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Solar for Dummies.



  • Registered Users Posts: 535 ✭✭✭ cobham

    At last have the CT clamps corrected. We have a battery and so far see no point in switching provider so no day/night rates and no EV. Only after deciding on solar system did we realise the advantage of keeping on the old meter. What to do with the battery? we managed to disable it as it had been set incorrectly to charge up from 6 am from grid. Obviously when plenty of solar, it can feed battery after house then eddi. Is it OK to leave the battery at a low power level until then?

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 61,195 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel

    Why would you disable it? Either use it or sell it!

  • Registered Users Posts: 535 ✭✭✭ cobham

    We disabled it from timed setting to fully charge off the grid from 6 am. Last September when first installed we were getting a full battery by lunchtime then afternoon solar went into water/Eddi. I prefer the water heated first. I think filling the battery would take all the solar generated these days. We hoped the recent electrician would reset to some proper setting but has not. I cannot think of removing the battery at this stage after months of hassle to get system working right. Sorry just a Dummy here and a lot of discussions on here are like a foreign language...😒

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 61,195 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel

    What ways can you heat your water, with gas and with electricity? You have a single electricity meter, what is your unit price? For most people their unit electricity price is now much higher than their unit gas price, so it makes a lot more financial sense to heat the water with gas and let whatever PV you have fill your battery.

    If you give us details of the hardware that you have (inverter make and model and battery make and model), some of us will likely have the same combo and might be able to help you adjust the settings yourself

  • Registered Users Posts: 557 ✭✭✭ Mr Q

    You can, there are options for this. Have a look at K2 systems, that will give you an idea of what is out there.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,562 ✭✭✭ graememk

    Like what goes on sheds? Curved or tapozid? (although it doesn't matter, Both have rails)

    Yeah, There is the K2 Microrail, or Rensol have one too,

    Its what hold on all my panels, A little rail, about 150mm long, 2 self tapping screws into the steel

    If on a house, Id prob but a dab of silicone on before screwing down.

    Very fast and cheap.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 61,195 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel

    Same here on my shed. Brilliant stuff, super easy and quick to fit and the cheapest possible way of mounting panels. The self tapping screws that you should order with the little rails, have a built in rubber washer that creates a water proof seal. So no need for using any silicone or anything else before screwing down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ eclipsechaser

    Couple of newbie questions on the first day with a new installation:

    1) On a SolisCloud app, is Feed in Tarrif the price that I pay for electricity or the price I get paid for excess energy? Installer told my wife it's how much I pay for electricity but that isn't my understanding of what Feed in Tarrif normally means.

    2) They installed 3 PureDrive 5kWh batteries but the Solis 6kW hybrid inverter only seems to be recognising 1 of them. The app doesn't specify 3 batteries but the battery charged 4kWh today and went up to 100% and then after that all excess energy started going to the grid. I could also see a solid green light on one battery but flashing green lights on the other. This apparently means the others are low on charge so it's clear they never got going. Anyone got an easy fix or is it a matter of getting the installer back?

    3) I have 2 strings of 13 panels - one string each on two roofs. I have noticed, as I suspected, that our chimney casts a shadow onto the panels from around mid-day. I had mentioned optimizers but none were put up. Should I be going back to them looking to have this rectified? That string is an array of 9 panels in a row with a further 4 on a level below. 2 of these bottom 4 look like they're going to be shaded by the chimney - at least at this time of year. I practically feel like I'd be better off without them.

    4) The sun came out today for a while and even though it's a 10.4kW system it tipped away at 4.x and briefly 5.1 for the those clearly sunny times. Is this normal not to be at 6 with such a system or is it likely because of shading?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,746 ✭✭✭ jkforde

    1) On a SolisCloud app - FIT is the Clean Energy Guarantee (CEG) payment that you receive for exported surplus PV to the grid. Bit of a concern if the installer doesn't know this.

    2) PureDrive - get installer back at no cost to you. In fairness, they should have checked & walked you through the system before they left. Sounds like the master unit isn't hooked up the other two

    3) Optimisers - I'd get them back

    4) It's winter so can't expect rated kwp but based on point 3 above, maybe they're just installed\optimised incorrectly.

    Are they SEAI registered? Have you fully paid them?

    Post edited by jkforde on

    🌦️ 6.7kwp, 45°, SSW, mid-Galway 🌦️

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,718 ✭✭✭ SD_DRACULA

    No one can get optimizers in Ireland it seems, been looking for some myself for ages now so that would be why they skipped that part but make sure they will add them later if you asked/paid for them.

    Unless you have your panels almost vertical you won't get full power this time of the year.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ con747

    When in the Solis cloud app you can press your Plant name, then press device, then press inverter, you can then see what your battery and string status is. I take it you mean in point 1 that it's the option to put a cost on the electricity unit you pay when setting up the app? If so then just put what you pay including vat and it will show in the app how much your generation is worth per day/month/year/all time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ eclipsechaser

    1) Many thanks. I did know what FIT meant and my wife also knows but apparently the electrician said it was what we paid. I agree it's strange for them not to know and also concerned me a bit.

    2) Luckily they're due back tomorrow to finish the installation of another family member who lives very close by. I'll be getting the family member to send them back to me regarding the batteries. Hopefully it's a quick fix.

    3) I'll be asking about optimisers although it's not for electrician really, more the installers. So I guess that'll have to go back to main office. This could be tricky as it'll involve scaffolding. And would the electricians need to come back to shut the system off too?

