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Hi,

I'm looking to expand our current grid-tied solar from 2kw to 4kw, add some battery storage and do zero export.

Has anyone done this? Did SSE accept it?

Any advice on equipment?

Thanks all
 
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PEG

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Arms
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Good luck,with this. They cannot even guarantee if and when the so called "smart meters" will be able to cope with the solar job.

I have lost count of the number of installations i have inspected,where the set-up and function,bears no similarity at all,with owners concept of what is happening.
 
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  • #3
Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure exactly what you mean? I'm fairly confident in how the system I want to install will work. Maybe I'm missing something here but what Smart Meter?

I'm looking to install a battery management system and battery alongside the current and expanded PV.

I'm thinking about Victron inverter/charger and LG Chem.

After posting this I've read the SSE guideline/rules and anything up to 3.86kw/16A appears to be allowed.

Maybe I've missed something?
 
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PEG

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Arms
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Hi,are you at present,tied to a contract/tariff,for your existing panels?
 

whinmoor

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Arms
If you're claiming FiT for the original installation, are you planning to run the new panels thru the same generation meter? If so, you need to tell your FiT provider. The new panels won't be eligible for FiTs so the output will be divided up pro-rata.

The original inverter is probably sized for a 2kW system. You could upgrade to a 16A capped hybrid inverter and add another 3kW (not 2 kW) of panels (roofspace permitting).

If you plan to keep things separate, to keep within G83 (G98) regs, you'd better stick to a 1.5 kW inverter (whilst retaining the original inverter).
 
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  • #6
Hi,are you at present,tied to a contract/tariff,for your existing panels?
Hi, no, they never have been. They came with the house when bought brand new 4 years ago and were never registered by the builders. By the time I got round to registering the install and FIT I had changed from EON energy to OutFoxTheMarket who don't support FIT.

If you're claiming FiT for the original installation, are you planning to run the new panels thru the same generation meter? If so, you need to tell your FiT provider. The new panels won't be eligible for FiTs so the output will be divided up pro-rata.

The original inverter is probably sized for a 2kW system. You could upgrade to a 16A capped hybrid inverter and add another 3kW (not 2 kW) of panels (roofspace permitting).

If you plan to keep things separate, to keep within G83 (G98) regs, you'd better stick to a 1.5 kW inverter (whilst retaining the original inverter).
Just checked my original documentation. I presume we have 8x195w panels from what I gather (no documentation for the PV panels themselves) as the MCS cert says 1.56kw total capacity. So my original post of 2kw was slightly off.

We have 2x Afore HNS1000TL-1 inverters which are rated for 1000w each.

Because we have no FIT I'd like to use the existing system and add to it if possible.

I presume, for less hassle applying for above this limit, we need to keep under the 3.68kw/16A limit?

So would the plan be to add another 1.56kw worth of panels/inverters? Then add the battery management and storage of the LG Chem of 3.3kw?

Thanks for the help chaps.
 

PEG

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Arms
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Hi,so the panels were fitted with MCS certification (for what that's worth) but you have no involvement with your DNO,regarding exporting under the FIT scheme?

I am unsure as to if you are asking,do you need approval from your current supplier,or for the type of arrangement,to do your addition...

There is currently,a nice lump of future,good earnings,for quality sparks and roofers,in removing a lot of these systems,and getting back to square one...
 
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  • #8
Yes, and yes, I don't have a FIT and never had one.

I think the question of whether it is allowed or not is answered as I spoke to my DNO just now and I have explained what I want to do. They have confirmed that if I keep the PV panels total under 3.68kw, it can be approved under Fast Track G83.

I guess the question now becomes more of the setup you guys would recommend.

Is the Victron inverter/charger and LG Chem a good way to go? Or would you look at/recommend other options?
 

Gary K

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DIY
Are you aware that you can claim the FIT from most of the large energy providers and not just the company that is providing your energy? I claim from Eon but I was not with them at the time that the panels were installed/registered.
 
