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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 5th Dec 16, 2:57 PM
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    Martyn1981
    On-grid domestic battery storage
    • #1
    • 5th Dec 16, 2:57 PM
    On-grid domestic battery storage 5th Dec 16 at 2:57 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 47
    • orrery
    • By orrery 9th May 19, 8:59 AM
    • 610 Posts
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    orrery
    ....Economy 7 can be worth considering (depending on usage) as the higher day time rates can be offset through the use of solar pv and battery storage.....
    The case would be less compelling without storage heaters, but still worth checking - be intersted to know if anyone's done this?
    Originally posted by mmmmikey
    I agree about E7 and PV.

    I have 4kWp PV but no batteries or storage heaters. I'm on E7 and use it to charge an electric car. We use washing machine and dishwasher overnight (and my beer fridge on a timer to run only during E7 and solar hours). We don't run the tumble dryer in the same way - we've installed one of these devices, specifically optimised for outdoor usage, powered by both solar and wind, for drying clothes.

    It was about evens when I switched to E7 - no real advantage but no loss. It certainly wouldn't work for me without storage heaters or an EV to charge.
    4kWp, Panels: 16 Hyundai HIS250MG, Inverter: SMA Sunny Boy 4000TL, SolarImmersion
    Location: Bedford, Roof: South East facing, 20 degree pitch
    Nissan Leaf, TADO Central Heating control
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 9th May 19, 9:51 AM
    • 551 Posts
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    1961Nick
    - we've installed one of these devices, specifically optimised for outdoor usage, powered by both solar and wind, for drying clothes.......
    Originally posted by orrery
    How's that working for you this week?
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 9th May 19, 11:29 AM
    • 4,716 Posts
    • 6,356 Thanks
    zeupater
    How's that working for you this week?
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    Hi

    Probably the same as it is here .... no particular need for an expensive battery storage solution when a cheap worn clothes buffer storage solution (ie laundry bin/basket) will deliver better energy savings & efficiency benefits ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 9th May 19, 11:34 AM
    • 551 Posts
    • 2,553 Thanks
    1961Nick
    Hi

    Probably the same as it is here .... no particular need for an expensive battery storage solution when a cheap worn clothes buffer storage solution (ie laundry bin/basket) will deliver better energy savings & efficiency benefits ...

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    The "expensive battery storage solution" is working about as well as a washing line is this week!
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • joefizz
    • By joefizz 9th May 19, 12:58 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    joefizz
    The "expensive battery storage solution" is working about as well as a washing line is this week!
    Originally posted by 1961Nick

    About 3 years ago I finally cracked and bought a tumble dryer. In August.
    I went to the local suppliers and he said it had been their best seller electrically for the previous 3 years, long summer holidays here, kids off, 3 wet/cold 'summers'.
    I ended up buying for the same reason, couldnt get clothes dry in the summer without putting the heating on and drying on radiators.


    Of course its been great since ;-) well last year it was...
    ...over in England for the week and had to put the tumble dryer on at the weekend to make sure the clothes were dry to pack for this week. Only needed it on to partially dry the clothes, not fully, enough to run off the battery staggered with usage during the day.
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 9th May 19, 1:04 PM
    • 551 Posts
    • 2,553 Thanks
    1961Nick
    About 3 years ago I finally cracked and bought a tumble dryer. In August.
    I went to the local suppliers and he said it had been their best seller electrically for the previous 3 years, long summer holidays here, kids off, 3 wet/cold 'summers'.
    I ended up buying for the same reason, couldnt get clothes dry in the summer without putting the heating on and drying on radiators.


    Of course its been great since ;-) well last year it was...
    ...over in England for the week and had to put the tumble dryer on at the weekend to make sure the clothes were dry to pack for this week. Only needed it on to partially dry the clothes, not fully, enough to run off the battery staggered with usage during the day.
    Originally posted by joefizz
    I've recently changed our TD to a heat pump model. It seems to be using a lot less energy than the previous one & the utility room isn't getting as hot which should further improve it's efficiency.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 9th May 19, 4:06 PM
    • 4,716 Posts
    • 6,356 Thanks
    zeupater
    The "expensive battery storage solution" is working about as well as a washing line is this week!
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    Hi

    Conversely, our laundry bin, like most others, is extremely efficient as it consumes very little energy ..... also, like most other households, we have considerably more clothes than we actually need so it's simply a matter of timing & matching demand to availability of supply as opposed to following a habitual schedule ....

