DIY solar battery storage help

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Rino125p

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Hello Guys,

I have found this forum when I was doing my research, and it looks that you guys know what you're talking about and generally everyone is very helpful.
I have electrician's experience from other country (I was qualified to work on up to 1kV) and electronic education background. Then I moved to IT sector years ago so I'm more DIY now that qualified specialist.
The rules and low you have here in UK is way different to where I came from, and I'm really confused what I ca and can't do by myself. I hope you will kindly be able to give me some advice and show me the right direction.


My plan is to install the battery storage system at my house first, then switch to Octopus go tariff. I would charge the battery from grid in 4 hours window and use it during the day to power the house.
Later I plan to add solar panels (around 2-2.5 kW) to reduce grid usage.
I’m not interested in of FIT, just a self-usage.
I planned to buy Growatt SPF 5000ES – 5kW all in one inverter, but I can’t find any UK seller all chinse or AU.
However inn few threads I seen you talking about 3.6kW inverters to be allowed.
I don’t want to put myself in the situation where someone will come over to me and fine me for installing illegal equipment (house is still on mortgage and needs to be insured).

Please! I’ll be so grateful for any advise on what Can I do by myself, which inverter to use etc. Maybe someone did similar thing already and could share his experience.

With Kind regards
Arthur

This thread has been split to avoid confusion as it was hi-jacking a similar one
 
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Andy1733

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Hi Arthur. Welcome to the forum. Binky is prob your go to solar expert though others are very knowledgeable.

The reason why a 3.6kw inverter is mentioned, that is the max permitted installation kwh that you don't need to inform the DNO prior to installation. Just inform after installation (within w28 days) by submitting a G98 form.
You can go higher but would need to submit a g99 or g100 form prior to installing.
 

binky

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Currently it's more a case of buying what you can find, demand has outsripped many supplies, and China is currently locking down for Covid, so that should firk things up!

Legally you can install the solar yourself and all the DC side, you will need a new AC circuit, so that's notifiable work under Part P of building regs, for which it's easier to get an electrician who can sign off the work.

There's also a legal requirement to notify your DNO, if you want to go over 16A or 3.6 Kw, then I would notify in advance of installing. You can install inverters with export limitation to meet 16A requirement, but often they will aloow more anyway. You can do this yourself as well. Fit a hybrid inverter, they treat that as a single issue, if you install separate solar and battery systems (known as AC batteries) they can get very shirty about having 2 potential backfeeds to the grid, even if they are export limited.
 

Rino125p

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Hello Guys,



Thank you very much for your answer.
It’s still very confusing for me about what I can and can’t do.
I have done some research about DNOs and overall rules for better understanding. This is what I fount on the .gov portal.


  1. In England and Wales, if you are an installation contractor carrying out any work to which building regulations apply, you have a responsibility to ensure that the work complies. The energy device owner may also have a responsibility for ensuring compliance with the building regulations and could be served with an enforcement notice in cases of non-compliance.


Is that mean that I need that before In even start I need to get permission from my council or something?


Step 1: Installer should be appropriately registered
Energy device owners should commission an installation contractor, discuss the proposed installation and purchase the energy device.
Competent installation contractors can be found through certification schemes that signal quality of installation contractor and support them throughout registration.
Installation contractors can:
register with a competent persons scheme. In most circumstances, this allows installation contractors to self-certify that your work complies with building regulations. If not registered, installation contractors must go directly to the Local Authority Building Control and pay to submit a building notice before the commencement of the installation work. In Scotland, installation contractors must go to the Local Authority Building Standards service and check if a building warrant is for the installation before starting the work


Is that mean that if I’m not certified, then I can’t install it by myself?

Step 2: Determine if you need to notify the DNO before or after installation
This is quite clear and you explained it, so if I’m going to install inverter up to 3.6kW they needs to be notified after installation, if over 3.6kW then before. Question is how much more difficult is it to get for example 5 kW inverter approved than 3.6kW?

It says, that if I install battery storage I need to notify them anyway before installation?

If battery storage is being implemented with a generation device and falls under ‘apply to connect’
Installers can utilise a fast track application process. This involves submitting the G99 Form A1-2 application form for connection of Fully Type Tested Integrated Microgeneration and Storage installations. This must be submitted before installation but reduces the connection time to 10 days or less.

And what this exactly mean?:

Note: when completing the form, ENA’s Type Test register may provide useful information on the energy device model being registered. If the energy device is not type tested, the DNO may require additional documentation to demonstrate that it complies with EREC G98/G99.

Do I need to provide some paperwork for battery storage and Inverter?

Step 3: Install device

Step 4: Ensure installation is notified with the appropriate bodies
If registered with a Competent Person Scheme, the installation contractor must register the installation with them to evidence compliance with the building regulations.
If registered with a certification scheme, the installation contractor may have to register the installation with it. Please see the certification scheme’s website for more details.
Energy device owners must ensure that your installation contractor has notified the DNO of your installation. It is the energy device owner’s responsibility to ensure that the DNO has received this notification and, in the case when the energy device is classified as ‘apply to connect’, granted authorisation before the work is carried out.

Again… Do I need to register installation with Council or someone else? Can I even do it or it needs to be someone who’s certified?

Step 5: Energy device owner should receive relevant documentation
Documentation to be provided from installation contractor to energy device owner:
a Building Regulations Completion Certificate from the installation contractor for notifiable work. This certificate should be provided upon selling the property. Read more information on the use of a Building Regulations Completion Certificate
installation contractors registered with a Competent Person Scheme may be able to self-certify that their work complies with all of the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations. In this situation, they must provide the energy device owner with a certificate from the competent persons scheme operator
installation contractors who are not registered with a Competent Person Scheme must submit a building notice to the relevant local authority to notify them of the work before it commences, in order to confirm compliance. It is the energy device owner’s responsibility to ensure that work on their property complies with Building Regulations by obtaining this certificate, which will provided within 30 days of completion
a certificate of installation from the installation contractor’s certification scheme, if applicable

If I need this certificate, How I can get it if it would be me to install whole equipment? Is that mean that I need someone to do it anyway?

All of this is so confusing… Could you please advice..


With Kind regards
Artur

 
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Hi there
I was/am in the same situation as you.
I would suggest: Decide what you want to do.
Then contact your DNO by email so that you have a record of the relevant application, equipment certificates, and schematics they want.
Some of the electrical work you need to do on the AC side will most likely need notifying to the council. This is to prevent the public from making dangerous situations. You should get a part P qualified electrician to do that part of the work as they will do all the notifications for you.
In my instance I needed a new consumer unit to add the new circuits. £400 well spent.
 
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