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  1. Good morning all. This is my first post so please point me in the right direction if I've posted in the wrong place, asked a question that's already been covered or broken the forum rules. I bought my house around 5 years ago and I have slowly been renovating it ever since. About 3 years ago I had an Air Source Heat Pump installed, as we have no mains gas and at the time, the RHI was generous (it paid for the system). Last winter I picked up an absolute bargain of 4kw solar panels with an inverter for £400. I installed it myself and I am mostly happy with it. Since then I have changed the inverter so I can connect via bluetooth. Recently i have had a smart meter fitted.......... Now that I have the smart meter fitted I can see exactly what the power I'm sending back down into the grid. Actually, I knew this before, but its different when you can see the display 'laughing' at me!!! After the install, I did contact an MSC company and ask them if they would inspect and certificate. They told me, that it was virtually impossible for them to do this as they had to provide proof of where the panels came from. In any case, they said I'd only get about £60 a year back from the one or two electrical suppliers that offer a feed in tarrif (5.5p per KW). So......I was thinking, there must be a smarter way of using my solar and ASHP. I have my heat pump set for 21degrees in the morning and evening and all other times it's set to 18 degrees. There is an 3kw immersion in the tank, but it's only used to prevent legionnaires disease. When the heat pump is on it draws around 1.5 kw. At the moment, the heat pump thermostat/programmer is not wireless and I am not able to connect to it via bluetooth. I was thinking that maybe if the sun was shining during the day and producing over 2kw I could somehow activate the heating to go up to 24 degrees. This would warm the house during the day and therefore require less heating after the sun sets. Obviously, I would need some kind of app or software to run this. My ASHP is a Mitsubishi Ecodan and my inverter is an SMA. Thanks in advance for your replies, Nathan.
  2. Apologies if this has been asked before and if it's in the wrong category, but our M+E consultant is recommending a Vaillant ASHP which I'm fine with but when I look at the Vaillant UVCs, I'm concerned that they won't get the best out of the solar PV diversion. Most solar PV diverters have two outputs, so that once the first output has stopped accepting energy the second output is activated. So if you are doing what most people do, diverting to an immersion in the UVC for hot water, you'd ideally want to have 2 immersion heaters in the UVC, so 1st heat the top of the tank, then when that's hot start to heat the bottom of the tank. The Vaillant UVC has one immersion in the middle of the tank - so only the top half would benefit from the solar diversion. An alternative would be say the Gledhill StainlessLite Heat Pump cylinder but that only has a single immersion heater point which is at the bottom - theoretically better because on a good day you could heat all the tank but not on a marginal day as you'd only warm the whole tank up a bit. Anyone know of a cylinder suitable for ASHPs with 2 immersions - middle and bottom? Thanks in advance for any help. Simon
  3. Hi all, Been lurking a while soaking up the wisdom, while our plans percolate and mature. Already been an enducation! Just in the process ofr finalising the techincal specs for a new 5 bed house in Hampshire in the Meon Valley area. Some details of what we will be attmepting to lure others into conversation on same topics and steal their knowlesge...:-) Pile and beam foundation: After much to and fro between geotechnical engineer, architect and structural engineer on foundation type...I had wanted to do an unsulated/pasive slab which builder and I could have laid ourselves. Vetoed Hempcrete build as far as we can.Trying to build as sustainably as possible, interested what we can do with the material and helps to avoid competition for bricks...only competiing interests are horses for bedding...... Trying to get as energy efficient without committing to passive house as too constraining on design and I do like open windows at times. Still figuring out energy mix: Solar PV and thermal definitely, UFH, then debating on whether an ASHP or GSHP is going to pay back if the house is highly insulated. But how else do I cover the heating gap Recoup waste heat with MVHR. We are off-grid for gas otherwise I did like the look of the integrated Viessmann fuel cell/gas boiler. As in Southdown National park, stricty nitrogen requirements, so foul drainage going through septic tank and reed beds and pond to drainage field. Off mains drains. To manage rain water drainage on the plot I thought I might as well try my hand at creating a natural swimming pool. They are nice to look at and it will be an adventure! Anyway that is us for now! Hope to start the build in January for a couple of years. We live on the site in a bungalow which we have to demolish afterwards, so we can take our time and enjoy hte journey. Cheers Paul
  4. To those who commented on our GRP, this is not an update. The next installment to that will hopefully be at the end of next week when the crap roof will be off and a proper company coming in to sort after we insisted on an insurance backed guarantee. I shall update then, watch this space! Flat roof aside..... All our new extension had insulation laid and our existing flooring excavated for insulation too. We had the UFH pipes laid and there was A LOT. And then screed laid which is suprisingly even and flat using TG Cemfloor – a liquid self-levelling screed. Needless to say they did a better job of this than the roof. And part of the in roof solar frames have also gone up. Our builders found these up the loft when taking down the old ceilings. Unfortunately empty! Someone had a good party ?