    The timing of the next wash cycle will pretty much be in line with fair weather conditions as it's been for quite a few years ....

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • mmmmikey
    • By mmmmikey 9th May 19, 8:51 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    mmmmikey
    ...our laundry bin, like most others, is extremely efficient as it consumes very little energy...
    Originally posted by zeupater
    I have one of those, but it seems to be broken. I used to throw my clothes in, and without me doing anything a few days later they'd be back in the drawer, washed and ironed - really clever, but I'm not sure how it worked. It doesn't work any more and I have to take the clothes out and do everything manually. I think my ex may have broken it out of spite when she left, because that's when it stopped working.

    In other news the PowerVault is back up and running again. Only a minor fault, but as it is new the techies wanted to come and test it. Rather than replace the single faulty component they replaced the whole thing so they could take the broken one back to the lab and test it further. Had a very interesting discussion with them while they were here - the more I deal with them the more I like them. Although would not have chosen to have a fault, in a way re-assuring to have tested the warranty/repair process and for it to have worked so well. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them, very pleased with the service and whole approach.

    Will pick up where I left of with working out how to use it to best effect. The next few days should be good for testing it to it's full potential. Not cold enough to make it worth using the storage heaters but cold enough to need low-power heaters on and off through the day. And probably just about enough sun between the clouds to keep the battery charged.

    Plan is to charge it on E7 overnight, use it for cooking breakfast and early morning heating (panel heater in lounge and low-power fan-heater in bathroom). Then it should recharge during the day ready for dinner, evening heating (ASHP in bedroom and low-power fan heater in bathroom). Based on historical data (admittedly limited) I'd expect to use 5-6kWh peak rate electricity per day for this at a cost of about £1 to £1.20. The challenge for the PowerVault is to do this using 3-4kWh of off-peak electricity and solar PV at a cost of about 15p to 20p.

    Part of the challenge will be measuring this accurately as my supply meter only has a resolution of 1kWh and I'm not entirely confident about the data from the PowerVault. Easy enough to do over a month, but not so easy day by day.

    Will post an update with results of testing etc. as I get them, Mike
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 19th May 19, 6:32 AM
    • 551 Posts
    • 2,553 Thanks
    1961Nick
    I Boost (literally)
    Despite having batteries, I'm still exporting just over 10% & this figure is likely to rise as we get more consecutive sunny days.

    I considered an iBoost, but integrating it with battery storage appears to be a lottery if you don't want it draining your batteries. Also, the potential savings are meagre - 300 kWh of gas costs about a tenner!

    My solution is adding the immersion heater to Hive. Using a spare 1 gang socket to replace the fused spur & a Hive socket (Xmas lights - so it's redundant 11 months of the year), I can now control the immersion heater from my phone.

    I've set up Hive 'Actions' for 1 hour & 2 hours so I don't have to remember to turn it off! The batteries are removing any risk of importing if there's cloud cover.

    The earliest my batteries reach 100% is around 1.00pm which coincides with the cylinder being at it's coolest, so the timing is ideal. I've used it once so far & it works - it took about 1.2 kWh out of battery storage but that was replenished before sunset.
    Last edited by 1961Nick; 19-05-2019 at 6:37 AM.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 19th May 19, 6:46 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Hiya Nick, quick question, what power rating does the immersion have? I'm assuming 2 or 3kW? If so, could you switch it out for a 1kW which would reduce the chances of import and reduce the demand on the battery (power demand, not energy) for, I assume, some reduced wear and tear benefits.

