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    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2015
     
    Has anyone extended, or is planning to extend their usual 4kW PV system to 10kW?
  1.  
    Posted By: owlmanHas anyone extended, or is planning to extend their usual 4kW PV system to 10kW?

    I asked SSE about extending our 4kWp GTI, but the reply was they'd want at least £6K of network improvements to allow any G59 extension (& we are already at the max for G83). £6K would allow us up to 10kWp, but we'd have another pole in the garden & would still be subject to power cuts & have no self-generated power at night.
    £6K would go a long way towards batteries & an inverter charger, so if we do extend it will be a parallel off-grid system. The economics for that don't look good, but economics aren't everything & it may yet happen (still doing the calcs & playing with design variations). On the "economic sense" side a lot depends on battery life and future electricity costs, i.e. looking at it as advance purchase of electricity.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2015
     
    You can still get the generation part of FIT for non grid connected, I think.
    Would that not help with costs? There was some talk of problems with generation metering of off grid systems, so AFAIK you'd have to invert and revert?? for battery use.

    Anyone else got any experience.
  2.  
    was considering it myself. to get it in before jan rate drop. skyrights in the back and beyond. Are you in an urban area ?
    i think 'fits' is only for grid tied installation
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2015
     
    Posted By: jamesingrami think 'fits' is only for grid tied installation
    No, though it's a lot easier in practice if you're grid-tied because of this problem with DC metering. The FiT scheme is misnamed in that it's actually a generation tariff scheme with a small feed-in (export) scheme bolted on the side.
  3.  
    Posted By: owlmanYou can still get the generation part of FIT for non grid connected, I think.
    Would that not help with costs? There was some talk of problems with generation metering of off grid systems, so AFAIK you'd have to invert and revert?? for battery use.

    Yes you can get FIT for off-grid, but only if you have an MCS accredited installation. The business about metering is that only AC meters are accredited, so for FIT you a have to invert to AC for the meter, then charge the battery from the AC (with an "AC-coupled" system you can also use some of the AC 'direct', i.e. without passing it through a battery),

    Given current (& soon to be) FIT rates we feel we'd rather look at the DIY (with assistance from electrician neighbour where relevant) route for flexibility & economy.

    PS. The turnaround time on the G59 enquiry to SSE was astounding. I'd expected to wait weeks. They apologised for taking a couple of days!
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2015
     
    Have you seen these David?

    http://www.sma.de/en/products/battery-inverters.html

    Ed's right James, technically FITs are available for off grid, it's just the metering bit that's the problem.
    BTW I'm in a rural village.
  4.  
    Posted By: owlmanHave you seen these David?
    http://www.sma.de/en/products/battery-inverters.html" >http://www.sma.de/en/products/battery-inverters.html

    Yes, and many, many more options...
    Victron Quattro, Outback FLEXpower, Outback Radon, etc.,,,,

    If you've not seen it Victron's "Whitepaper" on "Self-Consumption and Grid-independence" will be interesting reading. I'll put a link in a follow up post (to allow it to be a proper link)
  5.  
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2015
     
    I'm sure David (Skyewright) knows about the Sunny Islands, etc (from previous discussions) and because it's the typical method people use for an AC-coupled off-grid system that he mentioned.

    For those who don't know, the idea is to have your own local “mini-grid” with its 50 Hz AC being governed by the inverter-charger (e.g., Sunny Island) on the batteries with both your appliances and a standard PV inverter intended for grid-tie connected as well. The PV inverter would have a standard AC total-generation meter on its output to measure what the PV's producing irrespective of whether it's going to be used to charge the batteries or be used immediately.

    What I wonder is how much of such a system would have to be MCS approved. Just the PV, inverter and meter or would the inverter-charger and batteries and wiring in between be needed as well?

    Logically you ought to be able to set up your AC mini-grid without the PV system (taking power from a generator, say) in accordance with normal building regs and electrical rules for your country then have an MCS installer come along and connect up the PV, inverter and meter just like for an on-grid install where the rest of the house wiring doesn't need to be MCS. Not sure it'd really work like that, though.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2015 edited
     
    "What I wonder is how much of such a system would have to be MCS approved. Just the PV, inverter and meter or would the inverter-charger and batteries and wiring in between be needed as well?"

    Presumably you're using it for FITs, ( why else would you need MCS approval? ), then surely what you do with the "juice" after the inverter/meter is of no concern to the FIT team. My FIT team didn't seem to care when I asked.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2015
     
    In the past, inverters did not have to be approved by the MCS, just the modules and sales/fitting/paperwok side (bit more involved).
    Inverters have to be legal though.

