing at the moment are coming from the Tesla stable, but if you're paying for capacity you don't need the solution becomes as expensive, if not more expensive than their competitors (£/kWh required), as per ... this article ... however, bulk market prices are reportedly falling quickly, so let's look forward to better system prices on the way soon ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 9th Sep 17, 11:27 AM
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    NigeWick
    The only reasonable prices (£/kWh) for a decent offing at the moment are coming from the Tesla stable, but if you're paying for capacity you don't need the solution becomes as expensive, if not more expensive than their competitors (£/kWh required)
    Originally posted by zeupater
    Z, I am happy to pay for my solar and the Tesla Powerwall 2. Because, if there are enough early adopters like me then there will be more manufacturers after a piece of the market bringing competition and lower prices to allow many more to be able to afford solar and batteries in their homes.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 12th Sep 17, 5:01 PM
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    Martyn1981
    And another new battery product, but no prices. However it's got a 10yr and 10,000 cycle warranty.

    Hopefully we'll soon see a 15/20yr 10,000 cycle battery product, and that'll sell like hot cakes ... if the price is reasonable / not unreasonable.

    Varta Storage prepares to enter the UK as ‘the next market’ to open up

    The VARTA Storage pulse system offers a small, compact wall-mounted storage system for domestic use available in two classes - 3.3kWh and 6.5kWh. As a small compact system weighing just 45KG, or 65KG depending on the model, Varta claims it can be installed by one person in less than 30 minutes

    Meanwhile the element line, a three-phase all-in-one system with integrated power inverter and battery management system, will be available in four classes from 3.2kWh to a capacity of 13kWh.

    The standalone systems are enabled for smart grid applications and offer 10,000 cycles within a ten year warranty.
    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 12th Sep 17, 6:17 PM
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    zeupater
    Z, I am happy to pay for my solar and the Tesla Powerwall 2. Because, if there are enough early adopters like me then there will be more manufacturers after a piece of the market bringing competition and lower prices to allow many more to be able to afford solar and batteries in their homes.
    Originally posted by NigeWick
    Hi

    The battery's not really the issue it's the relative price per kWh storage ...

    If the Tesla Powerwall 2 is (say) £6500 then you'd reasonably expect to compare with other offerings at ~£460/kWh ? ...

    However, if you only have a requirement for (say) 8kWh (factors=demand,PV capacity etc) then the real price becomes £812/kWh ...

    But many users only need sub 4kWh (at least myself & Mart), so cost/kWh doubles again to over £1600/kWh of usable capacity, which questions the Tesla Powerwall's competitiveness against smaller systems when you either don't need the extra capacity, or you're not really sure how much capacity you need, in which case a smaller minimum capacity with the option of modular expansion makes a lot more sense, especially when storage costs are predicted to fall rapidly ...

    as Per ...
    Hi All

    Different but interesting analysis of Tesla's decision to seriously upsize the storage capacity for their Powerwall domestic battery.

    Tesla Powerwall 2 - Business brilliance or a concept in need of a reality check ?

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    HTH
    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 12-09-2017 at 7:20 PM. Reason: -r
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 12th Sep 17, 6:24 PM
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    ASavvyBuyer
    Another modular battery system here:

    https://www.cclcomponents.com/byd-b-box-2-5kw-lithium-battery-with-wall-mount-and-bmu

    2.5kW battery system for £1,456.
    Rhondda Cynon Taf, 4kWp, W roof, 30° pitch, 16 x 8.33 Eternity 250w E+10 panels, Solar Edge SE4000-16A Inverter + P300 Optimisers & REUK Diverter
    + Toshiba RAS-10G2KVP-E Ultra High Efficiency Air Conditioner/Heat Pump
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 12th Sep 17, 6:44 PM
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    zeupater
    Another modular battery system here:

    https://www.cclcomponents.com/byd-b-box-2-5kw-lithium-battery-with-wall-mount-and-bmu

    2.5kW battery system for £1,456.
    Originally posted by ASavvyBuyer
    Hi

    That's more like it ... buy into storage for a reasonable price, see how it works in your environment, then expand as and when necessary ..

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Exiled Tyke
    • By Exiled Tyke 12th Sep 17, 6:54 PM
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    Exiled Tyke
    Another modular battery system here:

    https://www.cclcomponents.com/byd-b-box-2-5kw-lithium-battery-with-wall-mount-and-bmu

    2.5kW battery system for £1,456.
    Originally posted by ASavvyBuyer
    This looks interesting:

    10 yr warranty: good
    No reference to no. of cycles though: bad
    2.5 kW discharge rate (per module): good

    What does it actually cost to get installed? And does this cost vary with the inverter - it claims to be compatible with a few but not SE as yet.

    And how good is a warranty anyway? Will these manufacturers be around for the 10yrs and how easy will it be to claim from a company based in China?
    Install 28th Nov 15, 3.3kW, (11x300LG), SolarEdge, SW. W Yorks.
    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 12th Sep 17, 7:58 PM
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    ASavvyBuyer
    There is another modular system here:

    https://www.victronenergy.com/inverters-chargers/ecomulti#brochure

    https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/ECOmulti_A4_Datasheet_EN.pdf

    Price looks to be about £2k for a 2.3kW system.
    Last edited by ASavvyBuyer; 12-09-2017 at 8:01 PM. Reason: additional link
    Rhondda Cynon Taf, 4kWp, W roof, 30° pitch, 16 x 8.33 Eternity 250w E+10 panels, Solar Edge SE4000-16A Inverter + P300 Optimisers & REUK Diverter
    + Toshiba RAS-10G2KVP-E Ultra High Efficiency Air Conditioner/Heat Pump
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