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Author Topic: How painful a process is it to add solar panels to an existing FiT?  (Read 13854 times)
dan_b
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« on: April 03, 2013, 05:14:30 PM »

Just thinking out loud, but if I decided that I wanted to add some extra panels to my house at some point (eg. on the West facing rear addition, or even on my flat roof), aside from the issue of wiring in additional panels to the existing SolarEdge system, how complex/ painful/ beurocractically annoying is it to change one's FiT agreement to accommodate the additional generation capacity?  Is there a set procedure?
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery
knighty
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 08:03:14 PM »

I have no idea...

but.. how big is the system right now ?

the FITs people (who's name I can't remember) have decided to use the power of the panels on the roof as the total system power - not the max. inverter output like it's supposed to be

so if you're at or close to 4kw, adding more to that system would put you into a lower fits tariff for everything


I'm not sure how it works if you add another separate system (separate panels and inverter)

fingers crossed Ted will be along soon to explain :-)
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dan_b
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 08:14:57 PM »

2.18kWp from my 10 panels, running into a SolarEdge 3000 inverter, so plenty of headroom as far as that is all concerned.
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery
marshman
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 08:44:14 PM »

Just thinking out loud, but if I decided that I wanted to add some extra panels to my house at some point (eg. on the West facing rear addition, or even on my flat roof), aside from the issue of wiring in additional panels to the existing SolarEdge system, how complex/ painful/ beurocractically annoying is it to change one's FiT agreement to accommodate the additional generation capacity?  Is there a set procedure?
When I added to my system I contacted my FiT "supplier" (can't remember the correct term!) [SSE], they sent me me another application form which I filled in and returned with a copy of the MCS cert. for the extra bits and by the time the next quarters figures were due it was all done. I essentially ended up with two contracts but one FiT no. as it was done before all the changes to tariffs took place. I added an extra panel. Took about 6 months for the OFGEM database to show the correct capacity of the extended system. Personally I didn't think the process was too bad and the people at SSE seemed to know what they were doing.

Roger
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3.15kWpk (15xSharp ND210)/SB3000. & 3.675kWpk (15 x Suntech 245WD)/SB4000TL, 10kW GSHP driving Wirsbo underfloor heating from 1200m ground loops. 10' x 7' solar wall (experimental). Clearview 650 Wood Burning Stove. MHRV - diy retrofit. Triple glazing.
dan_b
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 08:51:59 PM »

Thanks, that's useful information.  My FiT cheques come from British Gas. If this were ever to happen I'd imagine I'd be adding 2 or 3 panels.
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery
M
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 09:57:21 PM »

Just thinking out loud, but if I decided that I wanted to add some extra panels to my house at some point (eg. on the West facing rear addition, or even on my flat roof), aside from the issue of wiring in additional panels to the existing SolarEdge system, how complex/ painful/ beurocractically annoying is it to change one's FiT agreement to accommodate the additional generation capacity?  Is there a set procedure?

Hiya Dan, should be easy(ish) but double and triple check with your FIT provider. Ring if you want a chat, but try to make sure you get the info in writing (e-mail) just in case you need to challenge them.

You can 'do a' extension, like what I did, but it'll be a little trickier as you'll be sharing the current TGM (I had a separate TGM). Generation will then be apportioned by kWp, no regard will be given to the orientation, so if the West panels perform far worse than your south panels, they will take some of the higher FIT - Does that make sense, I can explain better. But saying that, the FIT rates won't be too different anyways, as you're on the 16p rate if I remember correctly?

Presumably the SE3000 is more than capable of adding a few more panels, might be worth asking installer what the max is it can take, since the west panels will be kicking in, just as your system is starting to get some shading, so you might have more than 820W of spare capacity.

Mart.
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Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
dan_b
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2013, 09:40:17 AM »

Hi Mart
Yes I'm on the 16p FiT. I can probably add 3 high output panels on my West facing roof so would get a useful boost in the afternoons I would have thought - although I will undertake a more thorough assessment of how the sun reaches this rear roof before committing any more money!
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery
M
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 10:26:17 AM »

Hi Mart
Yes I'm on the 16p FiT. I can probably add 3 high output panels on my West facing roof so would get a useful boost in the afternoons I would have thought - although I will undertake a more thorough assessment of how the sun reaches this rear roof before committing any more money!

Hiya Dan, I love my WNW as it now generates well past 6pm (as it will throughout BST), when we usually eat, and already, on a nice day is kicking out around 1kW at that time. But, it's really a way of maximising my house's generation capacity, it's not a good financial investment, that was never the point of it.

Since your tariff and the current tariff are so similar, apportioning generation through a single TGM (unavoidable with a single inverter) can pretty much be ignored. Just double and triple check how this 'extension' will be treated by your FIT provider. I added a totally separate system, but you'll be 'upgrading' an existing one.

System capacity - I haven't done any checking, but I assume the SE3000 can cope with a little more than 3kW DC, as long as the voltage is ok, and the voltage limit is presumably set at some sort of maximum on the amount of PO's and panel outputs?HuhHuh

But given the different orientations, and your weakening SW onwards generation, I assume (dangerous thing to do) that you have plenty of spare on the western front! Remember to check out all panel sizes if you're gonna squeeze in 3 panels, there are 2m by 1m panels, which I think are around 300W.

