If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

EcoFlow Smart Panel?

  • 02-10-2022 4:50pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭

    I was hoping someone here might have experience of using EcoFlow products? Particularly anyone who might have used the EcoFlow Smart Panel? I've actually purchased a Delta Pro myself along with the Smart Panel. Now I'm looking for an electrician to install it.

    In order to use it efficiently with my home I want the Smart Panel wired inline with my fuse board circuits. Then I connect the Delta Pro to the Smart Panel. I emailed a bunch of Safe Electric electricians in my area yesterday. But I'm hoping I might get a recommendation for an electrician already familiar with this product or similar? I'm in the Dublin area myself. Thanks in advance for any help!


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,973 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Tbh you may struggle, not sure if anyone here have set anything like that up, and a reci might not be comfortable installing something unknown.

    It's a fancy changeover switch isn't it? Pricy!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Sesshoumaru

    You're right, I realise there are cheaper ways. This just suited me and I could afford it. I also looked into using a solar inverter with my 2011 Nissan Leaf to power my home, much cheaper option. But decided against it.

    I work from home, so losing power wouldn't be great for me. My wife saw a picture in a paper of someone using an EcoFlow product. So I figure there must be someone out there who has gone for Smart Panel as well.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,973 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    The actual Ecoflows, easy to work Have no issue with that. Plug your stuff into them and away you go, Off grid.

    Reason I am saying you may find it difficult, Its not a very common thing. Even changeover switches arent that common in residential situations.

    I need to watch the install video when i get a chance but even this warning on a website that sells them :

    Could run into Reg issues with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Sesshoumaru

    The local seller took the Smart Panel off their website for 3 weeks, otherwise I would have bought sooner. They were in stock locally, but EcoFlow had asked seller to not sell them until they had checked local regulations. 3-ish weeks later I got a call from local seller saying EcoFlow had given the all clear. So I'm hoping it's all good. A local electrician responded to me this morning and said they weren't familiar with EcoFlow, but had done similar with Sonnen batteries. They said they'd download & read the installation manual and get back to me soon. Seemed pretty enthusiastic about it actually, which was nice!

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,973 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Good to hear! I was just trying to temper expectations :) Hope it works well for you!

  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,973 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Had more of a poke around as I like to know how things work.

    Heres a "guide" for GFCI (RCD, RCBO etc) protected circuits.

    Looks like all the circuits you want to backup will need to be pulled out of your existing consumer unit. If its on a split board with a RCD, the MCBs need to be taken out of the RCD.

    If you have a RCBO board, the rcbo would need to be replaced with MCBS, Each circuit passed through the smart panel, then in to a Sub board.

    From that sub board (a secondary consumer unit) is where your the RCD can be reinstated/RCBO's reinstalled... If you dont have an RCD.. GET A RCD.

    This is where all the circuits on the backup will be coming from now, Not your original CU.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Sesshoumaru

    Thanks for looking into it. Gave me some stuff to Google to try and understand :) So I'm pretty sure I have an RCBO board and I started getting worried when you said replace with MCBS. As I started reading the differences in terms of human protection between RCBO and MCBS. But then you do say have a RCD installed.

    I'll wait for electrician to come back to me with suggestion / plan. But I at least have what you shared as a starting point/guide. So thanks very much for that!!

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,973 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Yeah instead of the power to the circuits you want to backup just coming from your consumer unit,

    the rcbo will be taken out, replaced with an mcb, then the power is taken for that circuit to the smart panel.

    Then from the smart panel to another consumer unit/sub board and that's where the rcbos will be put back (and the wires for that circuit will leave)

    Highly likely some(all) will have to be extended unfortunately. Just so you know what's going on when the electrician lands. Possibly some surface trunking etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 63,596 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    @Sesshoumaru - "I also looked into using a solar inverter with my 2011 Nissan Leaf to power my home, much cheaper option. But decided against it."

    Care to share why? You could have CHAdeMO bi-directional V2H DC (up to 22kW) implemented for similar money. You would have several times more power and several times more storage.

    And the pertinent question of course is: do you really expect severe electricity blackouts this winter, in Dublin, lasting at least a few hours at a time?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Sesshoumaru

    Hello again Unkel. Our Leaf is pretty old now. We've had it since April 21st 2011. I just don't see myself keeping it that long to justify any kind of expenditure on it. It does its job well as the second car / runabout. I mean we might just keep it until the wheels fall off as it has been an excellent car 😉 But I just don't see myself spending money that's tied to that car or the technology it uses. I could see myself tinkering / fiddling as a hobby with the Leaf, maybe removing the pack from the Leaf at some stage. But I don't really have the space at home for that kind of hobby or time really at the moment.

