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Author Topic: Ground Based Solar PV advice  (Read 3836 times)
charlesd
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2018, 10:34:24 AM »

With the above advice (thanks) and some googling a decision has been made.
I'm going to submit a planning app for 20 panels in the field. With a bit of luck I should be able to complete that this weekend and get it submitted based on the council's expected timescales I should know somewhere from end of Jan to mid Feb.
Whilst that is going on I can research the equipment (for research read more questions  Smiley ) that I'm going to need.
One immediate question the electrical set up in my property is slightly odd in that the meter and supply arrive at one side of the house and the consumer unit is the other. I have an isolater near the meter and then effectively really long "meter tails" to the consumer unit which run through the loft diagonally from the meter to the consumer unit. Does the PV stuff (inverter etc) need to be nearer the meter or consumer unit as in my case the separation in probably 20-25m in terms of cabling?
Cheers  Charles
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TT
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 12:12:14 PM »

It needs to be at the consumer unit end.
The end closest to the main fuse is just local isolation-fusing required due to the tails longer than2.5 m or 3 metres in length.

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charlesd
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2018, 02:28:47 PM »

It needs to be at the consumer unit end.
The end closest to the main fuse is just local isolation-fusing required due to the tails longer than 2.5 m or 3 metres in length.

Thanks that's what I was hoping and should make the cabling a bit easier.

Routing the cable as intend it will go through the garage before entering the house so my next question is the garage wall a good location for the Inverter and whatever goes with it or should it be outside like in some sort of meter type cupboard? Or does it not matter where they go?


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JohnS
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2018, 02:47:28 PM »


It needs to be at the consumer unit end.
The end closest to the main fuse is just local isolation-fusing required due to the tails longer than 2.5 m or 3 metres in length.


Is there a reason for that?

If it is more convenient, I would have thought that you could put a Henley block next to the isolator and feed the inverter into it via a mini consumer unit, eg a 'garage' unit.  Using Henley blocks is a well recognised way to install solar PV and it has many advantages over feeding into the consumer unit.  My install is doe via a Henley block as there was no spare mcb in the consumer unit.

Warning: I am not a qualified electrician.
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2.1kWp solar PV
Pat_
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2018, 07:21:16 PM »


It needs to be at the consumer unit end.
The end closest to the main fuse is just local isolation-fusing required due to the tails longer than 2.5 m or 3 metres in length.


Is there a reason for that?

If it is more convenient, I would have thought that you could put a Henley block next to the isolator and feed the inverter into it via a mini consumer unit, eg a 'garage' unit.  Using Henley blocks is a well recognised way to install solar PV and it has many advantages over feeding into the consumer unit.  My install is doe via a Henley block as there was no spare mcb in the consumer unit.

Warning: I am not a qualified electrician.

Plus one. I fitted a Henley block. It solves many issues related to RCDs, and it allows proper import/export monitoring.
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rogeriko
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2018, 11:17:32 PM »

If you want to use all your generated power on site and not export any then the inverter has to be in the garage and connected to the consumer unit where your Immersun will go, for hot water, and your Zappi, to charge your electric car and many other things that havnt even been invented yet.
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linesrg
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« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2018, 05:32:39 AM »

Charles,

As rogeriko says if you are planning on using diversion devices then go with sticking the inverter near your consumer unit. My incoming mains is 45mtrs away from the consumer unit in my kitchen.

I had to run 40mtrs of Cat5 cable to connect the Immersun 1070 wireless monitor to a point where the Immersun unit in the Utility Room could 'see' it.

Installing the likes of a Powerwall or Powervault at my property would be 'difficult' to say the least and I'm not sure the technology yet exists to facilitate a smart meter being fully functional.

I have considered having the electric meter moved from the far side of the steading to the near side and this may yet be required to get a functional smart meter and I'm not at all sure who would have to pay for that.

Inverter installation instructions would advise that the inverters should be installed in an open location so you wouldn't want to be boxing them in, my SMA's can generate quite a bit of heat when working.

Regards

Richard
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1.28kW on a Lorentz ETATRACK1000 + 1.44kW/ SB3000TL-21 (FIT), 1.28kW/ SB1700 (ROO/FIT). CTC GSi12 heat pump/Ecosol/Flowbox 8010e/Gledhill ASL0085 EHS/3off Navitron 4720AL Solar ET & Immersun T1060/T1070/T1090. 3.375kW/ SMA SB3600TL-21 and a Sunny Island 4.4M-12 c/w 15.2kWh battery and a Renault Zoe.
charlesd
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« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2018, 07:50:00 AM »