    4) Yeah, it's the first day with the panels so I really don't know what's normal which is why I'm asking here. Obviously if I had 6kW of panels I wouldn't be expecting anything close to 6kW but I thought maybe with 10.4kW of panels, I would get better than a peak of 5kW when the Sun was out. But obviously I've nothing to compare that to and maybe it wasn't quite as clear as I thought.

    They are fully registered (and well known here). Only a deposit paid so I can insist on everything working fully before they get the full amount. I'm going to post a picture of the chimney shade now to see what people think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ eclipsechaser

    Attached is the a picture of the chimney. The shade also covers the bottom of the panel, which I couldn't capture with the phone. This is at 1.48pm for reference. It would definitely be handy to know what people think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ eclipsechaser

    Thanks for that. Here's what I'm see on that page. Is there a way to check the production difference between the 2 strings? That would help a lot in terms of figuring out the impact of the shadow. Thanks!

    I can see there's definitely 1x 5kWh battery detected but I think the other 2 aren't registering from how to behaved earlier when at full battery.

    For the FIT, I can see where to change that number. I can't seem to find where to put the actual price that the electricity costs us. The electrician set the app up with my wife so I wasn't there at the time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ con747

    I think others will need to advise on the tech end of that, you can see during the day if the strings are all active and various values. The 3 batteries will only show as a single unit AFAIK. I have 2 of the same and they show as 1 but when they get to my cut off point one flashes green. I have my state of discharge set to 30% in winter due to power cuts so I can utilise the rest to keep essential stuff powered via the EPS (emergency power supply).

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,562 ✭✭✭ graememk

    Re optimisers, have a watch of this:

    Its been posted before, but it's very informative.

    It's likely optimisers won't effect it too much. I wouldn't be getting them.

    Re the battery, is there a display or lights on them? If the state of charge lights on them change in step with each other it's likely they are working fine, keep an eye on it.

    It's still only January remember and the shadows are still long. Sun is still low.

    The most you'll prob see is 6ish kw out of the oversized array.

    You can pull up the voltage and current on the solis of each string and do the math to compare.

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ eclipsechaser

    Good to know that several betteries show up as 1 battery.

    However I still think the others aren't registering on the system. My battery went from 100% to 20% by discharging 5kWh for the day (and that included when it went up down down earlier in the day).

    If it's a 15kWh battery, it wouldn't be going from 100% to 20% by using 5kWh.

    Just to be sure, I've now set it to charge the batteries overnight to see how many kWh that uses up. The lights are on but are blinking asynchronously.

    Edit: it's gone from 20% to 62% in 40 minutes at a charging rate of 2.5kWh. That doesn't sound like a 15kWh battery connected properly, does it?

    Post edited by eclipsechaser on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ con747

    Put all your concerns to the installers when you get them back after doing your family members house. If it's the people I think from Enniskillen they will sort it in my experience. Just make sure you are 100% happy before they leave and pay the final payment. I left it a couple of weeks before paying the balance to be sure all was working.

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ eclipsechaser

    Good advice. I just wanted to check here in case I was being stupid and all the batteries were connected.

  • Registered Users Posts: 971 ✭✭✭ Thespoofer

    Looking for opinions here please on this quote.

    Recently got quoted €16,800 ( before grant ) for

    - max size set up allowed ( 9 khw, 22 panels ?)

    - ground mounted

    - 3.6 kwh battery

    - hybrid inverter

    - hot water diverter.

    - digging for cable done by myself

    Seems high to me, are they trying it on?


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 61,195 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel

    There is no max size allowed of number of panels or wattage. It's unlimited. The installer was telling you porky pies!

    And we have a dedicated thread for comparing quotes, have a look at it here:

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,432 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1

    If that is just Winter shading I would not be bothered as there's (relatively speaking) not much PV being lost.

    If it's through the year (when the sun is higher) then optimisers would be advised but that would require lads going back up on the roof

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,432 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1

    3) I'll be asking about optimisers although it's not for electrician really, more the installers. So I guess that'll have to go back to main office. This could be tricky as it'll involve scaffolding. And would the electricians need to come back to shut the system off too?

    Electrician not required as you have a number of safety switches to isolate the panels

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,426 ✭✭✭✭ ELM327

    Ground mounted would usually make it more expensive. Doesnt seem tooo bad but it's not the best at all.

    There is no max on the amount of panels

  • Registered Users Posts: 557 ✭✭✭ Mr Q

    Others have said there is no max amount of panels, which is true.

    But I think it's fair to assume that the installer is only fitting one inverter and he is taking about the maximum amount in your particular situation.

    Did they give you any specs on the ground mount or breakdown of costs? It could be a very big part of the cost

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,373 ✭✭✭ micks_address

    There is a max you can get for the standard esb connection though? If you go over a certain amount you have to apply for a different esb connection which costs around 1k

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ con747

    You can have as much as you want as long as you have it set not to go over the 6kw fed into the grid. Then after 6kw you need an NC7 form costing near enough 1k. A lot here have multiple inverters and god knows how many panels no problem once within the NC6 guidelines afaik.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,771 ✭✭✭ Ginger83

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ con747

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  • Registered Users Posts: 971 ✭✭✭ Thespoofer

    No there wasn't any breakdown of price just the overall figure.

    I'm really considering going down the self install route ( bar the connecting up of course ).

    Is it a big hoohah to get someone to commission and self installation at the end or is this a straight forward process ?