    Do I expect blackouts? Not a high chance right now. But in the firm I work for, I am involved in BCP and DR planning. That we'll be running on generator at some points during the winter is taken seriously. Not necessarily the most likely outcome to materialise - just I'm saying in meetings everyone is treating it as a serious possibility. Where we are in the pecking order of "keeping the lights on" for the government has been discussed. Where our DR site equipment/servers are located - the guys I was chatting to in that datacentre certainly take the chance that this winter they'll be running on generator seriously. They told me EirGrid was on to them recently to remind/update them on the yellow/red warning system for how much notice they'd be given this winter. I think red was 1 hour of warning whereby they'd be expected to switch load to diesel generators onsite so that EirGrid could shed load from the grid. I'm only repeating second-hand information here, but who I was chatting to seemed to indicate to me that recent chats with EirGrid had centred around the possibility of their DC having to switch to diesel generators onsite at times over the coming winter.

    That's not even going into geopolitics! I mean was blowing up Nordstream 1&2 a message? Do we have any gas storage in Ireland? Nope! Does the UK have a lot of gas storage? Very little! and we're at the end of a very long pipe. I probably sound very paranoid now 😅

    Anyway, as far as EcoFlow goes I also intend getting solar panels installed. I've got an old fashioned night rate meter, so I also intend utilising cheaper night rate electricity during the day time and throwing some solar into the mix. I also honestly just like playing with stuff like this and the EcoFlow ecosystem of products are nicely packaged and easy to expand on. Also portable, so might even end up dragging one along next time we go camping 😀

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭DC999


    Not having a pop at you at all. Any company with a decent size staff should be looking at their disaster recovery (DR) this winter for sure (and every winter even before this). If you have hundreds of people not able to work, or customers that can’t contact you….

    But if our family can’t cook dinner, I’ll wait until the power is back. Or if it’s a while, we’ll eat a sandwich made on the torch on my phone 😊 When we were younger there were unexpected blackouts at times. Wasn’t a big deal. Was a bit of fun even as a kid to wander around the house with a torch. I'm in a City so supply is very stable - so lucky there. We've a camping stove I can dig out of the shed if need be to cook or heat - don't imagine I'll need it.

    So it’s all good that companies are paying attention. I worked in a place years ago and when they did turn on the larger diesel genie in the basement of the large building, they nearly killed everyone with fumes as they hadn’t tried it for donkeys. Carpark was full of fumes and that feed some of the air intake for the building.

    Data centers are a different beast as they use wild amounts of juice. And diesel generators are always part of their backups. As well as redundant everything else. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Sesshoumaru

    I wasn't really offering what I said as justification. I realise there is and always has been a bit of 'prepper mentality' about me 😅 The other half is I just like playing with technology and I just think it's cool to have battery backup in your home.

    More sensible first steps I took this year to prepare for winter was to get someone out to replace hinges/seals on all doors and windows that needed them. That was a more modest €420 in expenditure, but definitely worth it to reduce draughts in the house. Would you believe my stupid gas boiler died at start of summer. Investigated heat pumps of course, but came to conclusion my 1997/1998 vintage home wasn't suitable and would need a lot of money invested in the fabric of the home to make it worthwhile to install a heat pump. So in the end I went with a new gas boiler, but I did have the normal radiator valves replaced with Hive TRV's on all radiators.

    So all rooms in the house are technically zoned individually now. I'm hoping that will save a bit on the gas heating costs as we'll schedule each room individually and each room can be "boosted" individually as well. I'm just saying this so you don't think I'm completely crazy and my whole plan for winter is "buy expensive batteries" 😄 I also watched a lot of YouTubers comparing EcoFlow batteries to DIY battery packs for home (& saw a very detailed post here on it as well). So I know doing it yourself is possible and a lot more cost effective.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,126 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1


    "Our Leaf is pretty old now. We've had it since April 21st 2011. I just don't see myself keeping it that long to justify any kind of expenditure on it. It does its job well as the second car / runabout. I mean we might just keep it until the wheels fall off as it has been an excellent car 😉 But I just don't see myself spending money that's tied to that car or the technology it uses. I could see myself tinkering / fiddling as a hobby with the Leaf, maybe removing the pack from the Leaf at some stage. But I don't really have the space at home for that kind of hobby or time really at the moment."