    I never got the chance to get involved with an off grid system. I only know of a couple and one is home made and the other was a professional install (and had the thickest cabling/largest isolators I have ever seen in a domestic setting).
    The generator that was being replaced by batteries was about half the size of just one cell.
    I think this is when I really started to question off grid living. Just getting more vocal about it now I have some real data.
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2015 edited
     
    Posted By: Ed Davies
    What I wonder is how much of such a system would have to be MCS approved. Just the PV, inverter and meter or would the inverter-charger and batteries and wiring in between be needed as well?

    As others have said, I believe the MCS requirements would just cover the same areas as for a grid-tie. What's done with the energy once it has passed through the TGM (Total Generation Meter) is I believe a separate matter?

    Whether you could get an MCS installer who was only used to "normal" grid-tie to be happy connecting to an off-grid "micro-grid" (especially one they hadn't supplied & set up) is perhaps another matter, at least while there are/were plenty of straight forward "normal" jobs to be had?
  6.  
    Anyone know the latest on the rate drop . looks like they've delayed it
  7.  
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2015 edited
     
    Posted By: jamesingramAnyone know the latest on the rate drop . looks like they've delayed it

    More a case of they've been delayed by "red tape", i.e. the passage of time required for necessary events & due process has meant that their original 1st of January target date for implementation has become unachievable. An exact date for changes to the system, and exactly what those changes will be, have not yet been announced.
  8.  
    been told something on you and yours today on R4. Of to the iplayer brb
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2015
     
    Was about adding an extra 30p to people bills to raise some cash for the industry. Was a bit of a nonsense piece.
    The guy was saying that the FiT payment should be about 5p/kWh.
  9.  
  10.  
    "In the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) review consultation we proposed updated tariffs for solar, wind and hydro power, and asked for industry and public feedback. Government has listened to that feedback and has announced revised tariffs, including a new tariff for domestic-scale solar of 4.39p /kwh.
    The new Feed-in Tariff rates provide a sustainable return for anyone investing in small scale renewable technology that contributes to our energy mix without imposing unnecessary burdens on bill payers who subsidise the renewables industry.
    On Feed-in Tariffs, Government has also announced:
    Deployment caps will be set to limit new spending on the scheme to £100m up to the end of 2018/19
    The reintroduction of pre-accreditation for solar PV and wind generators over 50kW and all hydro and anaerobic digestion generators
    Measures to pause new applications to the FIT scheme from 15 January to 8 February, to allow time for the implementation of cost control measures"
  11.  
    I have not seen any announcement which suggests that the export tariff will change. It is currently 4.85p, so the reduction in generation tariff from next year will leave the export tariff higher than the generation tariff.

    Has anyone heard anything otherwise? For example, a proposed rate of degression for the export tariff?
  12.  
    From what I'be read the export tariff is staying the same at 4.85p
  13.  
    A ‘pause’ in the scheme from 15 January 2016 to 8 February 2016. Consumers will not be entitled to the current solar PV FiT rate of 12.03p/kWh for installations if their application for FiT registration is received by their electricity supplier (FiT Licensee) after 14 January 2016.

    • A change to the requirement for an EPC level D. This will have to be met before the installation takes place and the solar PV panels will not be able to contribute to this rating
    https://www.recc.org.uk/news/decc-publishes-response-to-fit-review
  14.  
    ''• A change to the requirement for an EPC level D. This will have to be met before the installation takes place and the solar PV panels will not be able to contribute to this rating
    https://www.recc.org.uk/news/decc-publishes-response-to-fit-review''

    Cheeky .....
  15.  
    I submitted my application on 23rd December to EDF and haven't heard anything back yet (not really surprising given the holidays). I'm desperately hoping there aren't any problems with the paperwork as it will be a costly mistake if there are!
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2016
     
    Posted By: richardelliotI submitted my application on 23rd December to EDF and haven't heard anything back yet (not really surprising given the holidays). I'm desperately hoping there aren't any problems with the paperwork as it will be a costly mistake if there are!


    Is that for 10kW?
  16.  
    Sorry, no it was for 4 kW
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2016 edited
     
    I've just received G59 approval to extend to 10kW. I've got until the 15th to decide and fit it.:neutral:
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2016
     
    Posted By: owlmanI've just received G59 approval to extend to 10kW. I've got until the 15th to decide and fit it. :neutral:

    a) It's the 14th rather than the 15th isn't it?

    b) and it's got to be fitted and the MCS cert issued by then, not just descision taken, I think?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2016
     
    I'm assuming by midnight on the 14th. fitted and paperwork submitted.
   
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