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Re: Renewable Reality [Re: IMHO] #755713
15/09/22 03:37 PM
15/09/22 03:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 5,511
East Harling, Norfolk UK
RichardV6 Offline
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RichardV6  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 5,511
East Harling, Norfolk UK
That ties in with my mention of transformers not designed to work in reverse Nick, since the secondary and primary windings would be reversed, creating inefficiencies and likely extra heat.

Exported energy as you suggest would normally be absorbed by households on the same transformer or local 240 volt network, and further explains the need to limit exported power.

Not sure what will happen when we all have Tesla or equivalent powerwalls with our 100 kW hour EV batteries hooked up and "floating" the grid. The suggestion is this will even out demand.


Richard

2018 Roadster - Red/Magnolia - "Morton"
1966 Land Rover series 2a SWB
1945 Moto Guzzi Airone
Re: Renewable Reality [Re: nick w] #755720
15/09/22 04:12 PM
15/09/22 04:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 11,012
Gloucestershire, UK
Hamwich Offline
Scruffy Oik
Hamwich  Offline
Scruffy Oik
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 11,012
Gloucestershire, UK
Originally Posted by nick w
Just to add that I was told by a very reliable person who is at the centre of these thingsthat no domestically produced electricity from solar panels reaches the grid.
He told me that all such electricity is lost at the first substation it meets, dissipated as heat.


Well, he's kind of correct, but also wrong. The 'National Grid' consists of the 400kV Transmission Network and the 12 or so 240V Distribution Networks, so to say 'it never reaches the grid' is only correct if you mean the Transmission Network element of the grid. Locally produced 240V Export is only used in the part of the grid downstream of the local substation, so he's right there, but each substation feeds a number of homes so to be 'dissipated as heat' implies that no other premises in the area are using any electricity at the time, the odds of which are vanishingly remote. Any locally produced power will be used rathe than drawing more power through the substation.

But yes, the grid was originally set up to deliver rather than collect and there's a lot of engineering work to be done yet. None of it is impossible though, it's just a matter of time. And yes, the intention is that we should be producing the energy we need rather than becoming mini power stations, exporting to all and sundry. That's why having batteries is a key part of a modern installation.


Tim H.
1986 4/4 VVTi Sport, 2002 LR Defender, 2022 Mini Cooper SE
Re: Renewable Reality [Re: IMHO] #755722
15/09/22 05:06 PM
15/09/22 05:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 5,486
Northern Capital of Cool
CooperMan Offline
Just barreling along
CooperMan  Offline
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Posts: 5,486
Northern Capital of Cool
So, question for those with experience...

As I'm about to start paying more than x4 for electricity than around 2-3 years ago it's looking more economic to install a proper solar system, what's the approx cost to do it correctly from scratch, panels, inverter, battery pack and interface stuff ??


Jon M
Re: Renewable Reality [Re: IMHO] #755726
15/09/22 05:23 PM
15/09/22 05:23 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 496
Hampshire, UK
I
IMHO Offline OP
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IMHO  Offline OP
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I

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 496
Hampshire, UK
I totally agree that a battery system is a key part of a fully functioning solar system. My Tesla Powerwall 2 is due in November, six months after the planned installation, I’m told it’s down to continual lock-downs in China. It seems to me that the original feed-in-tariff, while being lucrative for the early adopters has also been a bit of a red-herring as far as the public’s perception of the key deliverables of PV systems is concerned.

What appears to be missing from the huge array of PV system components is a device that blocks export to the grid from domestic systems but automatically allows grid supply when the solar/battery system is not meeting demand , I’m pretty confident there’s going to be a market for such a device.

Amazingly, at the time I ordered the Tesla Powerwall and gateway it appeared to be the only battery system that would continue running the house during a power cut!


M3W Brooklands (2015)
Moody 41 (2013)
Re: Renewable Reality [Re: CooperMan] #755728
15/09/22 05:28 PM
15/09/22 05:28 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 496
Hampshire, UK
I
IMHO Offline OP
Learner Plates Off!
IMHO  Offline OP
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I

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 496
Hampshire, UK
My system installed this year -
18 x 375W black panels
1x 6kW inverter
Solar I boost for hot water
Tesla Powerwall 2 and gateway
Zappi car charger
Anti bird mesh
Installation
Total cost £18.5k
The Tesla is £8.5k and the Zappi is £900


M3W Brooklands (2015)
Moody 41 (2013)
Re: Renewable Reality [Re: IMHO] #755731
15/09/22 05:50 PM
15/09/22 05:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 11,012
Gloucestershire, UK
Hamwich Offline
Scruffy Oik
Hamwich  Offline
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Posts: 11,012
Gloucestershire, UK
A lot of the cost depends on what manufacturer you go for, installation costs tend to be the same regardless - assuming a 'normal' installation. Our panels are on the garage which is 30m from the house so we needed a lot of armoured cable and Cat6 to be laid which pushed the costs up quite a bit, the installers reckoned it took them twice as long as normal to do our system.

For the installation we went for 12 x 400W Sunpower panels, a 5KW Solar Edge Inverter, 7.5kW LG LiPo Battery, ZigBee IoT controller to switch remote devices and a Zappi charger. Total cost was around £17k.

It produces around 3MWh/year of electricity we can use, so at 50p/KWh that's about £1500/year saved. As the electricity price increases I would expect the payback period to drop below the 10 year mark.

