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SunAmp : Snog, Marry, Avoid?


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Just now, JamesP said:

 

Can you clarify for me that I can increase the UVC temp up to 75 degrees when sunny using the PV diverter as at the moment  it switches off by 10am on a sunny day as its reached its temp of 56 degrees set on the Ecodan. The higher tank temp in effect  increases the tank volume by blending with cold?


Yes - does the Ecodan control the immersions then ..? If not , just up the setting of the immersion stat to 80c

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10 minutes ago, JamesP said:

 

Can you clarify for me that I can increase the UVC temp up to 75 degrees when sunny using the PV diverter as at the moment  it switches off by 10am on a sunny day as its reached its temp of 56 degrees set on the Ecodan. The higher tank temp in effect  increases the tank volume by blending with cold?

You can set the thermostat temp for the immersion to whatever you desire and excess PV (via a diverter) will lift it to that setting so long as there is sufficient excess from any other energy usage at the time.

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If you read the Sunamp twitter feed it suggests they now have partnerships with three ASHP manufacturers. The marketing focus appears to be “load shifting” which with the rise in flexible energy tariffs ( and of course all the fuss around Octopus’ zero and negative pricing of late) is not surprising. 
 

Of course the detail is lacking but one thing that fascinates me as how you actually take advantage of these tariffs, especially with a product like Sunamp which is inflexible and somewhat dumb in terms of control? I assume people are busy setting their alarm clocks to make use of the cheap energy? 
 

But equally I assume this must be focused towards high temp ASHP’s as I don’t believe they have realised the low temp PCM that was supposed to be in testing?

Edited by Barney12
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54 minutes ago, Barney12 said:

Of course the detail is lacking but one thing that fascinates me as how you actually take advantage of these tariffs, especially with a product like Sunamp which is inflexible and somewhat dumb in terms of control? I assume people are busy setting their alarm clocks to make use of the cheap energy? 

Like all storage, it needs to be empty to take advantage of cheap or free energy.

This may be OK for space heating, probably less so for DHW.

 

Has anyone compared the prices to battery storage?  If you are going to spend £3k to £5k on a Sunamp, it may not be so far off.

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44 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

 

Has anyone compared the prices to battery storage?  If you are going to spend £3k to £5k on a Sunamp, it may not be so far off.


That’s a really interesting point.
 

Battery technology is moving at a huge pace (largely driven by the EV market and huge investment therein) and price points continue to drop. 
I’m guessing there may become a point where phase change heat storage becomes unattractive (it’s a one trick pony, you can’t power your washing machine or the TV via a Sunamp!). I’ve certainly not seen much evidence of big investments into heat storage on a large scale which is counter to battery storage where hundreds of millions is being pumped into such facilities. 
 

As always the early adopter position is a painful one both in terms of cost and user experience. It’s certainly a lesson I’ll learn if I’m ever to self build again. 

Edited by Barney12
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4 minutes ago, Barney12 said:

it’s a one trick pony, you can’t power your washing machine or the TV via a Sunamp

This is what got me thinking about it.  Even if you just charged your batteries from your PV and then discharged them via your water heater, it may soon be financially viable.

And you can always plug into the mains if needed.

The control system should be fairly easy too, just state of charge, power diversion and timers.

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I am not yet convinced batteries make sense for a small PV system.  I am easily using 90% or more of what we generate just with using the big appliances in the day, and water heating.  The only argument at the moment for batteries is would storing the electricity to use for household stuff in the evening be better use of it than water heating?

 

Once you get above a 4kW PV system then batteries would make more sense as that amount of power is harder to self use even with water heating.

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15 hours ago, LA3222 said:

I'm now wavering towards UVC setup, but I need to put some research in to all this. Up till now it was a vague plan bubbling away in the background, I'm reaching the point where I need to start going firm on what the plan is going to be. 

I’d be interested in reading about your research , maybe you could start a new thread and we could all contribute towards best practice.

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On 25/06/2020 at 08:14, Barney12 said:


Because specification is absolutely key and Sunamp have made it very clear they are a “manufacturer” not a “specifier”.

 

I note you have included the warranty document. Once you’ve had the pleasure ??? of moving a 12kw unit you may start to understand why a return to base warranty provides some unique challenges. 
 

My advise is to fit them near an outside door ideally with an electric winch and head rail system. Something like this should do it:

 

image.jpeg.8280bf6551f3ae2ab35c44d3eb636af6.jpeg

 

Along with a small gauge funicular railway for those tricky sites?