    A lot of assumptions and guesses in there .....
    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.
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 19th May 19, 7:06 AM
    • 551 Posts
    • 2,553 Thanks
    1961Nick
    Hiya Nick, quick question, what power rating does the immersion have? I'm assuming 2 or 3kW? If so, could you switch it out for a 1kW which would reduce the chances of import and reduce the demand on the battery (power demand, not energy) for, I assume, some reduced wear and tear benefits.

    A lot of assumptions and guesses in there .....
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    It's a 3 kWh element - Hive sockets are rated at 13A so fortunately there was no need to change the element, keeping the project cost at zero! Mid afternoon generation on a sunny day is around 2.5kWh so the demand on the battery is about 800W (including the 300W house background).

    It'll only ever be a minor saving but it will save some wear & tear on the boiler during summer. There's a lot of 32mm & 28mm pipework between my boiler & the cylinder so the 'transmission' losses must be pretty high when the CH is idle.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 19th May 19, 7:16 AM
    • 8,486 Posts
    • 13,449 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    It's a 3 kWh element - Hive sockets are rated at 13A so fortunately there was no need to change the element, keeping the project cost at zero! Mid afternoon generation on a sunny day is around 2.5kWh so the demand on the battery is about 800W (including the 300W house background).

    It'll only ever be a minor saving but it will save some wear & tear on the boiler during summer. There's a lot of 32mm & 28mm pipework between my boiler & the cylinder so the 'transmission' losses must be pretty high when the CH is idle.
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    Just had a good chuckle at myself. I was thinking a lower power immersion would reduce the wear and tear on the batt, but I suppose less draw from the immersion means more charging (wear and tear) on the batt, then possibly more discharge from the batt later on (wear and tear again), to finish heating the water (3x longer), and a battery discharge possibly after the PV gen has fallen.

    Kinda circular thinking, with gains and losses cancelling out. Like I said, made me chuckle, trying to overthink again.
    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.
    • joefizz
    • By joefizz 19th May 19, 8:12 AM
    • 182 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    joefizz

    Kinda circular thinking, with gains and losses cancelling out. Like I said, made me chuckle, trying to overthink again.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981

    I went through exactly the same cycle, thought about swapping out the immersion for a 1kw one, installing an additional element etc but most of it was down to the way Id set up the batteries initially. Two pylontechs didnt supply enough for the immersion if the sun went in so it ended up switching to mains. Four did supply enough so that was part of the reason for the upgrade, to allow full 16A draw (or thereabouts with losses).


    I dont have the hive like Nick but have just a push button stop start with variable timer on my immersion. With experimentation 15 mins is enough to get me enough hot water for the power shower. So as long as I push the button 15 mins before I need a shower it is grand!

    The 1kw element would have pushed that time out considerably and 15 minutes is almost on demand..

    A hive like solution is on the to-do list but pushing a button after Ive made my morning coffee is the simplest easiest solution... ...until the morning you forget that is...


    At this time of year Im finding I have at least 60% of the battery first thing in the morning, hence the reason for going for the ASHP to do the nighttime heating and Im using about 20-30% of the battery now to just run it. Temperature dropped here last night significantly so had to go back to the oil for a half hour. It was also a dull(ish) day here yesterday so the battery will never replace the fossil fuel side but it sure is taking a load off! Discounting time away from home that was 11 days without using the oil at all, everything from the sun and only I think 12kwh imported since first of April.



    Im not familiar with the Hive but that type of solution where you can utilise battery capacity balanced with your excess export to feed other parts of your energy usage during the day is definitely the way to go. If ROI really matters to your calculations then its the best way to maximise that, certainly in terms of making the system work for you. Of course all the lifetime and lifecycle calculations are just imponderables for most of this kit at the minute. They can publish figures all they like but it really does depend on your usage.
    Ive just removed the clutch master cylinder from my old Alfa 156, it failed after 75k miles, or in real terms 19 years and 2 days. I suspect it wasnt the 75k miles that made it fail judging by the internal seals, just old age. The replacement will have a 5 year warranty but thats just based on average usage and miles and and and including being used most days, the clutch slave cylinder failed after I hadnt used it in a year as it needed regular movement to provide lubrication. I keep that in mind when occasionally using the boiler during the summer, last thing I want to do is turn on again in October to find out it doesnt!


