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(@flyingscot)
Active Member Member
32 kWhs
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Where to start?

Long prelim please be patient 🙂

Well i am fairly technical and somewhat experience in Solar Battery systems BUT in the marine world where i use Victron Energy Inverters and have constructed multiple 12V batteries using Prismatic cells and Ausie BMS's and cell balancing items

I know very little about UK (I am in Scotland) domestic solar

However, in a rush to get on the solar merry-go-round in 2017 before the FIT Rate was again reduced i had a 4Kw system installed this sadly was by cowboys and i got shafted big time with both smaller panels than the proposal and a smaller inverter and a CRAP installation The panel support rails were only attached to the roof sarking woodwork (some screws even going through the gaps between sarking strips) and there was no bird netting installed

What I got was 15 250W panels (285W panels were specified on the quotation)  and a 3.65 inverter instead of the quoted 4Kw one

The threat of take it all away and even promising to instigate legal proceedings worked. (Stupidly, as I now know - looking at generation figures and FIT Payments) this resulted in a big {acceptible} discount

The ONLY GOOD thing was this installation came with a quality insurance guarantee AND we had to instigate a claim for when the roof was leaking water into the house

Simultaneously with the discovery of the leaking roof the Solis inverter went POP and the people who fixed all the problems replaced that with a Solar Edge system with power optimisers

My excuse is that this was all rushed, and I had other more important things to look after at the time.

NOW my plan was to add an addition 7 panels to my roof and upgrade the inverter IF i was unable to handle the new solar generation numbers - (opps cannot do that with a FIT system)

My nephew has a SEG installation, and it was his comments plus Octopus billing (I now have a smart meter that seems to be rather dumb and exaggerates energy usage) (soon to talk to Octopus about this and the bills) that had me looking at upgrading my system

So I am allowed to add battery storage to my FIT system sadly I have missed the Scottish Government's grant loan scheme for solar battery storage

The best solar installer i can find and have spoken to was not interested in touching the present system (not allowed under MSC rules i believe) and was going to add a solar battery system to my house that had a NICE (rather expensive price)  They were going to use my equipment preferences which are Victron Energy products  and Pylontech Batteries and use 8.33 430W solar panels. I did like their proposal but the cost was not attractive and SWMBO was totally unsupportive.  I am about to build a garage with a south facing roof so this proposal would work well on my garage roof as the second or is it third phase of my solar installation(s) But the garage is not built yet.

IF you are still awake, I want to add pylontech batteries  (probably starting with two maybe three US5000's and adding more as I see how the system is performing) to my FIT system to make the house totally (or almost totally independent) from the grid

My ultimate choice would be a VE inverter to replace my present SE inverter BUT that would need some roof work and the removal of the SE power optimisers as they are incompatible with a VE inverter and then add batteries to that system.

The other option that I can see is if I have another independent system to run the house probably with a VE 5Kw inverter and some sort of AC coupling OR/AND maybe then put some 8.33 430W panels on the roof to keep the batteries charged etc independently of my 3.65Kw Fit system 

These are my today thoughts and after being confused and upset by solar 'professionals' I am looking for advice and assistance here

Understand I do not seek advice on my preferred manufactures for this other than IF THERE IS an inverter that will work with the SE Power optimisers, please give me that info.

So Finally

PHASE ONE is Solar Battery Storage on my FIT System

PHASE TWO is an off the grid garage system that MAY in the future get connected to the house and maybe the grid IF eventually I can have a FIT and a SEG solar system in the one property or in 13 years when the FIT contract times out change upgrade everything and move to the latest SEG contract

Apologises for the length of this  🙁

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by Mars

   
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(@judith)
Estimable Member Member
707 kWhs
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 52
 

Just a couple of questions 

both Victron and Pylon need to be kept indoors and have you thought where?

for your FIT system you need an AC inverter to your battery for it to all operate together but your garage system could be a hybrid (and hence more efficient). Have you considered that? And to be most effective they should be managed together with an appropriate app, do your chosen products have that?

There’s no SEG anymore so it just on your electricity supplier’s term on ROI , usually good on solar. A house can have anything you want as long as you don’t touch the FIT system monitoring aspects.

just more to consider I’m afraid!