I have considered having the electric meter moved from the far side of the steading to the near side and this may yet be required to get a functional smart meter and I'm not at all sure who would have to pay for that.
Hi Richard.
My current meter and consumer unit locations came about as a result of some major house renovations in 2016 and involved quite a bit of discussion and a number of site visits from western power. The result of which was there was no way I could have the meter located any where other than where the supply cable terminated. In addition I was not permitted to have the supply cable running through my house or around the outside.
The guy from western power was actually really helpful and said that the set up in most houses wouldn't be approved by them now if asked but as most people don't bother to ask they stay as they are.
In my circumstance as I was removing the roof and the pole the supply came ln to I had to follow there rules and pay the bill. So I suspect you may have the same issues if you wanted to relocate and the costs can be really high. Although I eventually negotiated a sensible amount I started of with a quote of around 10k to move a pole 10 yards and relocate the meter and this was because they condemned the old pole and meter location!!
Cheers Charles
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charlesd
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2018, 12:54:29 PM »

Quick question while I'm filling out planning app.
Assuming I'm making my frame fixed what's the best angle for the panels to sit at and am I correct the due south facing is best?
Cheers Charles
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rogeriko
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2018, 01:02:41 PM »

Due south is best but try to devise a way to tilt the panels up and down its not difficult to hinge the bottom and then make the tops adjustable. Otherwise 30 degrees is the standard. Go to PVGIS to work out the best angles for the different seasons.    http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/apps4/pvest.php#
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charlesd
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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2018, 02:43:47 PM »

Due south is best but try to devise a way to tilt the panels up and down its not difficult to hinge the bottom and then make the tops adjustable. Otherwise 30 degrees is the standard. Go to PVGIS to work out the best angles for the different seasons.    http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/apps4/pvest.php#
Thanks Roger.
I'm looking at making the frame adjustable if i can but for the planning app 30 degrees should suffice. I doubt there going to come out and measure the angle after there up after all.
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charlesd
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« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2018, 05:28:59 PM »

OK planning app is in now I need to build a shopping list.
I'm intending to make mounting frames myself I'm an OK welder so its just getting a rough drawing together and ordering steel.
Panels and inverters I'm not sure about at all. There seems too much choice for a novice so is there any general advice. What separates a 100 panel from a 400 one and are any differences worth it? Are there any good suppliers/brands that can be recommended? What I've seen regarding inverters so far seems to suggest you get what you pay for and research has led me to a few brands (SMA/Fronius/solar edge), should I be looking at others ?
Cheers Charles
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nowty
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« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2018, 06:59:38 PM »

Panels - Usually the 400 ones are high efficiency, like the LG or Panasonic but that is only of use if you have a finite small roof area and need as much wattage as possible for a fixed area.

As you have a field, as long as you have got permission for a reasonable amount of area, then cheap standard 250w panels will do. It then comes down to how attractive you want the panels, i.e. all black ones cost a little more than the cheapest blueish polycrystalline ones. As long as they are MCS approved, there is not much between them in terms of quality.

Examples,

Cheap standard - 95 for 260w

Mid price all black - 150 for 300w (all black)

Expensive high efficiency - 346 for 340w

As you can see the cost per kW can vary considerably but if you have 5kW of cheap panels installed you still generate the same as 5kW of expensive panels.


Inverters - Traditionally it has been better to stick to the better brands like SMA, ABB, etc, but the cheaper Chinese stuff has improved so you could consider some of the stuff from Growatt or Sofar. I would consider a second hand inverter and buy two so you have a spare. In fact my SMA inverters are all second hand with a spare one in the shed for good measure and significantly cheaper than buying new and paying extra for the extended warranty.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 07:12:58 PM by stannn » Logged

11kW+ of PV installed and 50+ MWh generated.
Usable battery storage of 45+ kWh.
Hot Water storage of 15+ kWh.
Heat storage of 15+ kWh.
6kW Ground Source Heatpump.
230,000+ litres of water harvested from underground river.
Home grown Fruit and Veg.
stannn
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« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2018, 07:15:48 PM »

Nowty, although you are a star I have removed your links to PV on eBay. You cannot expect Navitron to approve of advertising rivals. Right, play on.
Stan
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2.45 kWp PV (Navitron supply), 40 evacuated tubes (Navitron supply), Clearview 650 log burner with back-boiler heating cottage and water, 2 off 50W border collies, 1 off 35W cat, 1 off 25W cat.
offthegridandy
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« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2018, 08:42:25 PM »

Charlesd. To avoid rust and interaction between steel and the panels frames aluminium, why not use aluminium profile  for the mounting frames as well. I have 4.5Kw of panels, all ground mounted on treated timber frame work, metposted into  the ground with aluminium sub frames for the panels to drop into.  Been up for years now and still  going well.

There is a thread here somewhere if your interested.

Andy
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8 KVA Lister TS2 Startamatic Genny
24 Volt 1000amp battery bank
Outback VFX3024
4.6 Kw PV array permanently ground mounted
Outback Flexmax 80
2 X Flexmax 30 PV CC
2.5 Kw wind turbine H Piggot design 4.5 Mtr Dia
12 Mtr free standing Tower.
u/floor heating from oil boiler cross linked to 12 Kw
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