    The wear and tear on the battery is going to be the interesting bit going forward, watching the battery management is also interesting, they do seem to be doing some clever stuff moving charge around the four units. I havent been monitoring it long enough to work out the cycles as it doesnt take charge from batteries uniformly unless theres a big load and it does seem to switch the battery that it takes the low energy charge from periodically. When I get a full summers usage out of it I can have a look to see if certain batteries are favoured (or if I have a dud one, or mismatch of some sort) and then monitor that going forward.
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 19th May 19, 8:51 AM
    • 551 Posts
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    1961Nick
    It was Joe’s mention of his immersion controller in a previous post that got me thinking about something similar. Hive solved the problem of not knowing when export would happen and then always being 60 miles away when it did. I doubt there will be export in December so the socket can be tasked back to Xmas lights for a month.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 19th May 19, 6:03 PM
    • 551 Posts
    • 2,553 Thanks
    1961Nick
    Another project....

    I've tidied up the EPS adding a 2 gang socket & an emergency bulkhead light.



    I then moved onto the incoming supply & fitted a generator switch. This breaks the grid connection before making the generator connection.





    The completed job...



    In EPS mode...

    Last edited by 1961Nick; 19-05-2019 at 6:07 PM.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 22nd May 19, 10:34 PM
    • 551 Posts
    • 2,553 Thanks
    1961Nick
    Update on my 'Hive' controlled immersion heater.

    Despite being rated at 13A, a 3kW element is too much for a Hive socket to run for an extended period. The temperature of the socket & plug head reaches an unacceptable level imo. The temperature inside the airing cupboard doesn't help the situation either. A 1kW or 2kW element should be fine though.

    This evening I replaced the Hive control with a wifi fused spur which solves the problem without having to change the element.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • Reed_Richards
    • By Reed_Richards 23rd May 19, 5:18 AM
    • 423 Posts
    • 244 Thanks
    Reed_Richards
    This evening I replaced the Hive control with a wifi fused spur ....
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    I had not realised there was such a thing but I found one made by Timeguard being sold for around £40. Is that what you used?
    Reed
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 23rd May 19, 7:18 AM
    • 551 Posts
    • 2,553 Thanks
    1961Nick
    I had not realised there was such a thing but I found one made by Timeguard being sold for around £40. Is that what you used?
    Originally posted by Reed_Richards
    That's the one.

    It appears to be well made & easily fits into a 25mm back box. Setup is pretty simple & the only complication was having to temporarily split 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz broadband signals during the pairing process - it won't pair on 5Ghz.

    The app isn't as sophisticated as Hive, but it serves my needs for this application - 1 or 2 hour boost is all I need.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 24th May 19, 6:28 AM
    • 8,486 Posts
    • 13,449 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Just a short news item on a development in Chicago pairing large(ish) PV (6kWp) and Sonnen batts (20kWh) in 28 homes.

    Anything that tests batts, and the use of PV and batts at the smaller demand end, should help push the technology forward .... hopefully.

    New sonnenCommunity Pairs Passive House Design With Intelligent Energy Storage
    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 26th May 19, 5:20 PM
    • 8,486 Posts
    • 13,449 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Just a short news item on a development in Chicago pairing large(ish) PV (6kWp) and Sonnen batts (20kWh) in 28 homes.

    Anything that tests batts, and the use of PV and batts at the smaller demand end, should help push the technology forward .... hopefully.

    New sonnenCommunity Pairs Passive House Design With Intelligent Energy Storage
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    OK this is weird, take the picture from the Chicago article, then change the colour of the battery from black to white, and what do you get:

    Anesco launches domestic solar-plus-storage offering

    Anesco has targeted the UK’s domestic solar-plus-storage market with a new ‘at Home’ offering comprising a raft of clean energy technologies.

    Solar and battery storage will be combined with heat pumps, EV charging technologies and an auto-switching energy tariff service to offer consumers a tailored energy service to not only decarbonise, but save money on utility bills.
    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.
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