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Discuss Adding in more panels at a later date. in the Solar PV Forum | Solar Panels Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

M

MicraShed

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I have a 3 week old install, 10x aSun Black Mono 250w panels running as 2 strings of 5, and a Fronius IG30 inverter. The original survey was for 16 panels (10 on the main roof and 6 on an extension roof) all facing SW with no shading.

We couldnt afford the £7K install for the 16, so plumped for the 10 panels.

Happy so far (apart from import meter issues which Scottish Power dont seem to be addressing having now phoned me up yesterday to cancel the meter exchange saiyng that the "rEd" display was normal - this despite the fact its clocking forwards what I appear to be exporting).

At some point in the future I would like to increase to the full 16 panels. Now will this have to be a separate install of 6 panels running through its own inverter and generation meter owing to the change in tariffs, or can they be added into the existing install and just upgrade the inverter we have?

Apologies in advance for the thicko question, but thanks for humouring me.
 
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Your old system would get 21p
and the new 6 panel system would get 16p

you would need a generation meter for the 6 panels.
 

Worcester

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Mentor
Arms
@MEP BruceB suggested that they might pro-rata the meter readings... I guess depends upon FIT provider, it will need a new MCS certificate for the addition, though ot may make sense to change the inverter for a new, one optimised for the new size, as opposed to adding in another small one. The addition would be at the new 'lower' rate. - So @MicraShed you need to speak with your FIT provider and get their interpreation first.
 
M

MicraShed

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Cheers for the replies.

Its not going to be something that happens this year, but hopefully next year. I can see my meter cupboard getting crowded though with another generation meter - thankfully I still have one spare RCD circuit on my distribution board!
 

SolarCity

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Arms
Cheers for the replies.

Its not going to be something that happens this year, but hopefully next year. I can see my meter cupboard getting crowded though with another generation meter - thankfully I still have one spare RCD circuit on my distribution board!
Remember that your PV system shouldn't be installed on a shared/communal RCD.
 
M

MicraShed

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Remember that your PV system shouldn't be installed on a shared/communal RCD.
OK, not overly sure I follow you here - the install I have goes via two AC isolating switches (one in the loft at the inverter and one in the meter cupboard, then this runs into the distribution board, via a 16a RCD (30ma trip) - there are no other RCD's on that side of the circuit. The ring main, extension, external sockets, cooker, immersion and so on, are on their own RCD and only the lighting circuits remain on MCB's.

The breaker with the red dot is the PV install breaker, the one to the left of it is currently spare.
RCD.jpg
Please excuse the poor quality phone camera picture.
 

SolarCity

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Arms
Okay, the way it is connected is fine. When you say "thankfully I still have one spare RCD circuit on my distribution board", I assume you are talking about the circuits to the left of the RCD? If you are, then it cannot be installed there. The best way would be to move one of the existing circuits from the right hand side of the board (non-RCD protected) to the left hand side of the board. This will free up some space to install an RCBO (if it is required) on the non-RCD side of the board.

Does that make sense?


 
D

danesol

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
I have a 3 week old install, 10x aSun Black Mono 250w panels running as 2 strings of 5, and a Fronius IG30 inverter. The original survey was for 16 panels (10 on the main roof and 6 on an extension roof) all facing SW with no shading.

We couldnt afford the £7K install for the 16, so plumped for the 10 panels.

Happy so far (apart from import meter issues which Scottish Power dont seem to be addressing having now phoned me up yesterday to cancel the meter exchange saiyng that the "rEd" display was normal - this despite the fact its clocking forwards what I appear to be exporting).

At some point in the future I would like to increase to the full 16 panels. Now will this have to be a separate install of 6 panels running through its own inverter and generation meter owing to the change in tariffs, or can they be added into the existing install and just upgrade the inverter we have?

Apologies in advance for the thicko question, but thanks for humouring me.
As far as I understand, these are the possibilities in theory;

Option.1 If you merely add extra panels to your existing install, you will lose your pre-Aug tariff and the system will be recalculated at the current rate and you would also be subject to any additional FiT requirements to fulfil.

