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Plans for the year ahead

  • 15-01-2023 12:43pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,054 ✭✭✭

    I thought about posting this in the Random Renewables but then considered maybe it would be a good separate thread.

    What are folks plans/wish lists for the year ahead in terms of upgrades, tweaks, etc.? Possibly also a help in a years time to look back and see what you actually got done 😅

    Here's my ideas so far for 2023 -

    • blower test to figure out ventilation requirements. I don't think the existing setup (MEV for wet rooms and natural for all other) is sufficient. House is baking in the summer with little airflow and in winter the natural vents mean lots of heat loss in some rooms.
    • MHRV or at least quote/plan it out on how to tackle.
    • Window film for SW facing side of the house to reduce solar gain & glare. Work from home on that side and saw up around 30C indoors last summer. Maybe consider air con in the future but would prefer to reduce the need before considering increasing consumption.
    • Considering destratification pump or Willis heater on DHW tank to get more PV into that as the existing top mounted immersion only does so much.
    • No changes to Solar PV install (4.46kWp SW, 5kWh battery, Eddi) but would like to get the niggling ongoing issues I have sorted to make it work better.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,477 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    I put film on my window where I get glare when WFH, cheap comfort gain from AMZ.

    My plans are looking at increasing the capacity and heat retention of my hot water cylinder, then attic insulation with 50mm insulation boards on the rafters and numungous insulation around my two cold water tanks which are very very cold in the winter and suck on my hot water tank.

    The maybes include going from 20kWh to 30kWh AE DIY batteries and a few more panels/micro inverters if prices drop or some clearance bargain presents

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,409 ✭✭✭Big Lar

    Was also considering upgrading batteries from 20Kw to 30Kw, then going by last years production I reckons it would be a terrific day altogether that I will make 50Kwh from solar, have system setup here so that excess energy can do to the hot water and the car so I may put the extra battery on hold until I see how things pan out for the summer months.

    Have an office here in the house with three external walls and would ideally like to insulate that but that job could fair mushroom on me so that's on the long finger.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,310 ✭✭✭con747

    4 more 345w panels on the west side are up and waiting to be connected and a change over switch going in as well. That's me maxed out on the roof at 5 x 345w east 7 x 345w south and the new 4 x 345w west.

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

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,477 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Changeover switch, that's on the long finger too

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,027 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Changeover switch

    Upgrade/add to my 12v off grid backup - possible change to 24v

    Get quote for heat pump

    (semi renewable related) source + install back boiler for my stove

    Upgrade and change battery pack from 20kWh dyness

    If I fall into a lot of money, add more panels, but not really the priority for 2023, more like 2024.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,155 ✭✭✭irishchris

    Now that have larger pv input inverter as another 5x380w panels to second ground array.

    Possibly add 10kw batteries to bring up to 30kwh.

    Finally add more insulation to the attic and void areas of house.

    Side question for anyone here. Have 6sq 3 core swa cable going out to inverter shed from consumer unit mostly all in Esb 2" ducting.

    Max output of inverter is 6kw which will be pretty continuous for few hours per day at times through spring and summer. Assuming this is not an issue? Will be horrible job of digging up 30m of ground to replace it needs to. Can't understand why I didn't go larger in the cable when laid out last year for future upgrades if get bigger inverter but for now I am hoping this suffices

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,561 ✭✭✭THE ALM

    Don't know about the year ahead but certainly projects we would like to get done, putting in an order for an M3 on Sat has somewhat changed things.

    • Attic insulation, although mainly good, needs a bit of tidying up and some flooring put down.
    • Air tightness test and will be speaking to the company that carried out our BER to do this in the next few days.
    • MHRV depending on the air tightness, feel with the new doors and windows we could do with it. Have already priced the equipment with a view to a diy install.
    • Have already started looking at our heat loss with a view to getting a heat pump so will be getting quotes for the install of that.
    • Ideally would like to get a garden room/ office facing east west to add more panels to supplement the south facing array we have now. Most have a shallow enough roof angle so would need to look at modifying this.
    • Could increase the battery capacity but not a major concern at the minute.
    • Come into some money 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Not a lot

    • going from 30kWh to 45kWh battery
    • going from 11kwp to 16kwp

    Both planned for the next couple of months. Cheap, cheerful and easily implemented solutions (total cost to me about €2k) with zero disruption inside the house. Sledge hammer approach as insulating, deep retrofitting, heat pumps, MHRV, etc. are all very intrusive and also expensive if you can't or won't do them yourself DIY.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,027 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Off gridders particularly in the US but elsewhere too, generally measure their storage capacity by how many days it can support with no solar power. I'd say you're probably at 2 days with 45kWh? Excluding the car/s of course

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    6² is plenty, it can handle a car charger at 32 amps constant, 25 Amps won't be an issue.

    As I've already done most of the upgrades I want this year, plan is to use it

    Heat house from solar, already seeing a uptick in power.

    Charge car from batteries overnight.

    Pump the cavity wall,

    Further ahead: I should be able to drop a heatpump into my system without too much hassle. (Wouldn't be even trying to get a grant)

    Maybe write a house manual explaining everything/automations!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Depends on how you look at it. I'd use not much more than 10kWh per day just in electricity from a traditional point of view of a modest semi detached house with a gas boiler. In practice I use a lot more as I heat all my water with electricity and a substantial part of my home heating is done with electricity too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,409 ✭✭✭Big Lar

    I have also considered writing a manual for the house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Few projects on the back of my mind.

