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ESBN New Regulations on NC6 Form on 6kW 25amp Inverters May 31/2023

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,402 ✭✭✭DC999


    Team in ESB that manage the NC6 forms from the installer are networkservicesbureau@esb.ie

    Btw, I asked my installer for a copy of the NC6 confirmation from the ESB. Which they gave me. I did that as some people here had issues that ESB said it was never submitted and installer said it was



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,801 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    What are the new regulations?

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



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,720 ✭✭✭con747


    No new 6kW inverters above 25amps allowed. I just added the link to opening post.

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.



  • Registered Users Posts: 193 ✭✭dumb_parade


    But why is ok to have an existing 6kw inverter in use, but not be able to add one after that date. Surely the installed ones are the issue, if over 25 amps.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger


    The problem is more for future planning rather than today. Right now there are what(?) 25,000-30,000 households in Ireland with solar out of 2.4m homes. So just 1% or so. The main issue as I understand (and I may be wrong here) is that ESB need to be able to "balance the phases" at the substations when there are potentially 10-20% of people with solar in say 5 years time. The more people are allowed to export (5Kw verses 6Kw) etc....the harder potentially it maybe to do that balancing.

    For comparison, I remember hearing that people in the north are only allowed export 3.8Kw or so? Is that right?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,801 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    I assumed it was just that some 6kVA inverters are actually over 25A which is over 6kVA.

    Specifying 25A is just under 6kVA and will ensure the export is below 6kVA even if the inverter is slightly over voltage (since the inverter has to be over 230V to export power)

    I guess earlier ones are exempt because there were a lot of inverters that had 6kVA on the nameplate but when you dig into the datasheet it's actually over that. Since installers were none the wiser, ESBN is giving them a pass on older installations

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



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭waterwelly


    Any link to an ESB networks actual statement on this?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger




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  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 8,093 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jonathan


    Some interesting additions to Grid Standards in the latest 3.9.0 release of Solis Cloud.


    EN50549IE (blue) was added a couple releases ago as an Irish variant of EN50549.

    ESB-Micro and ESB-Mini (red) are new and might be the 25A limited/unlimited versions respectively. These grid standards obviously require an inverter firmware update, but I don't know which version they were added in.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,062 ✭✭✭silver_sky


    I've the latest Solis firmware on my 6kW hybrid, updated only yesterday. It's 470044. I can have a look if I get a chance to go up in the attic.

    What menu is the standard in on the inverter?



  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 8,093 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jonathan


    Advanced -> Select Standard

    See page 35/36. https://www.ginlong.com/uploads/file/Solis_Manual_RHI(3-6)K_5G_EUR_V1,5(20220516).pdf

    Did you ask for that f/w update or are you the Solis guinea pig now?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,062 ✭✭✭silver_sky


    I asked due to an issue with a previous firmware. I've been dealing with one of their techs in China who is quite good. I'll take a look tomorrow at the inverter.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,848 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    What I've also seen on this forum but not in this thread is that the 6kW max export is based on THEORETICAL export. They assume that every dump load that you install to stop export is broken. So if you want 7kW of power say and can absolutely guarantee that you'll never exceed 6kW via a dump load, they won't accept that.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭Nelbert


    The whole thing is very Irish. From a networks point of view 2 next door neighbours pre and post install... Isolation etc. requirements remain the same as both current levels can do serious damage.

    A practical view would have looked at the submitted NC6 forms (am I mad to think they have a database of them.....) seen the most prominent inverters at the 6kW and matched the restriction to that (so likely around 28a). This just seems like a "this is the rule because we say so" approach with no consideration for what's already in the wild.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger


    Agreed, "technically" there are better solutions - but the reality in deploying such a diverse pool is different. You can imagine the chaos that would ensue where "My mate Billy down the road got a 6Kw inverter, why am I not allowed to get the same? Why is Billy special?" and then the arguments trying to explain phase balancing to some gombean who can barely wire a plug.

    As I understand it (and I may be wrong) the main issue is balancing the phases when there is significant export from the houses back at the substations. Now at the moment the saturation of solar is low in Ireland (~2% of houses), it probably doesn't matter too much if it's 6Kw or even 10Kw. But when saturation is 10-20%, it's going to matter a lot if they allow 6Kw or lowering it to 5Kw. Then there is the grid standards. Most inverter companies have the same hardware, but just apply a config file to the inverter to specify the max voltage allowed, max export, etc. So you can imagine the chaos of supporting different inverter configs for different streets, which will change over time as more (or less) people get solar. Nahh, on the surface it's very Irish, but there's a good background story there that they want to get right I think.

    Maybe I'm wrong.



  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭Murt2


    In an ideal world, it would be for balancing reasons. Unfortunately the real reason, the suppliers don't want to have to pay Billy who can output 10kW or more an hour for most of a summers day. He would eventually build up such a huge credit that he could get rid of his PV and still have free power for the rest of his life. The easiest way to prevent this, is limit Billy to a max of 6kW.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger


    Well it's hard to see how that's true on a number of fronts. First of all it's not the suppliers who are introducing the 5Kw limit. It's "ESB networks" and they have no vested interest in the end user game. People of course will say that they are all in cahoots, and fair enough, but the suppliers if anything are probably not too bothered one way or the other - at least not at the moment. The penetration of solar in the marketplace is like 2% of houses, the other 98% are unchanged and that's where the bulk of the wonga is.

