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Social Energy?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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welshdentwelshdent Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
Hi All.

We are looking at solar and a battery. I realise we are post FIT but I Thought I have better check things out! I have had a quote from Moixa and Social energy. Project solar are coming too but I have just seen the comments about them!!!!
My understanding is both are for a 4KW array with a roughly 5KwH battery.
As some background we have a south facing roof in Cardiff.

We are a 2 EV household with an i3 and currently a 30Kwh leaf but this is being replaced with a kia niro EV on friday so 64ish Kwh battery.
Both Moixa and Social Energy estimate massive 25 year savings as you can imagine!
The sales pitch from Social Energy was That they become your utilities supplier then the battery trades your energy??
Has anyone had any experience with them? Or indeed with Moixa? I am keen to try and be a bit greener and also reduce the costs further of motoring but don't want to be done over with anything!!

Thanks in advance
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Replies

  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    welshdent wrote: »
    Hi All.

    As some background we have a south facing roof in Cardiff.

    That's nice!

    But seriously. Get some prices and ideas, see how much you could install, as with BEV's you might want to go as big as possible.

    Personally, and I haven't fully thought this out yet, but my plans for about a 5kWh battery have now been revised up to something like a Tesla PWII's 13.5kWh, so that I could top up a BEV each day through the better 6 months.

    Basically, if you get home, and have done the UK average of 22 miles per day, and want ~6kWh, then you'll empty the batt before it can cover the evening and nightime demand ...... I think? But if you generate around 20kWh's, and have a full 13.5kWh in the big batt, then you can top up the BEV and still cover the night ...... again, I think?
    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.
  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    Try doing a few back-of-an-envelope calculations to see how much you might save. Look at what you currently spend on electricity, and how often you charge the cars. Bear in mind that a 5kWh battery isn't going to go very far in charging a 64kWh car.



    The absolutely best case would be that you drop your summer electricity usage to almost zero, and knock off a significant amount of your winter usage. Don't forget that you'll still pay the standing charge even when you're generating. After doing the sums, work out how many years would it take to pay off the cost of buying the system.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • JKenHJKenH Forumite
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    My system was supplied by Moixa and I found them good to deal with. However my installation included one of their old tech 3kwh (effective capacity 2.4 kwh) batteries which had very limited charge and discharge rates and did not meet my needs. Moixa removed the battery and refunded the cost of it without any argument.

    Moixa subcontract their installations and I found the installer they used very helpful. The inverters kept tripping out and after an RCD switch didn’t solve the problem the inverters were replaced, again without quibble. Due to an oversight the DNO application wasn’t submitted as it should have been and the installer is currently sorting this.

    Moixa have now introduced a new battery which I believe is based on the Pylontech modular battery which has higher charge and discharge rates but these are still less than 1kw.

    Given that you are going for a 4kwp system and you have 2 EVs I would question whether you will have enough spare PV to make a battery worthwhile.
    Northern Lincolnshire. 7.8 kWp system, (4.2 kw west facing panels , 3.6 kw east facing), Solis inverters, Solar IBoost water heater, Mitsubishi SRK35ZS-S and SRK20ZS-S Wall Mounted Inverter Heat Pumps, Nissan Leaf (plus some ICEs:) )
  • welshdentwelshdent Forumite
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    Thanks for your help guys that's really quick responses!

    I can see the issues with project solar! Much harder push on sales pitch and 3k more than the other guys for the same thing it would seem . Took 2 hours to get the price.

    I've also figured out what social energy is too! It's a utilities company that these firms link up with. Definitely need to do more research. They seem to be a portal in rather than part of it that makes sense?

    The guys who I thought was social energy but are in fact envision energy said they are planning to have vehicle 2 grid in the last quarter of the year. We have an Eo charger but it's not a smart charger, just a type 2 home charger. Is that something that would even work with v2g? I understood it was something to do with chademo? By Friday we will be entirely CCS.
  • Reed_RichardsReed_Richards Forumite
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    welshdent wrote: »
    We are looking at solar and a battery....a 4KW array with a roughly 5KwH battery.... south facing roof in Cardiff.

    That is similar to my system installed last month. But I am a good way further north and I have a 6.5kW battery.
    welshdent wrote: »
    We are a 2 EV household with an i3 and currently a 30Kwh leaf but this is being replaced with a kia niro EV on friday so 64ish Kwh battery
    If you charge these overnight then the PV + battery system will have virtually no impact. On a sunny day in summer you'll hit your peak generation around 1 pm and even then 4 hours at 4 kWh is only a quarter of a tank for a 64 kWh battery.

    I have no electric heating and no EVs so was using about 8 kWh per day before the solar system was installed. This has since dropped to about 1.4 kWh per day. This is because the battery on its own cannot cope with loads greater than about 2.5 kW (I'll have to check the exact number). And it is slow to kick-in so you use some more mains power whilst waiting for this to happen. And it runs out after a cloudy day.

    The good news is that on sunny Easter Monday i generated 26.1 kWh and only used 26% of it so I have a lot of spare electricity looking for a use (probably water heating in the first instance).
    Reed
  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    I haven't fully thought this out yet, but my plans for about a 5kWh battery have now been revised up to something like a Tesla PWII's 13.5kWh, so that I could top up a BEV each day through the better 6 months.
    You need to be a bit careful with using the PW2 to put electrons in a vehicle. I've got a Zappi smart charger and it should only use sunshine to charge the car. But, there seems to be some anomaly with the Hyundai Kona as the PW2 got emptied into the car night before last when I left the Zappi plugged in. In future, I will disconnect when the sun starts to not give enough to charge the car after the house is looked after and PW2 full. That said, by the time I got up, there was enough solar to boil a kettle etc.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
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  • ZarchZarch Forumite
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    Whilst the FIT has expired, ie you will no longer get any pennies for generating, you can still sell excess electricity back to suppliers under the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). ie the replacement for FIT.