    • Getting 3x extra panels on the main roof (1.2Kwp). Couldn't get them installed while adhering to the SEAI dimension requirements, but now that the grant is done and dusted, I should be able to get these fitted onto the roof. Sadly the 50cm distances/tolerances required for the grant meant that 3 panels had to go to keep within distances.
    • Toying with the idea of 10Kwhr DIY battery. I know, I know I should just get off my ass and do it, but there's always "other" things to do. LOL
    • Failing a DIY battery, I'd swap out my "Gen1" inverter 2.6Kw charge/discharge limit for a Gen2 inverter 4Kw and throw in an additional 8.2Kwhr battery (bringing me to 16.4Kwhr). Advantages of the DIY battery is that I'd have a higher discharge rate of ~5Kw, but then you have the added complexity of the batteries "fighting each other". That can be overcome, but sometimes I like Occam's razor.

    Other than that, not strictly renewables related, thinking of ripping out the bath and redoing the bathroom myself with a shower unit , new tiles, whole shebang. I'd be the project manager on that one, so it's a question of time to do everything :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    You have a month spare time to re-do a bathroom yourself but you don't have 2 hours do build a battery? 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    2 hrs? Maybe for you unkel as you know the score, but I know from doing these type of things, I tend to think about how it will work, research things, probably end up building a box for it, insulate it, check and recheck connections. Spend time looking at various youtube videos. Play around with automation for it.

    2 hrs it aint.......for sure. :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Ok a day then. How long do you think it will take you do completely re-do a bathroom? And do you have all the skills and experience just go and do it without looking at YT videos? If so, fair play. I wouldn't even contemplate doing that. I'd build a battery though in 10 minutes blindfolded and with my hands in handcuffs 🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Ahh yeah, i'd be fairly handy with plumbing and what not. I don't particularly "like" doing it, and I certainly wouldn't be as fast as a professional doing it, but I'm good with a spanner. If something can be hit with a hammer.....I'm your man. LOL

    I reckon probably 50-80 hrs for me to build a battery. Remember a lot of the time is in learning. if you know how it's done, your already half way there. Lots of stuff that takes time such as the balancing, playing around with settings. Getting it to "play nicely" with my existing one - which may involve simply setting time schedules where one is active/inactive as the case maybe. Wiring into the house. Making it look neat (like you did recently with your cabinet)

    Not against doing that, and in some respects it's "fun", but lots on this year including a hike to the top of Kilimanjaro! I'm more keen on getting the 3x extra panels than an extra battery.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,653 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tree

    Need to figure out how to reduce incoming heat in the summer.

    Maybe suss out improving the ventilation.

    Finally get the solar connectecd to HA.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,653 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tree

    That only got us so far. Probably need to reduce on the outside. The house is SSW facing, which is great in the winter and for the solar, but the kitchen is unbearable during hot spells, even with all the windows and doors covered.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    I'm somewhat in the same boat, big south west and south east windows in living room.

    Was able to keep it below outside temperature if we kept the windows closed.

    Considering Aircon. Running of it will be practically free 😂 could vent it up the chimney!!

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,653 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tree

    Hah, I keep thinking about aircon, and then I go "god, conspicuous consumption, even if the neighbours wouldn't care, I would", and go back to trying to work out passive cooling and wishing my house has those window shutters you get on the mainland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,054 ✭✭✭silver_sky

    I'm thinking of a solar control film for the windows. I need to make some enquiries and get quotes on it. Same story here but the front is at SW side.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,054 ✭✭✭silver_sky

    Best to try reduce the need first before considering air con. I thought about brise soleil but it'd look a bit funny compared to the other houses.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭paulbok

    Main plan for 2023 is optimising what I already have. Have pretty much everything within Home Assistant now, so need to set up automations to reduce usage and maximise solar excess.

    Hope to fit the first of what should be several smart sockets behind the sitting room tv unit. Main aim here is to have all the devices completely off and not in standby at night and when at work, and also to get around the missus only turning off the tv when going to bed. Won't be a huge wattage saving, but will do the same with both home office desk setups, monitors etc .

    Also using such sockets to monitor power usage on WM, drier and DW for notifications. Ideally to know when the WM is done to hang out the clothes when the weather improves.

    I need to figure out how to monitor the hot water temp coming from my stove to the HW tank and then use that to try and stop my Evohome controller "double jobbing" by switching on the oil burner when the rads call for heat. The stove is usually enough to keep the rads warm, but Evohome uses the oil to do it 'instantly'. Saved over 80l of oil from the Eddi last year, so this could do similar during the winter.

    Depending on funds, I may add a single panel with micro inverter, to the east hip roof of the shed the existing panels are on. Was planning on doing that in Spring (and the same on the west side in 2024) but I think the works budget for 2023 will be taken up by an outdoor kitchen and patio. Though that will give me more roof space for future panels. If I could roof it with panels instead of slates, it'd be a win-win scenario.😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,346 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    @paulbok - "If I could roof it with panels instead of slates, it'd be a win-win scenario.😁"

    Tony Seba said in his latest series of videos that solar panels are now cheaper for use as structural building material than structural plywood. So there you go 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭paulbok

    I've just been looking at integrated solar panels since posting the above.

    Project costs now skyrocketing,

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,477 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    I'd question the purchase of smart sockets for likes of TV on standby, they have SFA draw when on standby,

    Why not get a monitoring socket first to see what their usage is and is it worth managing (I really don't think it is)