........I think the question of whether it is allowed or not is answered as I spoke to my DNO just now and I have explained what I want to do. They have confirmed that if I keep the PV panels total under 3.68kw, it can be approved under Fast Track G83.....
When I read your first post, I thought I understood what you wanted to do, as it sounded like the same setup that I've been pondering for some time. However... now I don't get it... what does the DNO have to do with it ? Why is there a limit ?

I thought your system would involve PV panels that provided power to be used immediately or if there was surplus power, to re-charge your batteries. Then, when there was insufficient PV power (the evenings say), you could use your stored power from the batteries. Depending on your usage, battery capacity and PV output, there may be a shortfall... this would be made up with power from the grid.

How is your proposal different to the above ?

From my research, even with using the cheapest options available and engineering the whole solution myself... using 'todays money' and assuming no increase in the cost of domestic electricity, the payback is almost 20 years ! The only way this setup works financially is if there's a rapid increase in the cost of electricity... which may well be on the cards if the government's plan comes to fruition... i.e. We all use electric cars and no there's no gas supply at home...
 
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  • #11
When I read your first post, I thought I understood what you wanted to do, as it sounded like the same setup that I've been pondering for some time. However... now I don't get it... what does the DNO have to do with it ? Why is there a limit ?

I thought your system would involve PV panels that provided power to be used immediately or if there was surplus power, to re-charge your batteries. Then, when there was insufficient PV power (the evenings say), you could use your stored power from the batteries. Depending on your usage, battery capacity and PV output, there may be a shortfall... this would be made up with power from the grid.

How is your proposal different to the above ?

From my research, even with using the cheapest options available and engineering the whole solution myself... using 'todays money' and assuming no increase in the cost of domestic electricity, the payback is almost 20 years ! The only way this setup works financially is if there's a rapid increase in the cost of electricity... which may well be on the cards if the government's plan comes to fruition... i.e. We all use electric cars and no there's no gas supply at home...
Hi,

From what I understand, they don't want more than a potential 16A going back to the grid without filling out a more involved application. It can be done for sure but my roof space is only going to allow me around the limit for a quick and easy application anyway.

Your understanding is exactly what I will be doing ultimately.

I'm actually going to put the battery storage/battery backup in a powercut setup on hold for a while as I do use a heck of a lot of power and the 3.68kw wouldn't allow the battery to be charged as well as all the power I use during the day for the majority of the time. Maybe a couple of years down the line the battery setup will be cheaper...

Yes, it will take a while but not 20 years though, more like 5-6 for me (without battery) as I already have 1.56kw installed and I do intend on being in my house for a long time!

What system/equipment are you thinking of? Will you be doing the majority of work your self alongside a sparky? That is my plan. I will be ordering the extra PV panels I need soon as well as a Sunny Boy Inverter.
 
I wasn't planning on getting involved with any of that FIT stuff... just using the PV power myself. Batteries allow you to charge them at night on a cheap rate, then use when there's not enough PV. If the price of electricity goes up by about 30p/kWh... it starts to become viable. I like the Victron kit... I use it on my boat and it's great kit but pricey.
 

davesparks

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Arms
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Electricity is only cheaper at night if your supply is set up for this, such as an economy 7 supply.
Also the day rate is higher than a standard flat rate supply so generally you need to use a lot of electricity at night to make this viable.
 
Agreed Davesparks... so the idea is to have sufficient battery capacity to only use off peak cheap power... so zero expensive daytime use... although it would be available if needs be. It's all possible and practical, just uneconomical right now.
 
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  • #15
Yeah, no FIT for me either. Makes no sense at the current buyback rate. I have a coral reef tank that uses power like it's free all day and night! What rates do people get at night per kwh?

I'd be going the Victron route as from what I've read, researched and heard, it's great kit and can get really geeky if you want it to be which appeals to me.
 
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