Just for my peace of mind, and to help clarify things on here, perhaps you could update us on whether an enlargement / extension / addition are all classed the same by the FIT providers - unless somebody already knows?

Cheers.

Mart.
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Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
dan_b
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 10:47:43 PM »

I'm certainly going to investigate the position around increasing capacity on an existing FiT.
I was thinking that it would be possible to add the W panels into the same overall "string" (although that's probably the wrong word for a Solar Edge system) for the S-facing panels - but do that wiring integration close to the inverter?

SunPower do a tasty 333Watt panel I see - two or three of those would be nice!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 10:50:42 PM by dan_b » Logged

3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery
M
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 07:30:23 AM »

I'm certainly going to investigate the position around increasing capacity on an existing FiT.

Hiya Dan, serious apologies for this next overly pedantic bit, but I just want to make sure I'm not misleading you.

Whilst I've outlined how you would add additional generation to an existing system, you won't be adding to an existing FIT. Instead, the additional panels will get a new FIT contract at the rates applicable when you register. So you'll have two contracts but they'll be running off the same TGM reading, which will then be apportioned on a Wp to Wp ratio. Also the extension will expire a little after the original FIT contract.

Again, sorry if I'm making this more difficult than it is, just didn't want to confuse you - probably done the opposite now!

Mart.
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Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
dan_b
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 09:17:05 AM »

Hi Mart
Thanks - my reading around the subject has come to a similar conclusion too!

I've ended up a bit skint this month having had to shell out for some repairs to my car so I won't be rushing into this plan.  In the meantime I got my TV aerial moved to reduce shading/ bird roosting/guano potential!
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery
dan_b
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 11:39:51 AM »

Well this idea is hitting the buffers - struggling to get approval from the lady of the house, she doesn't see the point of spending any more on solar Sad

I'll keep working at it!
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery
mikepe12
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 05:44:39 AM »

Hi Dan,
Think this clarifies what Mart is trying to explain.
As upto date as can be, straight from the horses mouth and clear as mud.

As Mart is pointing out, additions/extensions seem to be have all been treated similarly and classed as new systems and treated separately with regard to FIT.
If you have read through the document on Ofgem site the key to how payments are calculated comes down to "pro-rata" assessment of meter readings.
So you need to assess how any extension will affect current payments, or fit an extra TGM.
Hope this is of help.

Mike

http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/Environment/fits/Documents1/FIT%20generator%20guidance.pdf

Feed-in Tariff: Guidance for renewable installations (Version 5)

Reference: 57/13
Publication date: 19 April 2013
Contact: Renewables & CHP team
Team: Environmental Programmes
Tel: 020 7901 7310
Email: ROOFIT@ofgem.gov.uk

Extensions to FIT accredited installations
2.69. Where a FIT installation is extended using the same technology type,
the extension is assessed as a separate Eligible Installation. If successfully
accredited, the extension will be assigned a separate eligibility period and separate
tariff code based on the aggregate TIC of both the extension and existing FIT installation.
In this situation, the eligibility date and the eligibility period of the
extension will be based on the commissioning date of the extension. The original
installation‟s eligibility date, tariff, and eligibility period will not be affected. Both
installations will, however, share the same FIT ID on the Central FIT Register
(CFR) - the register on which all installation details are stored.
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M
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 07:35:32 AM »

Hi Dan,
Think this clarifies what Mart is trying to explain.
As upto date as can be, straight from the horses mouth and clear as mud.


Extensions to FIT accredited installations
2.69. Where a FIT installation is extended using the same technology type,
the extension is assessed as a separate Eligible Installation. If successfully
accredited, the extension will be assigned a separate eligibility period and separate
tariff code based on the aggregate TIC of both the extension and existing FIT installation.
In this situation, the eligibility date and the eligibility period of the
extension will be based on the commissioning date of the extension. The original
installation‟s eligibility date, tariff, and eligibility period will not be affected. Both
installations will, however, share the same FIT ID on the Central FIT Register

(CFR) - the register on which all installation details are stored.

Thanks Mike, I loved the clear as mud bit. Couldn't agree with you more.

I have two TGM's, but only one FIT ID, but I do have two 'endings' -1 and -2 (that's dash not minus).

I love that para 2.69. They are 'assessed as a separate Eligible Installation' ...... 'however, share the same FIT ID'

Apologies for dragging up an old story, but that caused me an absolute nightmare, as I was originally offered the lowest FIT rate possible for the extension, as my EPC was the day after the commissioning, and 11 months after my original FIT application. Whereas I thought it was a few days before the 'new' FIT application 'separate installations'. That took a lot of panic and quick thinking to resolve (to my satisfaction).

"straight from the horses mouth and clear as mud"   genuflect  hysteria   genuflect

Mart.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 07:37:04 AM by M » Logged

Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
dan_b
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2013, 09:16:18 AM »

This is timely - I now have permission from the Management to add extra panels on our West-facing roof, so I'll be contacting British Gas (my FiT provider) about this asap to "clarify" it all!  The plan is to use the spare capacity on my existing inverter rather than installing a new inverter and seperate generation meter so I imagine that could cause confusion!
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3.06kWp SolarEdge system with a split array:
2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery
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