6kW PV south-facing roof 9.5kWh Givenergy battery. MVHR. Investigating ASHP


   
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(@flyingscot)
Active Member Member
32 kWhs
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

In my rush to TRY and make me first post NOT TOO LONG (failed miserably)

I forgot to mention two batteries that could be possibilities and that i am/was considering using.

The Fogstar rack mounted batteries look like a cheaper (about 30% cheaper) and are a UK supplier and look much the same as the Pylontech offering

QUESTION I think the Pylontech batteries US5000 have only 15 cells not 16?

I would have thought that this could possibly result in the batteries being overcharged, though I understand that the VE equipment works well with Pylontech batteries whereas the Fogstar rack mounted batteries have 16 cells so in my world they are spot on for a 48V battery, in the marine world I use four cells per 12V battery

Also the DIY Seplos Mason 280 kit also looks interesting {though I was looking for a recognised plug and play solution, NOT building another battery system}

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Mars

   
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(@flyingscot)
Active Member Member
32 kWhs
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Posted by: @judith

Just a couple of questions 

both Victron and Pylon need to be kept indoors and have you thought where?

for your FIT system you need an AC inverter to your battery for it to all operate together but your garage system could be a hybrid (and hence more efficient). Have you considered that? And to be most effective they should be managed together with an appropriate app, do your chosen products have that?

There’s no SEG anymore so it just on your electricity supplier’s term on ROI , usually good on solar. A house can have anything you want as long as you don’t touch the FIT system monitoring aspects.

just more to consider I’m afraid!

 

This house has a full height cellar, so no issues with finding a good location for the new kit

 

Also is a Chalet Bungalow and the Solar Edge inverter is simply installed in the corner one of the rooms (loft Space) 

 

The SE FIT Inverter might get relocated so that all the solar kit is in the one location BUT that could mean running DC cable in the house (from the roof to the cellar) (external high strength plastic conduit is always an option here) which i think is not something that is highly recommended 

 

A VE Multiplus II will do the job and can take a solar input at a later date (maybe some nice panels {say ten 8.33 430 panels} on a ground mount attached to the house {instant CarPort}) (then it would be easy to include the SE FIT DC cable in this external cable run) so that it will not only be the FIT installation and the Grid that is being used to charge the batteries

This inverter could even be connected to the proposed garage roof solar in the future. And they are easy to add capacity by running two or more in parallel, they just have to be I think, the same model of identically rated inverters.

 

GOTASOREHEADNOW 🙁

 


   
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Transparent
(@transparent)
Famed Member Moderator
8878 kWhs
Veteran Expert
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1464
 

I'm not well-enough informed on Victron products. But I realise that they are high-spec and relatively expensive.
The Aussie equivalent would be Batrium.

I don't see why you have qualms about running DC cables inside the house.
I have 24v feeds from my plant-room to distribution points on each floor, and to the workshops.
That runs 80% of the house lighting, the server-rack, internet router and hubs, telephone, security cameras etc.
I can provide further information on connections and circuit safety if you wish.

 

1: The cheapest approach to in-home battery storage is to use hybrid inverters, as suggested by @judith above.
The batteries themselves would be built from LiFePO4 cells, either on DIY shelving or in Seplos/Fogstar enclosures.

CellsShelf2

That approach is sufficiently cheap that it will almost certainly override thoughts of FIT income.

 

2: The next cheapest option is to buy in rack-mounted batteries with a BMS and fuse already within each box.
Pylontech and Fogstar both have options.
Storage capacity in each enclosure is limited by the weight you can lift under Health & Safety legislation. A 4kWh box typically weighs around 25Kg.

 

I use the first option. Some of the stored energy is converted up to 240v 50Hz, but off-grid.
That's not synchronised to the 50Hz of the grid, and therefore continues to operate during an outage.

Off Grid battery6spDSm

If you don't export back to the grid, then you can install as many solar-panels, inverters and batteries as you like.
You don't need G99 consent from Scottish Power.
Your equipment doesn't require an MCS-approved contractor.
Connections below 75v are deemed SELV and don't require a qualified electrician.

You do still require approval from SWMBO

 

You are currently constrained by

  • your desire to maintain income from the FIT
  • the SolarEdge optimisers, which link to the matching Solar-Edge inverter
This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Transparent

Save energy... recycle electrons!


   
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