Option.2 If you created a newly MCS signed off PV array with the additional panels, separate Inverter and additional generation meter you would need to check with installer/energy supplier that an additional meter reading could be taken and submitted for the 2ndary system on the same MPAN account...... Assuming you dont go over the 3.68KW threshold of requiring G59 permission, then other complications exist.

Option.3 If add the extra panels, your installer re submits your application and you are charged pro-rota for just one meter reading


Yes you have just entered a minefield !
 

jason121

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Arms
The final connection into a distribution board that contains one or more circuits protected by an RCD, shall be made in such a way that the outgoing circuit for the PV system is not connected into the outgoing side of an RCD installed for the protection of other circuits (ie in a split board – connected into the part not protected by the RCD) .
 

SolarCity

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Arms
Fitting PV on a seperate consumer unit can actually be a good idea anyway as it has benefits with monitoring.
 

jason121

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Arms
im thinkin of these new housing estates were pricing is tight, what about smoke detectors on ways without RCD
 

SolarCity

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Arms
You could always leave two ways which are not RCD protected? If smoke detector requires RCD then you can just leave it on its own RCBO.
 

jason121

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Arms
im only saying this as regard to the low install prices
split board 2ways on each empty
one on RCD being used for smoke
What will happen do ya think
 

jason121

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Arms
i suppose its not that much of a problem but yes the non rcd way will be abused to satisfy PV if being used by another circuit i.e smoke detector
 
M

MicraShed

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #21
Thoughts gentlemen please:
531656_10151074130567838_1197719491_n.jpg
My roof faces nominally SE and has 10x250w panels where the yellow dot is ^^^

The opposing roof faces NW, yet gets direct unshaded sun from about 3pm to 7pm during summer months, less in winter obviously.

Now, the original plan was to add in another 5 or 6 x 250w panels on the extension roof (also SE facing) but I have been increasingly thinking about 5x 250w panels on the NW roof to even out energy production.

I know traditionally North facing installs are frowned upon, but looking at how much light the front roof gets and for the time it gets it for leads me to think it would be for me a better bet than adding to the other SE facing roof.

Im also wondering if i could get away with keeping the existing Fronius IG 30 inverter as the peak power shouldn't go above the units threshold.

So, thoughts if you would be so kind....
 

SolarCity

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Arms
I can't work out where your extension roof is on your picture but I would you would be better off installing on that instead. NW roofs can be worthwhile but you will definitely need a new inverter.
 
M

MicraShed

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #23
Its not a great picture is it?
The extension is the lighter grey roof below the yellow dot (main roof).

solar pv array.png
This diagram illustrates it a little better - my house is a semi, there is a single storey extension to the rear, but the roof to this attracts shading partly from two large trees on neighbouring property that dont affect the main roof (though they will impact in winter when the sun is lower).

Though the front half of my roof is NW facing this has full and uninterrupted sunlight from when the sun is round that side, usually from about 2 to 3pm onwards. The front has no shading issues.

The reason Im thinking this way is more to do with continued generation during the day, I see a real drop off in power generated from about 3pm with the panels where they are, but if I could boost that generation to later in the day then I would have more usable electricity for the house.

For me the idea of PV has never been about the FIT - the FIT merely enables an earlier repayment time for the initial outlay. Given the falling install costs of PV it can only be a matter of time before the FIT becomes far less relevant to most people anyway ( compare my install at a little over £5K with my friends install 18 months earlier at a little under £11K for almost the same output - he is on the 40-odd pence FIT, I on the 20-odd pence FIT).

I mean thats only my thinking as a layman and bog standard consumer. I have only had my system up and running 4 weeks, however I have dramatically managed to cut my import from the grid by my own generation and thinking a bit more about how I use the electricity we generate and we need to import, Im also lucky in that the house is occupied during the day so we can use the power generated.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SolarCity

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Arms
I would say that it may be worth going for. You will need an extra inverter for the job but this needn't mean that it makes the install too costly.
 

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