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Electric shortage


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10 days of darnkess 

I find it slightly irking that my solar panels, in common with them all, cut off in the event of a power cut so as not to leave live wires when the engineers are trying to fix them. Surely it cou

I've always though that if you have solar panels you should also have a deep cycle battery & inverter and just run selected circuits off them such as lighting and perhaps the upstairs ring-main.

When are they going to bite the bullet and price it properly? (This requires a govt able to resist skyscreaming Twitterati wailing about little old ladies dying of cold so possibly never?)

It has to be cheap when there's high supply and low demand, and expensive when there's high supply and low demand. That's how it has to work with a lot of renewables. The price will modulate demand - only a bit, but it will.

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I find it slightly irking that my solar panels, in common with them all, cut off in the event of a power cut so as not to leave live wires when the engineers are trying to fix them.

Surely it could just go to a closed circuit rather than just going off?

Obviously that's not a big deal when power cuts are rare but when they're really common and you have a back up generator when the sun shines you want it to work rather than simply cut out.

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11 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I find it slightly irking that my solar panels, in common with them all, cut off in the event of a power cut so as not to leave live wires when the engineers are trying to fix them.

Surely it could just go to a closed circuit rather than just going off?

Obviously that's not a big deal when power cuts are rare but when they're really common and you have a back up generator when the sun shines you want it to work rather than simply cut out.

I've always though that if you have solar panels you should also have a deep cycle battery & inverter and just run selected circuits off them such as lighting and perhaps the upstairs ring-main.

The circuit could then function separately and the battery could be topped up with a convention charger should the need arise e.g. in winter.

There is no need nowadays for lighting circuits to actually be 240V.

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16 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I find it slightly irking that my solar panels, in common with them all, cut off in the event of a power cut so as not to leave live wires when the engineers are trying to fix them.

Surely it could just go to a closed circuit rather than just going off?

Obviously that's not a big deal when power cuts are rare but when they're really common and you have a back up generator when the sun shines you want it to work rather than simply cut out.

 

2 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

I've always though that if you have solar panels you should also have a deep cycle battery & inverter and just run selected circuits off them such as lighting and perhaps the upstairs ring-main.

The circuit could then function separately and the battery could be topped up with a convention charger should the need arise e.g. in winter.

There is no need nowadays for lighting circuits to actually be 240V.

Im looking into this problem at the moment. Im tempted to get a small battery system with an inverter to provide the necessary frequency to my solar inverter so that it thinks the grid is still on when there is a power cut.

It can be done with a generator but there is a risk of back loading which can mess up the generator.

 

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36 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I find it slightly irking that my solar panels, in common with them all, cut off in the event of a power cut so as not to leave live wires when the engineers are trying to fix them.

Surely it could just go to a closed circuit rather than just going off?

Obviously that's not a big deal when power cuts are rare but when they're really common and you have a back up generator when the sun shines you want it to work rather than simply cut out.

You could get a Powerwall system or similar. When they eventually start pricing electricity properly - see my earlier post, it will pay for itself quite quickly as you could use it to stock free or v. cheap electricity to use when prices rise.

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12 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

You could get a Powerwall system or similar. When they eventually start pricing electricity properly - see my earlier post, it will pay for itself quite quickly as you could use it to stock free or v. cheap electricity to use when prices rise.

Agreed.

I looked into it but it didn't make sense in terms of cross-season transfer as it didn't have sufficient capacity.

If however power supply starts to become very erratic then it will come into its own and I will shell out for it for simple convenience rather than monetary gain.

It's nice to have that option.

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1 hour ago, reformed nice guy said:

Im looking into this problem at the moment. Im tempted to get a small battery system with an inverter to provide the necessary frequency to my solar inverter so that it thinks the grid is still on when there is a power cut

I've pondered this. I think the difficulty would be that the grid-tie inverter will advance its phase over the battery inverter in order to stuff several amps into it, assuming incorrectly that it is the grid and and can absorb the power. Even if this didn't destroy the inverter, a 100Ah of batteries isn't going to be happy accepting all that current. Perhaps your idea could be combined with a solar diverter to heat hot water so that you don't backflow your battery inverter? @Kurt Barlowwould know about this.
A more long term  change would be to also install a hybrid system that you could switch to. This would draw from the batteries when they have sufficient energy stored, or draw from the grid when they don't.

I would imagine when the grid goes down, the most missed appliance would be central heating, which still needs electricity for the pump and for the electronics.

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59 minutes ago, Nippy said:

I've pondered this. I think the difficulty would be that the grid-tie inverter will advance its phase over the battery inverter in order to stuff several amps into it, assuming incorrectly that it is the grid and and can absorb the power. Even if this didn't destroy the inverter, a 100Ah of batteries isn't going to be happy accepting all that current. Perhaps your idea could be combined with a solar diverter to heat hot water so that you don't backflow your battery inverter? @Kurt Barlowwould know about this.
A more long term  change would be to also install a hybrid system that you could switch to. This would draw from the batteries when they have sufficient energy stored, or draw from the grid when they don't.

I would imagine when the grid goes down, the most missed appliance would be central heating, which still needs electricity for the pump and for the electronics.

There are products on the market that will disconnect your system from the grid in the event of a power cut. I assume these work with Hybrid solar inverters that are fitted with a battery to allow an independent supply in the house. 

The Powerwall won't work in the event the the grid falls unless the house circuit is disconnected which means some sort of breaker on the incoming leccy. 

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Just now, dgul said:

All my wires are full of electricity at the moment.  But then I'm in the south -- perhaps all the electricity from the north has run down here and the wires are empty in Scotland?

Undo the wires and knot each end tightly.

Save the electricity in them for Winter.

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4 hours ago, sarahbell said:

Whats worrying about this is we are in a period of subdued demand due to COVID and the implosion of the economy and we are now running short of generating capacity. There is plenty of gas sloshing about so its not a fuel constraint issue. 

Given the endless delays in nuclear new build the govt should have underwritten 4-6GW of new coal fired capacity and build some reliable diversity into the network. 

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