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  • FIRST POST
    • teachergirl
    • By teachergirl 2nd Jan 11, 8:25 PM
    • 655Posts
    • 1,943Thanks
    teachergirl
    So now I have a solar PV system how do I make the most of it???
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 11, 8:25 PM
    So now I have a solar PV system how do I make the most of it??? 2nd Jan 11 at 8:25 PM
    Dear all. I know there are several threads about solar PV but many of them are debating whether or not they are a good idea and if the free ones are worth having. All of which is valid debate. Stuck in the middle of some of these threads I have found the odd tip about how to make the most of the generated electricity but they can be difficult to pick out.
    So I wondered if we could have a new thread where people share their tips for making the most of the electricity that they generate.
    Our system was put up just before Christmas in a snow storm. We haven't exactly generated much electricity but as we are all at home for the holidays we have changed our usage habits and used our appliances during the day. When we go back to work we will have to use the timing devices to get our appliances to come on during daylight. Now at the moment that is the only thing I can think of doing. However I have picked up so many handy tips from these forums I wondered if we could share our ideas as there are bound to be some clever people out there who have lots of MSE ideas
    Thanking you all in advance

    Official MoneySavingExpert insert: There are some great hints and tips on how to get the most from solar panels. Thanks to all who contributed!
    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 21-02-2012 at 8:19 PM.
    Paid off mortgage early, still working to help kids through uni then planning to retire.
    Declutter challenge 56/364
Page 157
    • carbry
    • By carbry 8th Jun 16, 9:24 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 1,654 Thanks
    carbry
    i have a sunny boy invertor in the loft and it seems to be getting very hot , it is reading 59 today it this ok.
    3.13 kWp system, south facing, East Coast lincolnshire. Installed dec 2015
    • themaverick1953
    • By themaverick1953 5th Aug 16, 10:28 AM
    • 148 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    themaverick1953
    I had solar pv 4 kwp installed in the early days so was on full tarrif. We moved a week ago so left 6 or 7 k in debit.
    I know things have changed a lot, but on our old system we had a digital electricity import meter whereas here its a whirling disc. I seem to remember that this meant it went backwards when you exported and you effectively then used 100% of your generation. Is that correct? Does the existence of the old meter make solar pv more worthwhile that if a modern digital meter is installed?
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 5th Aug 16, 12:05 PM
    • 3,354 Posts
    • 1,834 Thanks
    lstar337
    I had solar pv 4 kwp installed in the early days so was on full tarrif. We moved a week ago so left 6 or 7 k in debit.
    I know things have changed a lot, but on our old system we had a digital electricity import meter whereas here its a whirling disc. I seem to remember that this meant it went backwards when you exported and you effectively then used 100% of your generation. Is that correct? Does the existence of the old meter make solar pv more worthwhile that if a modern digital meter is installed?
    Originally posted by themaverick1953
    Pretty sure that meter will get swapped out when the install is done. But yes, they do go backwards.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 5th Aug 16, 2:24 PM
    • 6,880 Posts
    • 11,144 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    I had solar pv 4 kwp installed in the early days so was on full tarrif. We moved a week ago so left 6 or 7 k in debit.
    I know things have changed a lot, but on our old system we had a digital electricity import meter whereas here its a whirling disc. I seem to remember that this meant it went backwards when you exported and you effectively then used 100% of your generation. Is that correct? Does the existence of the old meter make solar pv more worthwhile that if a modern digital meter is installed?
    Originally posted by themaverick1953
    Not all spinny discs go backwards, and some will only allow the units to go backwards, so if you start the day on 9, it might wipe out upto 9kWh, but start the day on 0 and it may not go back at all.

    Regardless, if a meter does goes backwards you need to tell your supplier so it can be swapped out. As the FiT scheme already pays for export, and the main subsidy is the FiT, we don't (in the UK) also support a net metering scheme (where export wipes out import units), so a backwards meter is double funding, and could even be described as fraud, if you know it's happening.


    Regarding PV and viability in general, then a full value net metering scheme (such as a full backwards meter), does improve the economics massively. If you generate 4,000kWh and that reduces import/wipes of import fully, then at 10p to 15p a kWh, you'd be saving 400 to 600 pa, giving returns of 8%, 10% even 15% perhaps. Some countries that went down the net metering route, rather than the FiT route, are now measuring export and crediting it at a lower rate than import, in much the same way that the UK subsidy has been reduced over time.

