More solar

Not sure how much more I can read without my head exploding :grinning: I’ve been researching more on the solar topic, as my interest grows and grows, and especially after having now been using my powerbank giving me what amounts to free elec, plus now really understanding what my actual needs are, cutting out all the wasteful use that I used to know and love, and frankly, be oblivious to!

I think I’ve now narrowed down to the set up that I want, which is a system with 3kw of panels, and initially 2.4kwhrs of battery, but that can be expanded if I see the need.

I plan to install myself, have the system connected to EDF, so I still have the EDF supply as a back up if needed, but do not plan to be getting into any contract to sell back. I would plan to have any excess energy during the day used to heat hot water plus possibly heat the hot tub and powerbank(s). Not sure what else I could divert energy to, as currently don’t own an EV.

I understand that, as my plan is to install 3kw I can indeed install myself, but I would need a qualified electrician to effectively sign off the installation. After this sign off I understand I then need to inform EDF and get their approval before I effectively make the system live.

I also plan to install the panels on the ground, certainly initially, as although I have a few roofs, the one that is ideally located does need replacing. So as I’m installing on the ground, and height would be less than 1.80m, I don’t need to ask for any permissions or inform the Mairie.

What I’m now looking at is if there are any grants available. This wont alter my decision to go ahead, but want to make sure that if there is anything available, I apply for it at the ‘right’ time.

Seeing all the various discussions on payback, I know that it is many years to recoup the cost, but the key drivers for me are (not in priority order): a)we don’t know where the elec cost is heading, but for sure it wont be going down over time, and hopefully I still have many years to go :grinning:, b)as I’ll be producing my own elec, and a reasonable amount of it, I think it’ll give a little more flexibility to use, without consciously thinking about any future bills and c)making a positive contribution to the environment.

Never thought I’d be getting so enthusiastic about energy saving and being more environmentally conscious generally, but here I am, totally in the thick of it :grinning: Now even contemplating getting rid of my gas guzzling pride and joy that’s been languishing in the garage for the last months :scream: Is this covid that’s done this to me??? :joy: :joy:

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Consuel inspection not a sparks. Just the PV installation - includes earth though

No permission needed providing it’s not in a protected/,heritage zone.

ENEDis have a process for connection without sale that should be in place before powering up … Although testing is allowed …

Otherwise yes - no grants for self install.

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@chrisell thanks that’s very helpful - appreciated - when you mention ‘although testing is allowed’, appreciate if you could help to explain a bit more please, as didn’t fully understand that :+1:

To add to what @chrisell has already said, there are some things you will need as part of the install. One is lightening protection to protect the grid and the other is automatic disconnection on grid failure. You won’t get permission to use the panels in conjunction with the grid without these. If you need some intelligence in how you use the generated power, to avoid sending to grid, you will need some sort of power monitor and power diverted. I have an Elios4U unit with the power diverter that sends surplus power to my hot water. Unfortunately, mine doesn’t have multiple outputs, so you can’t cascade power sinks to make use of the power when the hot water is full.
As for using a battery, I don’t think it’s worth it. I simulated what would have happened if I’d connected a battery into my system and it doesn’t make anywhere near as much difference as you would think.

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@hairbear very helpful thanks :+1: one thing I’m struggling with right now is the inverter as I want to get one that is ok for my initial set up of panel then allows me to expand voltage later. Sifting through inverter voltage operating ranges to see what is compatible. Alot of details to consider. The thought behind the battery was again to be as independent as possible, and for the cost difference, I wouldn’t really be looking at the payback to decide. I was looking at the cost to get a system installed professionally and can’t believe the difference. If you can diy it certainly saves a good sum and makes it all far more viable.

Many systems these days use micro-inverters, where each panel connects to a separate small inverter, and they are all chained together using just one cable. That’s how mine works. I have an Enphase Envoy-s controller that can talk to and control lots of micro-inverters, but other makes are available.

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