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How Low Can You Go? (Limbo Dancing for PV Owners)

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,897 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1


    Battery first and then panels, panels won't help you during dark winter months but charging your batteries at night rate will

    My stuff for sale on Adverts inc. EDDI, hot water cylinder, roof rails...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,442 ✭✭✭DC999


    Back to how low can you go, we use 1.5kWh a day when not in the house. So if we are away for a few days. Thay's fridge, freezer and alarm and few 5w LEDs. Everything else off even modem.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,196 ✭✭✭irishchris


    Just got my monthly bill and shows just over 4 daytime units for the month which works out roughly 7 watts an hour. I will take that and miles better than what my old Solis inverter used to use for balancing grid/solar



  • Registered Users Posts: 298 ✭✭JayBee66


    To aid going lower, can I get an EV tariff to fill my PV battery at night but not own an EV or do I need to show proof of EV ownership?



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,897 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1


    I've never been asked to show proof of ownership but I think that lovely Energia rate is all but gone now

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,284 ✭✭✭SD_DRACULA


    It must be, all I see now is this garbage plan:

    I am not looking forward to August...



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,196 ✭✭✭irishchris


    Is it smart meter or day/night. Have had EV plan with energia, bord gais and pinergy and none of them ask for proof of ev



  • Registered Users Posts: 35 maxymo


    @JayBee66 I got a quote for a kstar hybrid inverter the same as yours, I haven't found any reviews on this anywhere, wondering how has been your experience with it? How about the app does it give you all info you need?


    Thanks



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    Just to say that the myenergi Libbi is a kstar but with external control.



  • Registered Users Posts: 35 maxymo


    I have seen that my energy Libbi inverter in other places, so it is the same thing but rebranded. I will have a look at it. Thanks



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  • Registered Users Posts: 298 ✭✭JayBee66


    Sorry for the tardy reply. I haven't looked at Boards for a while.

    I have only had the one inverter (except for a DIY 12V system I built when I lived off-grid) so I can't compare it with anything. My local installer offered the KStar or the Solis. I asked to look at an installation of each and preferred the all-in-one KStar rather than the messy looking Solis set-up. Our KStar is in the utility room so tidiness was required.

    Overall, I am happy with the KStar. Not so happy with the installer. I knew from day one that there was something wrong with the install. Namely, that the inverter hardly used the battery over night and cost me 1KW of power per day for 13 months. The installer swapped out everything to no avail. Only when I decided to install Home Assistant to gather data rather than the woeful Solarman app (many inverter manufacturers use Solarman) did I realise that the inverter firmware was barely out of beta (we had been given a very early model). On asking KStar to update the firmware, the inverter now behaves as expected, using on average 40W of grid power per day, except for the winter months when we import to charge the battery.

    Having an early KStar was actually rather fortunate (in spite of the firmware) because I hear from owners of newer KStar BluE-S 5000D inverters that KStar is using a newer logger that is not supported by the Solarman integration for Home Assistant.

    The Libbi is a MyEnergi rebadge of the KStar. Rather than using a Solarman logger, it has a box that looks similar to MyEnergi's Eddi, which it connects to the KStar inverter through its com port. Doing this allows MyEnergi to integrate the inverter/battery combination with all of their products and data logging. That means you can use Home Assistant without worrying about loggers.

    If you want to use Home Assistant sometime in the future and MyEnergi supply the Libbi to Ireland (I don't know if they do or not) then I would go for the Libbi.



  • Registered Users Posts: 35 maxymo


    Ahh that is good to know, I like to connect everything to HA when possible and the inverter is definitely something I am interested in get integrated too. If the new logger of latest versions is not supported now by Solarman maybe at some point will be but that is just a wish. I will try to get more info on this otherwise I can try to get the Solis instead.

    I am not getting battery yet but I am also suspecting the kstar doesn't allow diy batteries but I haven't look into that yet.



  • Registered Users Posts: 298 ✭✭JayBee66


    Just to be clear, in case others are reading this thread, the new logger for the KStar inverter is supported by Solarman's own app just not the Solarman integration for Home Assistant by Stephan Joubert.

    I did a little research and there are companies installing the MyEnergi Libbi in Ireland but forum rules probably forbid me from naming them. They are easy enough to find. The Libbi integrates with MyEnergi's app and that app is catered for in Home Assistant.

    The menu screen on the KStar inverter appears to support all manner of batteries, even lead acid. However, why buy it if you are not going to use the CATL battery and BMS, which are specifically made for the inverter.

    Solis appears to be the most installed and most supported (including Home Assistant) inverter in Ireland but a battery was important for me so I went with the all-in-one solution.

    Many people seem to be going without a battery now that FIT offers a good return. There was no FIT when I had my system installed. There is no promise that FIT will continue to offer such a good return and if in future it doesn't then there might be a rush for batteries with delays and demand led price increases.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,102 ✭✭✭championc


    Meter Reading 30 April - 1173 Day / 5728 Night

    Meter Reading Now - 1184 Day / 5729 Night



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,786 ✭✭✭DownByTheGarden


    I got mine down to 6kwh per month from the grid. And that was all just reaction timing causing those 6kwh.

    Nowadays I just charge the battery at night every night, so its full for the daytime and export.



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,239 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,442 ✭✭✭DC999


    Yeah. That is a serious result. Deffo an advert for a large a DIY battery too. Bit also not using juice just for the sake of it because it's there.

    Fair play @championc. You have consistently low grid usage.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,102 ✭✭✭championc


    Mind you, it will all change on it's head once I sign up to the Pinergy EV 5c night tariff.

    The batteries and EV will be charged nightly, and every bit of production will be used or exported.