    Used prices are ridiculous right now, if you have come to an end of useful life for you I'd think about selling it now and using funds to hobby other battery options...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Sesshoumaru

    Thanks might think about it alright. Ours has been an everyday car for 11.5 years now. We've done something like 160,000 plus kilometres in it. The battery is at 60 or 65% of original capacity I think. Grand for what we use it for. Didn't think it would be in high demand TBH!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭DC999

    Huge money now 2nd hand. Check on any car site and EV prices are nuts (as are all 2nd hand cars but more so for EVs)

  • Registered Users Posts: 63,596 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Hi @Sesshoumaru - remember back in the day, you offered me a spin / trip in your Leaf? That was before I was convinced EVs - like Leafs - were the future. Must have been many years ago at this stage 😁

    If you like playing with technology, the well trodden path of a battery inverter plus home built battery would have done the trick nicely for thousands less than you spent and with several times the storage! But maybe you don't really like the hands-on stuff, it sure is not for everybody. But a 10kWh battery would cost about €1400 in cells, another €200 for BMS and a couple of cables and about €900 for a Sofar ME3000SP smart battery inverter, €2500 in total

    And if you are going PV anyway, then get a system with a hybrid inverter instead of a conventional one (about €700 extra) and buy a single Pylontech US2000 2.4kWh (about €900 or more for a higher capacity one), for a complete plug and play system

    Just wondering why you went with the EcoFlow. That's more of a portable unit that you can take camping or to a remote cabin. You pay a big premium for that portability and the all-in-one functionality. It would have been my last choice of system. I'd even have preferred a bi-directional CHAdeMO to your Leaf, even after you stopped driving it, just use it as is (as a battery on wheels)

    Interested in why you made your choice!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Sesshoumaru

    I completely remember those days alright and offering you a spin. You were very open minded. Other people told me they'd never get in a Leaf as it was likely to "explode" or something like that 😄 I think I did post after a few thousand kilometres with my thoughts on the car. I've often thought I should do a follow up since I still have the damn thing!

    I'm a little bit sentimental on the old Leaf and despite it's age it is still serving us well. But we might not need it much longer TBH. We have another car and I recently decided to get back on two wheels for the odd time I need to commute to work. Nothing crazy, as I used to like sports bikes. Just a big comfy BMW C400 GT scooter. Would have liked to have gotten the CE 04 (all electric), but BMW kept putting question marks over delivery times and when the damn thing would be released and they just happened to have a fresh out of the factory C400 GT with all the little gizmos I wanted. That's just a long way of saying the Leaf might not be required and I kind of wanted to hand it over to a relative who lives in a remote area (small island, west coast) where it would serve them very well. That's just a personal thing!

    DIY I will try. Even just a small pack first. I have watched a lot of DIY videos on YouTube, some better than others. I do want to try it, but just for now an oven ready solution like EcoFlow just suits me fine. I take it you have gone this route? If so, I'd love to hear what you've got!

  • Registered Users Posts: 63,596 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Yeah I have been into batteries for many years now, make all of my own, for my eBike, scooters, general purpose, even for old electric car conversion, home, etc. Started with retrieving cells from dead laptop battery packs that I got for free. My main powerwall is a 20kWh pack of CALB prismatic cells, there are a few threads about people DIYing them on this forum

    If you like to start with small battery packs for bikes etc., look for Micah Toll on YouTube. If you want to jump right ahead into power walls and off grid systems, look for Will Prowse. Lots of fun ahead 😁

    I gothered that you liked your Leaf and don't really want to get rid. For that reason alone I would have gone for a CHAdeMO bi-directional approach. Just leave the Leaf (pun intended) on the drive even if you no longer use it as a car, just use it as a home power wall, dressed up as a car 😁

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,126 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    sell the Leaf, build a superior DIY battery pack and enjoy a long continental holiday with the money left over

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭DC999

    I have a wee Leaf that I love. Isn't it mad to think you can now get a house battery pack the same size as an old EV battery? Our 2016 30kWh Leaf is probably closer to the 20kWH some people on this forum have for their solar panels. Which is great as we need a lot more batteries to help a cleaner grid.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 63,596 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Indeed @DC999. And we need lots of those batteries in our EVs to have bi-directional charging, like our power walls.