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AIman1

SolarEdge with battery storage retrofit

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AIman1

Guys, newbie here on the forum so please go easy. Couldn't find any topic discussing SolarEdge specific install so thought will start one.

 

Basically I have a 4kw pv installed since last 5 years. Now I would like to add battery storage solution to the system I am wondering what's best route I should take without breaking the bank. I have SolarEdge HD inverter which was replaced under warranty as the old one died out 2 years ago. I want to go down modular self build LIFEPO4 battery based backup which I want to start with 2-3kw storage and will keep adding more. Is it compulsory to get StorEdge and SolarEdge meter to get started. Both these products are very pricey so I was wondering if we have alternates here to keep the cost to minimum. Can someone please help me get started here.

 

 

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binky

Lots of alternatives! Bit of a minefield is solar storage, but as a retrofit system you aren't tied to Solaredge products if you use an AC linked system. I would be looking at something like Pylon or BYD battery packs, these are modular by design. Downside is bigger batteries (less modular but still linkabe) do offer slightly better value for money. Upside though is the smaller battery packs are ay £800 each.where as a bigger battery may be £2k.

 

I'll explain a  few things.

1/ the meter is purely for monitoring enrgy flow in and out of your house, this can be done with an 'amp clamp' but some form of meter seems to be more popular ( I think this is because they are more accurate?).

2/ the Storedge is the 'brains' of the system it monitors energy flow and controls the battery pack -  non of these gadgets are cheap! 

3/ from a quick read this would appear to be a DC linked system - this has the advantage that you local DNO will not regard this as an additonal energy system on your supply, so conforms with the 16A limitation they have to allow.

4/ you can buy DC linked battery systems that will suppossedly work with any solar inverter,  do double check compatibility - some still sulk in certain combinations!!

 

Now, I prefer AC linked systems, basically these are indepedent of your current solar system and does not have to be the same make. 

 

+ points:-

1/ you will be able to take advantage of a new payment system starting next year (January in theory) , although I see little point as using the stored energy yourself is worth more to you. Only thing it is good for is making the battery pay for itself faster if it can be charged and discharged several times a day?

2/ you have access to cheaper makes of battery such as BYD - the biggest car battery maker in the world - Chinese of course.

3/ connects to the mains supply at your Consumer Unit, so can be easier, but not always.

 

-Ve points:-

1/ your DNO will not necessarily allow it - apply before installing an AC  battery.  DNO's can be a major pain in the neck!

2/ it's nice to have an integrated system from one manufacturer, only 1 website portal etc etc.

3/ if the battery stops working it doesn't affect the solar - shouldn't be an issue, but...

 

That's a quick run-down , I've fitted a few batteries but not many, so I'm no expert. 

 

 

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AIman1

Thanks binky for quick run of choices. I wasn't aware of new payment system starting from next year. Currently my FIT rates works out as appx 18p per kwh of generation (assuming 50% export). Any indicative rate offered in the new scheme yet? A quick search on the intenet couldn't give me any number yet.

 

For the 1st point on meter I see even SolarEdge meter using clamp on devices to read the usage and export, what is the other option you mentioned above?

Coming back to the battery system, as you said there are two options one where I use SolarEdge product range which is obviously expensive (£200+ for meter and £1000 for StorEdge) which will be more oem, all dc system. Would I need to buy a new inverter to convert stored battery power back or existing SolarEdge inverter will be used for that purpose? Does it affect my FIT status? Would this mess up the FIT meter readings,. Do I need DNO permission in this approach?

 

I am sure I won't be the first one to get something like this done so are there any wiring diagrams to understand the both the setup? Any help here will be highly appreciated. 

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binky

look up 'Smart Export Guarantee' it'similar to the FiT but for exporting only. They are quoting numbers between 5 and 10p per kWh exported. As I understand it, it will mean having a smart meter fitted, and the batteries linked to a website / portal somehow, - link below explains it.

 

https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/resource-centre/advice-tips-for-households/smart-export-guarantee/

 

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AIman1

That's very bad deal then. Selling electricity to us for @15p/kwh and buying @5p/kwh!

Edited by AIman1

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AIman1

According to the installation document here I don't think a custom battery is supported with SolarEdge/StorEdge setup. It clearly says Compatible Batteries are only LG Chem RESU7H and LG Chem RESU10H. I read elsewhere that Tesla Powerwall 1 and 2 are also supported. So AC based system is only choice left for now.

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binky
20 hours ago, AIman1 said:

That's very bad deal then. Selling electricity to us for @15p/kwh and buying @5p/kwh!

 

more or less wholesale rate for power stations.

 

Solaredge is fussy about batteries, as you have found out they only support LG Chem and Tesla with their storedge product. Check out GoodWE DC battery - in theory you can tap this into any DC side of a solar system, but I have heard there can be issues with certain inverters. This is also why I suggested AC battery - can be used with any solar system.

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AIman1

Thanks for the input binky. Is GoodWe a replacement for SolarEdge or will it go alongwith? 

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binky

along with. 

 

It can be simpler to fit a Hybrid inverter, but you will have solaredge optimisers behind every panel, which onlu work with Solaredge inverters, so you are stuffed unless you want o get on the roof and remover the optimisers :lol:

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AIman1

Just had a look and can see GoodWe GW2500 in very reasonable price on ebay. I am not into this field so don't know much about these ebay stores, where would you recommend to get these products from? It goes well with pylon lifepo4 batteries. This is exactly what I am after. Though I would have preferred 3.6kw system but in this price I am okay with 2.5kw system. I hope I can string two of these together in future if required.

Edited by AIman1

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binky

I but from wholeslaers, but they don't allow joe public, so Ebay is probably a good place. Do download and read very carefully info first, perhaps contact GoodWe UK for technical advice before buying anything.

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AIman1

GoodWe is nice choice but I am getting no support from anyone on this yet. I am wondering if there are other similar choices, perhaps matching with 4kw panels not just limited to 2.5kw max.

 

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DomiLee

How is it good that my friends stopped me from buying on SolarEdge. I heard about compatibility issues.

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binky
41 minutes ago, DomiLee said:

How is it good that my friends stopped me from buying on SolarEdge. I heard about compatibility issues.

Compatibility with what?

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DomiLee

With solar edge equipment.

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binky

solaredge and what??? 

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DomiLee
On 11/11/2019 at 17:03, DomiLee said:

How is it good that my friends stopped me from buying on SolarEdge. I heard about compatibility issues. I found interesting article about solar panel problems https://websolarguide.com/solar-panel-problems/

Just friendly advise.

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binky

Solare edge is expensive and mostly unnecessary unless you have shading issues. Batteries will only work with certain brands of inverter / charge controllers.

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DomiLee

I will not argue with you. You are right.

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binky

Solaredge is a good system, but it has very limited compatibility, and what it will work with is also expensive. 

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