    Sure why wouldn't I buy at 5c and export at 27c. I know I can use zero day rate units.

    And yes, I will change from a Day Night to a normal Smart Meter



  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭Scoopsire


    V impressive @championc

    Are you running a Sunsynk or the like and planning to charge your 20kWh battery in the 3 hour window or you now have enough data to know what your Winter peaks are likely to be, so can get by with say 10 or 12 kWh?



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,102 ✭✭✭championc


    I've simply got an ME3000, and I have an external 3kW charger which I plan to use too. 3hrs charging at 6kW will be buckets.

    I ordered the Smart Meter today. Installation on Thursday afternoon.

    Pinergy won't organize a SM install. You need to be on one before you sign up.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 65,239 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    And of course charging your car and heating your water as well as charging your battery, all at the same time in that precious 5c / kWh 3 hour slot



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,196 ✭✭✭irishchris


    Down to 5 units a month for last few months since switching over to a Sofar hyd hybrid from a solis as much better at balancing the usage from solar/battery without drawing much from the grid .

    Will need to look at charging on the EV rate and having battery fully charged on that to take advantage of max export. Should have done it sooner

    Post edited by irishchris on


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,239 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    @irishchris - what's a "sugar hyd hybrid"?



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,102 ✭✭✭championc


    Now @DrPhilG , see what @irishchris can do with the 5c rate !!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,196 ✭✭✭irishchris




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,196 ✭✭✭irishchris


    It works well alright with the right setup. Cleared over €1300 profit in first year which they transferred to my bank account in June and up to €460 again since then.

    Started charging the battery on eV rate again last night and will continue to do so nightly now thanks to @championc recommendation. Taking advantage of export since early morning now. If I had done this since March it would have been worth €220+ from rough calculation of solar battery charging taking into account losses.

    Previously had only charged the battery on night rate from Nov-mid Feb but even in the worst month of December last year made €24 Fit with grid only accounting for €21 for that month with cheap charging.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,264 ✭✭✭✭DrPhilG


    This looks like being the route I'll have to go down also. No decent day/night tariffs available, Energia openly telling me that they won't offer them anymore and they say that other providers and the CRU are deliberately steering this way to move to TOU tariffs.


    Some questions for the pros in this area, @irishchris , @unkel and @championc (any another export-experts)


    1 - What's the plan if Pinergy cop on to the fact that they're damn nearing giving you free juice all year round and their 5c peak rate goes the same way as the 7.9c Energia D/N rate? Or they add a reasonable usage limit?

    2 - Any tips on getting a smart meter quickly? I've been onto ESB via Twitter/X and they told me that the DN compatible ones would roll out end of September but it could be the end of the year before I get one. I then asked how soon I could get a regular smart meter and they said the same time frame. But Championc got his within 4 days!

    3 - I see lots of you guys switching to Sofar, Sunsyk inverters etc. Is that a preference or a necessity? I'm not in a position to do so nor do I want the hassle. I have a 6kW Solis hybrid, 20kWh Lifep04 battery, Zeva BMS and Neey balancer.

    4 - How accurate/reliable are the meters in terms of timing? If I set a timed charge for full blast charging 2-5am of both house battery and car, will I then find out that for 15 minutes of that time the meter was out of sync and I paid full rate for 3 or 4 units?



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,239 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    1. Who knows. Pinergy representatives have confirmed to me there is no fair use policy now. And anyway there are only a few people like ourselves who will pretty much only use the 5c electricity. But the landscape is rapidly changing in these disruptive times, we will have to face whatever is coming 😁
    2. I ordered one yesterday, getting it Monday. Your electricity provider will organise it for you. With Energia, I had to enter into a new contract, so it is costing me €50 (to cancel the new contract on the day it started LOL)
    3. Pity the Solis hybrid can only really do 60A. The benefit of a more powerful inverter of course is that it can charge the battery quicker, which is crucial if you have only a 3 hour window for doing so
    4. You have to check your meter vs actual time and adjust your timers. Mine is out a good 6-7 minutes. When I'm getting my smart meter, I will stand looking over your man's shoulder to make sure the meter is calibrated for the correct time!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,264 ✭✭✭✭DrPhilG


    Thanks @unkel


    2 - that's a balls. Can you not get the meter install and then back out of the contract under 15 day cooling off or something?

    3 - what is the restriction and is there any way around it? If it won't sustain 100a for more than 15 minutes then would it go at 90a for longer? How long does it need to drop before it can charge at higher speed again? I can set multiple charge times and rates if the system can be played.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,196 ✭✭✭irishchris


    1) It may go the route of the d/n meter in the long term but like anything it is best to take advantage of it early than too late. Pinergy rang me in may to confirm that payment for the pervious 12 months fit would be finally paid into my account. Promised to do it more regular as they are aware that large credit balances are building up on microgenerators accounts.

    As it stands there is a minority doing so and they are well aware that they are getting zero money from these customers and paying out over 1k in fit payments. But they are also still comfortably making a profit from us by selling the units they pay us 25c for and making close to 50c reselling these units as day rate to their other customers.

    2) Ring esb networks directly. They have dedicated phone number for smart meter program and they will sort it within days. Mine took about 5 days

    3) had same problem myself with the solis. Sustains 90+ amps for 15 mins and drops to 65-70 from there on. Really with smart meter plans you need maximum charge rate and I had to bite bullet and get a Sofar hyd-ep hybrid which sustains 100A charging continuously. Sold my solis for great price and got close to sofar price as hybrids were tough to source last year. Solis tried to convince me that what they were doing is fine and industry standard but it clearly is not.

    4) my smart meter is installed now for two years and is still spot on to the second. Assume with it having a network connection the time is kept updated



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