    Some sample products.

    https://octopus.energy/outgoing/ - fixed 5.5p per kWh
    https://octopus.energy/blog/outgoing/ - agile (based on demand/wholesale price)

    https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/9032/export-tariff-has-been-launched - variable between 3p and 5p

    Note: you will need a smart meter for these products to work.

    And these products work on actual energy exported, rather then the deemed 50% export of the FIT.
    17 x 300W panels (5.1kWh) on a 3.68kWh SolarEdge system in Sunny Sheffield.
    4.8kWh Pylontech battery storage system with Lux AC controller
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  • mmmmikeymmmmikey Forumite
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    You need to be a bit careful with using the PW2 to put electrons in a vehicle. I've got a Zappi smart charger and it should only use sunshine to charge the car. But, there seems to be some anomaly with the Hyundai Kona as the PW2 got emptied into the car night before last when I left the Zappi plugged in. In future, I will disconnect when the sun starts to not give enough to charge the car after the house is looked after and PW2 full. That said, by the time I got up, there was enough solar to boil a kettle etc.

    Hi

    I think what you're seing here is another manifestation of the same challenge that makes my PowerVault start to drain itself by heating water via the Solic 200 immersion controller.

    Suppose the sun is in and the Powerwall is delivering power to a kettle because there's not enough solar energy. When the kettle switches off there'll be a split second when the Powerwall is still discharging and this is exported to the grid. It's then a race between the Zappi and the Powerwall to see this and react first. If the Powerwall sees the export and reacts first, all is well, it stops discharging. But if the Zappi sees the export first, it thinks it must be because the solar panels are generating spare power and diverts the export to the EV batteries. Because there is now no export for the Powerwall to react to (it doesn't know the Zappi has taken over from the kettle), it keeps discharging itself either until it's flat or the Zappi finishes charging the EV.

    Because the Powerwall and Zappi are new devices you may find that there are thresholds you can set to stop this happening - maybe a delay in the Zappi? If there's nothing in the manuals, might be worth a call to their technical support teams.

    I suspect this is an issue more and more people will start to see as batteries, smart chargers, etc. become more common.

    (Aplologies for drifting away from the OP, but thought it might be helpful to post this here).

    Thanks Mike
  • mmmmikeymmmmikey Forumite
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    Hi - I haven't any experience of Social Energy, but had a look at their offering a couple of months ago in response to a question on another thread and posted the following response. I hope this isn't too disparaging and doesn't put you off your battery/solar plans. I'm a big fan of both these technologies, it's just that this whole area of grid services contracts is very new without enough data to support, and I have a very bad feeling about the Social Energy offering for the reasons outlined here.

    To quote my previous response which explains how this works:

    "Many of your questions are answered by the terms and conditions on their website. I think the best way to get your head round this is to look at it in 2 parts and consider the costs and potential returns for each part.

    Part 1 - Battery

    You buy a "bog standard" solar battery from any one of a number of accreditted providers. What you see back is a reduction in your electricity bills because you are storing up some of your free solar energy and using that instead of buying electricity. The economics of this are discussed at length in this thread with most opinions lying somewhere between "this simply doesn't add up at the moment" and "it might just pay for itself but it's unlikely to be a money spinner". I suggest you read the posts and form your own view on this.

    Part 2 - Social Energy

    (a) You buy a Social Energy smart hub from whoever supplies your battery and have this installed at the same time as the battery. The cost of this isn't given on the website.

    (b) You agree to buy your energy from Social Energy. Their tarriff is shown but not very attractive. Assuming you are paying 12p per unit for electrcity at the moment, they charge 16p and you buy, say, 2500kWh per year this costs you £100 per year in increased electricity charges. You can do the sums using your own figures.

    (c) as part of the deal you agree to allow Social Energy to use your battery for "trading in the electricity market" as much as they like as and when they please. This reduces any benefit you get from a "bog standard" battery by an amount you can't calculate because you don't know how much they'll use it - you just have to trust them.

    (d) Social Energy give you a share of any money they've made trading each quarter. This will be your share of about 70% of what they've made - i.e. if they've made £10,000 they'll distribute £7,000 in equal share between their customers, so if they have 100 customers you'll get £70. This isn't based on what they've metered for your battery, this is just a share of what they've made overall divided between their customers. You can't calculate how much this will be because you don't know how successful their trading will be, again you just have to trust them.

    Note that they are not just (or possibly not at all?) trading in the sense that you suggest (i.e. buying cheap electricity, storing it in your battery and selling it when it's expensve). What they're doing is trading on the Dynamic Frequency Response market which is something different. They make several references to this on their website. This is probably a moot point because you don't know how much they're going to make however they're trading, but if you want me to try and explain this further let me know and I'll do my best.

    To sum up, the Social Energy offering appears to me to be hugely speculative with absolutely no guarantee (or probably even any reasonable assurance or expectation) of providing a return.

    That doesn't mean it can't make money, but I have to say it's way, way, way off my risk scale."


    Hope this is of some value to you and good luck with your research, Mike
  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    mmmmikey wrote: »
    (b) You agree to buy your energy from Social Energy. Their tarriff is shown but not very attractive. Assuming you are paying 12p per unit for electrcity at the moment, they charge 16p and you buy,...say




    I pay ~20p a unit! Zero standing charge, which works for me as a very low user (buyer in) with PV. That would change with an EV or if GF moved in.


    I won't be getting a battery for a very long time, an EV might be sooner, but I agree on your wariness. Isn't the large Tesla battery in Australia not installed for Dynamic Frequency Response reason, for which it has been very successful? I don't see the idea being wrong, just the complexity at our level and lack of transparency.
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