The only thing I regret about our installation is that I should have gone all-out and bought the decoupler kit that allows you to continue to generate and use solar power when the gris is shut down. It seemed a remote possibility a couple of years ago, and was a significant additional cost so we didn't go for it, but with the benefit of hindsight...

The only advice I would give anyone is to go for a reputable installer and buy decent kit, especially with regard to support and guarantees. As with everything, it might not be true that you always get what you pay for, but it is always true that you don't get what you don't pay for.


Tim H.
1986 4/4 VVTi Sport, 2002 LR Defender, 2022 Mini Cooper SE
Re: Renewable Reality [Re: IMHO] #755732
15/09/22 05:54 PM
15/09/22 05:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 11,012
Gloucestershire, UK
Hamwich Offline
Scruffy Oik
Hamwich  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 11,012
Gloucestershire, UK
Originally Posted by IMHO
It seems to me that the original feed-in-tariff, while being lucrative for the early adopters has also been a bit of a red-herring as far as the public’s perception of the key deliverables of PV systems is concerned.


Not to mention a subsidy paid to those wealthy enough to be able to pay for a solar installation, paid for by everyone else though an increased standing charge on their bills.


Tim H.
1986 4/4 VVTi Sport, 2002 LR Defender, 2022 Mini Cooper SE
Re: Renewable Reality [Re: IMHO] #755751
15/09/22 10:07 PM
15/09/22 10:07 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,520
Oxon
PaulV Offline
Talk Morgan Enthusiast
PaulV  Offline
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Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,520
Oxon
I went for a 10x375W in-roof (most that would fit, and in-roof should mean pigeon proof!) system on an extension / refurbishment this Summer - which was planned pre-Ukraine but impacted by a post-Ukraine rush to solar. No battery as that technology is pricey and still evolving fast - invested instead in external wall insulation. What was interesting was the relatively low cost of the panels especially when compared to traditional tiles (obviously cheap steel-based tiles are are still much lower cost). The inverter install and commissioning is yet to happen so can't give the final view.

IMHO if you are planning roof work (ie involving scaffolding) and have a S- facing roof without obstructions like trees, its almost a no-brainer to add a solar install. I'm amazed they are not compulsory for new-builds or extensions (and especially all those industrial units appearing with large roof areas that would be ideal sites for solar)...


M3W5sp 2015, MSCC, MTWC, Oxon UK
Re: Renewable Reality [Re: IMHO] #756101
20/09/22 04:59 PM
20/09/22 04:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,145
N
nick w Offline
Talk Morgan Addict
nick w  Offline
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N

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,145
Originally Posted by Hamwich
Originally Posted by nick w
Just to add that I was told by a very reliable person who is at the centre of these thingsthat no domestically produced electricity from solar panels reaches the grid.
He told me that all such electricity is lost at the first substation it meets, dissipated as heat.


Well, he's kind of correct, but also wrong. The 'National Grid' consists of the 400kV Transmission Network and the 12 or so 240V Distribution Networks, so to say 'it never reaches the grid' is only correct if you mean the Transmission Network element of the grid. Locally produced 240V Export is only used in the part of the grid downstream of the local substation, so he's right there, but each substation feeds a number of homes so to be 'dissipated as heat' implies that no other premises in the area are using any electricity at the time, the odds of which are vanishingly remote. Any locally produced power will be used rathe than drawing more power through the substation.

But yes, the grid was originally set up to deliver rather than collect and there's a lot of engineering work to be done yet. None of it is impossible though, it's just a matter of time. And yes, the intention is that we should be producing the energy we need rather than becoming mini power stations, exporting to all and sundry. That's why having batteries is a key part of a modern installation.


I put your views to my client and he was emphatic that the national grid is high voltage and does not include the distribution networks. He pointed me to the nat grid website...https://www.nationalgrid.com where there is a one and a half minute video on the opening page confirming what he says. He further pointed to https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/about-us where he asked me to note that they have dropped all reference to solar as a source! He went on ( I almost wished I hadn't asked him about it) to say that actually domestically generated electricity can't even get into the down flow from the substation. He said that if you lived in a close and there was a power cut, then your next door neighbour "downstream" may be able to pick up some from you but that if electricity was flowing normally there is no way you can add yours to it. Also, if everyone in the street has joined the solar panel thing then even in a power cut there's no way to harness the excess.
He reiterated that all new solar farms are being placed to feed adjacent units and that is why they can't take proper advantage of the acres of available warehoue roofing which looks like such a good idea.
He did mutter something about 3 phase electricity which I didn't understand and finished with his view that all new housing should be wired for low voltage lighting so that there would be no invertor waste if wall batteries fitted.
Wow, do bear in mind that this chap makes his vast income from the installation of solar, both domestic and commercial, but mostly big industrial stuff.
Nick

Re: Renewable Reality [Re: IMHO] #756107
20/09/22 05:40 PM
20/09/22 05:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 23,217
Suffolk, England
John V6 Offline
Brooklands Register contact
John V6  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 23,217
Suffolk, England
Then he should know that if you have solar PV linked to export that when the mains is down due to a power cut it doesn't generate as it matches the phase of the network and without that signal it won't export or even power your house.


JohnV6
2014 Brooklands Edition Roadster "Brookland's Belle" #5 of 50
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