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For the Greta Groupies on here. 

Fucking sick of hearing about BLM, PC, leftie shyte so switched my attention to home projects again. 

I just bought 810W of solar panels and a small 2nd hand grid tie inverter (mastervolt soladin)

I also bought a Solic 200 @Frank Hovis which will divert any surplus electricity to the hot water immersion. We have talked about this before. 

https://www.earthwiseproducts.co.uk/

paid less than the price advertised. 

This will go on the East facing roof. I already have 660W on the west. As Mrs B and I will be working from home 3-4 days a week in total it makes sense now as our day time leccy consumption has gone up. 

It s amazing how much the cost of solar has fallen making DIY projects financially worthwhile. Without any FIT my annual  return on investment is about 15% tax free. Its about a days labour to install.

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28 minutes ago, onlyme said:

I'd argue that FIT scheme kept costs artificially high, also introduced a large number of companies into the market only  interested in doing FIT scheme work.

Bimble solar used to have some cracking s/h panel deals. 

I could have actually got the panels a bit cheaper from them but I didn't fancy driving to Lewes from Billericay. The ones I got were from a firm in Basildon. Brand new - surplus stock. 

The aim of the FIT has now come to fruition Solar has reached parity with grid mains without susidy, indeed if you know how to do a DIY installation the return is quite good. Approx 150x what my instant access bank account pays. 

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, onlyme said:

I'd argue that FIT scheme kept costs artificially high, also introduced a large number of companies into the market only  interested in doing FIT scheme work.

Bimble solar used to have some cracking s/h panel deals. 

Pleased to see the Solic is British manufactured. Pretty sturdy piece of kit - its got the feel of a very well made circuit board set up by an electronics bod not some mass maunfactured shyte from China. 

Wish I could say the same for the Panels!

 

Edited by Kurt Barlow
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Thanks for the steer Kurt; I will get one but that's going to be after I've had my kitchen and bathroom done later in the year.

Bizarrely they each have an airing cupboard and boiler; gas in the kitchen and electric in the bathroom.

I'd like to go down to one combined gas electric and will get the surplus diverter put on at the same time.

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7 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Thanks for the steer Kurt; I will get one but that's going to be after I've had my kitchen and bathroom done later in the year.

Bizarrely they each have an airing cupboard and boiler; gas in the kitchen and electric in the bathroom.

I'd like to go down to one combined gas electric and will get the surplus diverter put on at the same time.

You need a hot water cylinder. If you are on a combi forgot it. 

Do you have a cylinder in the Bathroom with an electric immersion?

there is another type of controller that has two outlets for the surplus solar. One is prioritised over the over. With that you could have one going to each if you have two cylinders. 

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4 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Yes that.

But beyond that I don't know and it will be getting someone in when I've decided upon the layout and asking what I can do.

You'll save a fortune with one of those diverters if you heat your water with electric or are you still on the war time once a week and no more than 2 inches bath? xD

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6 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

You'll save a fortune with one of those diverters if you heat your water with electric or are you still on the war time once a week and no more than 2 inches bath? xD

Currently it comes off the gas central heating in the winter and off the immersion on sunny days in the summer meaning none through most of autumn and spring.

I always shower rather than bathe so only need a small amount of hot water for shaving, drinks, washing up and home brew and will boil a kettle for those if there is no hot water.

It seems daft to heat a whole tank when I only want a kettle full if that.

Edited by Frank Hovis
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20 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Currently it comes off the gas central heating in the winter and off the immersion on sunny days in the summer meaning none through most of autumn and spring.

I always shower rather than bathe so only need a small amount of hot water for shaving, drinks, washing up and home brew and will boil a kettle for those if there is no hot water.

It seems daft to heat a whole tank when I only want a kettle full if that.

Part of my incentive to put the panels and solic in is that even with the solar thermal I have to switch the gas boiler on and off occasionally in  the summer when we have extended periods of dull weather. We can coast for about 2-2.5 days on the 240 litre tank.  I could just leave it on but if the bottom of the tank gets hot from solar it just starts gravity syphoning out unless I shut one of the pump gate valves. Not a problem when we need heating when we don't its just wasted heat. 

So the theory is the solic should help top up the tank at the top on dull days. On very sunny days we will probably have a heat surplus*. This should hopefully avoid needing the boiler on outside the heating season. Even 200w average over 8 hours will heat 80 litres of water by about 17 degrees C. On dull days we get a fair amount of heat off the thermal panels. Its overcast here (I think a thunderstorm is brewing) and the panel temperature is 61 degrees - thats whats its dumping in the cyclinder right now. 

