My solar set up

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Jun 26, 2023
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South Northamptonshire
I have 20kW of battery storage fed by 24 panels with 16 optimisers to deal with some minor shading. It has been mentioned money may be better spent on batteries - true but if you find you need to retrofit optimisers it will be painful.
My inverter is a Victron Quattro so I can run in island mode with out shutting down (or rewiring some circuits into the EPS port). It has two inputs so I can add on a generator (coming soon) and go off grid if needed (not a full time proposition at this time). This means I don't notice power cuts - we had one recently and the village ended up in the pub all night while I was oblivious. I found out about it when the National Grid team asked for access to my land to repair the fault - they were impressed by my installation.
My system is built like a large UPS - I am an electrical engineer not an electrician. The design was driven by my experience. My day job is testing large IT infrastructure which means having my power turn off because of a grid power cut does not make sense - especially when you have battery storage.
I don't make a lot of money from the export of surplus energy because my base load is 1.5kW - I have 1kW of computers running for my business.
I use the batteries to reduce costs. I use Agile Octopus which has a variable rate every 30mins that is published the day before. It is capped at 100p however, during this year I have not seen it go much above 40p so far - this is during the 16:00 to 17:00 peak usage time which is why you need batts. Charge them up at the optimal time and make sure you don't pay the peak rate. I am sometimes paid to use energy at night (when the wind blows I suppose) - 7p was the best per unit so far this year.
This takes a little management but is not arduous - it can be done from your phone. I use the Agile Octopus Fixed export tariff which is 15p per unit.
When my oil boiler (no gas in our village) kicks in it draws 400W - it is a fully pumped heating system. However, the load is not constant. My next project is looking at insulation.
I am saving a lot of money with my changes and the new system.
My base load was 2.5kW +. My bill was £450 a month. I cut my base load to 1500 ish kW. My DD is now £125 and I think that is too much.
I do some sums and post something after Christmas and then next spring.
Some advice.
I use two Emporia boxes to monitor my house an office (allows me to account for my business use). You can monitor individual circuits if you want to. and see where you can make savings - this may get you interested in smart home technology if you are not already.
another good piece of advice is have your wiring tested before you carry out the installation.
I had a neutral earth fault in my office that tripped the RCBO on the new board. The installers ran away and told me to call them when I had fixed it.
I had a trapped neutral in my office bathroom light switch. I also had an old UPS (that was going to be scrapped anyway) that had a lot of leakage.
The fault took 1 1/2 hours for a mate who is a local electrician to find. They can take a lot longer which is why the installation team left me to it - I don't blame them.
The system was commissioned during July and has been great.


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Hi i have a full ups systen backing server and network / cctv comms cabinet and also generator backup at 3kw and all.done through change over switch i have solar east west system of 15 panels on enphase micro inverters and also a 14.4kwh seplos diy built lifepo4 battery system i also am on octopus agile for the variable rate at different times of day and the whole journey has been a real joy im a electrician and cctv installer by trade