  5. Hi all, new to this forum. Question: Taking a spur off a socket through the back of the socket into another room. Socket 12 inches off the ground. Is it better to run armoured cable to new socket as it will be running across a floor. (Lot of ripping and plastering otherwise) Or, put a pipe in? What radius can you bend armoured cable 90 degrees?
  6. Hello all, I stumbled on this forum as part of a search for information about SunAmp batteries. I’ve spent a bit of time reading other threads on the topic and this seems to be a friendly and helpful piece of the internet. I’m on a quest to reduce the CO2 generated by the 3-bed 1960s semi (approx 98 sq m) where I live with my partner (no kids). We’ve insulated the upstairs, added some loft insulation, upgraded the double glazing and last year, we installed 5700W of solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall 2. I’d estimate we generate around 5000kWh a year from the panels, and export around 3000kWh of that. We’ve got our grid electricity usage down to about 500kWh per year. The biggest element of this being our electric shower (the Powerwall can only ever supply 5kW of the 10kW load). Gas is used for heating and hot water via a 15 year old Worcester combi-boiler - which I’m guessing is nearing end of life. Our gas usage is fairly low, but I’m looking to reduce that next, from the current 5000kWh per year (more when we have a cold winter). I'm not planning on replacing the gas boiler, meaning we'd be 100% reliant on electricity for heating and hot water. We’re on a deemed solar export tariff, and I’m looking to use as much of the energy generated as possible. I’ve also recently begun the switch to Octopus energy to take advantage of their Agile tariff, so it might be possible to shift much of our current gas energy usage over to electricity - but what would be best for us? GSHP not an option here (small garden) ASHP may be, but I’m conscious of the effort and cost of installing Underfloor heating. Air to Air an option? Right now I’m thinking a SunAmp for the hot water, or could the Uniq 12 supply our heating and hot water? Maybe we could supplement that with and a couple of electric radiators in the lounge and bedroom to keep us warm on demand? I’m not sure if that would be what we need especially if we have a long cold winter like last year (I’m on the South Coast of England). I would be grateful for any thoughts from anyone who has done similar or knows more than I do about these things. With thanks, David.
  7. No rain here for all of June and still none in July so lots of solar pv generation ? But lots of dust on my panels now. Any advice regarding cleaning - wait for the rain, hose them down, brush the dust off? Thanks
  8. Bugger: https://www.solarworld-uk.co.uk/the-company/press/current-news/news-detail/article/solarworld-ag-insolvency/ Guess that is my 10 year warranty reduced to zilch
  9. My build is progressing and I'm now able to do the day job (software dev) from my insulated office garage powered by 4 of my 30 solar panels, some second hand batteries and some cheap charge controllers and inverters - magic and all good :-) But the insulation and solar panels means I'm getting no thermal gain so while it is very sunny outside it is only 12.5deg C in my office! Question can I connect my currently unused 285W solar PV panels DIRECT to a heating element such as: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/262902796592 or something else just to get some (any!) heat into the office space without resorting to running a diesel generator?
  10. As I understand it per PV panel inverters (commonly called microinverters) offer: * longer life * extract more from each panel * overcome the limitation of one panel in a string of panels being in the shade impacting the output of the entire string Enphase make a solar PV DC-240AC inverter which seems to get good reviews but it is not compatible with offgrid systems - I think because it needs an existing reliable 240ac feed to synchonize with. Thinking on this it occurred to me I could use a set of the small cheap as chips DC-DC charge controller in series to build a 48V battery bank, and have mulitple of these banks in parallel to build up a decent storage. This might give me: * high redundancy * overcome the issue of shading in solar PV strings * individual battery monitoring system for zero additional cost * total charge controller cost of 30 * £15 = £450 * ability to use a cheap basic 48V-240vac inverter that be replaced in the lifetime of the system with minimal cost - circa £450/5kW model * ability to replace individual 12v cells with minimal impact So why not? Googling I can't find anyone doing this so there must be something I have over looked. I welcome some peer review comments please. Links: * DC-DC charge controller I've been using for 18months with out issue: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10A-LCD-Solar-Panel-Charge-Controller-12V-24V-Battery-Auto-Regulator-New-J1Z3-/311585702654?hash=item488bf482fe:g:vooAAOSw2ENW624S * cheap 48v/240acv 5kW inverters http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pure-Sine-Wave-Inverter-Charger-Sinus-Pro-5000W-48V-240V-15A-AVR-UPS-/222409289155?hash=item33c8a06dc3:g:hNoAAOSw34FVAzYQ
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