Longer term I am planning to convert the dish washer to hot fill only and when we replace the WM get a hot and cold fill EBAC. The pipe run from the cylinder to kitchen is quite short as the airing cupboard is directly above the part of the kitchen where the two appliances are so limited waste hot water in the dog legs. 

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Questions please:

. Do I need some sort of sink like the immersion heater if I have an off grid battery based system or is that heater just an optional wiz for excess electricity?

. Is DIY really possible since you would need to connect to the house circuit or run a separate circuit or can you buy an isolator or is registering a within-KW-limit system easy DIY?

Ta.

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On 12/06/2020 at 12:58, Frank Hovis said:

Currently it comes off the gas central heating in the winter and off the immersion on sunny days in the summer meaning none through most of autumn and spring.

I always shower rather than bathe so only need a small amount of hot water for shaving, drinks, washing up and home brew and will boil a kettle for those if there is no hot water.

It seems daft to heat a whole tank when I only want a kettle full if that.

Installed the Solic today. Very easy to install as I had 3 spare MCB's on the Consumer unit. 

The unit has 3 light displays which tells you whether the house is drawing from the grid or not. If their is a surplus this is sent to the Immersion and a green light shines. 

Have recorded what I have exported to date for free from the smart meter. Hoping to not see that change much. 

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On 14/06/2020 at 08:33, Harley said:

Questions please:

. Do I need some sort of sink like the immersion heater if I have an off grid battery based system or is that heater just an optional wiz for excess electricity?

. Is DIY really possible since you would need to connect to the house circuit or run a separate circuit or can you buy an isolator or is registering a within-KW-limit system easy DIY?

Ta.

I think the controllers for off grid block charging once the voltage of the batteries reaches a certain level. The electricity simply gets turned into heat in the panels. Not sure what this doe sin terms of their longevity. Not much - this is a standard arrangement for panels on yachts etc. 

DIY is quite straight fwd if you know what you are doing. 

I have two grid tie inverters - these simple plug into 20 amp sockets  and feed electricity into the mains supply. 

The SOlic is connected to an MCB in the consumer unit by way of a 2.5mm2 cable. From the solic another 2.5mm cable goes to the immersion. There is a sensor cable than runs from the Solic to a connector that wraps round either the Positive or Neutral cable running to the meter before the Henley block. . Its this that monitors the flow of electricity and adjusts the supply to the immersion. 

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On 17/06/2020 at 18:10, Kurt Barlow said:

I think the controllers for off grid block charging once the voltage of the batteries reaches a certain level. The electricity simply gets turned into heat in the panels. Not sure what this doe sin terms of their longevity. Not much - this is a standard arrangement for panels on yachts etc. 

DIY is quite straight fwd if you know what you are doing. 

I have two grid tie inverters - these simple plug into 20 amp sockets  and feed electricity into the mains supply. 

The SOlic is connected to an MCB in the consumer unit by way of a 2.5mm2 cable. From the solic another 2.5mm cable goes to the immersion. There is a sensor cable than runs from the Solic to a connector that wraps round either the Positive or Neutral cable running to the meter before the Henley block. . Its this that monitors the flow of electricity and adjusts the supply to the immersion. 

Ta, so what stops the flow to the grid if there's a power cut?  That sensor cable?

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39 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

They have to sync to the grid, continually monitoring the voltage, when identified as being an incoming feed the inverters locking sync with the god frequency / phase and produce a voltage slightly higher than the incoming voltage on the power line, this forces current out away from the installation an into the grid. I presume for a split second they turn off and monitor the incoming voltage and then continue as normal, if the grid power drops then the out of the inverters then just switches off and it goes back into just monitoring the incoming line for reconnection of the supply.

 

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1 hour ago, onlyme said:

They have to sync to the grid, continually monitoring the voltage, when identified as being an incoming feed the inverters locking sync with the god frequency / phase and produce a voltage slightly higher than the incoming voltage on the power line, this forces current out away from the installation an into the grid. I presume for a split second they turn off and monitor the incoming voltage and then continue as normal, if the grid power drops then the out of the inverters then just switches off and it goes back into just monitoring the incoming line for reconnection of the supply.

 

pleased with my solar projects Thermal and PV

Last 30 days we have used 66p of gas. 