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19 minutes ago, ProDave said:

I am not yet convinced batteries make sense for a small PV system.  I am easily using 90% or more of what we generate just with using the big appliances in the day, and water heating. 

Yes.

I could probably get 2 kWp on my roof.  That would give me about 2 MWh/year.

My usual day usage is a shade under 2 kWh, night usage is between 3 and 10 kWh.

So at best, all I could do is offset that 2 kWh/day usage, and heat my water during the summer.

 

The big cost of a small system is the non storage part, i.e. the charge controller and inverter.  I would need a 6 kW inverter, that allows water heating and a kettle to be on, or a storage heater and the water.

 

There are also export payments for excess generation, so those will have to be costed in, along with the cost of a suitable PV and storage system.

 

Edited by SteamyTea
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Export payments dictate you have the PV installed by an MCS installer with their premium.  So far, if I had been eligible for the export payments, I would have been paid £9.90 for what I have exported.  Now work out how much extra it would have cost for an MCS install Vs DIY install and tell me how long the tiny export payments would take to repay the MCS premium.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Export payments dictate you have the PV installed by an MCS installer with their premium.  So far, if I had been eligible for the export payments, I would have been paid £9.90 for what I have exported.  Now work out how much extra it would have cost for an MCS install Vs DIY install and tell me how long the tiny export payments would take to repay the MCS premium.

 

 

  • Householders that have not installed an eligible system on or before 31 March 2019 will not be eligible for FITs payments.
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1 minute ago, Triassic said:
  • Householders that have not installed an eligible system on or before 31 March 2019 will not be eligible for FITs payments.

Yes FIT stopped then for new installs.

 

It has bee replaced by an export payment scheme that pays typically 5p perkWh exported. You need to have a smart meter to measure the export and have the install certified by an MCS installer.

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15 hours ago, LA3222 said:

All of the niggles with SunAmp are starting to put me off. I was hoping it would all have been ironed out by now but that doesn't seem to be the case.

 

Me too!

 

This thread on it own (took me over five days, on and off to read) has made me "think again"

 

I wanted:

1) Set and forget

2) Scalability

3) Longevity

 

To my eye, one seems to fail.  Two is fine, but even three has or had? it's niggles.  One thing I saw, but confess I overlooked, was weight.  OMG! That's a ground floor based install for sure isn't it?  No first floor, or basement stuff there ?  Cost is double/three times.  Serviceability is growing, but... Technical support is (yes, yes, pandemic) thin on the ground... For me personally.  Nah... The timing simply isn't right. I will speak to my plumber Tuesday morning, but I think SA needs to fix it's controller and step away from the moody double glazing salesman myself.

 

To my understanding, they need a controller for those that just want basic (normal?) Features, and those that want to play/tinker/monitor EVERYTHING!  

 

So to me, it's snog, but I've got my eye on someone/something else now... 

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2 minutes ago, Marco Van Bowden said:

This thread on it own (took me over five days, on and off to read) has made me "think again"

It's a whole weeks read now, since you restarted it ?

 

2 minutes ago, Marco Van Bowden said:

So to me, it's snog, but I've got my eye on someone/something else now... 

Do share...

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37 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Export payments dictate you have the PV installed by an MCS installer with their premium.  So far, if I had been eligible for the export payments, I would have been paid £9.90 for what I have exported.  Now work out how much extra it would have cost for an MCS install Vs DIY install and tell me how long the tiny export payments would take to repay the MCS premium.

Yes.

But as you say, you have a small array and you use most of it.

Not always going to be the same for everyone.

It is up to individuals to work out what is best for them.

There are other reasons to choose an MCS installation over a DIY or own contractor approach as well.

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14 minutes ago, Marco Van Bowden said:

One thing I saw, but confess I overlooked, was weight.  OMG! That's a ground floor based install for sure isn't it?  No first floor, or basement stuff there

 

Yes, the buggers weigh a lot but people have been able to haul them up the stairs like @Jeremy Harris (not a 12Kw one though). Other installs have been able to use specialist stair lifters:

 

Zonzini_a.jpg

 

And I put my units on wheels in case of future needs to move:

