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To Zappi or not to Zappi, when I already have a charger??

  • 20-02-2023 2:24pm
    Registered Users Posts: 641 ✭✭✭

    Getting solar installed this week (22x400 panel & eddi) also have a Wico 5.3 Kw battery.

    Asked about adding a Zappi and given a quote of 1300 euro. This seems extremely high as it would be very little work to install ( and they are making enough from the system that is been installed also!!)

    Just looking for the old charger to be taken off the wall and the Zappi stuck on, probably 30min work at the very most.

    For me to buy the Zappi it's around 975 euro, I'm sure they are getting it quite a bit cheaper....

    Anybody any thoughts on what to do? !! - seems mad money when the are already making a fortune on the solar install


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,426 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Zappi is €1,125 delivered, they will remove and connect up the new Zappi which will take half an hour if straightforward. Does your old charge point have an isolator switch, if not then this will need to be factored in. Finally there is expensive equipment required to test and sign off the new charge point, perhaps they have a fixed charge per install to spread the cost of this.

    FWIW I was in the exact boat and was charged €50 which included isolator switch

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭DC999

    Because you’ve a 9.68kWp large system you'll export a lot. The small 5kWh battery will fill in jig time. So the EV to soak up the excess would help.

    Do nothing:

    That said you could ignore it for a year. Takes a while to suss out when and how you use juice. So no harm to wait on the Zappi. Unless the EV is in the driveway during the day to soak up excess, the Zappi won’t be of benefit. Instead use the existing charger on cheap night rate to fill the car as you do now. You won’t get the 600 grant of course as have a prior charger. 

    If your night rate to fill the car is around the same price as FIT (with whoever is your provider), there's no gain. As in the FIT that could have gone into the car goes to the grid, but you're paid for it.

    But...if you've a D/N meter you'll get deemed export on FIT. And if you have a Zappi, you're winning twice as you've a low actual export to the grid (as the car soaks it) plus you get deemed export. So that deemed export credit would part pay for the Zappi.

    Get it:

    Do the maths on it quickly. Check how much kWh you put into the car each month or year. Then check how many daylight hours the car is in the driveway (early morning and evening produce little). Then you can see when it will breakeven on the cost to supply and install.

    Think I paid 1400 supply and install. Didn’t have a charger before. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,167 ✭✭✭monkeybutter

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭DC999

    If you've a smart meter, you get paid FIT on every unit you 'sell' back to the grid.

    No way to do that on a 24hr meter or a D/N meter. So some org (ESBN maybe) created a formula for how much a certain size system gets paid for export if you don't have a smart meter. That dictates the amount you get for exporting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,167 ✭✭✭monkeybutter

    i thought they had stopped paying out at a point say 5 years ago and only started this again if you had a smart meter?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,727 ✭✭✭yankinlk

    Nopes. I have a day night meter and getting FIT paid based on my system size. Nice cause im self-consuming as much as possible and exporting zero (or close to it when i can)

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,345 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Regarding the existing charge point, could it also be used as a solar diverter like the Zappi?

    Several other brands have very similar functionality, if you know the make and model of the existing charger then someone here can probably tell you

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭Big Lar

    Yup, I have an Easee charger and I control this using Home assistant with a script/automation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 641 ✭✭✭Moreilly

    I don't think so, it's one of the original chargers given out for 'free' when I first got an electric car about 6 years ago, I think it's 'ABB', not home at the moment to check.

    As for my current meter- it is a day/night rate meter, will I get deemed export on a 8.8kw system performance at winter?, I'm guessing it maxes out at 6kw deemed export in summer?

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,281 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    @Moreilly - if you got the original ESB ecars install done with the ABL charge point it was done with 4mm2 cable as the unit was set to charge at 3.6kW. For the zappi it will need to be completely re-wired all the way back into your consumer unit for your Zappi with at least 6mm2 cable (10mm2 if it is a long run) as it provides double the power. So there is much more to it than you think (plus the stuff @slave1 posted). Also a CT will have to be wired from your zappi into your consumer unit, unless this was already done for the eddi.

    zappi is a cool product, but you don't need to do any sums to know that your extra €1300 outlay is never going to pay for itself

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭DC999

    You get deemed export on the size of the inverter submitted on the NC6 for by your installer. That's can't be over 6kW as that's the limit. I'd guess they entered as 6kW.