The solar PV and diverter have cut our daily electricity usage to about £1.20 a day which is good considering we are both at home most of the time working and our oven is electric. 

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1 hour ago, Kurt Barlow said:

pleased with my solar projects Thermal and PV

Last 30 days we have used 66p of gas. 

The solar PV and diverter have cut our daily electricity usage to about £1.20 a day which is good considering we are both at home most of the time working and our oven is electric. 

I have a small shed half full of panels,  need a suitable roof space which will be the garage roof, once it is rebuilt.  Looking forward to shaving a lot off the bills like you are!

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3 hours ago, onlyme said:

I have a small shed half full of panels,  need a suitable roof space which will be the garage roof, once it is rebuilt.  Looking forward to shaving a lot off the bills like you are!

Have you looked at the immersion diverters? 

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49 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Have you looked at the immersion diverters? 

As in electrical dump for excess energy? If so a long time ago,  problem is going combi builder as really no good place for a system boiler and tank. Unfortunate as thermal would be good, it is cheap for the primary system dn useful secondary function as a PV dump. Will some day go for own powerful at which point an EV will make real sense as second car.

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2 hours ago, onlyme said:

As in electrical dump for excess energy? If so a long time ago,  problem is going combi builder as really no good place for a system boiler and tank. Unfortunate as thermal would be good, it is cheap for the primary system dn useful secondary function as a PV dump. Will some day go for own powerful at which point an EV will make real sense as second car.

Thats why I specifically avoided the prospect of a combi. 

I put a 240L tank in with twin coils once of which is served by the solar thermal. I put a 27 inch immersion in which the solic is connected to. 

We have a huge area of E- W roof space so longer term going to look at an EV as a second car. Cheapo 24kwh Leaf. 

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14 hours ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Thats why I specifically avoided the prospect of a combi. 

I put a 240L tank in with twin coils once of which is served by the solar thermal. I put a 27 inch immersion in which the solic is connected to. 

We have a huge area of E- W roof space so longer term going to look at an EV as a second car. Cheapo 24kwh Leaf. 

It is just the space that stops me doing it, every bit of storage is useful here and direct thermal is best nag for buck ass well as having the electric to heat conversion from PV, double bubble. Need to watch the early Leaf, battery tech has moved on and the batteries do degrade more than most and certainly more than the newest battery tech. Having said that they will become extremely cheap and if you only want a sub 50 mile a day round trip and preferably sub 35 in the long term then will be absolutely fine and could last a very long time as a viable motor which is pretty much free to run.

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8 minutes ago, onlyme said:

It is just the space that stops me doing it, every bit of storage is useful here and direct thermal is best nag for buck ass well as having the electric to heat conversion from PV, double bubble. Need to watch the early Leaf, battery tech has moved on and the batteries do degrade more than most and certainly more than the newest battery tech. Having said that they will become extremely cheap and if you only want a sub 50 mile a day round trip and preferably sub 35 in the long term then will be absolutely fine and could last a very long time as a viable motor which is pretty much free to run.

This is some data on Leaf battery decline. 

https://pushevs.com/2018/03/20/nissan-leaf-battery-degradation-data-24-vs-30-kwh-batteries/

If you just want  a short mileage runabout these are ideal if you have a large solar array. Also learn how to conserve battery life. Most the steep declines are observed in cars being deep cycled daily or as part of their charge - discharge routine. My understanding is don't let the capacity routinely drop below 20% and dont charge above 80%. 

I reckon when they reach about 10-12kwh its probably the back end of the cars life anyway. The Battery could be converted for home use. A 10-12kwh battery pack would be very handy

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7 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

 

If you just want  a short mileage runabout these are ideal if you have a large solar array. Also learn how to conserve battery life. Most the steep declines are observed in cars being deep cycled daily or as part of their charge - discharge routine. My understanding is don't let the capacity routinely drop below 20% and dont charge above 80%

 

Bang on from what I've read. O the plus side the degradation does tail off somewhat so if the lower capacity is fine then battery probably good for life of the car/

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23 hours ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Thats why I specifically avoided the prospect of a combi. 

Any possibility of, or sense in, placing a tank plus solar run immersion heater between the cold water mains feed and combi inlet to preheat the water?  Or could that even be sufficient some times without even having the combi on?  I have room for a smallish tank above my oil combi if that's sensible and a south facing 30m2 flat roof above!  I have a log burner for alternative heating so an alternative hot water system would be good too.

Edited by Harley
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