    Mart.
    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 5th Aug 16, 3:24 PM
    • 4,150 Posts
    • 5,364 Thanks
    zeupater
    I had solar pv 4 kwp installed in the early days so was on full tarrif. We moved a week ago so left 6 or 7 k in debit.
    I know things have changed a lot, but on our old system we had a digital electricity import meter whereas here its a whirling disc. I seem to remember that this meant it went backwards when you exported and you effectively then used 100% of your generation. Is that correct? Does the existence of the old meter make solar pv more worthwhile that if a modern digital meter is installed?
    Originally posted by themaverick1953
    Hi

    Check your meter for an anti-reverse ratchet symbol, it looks a little like a four blade propeller ... if it's got one it can't reverse (unless it's broken) ....

    Just found an example of what they look like in a REUK article about LED pulse lights on meters - it's above '2010' ....



    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Happy0643
    • By Happy0643 5th Aug 16, 4:31 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Happy0643
    I have had my SSE panels for 4 years now and just started getting pigeon nesting problem over the last few months - the 'cooing' is driving us mad. As these are effectively not my panels who is responsible for this to prevent the birds nesting underneath the panels - there is nothing in the T's and C's that I can see that covers this.

    Beware if you are getting retrofit panels that stand proud of the roof ensure you get spikes put around to prevent this happening to you.

    Any help on where I stand with SSE would be much appreciated.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 5th Aug 16, 7:12 PM
    • 27,336 Posts
    • 13,378 Thanks
    Cardew
    There is a thread about bird 'infestation' currently running:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5269312
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 5th Aug 16, 7:39 PM
    • 6,663 Posts
    • 19,540 Thanks
    Doc N
    I have had my SSE panels for 4 years now and just started getting pigeon nesting problem over the last few months - the 'cooing' is driving us mad. As these are effectively not my panels who is responsible for this to prevent the birds nesting underneath the panels - there is nothing in the T's and C's that I can see that covers this.

    Beware if you are getting retrofit panels that stand proud of the roof ensure you get spikes put around to prevent this happening to you.

    Any help on where I stand with SSE would be much appreciated.
    Originally posted by Happy0643
    Not a problem here, and the panels have been in place for 6 years. We have a lot of pigeons too, but there are easier places, probably, for them to nest. Are you perhaps in an urban or semi-urban area with fewer trees?

    As to the legal position, it's going to depend entirely on the wording of the contract. SSE is a responsible company, though, and as you could certainly mount an argument that they should reasonably have foreseen the problem, I imagine that they will deal with it for you - if only to protect their panels.
    • clareybear
    • By clareybear 24th Jul 17, 10:27 AM
    • 146 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    clareybear
    New to this thread but have had our solar panels for about 4 years (which along with biomass boiler work very nicely for us). I have often thought about battery storage, but have been told that it was not worth it. With today's announcement of changes in the energy market and specific mention of batteries to store PV generated electricity, wonder if anyone has any experience of the pros and cons of batteries, which are good and which are not etc?
    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 24th Jul 17, 11:41 AM
    • 753 Posts
    • 1,955 Thanks
    ASavvyBuyer
    New to this thread but have had our solar panels for about 4 years (which along with biomass boiler work very nicely for us). I have often thought about battery storage, but have been told that it was not worth it. With today's announcement of changes in the energy market and specific mention of batteries to store PV generated electricity, wonder if anyone has any experience of the pros and cons of batteries, which are good and which are not etc?
    Originally posted by clareybear
    Take a look at this thread http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5568536
    Last edited by ASavvyBuyer; 24-07-2017 at 11:43 AM. Reason: link not working
    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
    • Frenchie67
    • By Frenchie67 31st Jan 18, 10:23 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Frenchie67
    i boost
    There is definitely a product out there that diverts from the inverter to heat the water in the immersion. It's called i boost and we are having it installed tomorrow with our 4Kw PV system. Probably wasn't around when you posted 7 years ago but it's all different now. It's all about battery storage and immersion diversion.
    • ChrisJD
    • By ChrisJD 1st Feb 18, 11:33 AM
    • 71 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    ChrisJD
    Calculations
    It's called i boost and we are having it installed tomorrow with our 4Kw PV.
    Originally posted by Frenchie67
    Whilst the numbers are very different with my older system, I am interested to know exactly how the payback calculation works for your installation.