    The math doesn't add up either. How often (really) will your inverter be operating at over 5Kw? Maybe 1-2 hrs on a few of the very brightest days of the year. Let's put a number on it. 30 say 40 days? So they'd be diddling people out of 1Kw in production for maybe 2 hrs a day for 40 days. 80 units maybe? And you will have to have more than 6Kwp in panels. So that narrows it down to another subsection of the solar community further.

    Don't get me wrong, bigger is better.... so 6kw is better than 5Kw (:-) .... but to be fair, it's not as if most people would actually notice I think.



  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭Murt2


    Actually the biggest supplier in the country is Electric Ireland, they and ESBN are practically the same company.


    If you've a 12kWh array, a 6kWh invertor will be maxed nearly all the time. But of course we're limited to 6KW inverters, so a waste of time and money having a very large array. In the US now, I've seen 12kW arrays supplying over 18,000 kWh a year at latitudes similar to ours. Most states have export limits far higher than ours, or none at all.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 193 ✭✭dumb_parade


    Is there anything stoping me removing my 5kw inverter and installing a 7kw one instead, apart from the incorrect nc6 documentation?



  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭Murt2


    Nothing, you'll just have to set it to 6kWh max export. They'll know very quickly if you've a smart meter and are pumping out 7kW.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger


    Fair points, but it's like comparing apples and oranges. It's not a fair comparison to compare a semi-detached house in Tallaght to a ranch in Denver Colorado :-)

    Again, I'm with you. I'd like a bigger inverter too - but what I'm saying is that the math means that for 90+% of people with solar, they'll be oblivious to the change. The vast (vast) majority of people don't have more than 7Kwp or so and as previously I mentioned they'll probably lose 80Kwhr or so a year.

    People with larger arrays, sure they are more penalized, but there are alternative avenues to go via NC7 for example, or as you say go on the sneak and get a bigger inverter and/or run 2x inverters in parallel. Your out on your own though doing that and running with the risks that may ensue.

    Even for larger arrays like 8kwp-9.6Kwp, you would still benefit in being larger for a lot of the year even if your limited to 5Kw e.g. Oct-Mar where your producing more, but still not hitting the limit. 24 panels x 400w = 9.6Kwp would be the limit though for most inverters with 600vdc input, so really it's that small percentage of people who are in that 7kwp->9.6Kwp range, but it's not a huge impact



  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭Murt2


    Oh yeah, for most the difference between 7 an 6 won't be noticeable. Twice the the size now is a very different story.

    I've an 8kW array. Most of the time it's throttled to 6.4kW during the summer if the battery is full. I could fit a 12kW array on my south facing side, but again, a waste of money, because I'll only see the 'benefits' in the deep winter when it's dark most of the time. Whatever you generated in the summer with 6kW, you can at least double it if you could export 12kW or more.

    NC7 is 3 phase, and they'll get you on usage when you don't pull enough to justify it.

    It's all about money! Nothing as 'noble' as load balancing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger


    But that's just it, while it's easy to think it, I don't believe it is about money....ESB networks and or suppliers out to capitalize somehow. Take your own example, your "capped" or clipped at 6.4kw. You've 8Kwp in panels, so assuming your panels were at 100% your forcibly "dropped" 1.6Kw in production

    Since you mentioned your battery is full, you'd be exporting at say 8Kw instead of 6.4Kw.....so you'd be getting a FIT rate for that 1.6Kw extra @ ~€0.20/unit. How long are you clipped at 6.4Kw, maybe 3 hrs? And let's say we get 30 days of those glorious sunshine from Apr - Sept? I think 30 days is probably generous, but let's run with 30 days

    So 30 days x 3 hrs x 1.6Kw @ €0.20 = €28/year

    So if you had an inverter capable of 8Kw you'd make an extra €28 a year. Hardly seems worth it from their perspective. Again, I'm in your camp, absolutely would like a higher capacity inverter but the math would point to it only having marginal benefit. Maybe I'm wrong in my math?

    Interested in thoughts here?



  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭Murt2


    I used to work for ESBN, I know what I'm talking about.

    And we're talking 12Kw not 8. Anyway, Ireland gets about 1100 to 1600 hours of full sun averaged across the country a year. With south facing you get about 60% of that. So we'll split it 1300 X0.6 = 780, assuming no self usage of course.

    780X 6.4 = 4992 x 21 cent = €1,048.32

    780x 8= 6240 x 21 cent = €1,310.40 Delta: €262.08

    780 x 12 = 9360 x 21 cent = 1,965.60 Delta: €917.28

    That's just for one house on full sun hours, for one year, on average. Are you starting to see why it's money that's the real issue?



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,747 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk




  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭Murt2


    My mistake, it allows for both. Strange, why bother with the NC6 form then?



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,747 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    Nc7 costs €1000 without any guarantees of approval,

    Nc6 is free, basically a notification to esbn



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  • Registered Users Posts: 129 ✭✭Murt2




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