  • Registered Users Posts: 641 ✭✭✭Moreilly

    ABL , that's the one !, When I was getting it installed I brought larger guage cable as I think at the time there was a way of making a few adjustments to it ( can't remember now, but at the time I had researched into it and it seemed easy enough) so that it output the 7kW and the installer used this cable so it should be ok, as for the positioning - the consumer unit is about 3ft away directly behind it so it couldn't be easier from a wiring perspective .

    Just seems like mad money!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,345 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Considering the price of the Zappi alone (around €1k) it's not that bad for a fixed price installation, they tend not to be the best rate anyway

    As others posters said, maybe wait and see on that one. You can always sit back for a year and see how much you end up exporting

    Since you'll be in deemed, your goal is to export nothing to the grid. So after a year (or 6 months since most of your export will be in summer) you'll have a good idea of how many kWh you could divert into the EV

    If it's a straight charger swap then it'll be fairly cheap. You might need to change the RCBO as well since I believe the regulations have changed. When I got it done it cost around €240, two hours labour and a new RCBO. I already had the Zappi and other stuff bought, back in the days when they cost €800

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,312 ✭✭✭micks_address

    yeah to be honest id wait.. i changed my vw wallbox to a zappi for solar and its cool to see it in action.. but today for instance im exporting 1.4 excess. for max 3 or 4 hours.. so its probably going to be a few percent at max into the car.. i only have solar since november.. so hopefully some days in the summer i might see a lot more.. id estimate my max generation from a 4wp south east, 3kwp north west to be around 30kwh on a summers day.. be nice to see what the zappi can do those days.. im still probably better off exporting the excess if i don't need it in the car.. and charge the car at the ei night boost rate..

    i managed to get the zappi sourced and installed cheap and sold the vw charger so only cost me a coupe of hundred euro to do it

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,426 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    You'll be well above 30kWh with that setup, 40+ is a likely high for you in cloudless April-July

  • Registered Users Posts: 320 ✭✭Redlim

    This isn't a perfect solution but depending on the car you have you may be able to reduce the charge speed to roughly match your excess solar generation. This will allow you to use your existing charge point or granny cable (usual safety disclaimers apply when using the granny cable).

    For example I have a Kia E-Niro and there's a setting in the EV menu to adjust charge speed to 1. Max, 2. Mid, 3. Min.

    This means using the home charge point you can charge at approx 7.3kW, 5.6kW or 4.3kW (I forget the exact figures but that's fairly close).

    The same can be done with the granny cable so you also have the option of 2.2kW, 1.6kW and 1kW.

    The fact you have a house battery means you can charge the car from solar with the safety net of the house battery every so often if it's partly cloudy. This way you can be relatively confident of not drawing expensive day units from the grid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 641 ✭✭✭Moreilly

    Was half thinking this way, the current set up on the charger is about 3.6kw(never got around to flashing it!) and all 22 panels will be pointing directly south so generation should be pretty good. might get away with just keeping the old one and skip the Zappi, hard to know. The cost is all adding up to far more than I originally intended !

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,281 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Good that you are not blindly going ahead. Also remember that it is very likely we all will have a smart meter within a few years, which will likely mean we will get paid more for our export than it costs us to use night rate. In which case the zappi will only have added significantly to your cost

    With all this stuff, the more you install yourself (or not have installed by someone else) and the more you do a bit of micro management like @Redlim suggested, the better it is for the environment and the more you save in your wallet

    I have a big PV setup and really wanted a zappi myself (not just for the smart charging, but also for the excellent myenergi reporting graph) but I stopped myself from buying one (even though I had access to buying them at trade prices without VAT and can do the install myself) until I found a second hand "faulty" one that I got for peanuts

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭DC999

    Max our Leaf can charge at is 3.6kW, even though the Zappi can do faster, and it's grand for us. Leave the current charger for now and save the cash. You've enough to take on learning solar. First few months has a learning curve. You'll likely get close to the same Zappi price supply and fit in a year as you're getting today from your existing quote.