    Good luck, and let us know how it works out in practice.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 1st Feb 18, 1:05 PM
    • 4,150 Posts
    • 5,364 Thanks
    zeupater
    Whilst the numbers are very different with my older system, I am interested to know exactly how the payback calculation works for your installation.

    Good luck, and let us know how it works out in practice.
    Originally posted by ChrisJD
    Hi

    There's already plenty of threads concerned with threshold switched or proportional diversion to DHW on the forum if you're interested ... an advanced search on thread titles including 'immersion' in the G&E board returns 17 threads, about half of which provide some information which should be useful!

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Steve Riseley
    • By Steve Riseley 9th Feb 18, 9:04 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Steve Riseley
    Production versus KW install
    Hi, Im really glad to find this thread. I installed a 15KW system last year in October, in Southern Italy.
    Since the installation which has 15KW of panels and 12.5KW of Batteries. The system cost around 35K, about 50% of that was the battery system. All Fronius Brand.
    My question is, should I expect a better production than around 60% of the total installation of 15KW. So far even when we have had full sun, the maximum KW I have produced is about 8.5KW. I have yet to live through the mid summer, so I appreciate that my production should increase, but it is Southern Italy and even in February we have ful sun and temperatures are hovering around 18 C, today,
    Also, my opinion so far is that the battery systems was a waste of money, even with only some lights etc and maybe the odd kettle boil, the battery will last at most one hour after no sun !
    I have other questions but I will read through some other stuff here.
    thanks,
    Steve
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 9th Feb 18, 1:49 PM
    • 4,150 Posts
    • 5,364 Thanks
    zeupater
    Hi, I'm really glad to find this thread. I installed a 15KW system last year in October, in Southern Italy.
    Since the installation which has 15KW of panels and 12.5KW of Batteries. The system cost around 35K, about 50% of that was the battery system. All Fronius Brand.
    My question is, should I expect a better production than around 60% of the total installation of 15KW. So far even when we have had full sun, the maximum KW I have produced is about 8.5KW. I have yet to live through the mid summer, so I appreciate that my production should increase, but it is Southern Italy and even in February we have ful sun and temperatures are hovering around 18 C, today,
    Also, my opinion so far is that the battery systems was a waste of money, even with only some lights etc and maybe the odd kettle boil, the battery will last at most one hour after no sun !
    I have other questions but I will read through some other stuff here.
    thanks,
    Steve
    Originally posted by Steve Riseley
    Hi & welcome to the forum ...

    Probably best if you look to compare your system performance to a realistic target before going any further.

    Have a look at PVGIS as the dataset covers Italy too ... there's information of how to use it & a links in the FAQ thread here (*section 5) on a useful blog site which shows an example of input here, or if you're happy to just jump in at the deep end, via direct access at http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/apps4/pvest.php# ... most of us use the site to generate a monthly target/forecast to measure our own system performance against.

    There's also the possibility that you'll be able to compare your daily generation to other similar orientation systems in your area using PVOutput (https://pvoutput.org) ... there are systems contributing to the dataset from all over the world, so it's worth having a look.

    On the battery side, probably better to leave related questions to one side until the PV performance has been looked into!


    HTH
    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 09-02-2018 at 1:57 PM. Reason: added last paragraph
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Steve Riseley
    • By Steve Riseley 9th Feb 18, 2:20 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Steve Riseley
    Thank you, I will check that out !!!55357;!!!56833;
    • Sterlingtimes
    • By Sterlingtimes 9th Feb 18, 2:53 PM
    • 1,421 Posts
    • 3,798 Thanks
    Sterlingtimes
    Since Smart Metre Day, 15 June 2015, I have generated 9862 kWh and exported 1978 kWh. So I am using 80% of the power that I generate.

    The cost of electricity is 13.66p per kilowatt hour and the export rate is 5.03p per kWh. So the opportunity lost over nearly 3 years is 1978 * 8.63/1000 = 170.

    It is very difficult to micro manage a house of four adults but in financial terms our inefficiency is only wasting 56 a year.

    I am not convinced that we could achieve 100% usage (with zero export) but it would take some inconvenience to save even another 20 a year.
    Solar installed 21 November 2014 > Centre of England > 3,780 Wp > 14 *270 Watt Trina panels > 14 * Enphase micro-inverters > managed by Enlighten Envoy Hub > 19 west of south > 35 pitch > tree shading to east > iBoost > Wattson Anywhere monitoring > Ovo Smart Gateway > Schneider Electric (Drayton) MiGenie smart thermostat.
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