 

fuwRTRc2IARxewvjVcr-A5y-khJPXuo34eR2oXArcj7Ovd8KllAgm3GQFIyJsRn3WOR-h93ZvQoO-vXR2ziQt7bpOL-_VRxKQcJcRDVhQyLg_qn6EHCW-tL-d3UXY8hp_vg_KJYaCdNbqLGdMNNiU1TY_eor7DqisCKcVg19IuvxJ7S6PDaWZ5yxk9IYuTrHRr5q_AJANYymaZFLeDzz6iWLPwDLG6AhRwyF4dSurxVbHpRC10oG6jSpc3RrshSJPkh23-z_znx2ioqLdPgOoujQOaor16-YKjpSvKJH3E76QrKyC8IsmMjvLtrBaT1ii41GP3x61aZII1V5mOpttlh9tJIAGwei8VysofgZH7LU-BvQG4Ty0uFbjHlFwi5Nh2Cy-2Pg3D_Cky5xq8qFP_KzoAlLw9jZts8R4kTcc0qon7koyL56u0mdKPRjkAhZYe6SZKxJJCtP6B5E7uZpUcfJh3v03OqGDNdCCPO8YWVZi91IYOAxuxdH7Ej5H9lBa2c2ntGtTBHyiYYqnPb5HJ6msl2DlqRAWNUcOoYHkYhMkabreHMyE2SMfq9zbFA3jCpEvtuvhw79NG-CzpXM-Net4V8HZxd2w_wL4Bh_oQRXg9Kwdm4vCcpyWlLPKvOaI3qPz9nc4UkpihRrgeIlI_w36gmKjlkP9EueNmKuKDnqn8t26LO8XIYFmqsQUcU=w415-h737-no?authuser=0

 

So I wouldn't discount Sunamp purely on weight - there are workarounds!

 

 

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On 25/06/2020 at 10:58, Barney12 said:


In reality it’s much worse than that. You may receive a unit that is more like 40 or it could be 60. The technology for measuring the discharge is beyond basic (a length of wire with temp sensors hand soldered on and poked down a copper tube). The wire is not fixed in place and can be pulled or pushed moving the measurement points.
 

But more importantly you do not have ANY control. Unless they’ve changed something in the most recent controllers there is absolutely no way to override this. Although I believe some have fixed this by power cycling the controller which frankly is a bodge.  


I think this is the post, that killed any remaining interest I had in the Sunamp.

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2 hours ago, Barney12 said:

I’m guessing there may become a point where phase change heat storage becomes unattractive (it’s a one trick pony, you can’t power your washing machine or the TV via a Sunamp!)


Isn’t that what was the nail in the coffin for Solar Thermal though..?  PV came down in price to a point that it overtook ST. Same scenario here I expect in the next 2-3 years. 

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3 minutes ago, PeterW said:


Isn’t that what was the nail in the coffin for Solar Thermal though..?  PV came down in price to a point that it overtook ST. Same scenario here I expect in the next 2-3 years. 

 

If I had those 3 (free) ST panels up on my roof now what would HW be costing me? Zero I'm guessing. I think you have to change the glycol in there every few years though? Hell, even my DIY ST system produced amazing results for an outlay of zero. Low tech compared to PV I appreciate but ST to me still seems a bit of a win win. @scottishjohn?

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15 hours ago, JamesP said:

Can you clarify for me that I can increase the UVC temp up to 75 degrees when sunny using the PV diverter as at the moment  it switches off by 10am on a sunny day as its reached its temp of 56 degrees set on the Ecodan.


I believe the PV heats to higher temps via immersions not driving the heat pump?

 

15 hours ago, JamesP said:

The higher tank temp in effect  increases the tank volume by blending with cold?


yes.which is why @ProDave and myself have larger DHW tanks as we only heat up to 48’ using the heat pump.

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42 minutes ago, Onoff said:

 

If I had those 3 (free) ST panels up on my roof now what would HW be costing me? Zero I'm guessing. I think you have to change the glycol in there every few years though? Hell, even my DIY ST system produced amazing results for an outlay of zero. Low tech compared to PV I appreciate but ST to me still seems a bit of a win win. @scottishjohn?

Some here might be saying this about Sunamps in a few years time 

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10 minutes ago, joe90 said:


I believe the PV heats to higher temps via immersions not driving the heat pump?

 


yes.which is why @ProDave and myself have larger DHW tanks as we only heat up to 48’ using the heat pump.

 

Yes that's right. the heat pump heats the tank via the input coil and uses a temperature probe in a pocket on the tank.

I have the mechanical tank thermostat set to it's maximum of 65 degrees and that shuts the motorised valve to shut off the ASHP heat input in the event of a malfunctions (very unlikely)

 

The PV heating is completely separate via the immersion heater which has it's own thermostat and will heat the tank way hotter that the heat pump ever will.

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