Neutral Home 6: The Energy Data is Illuminating !
We have been running the new PV array and battery storage for eight weeks now and my first discovery is how illuminating and interesting the data I get from the GivEnergy cloud portal is and how much more I needed to understand to powering our home off-grid.
Tommy at Clique Energy was right in telling me that it was worth waiting to understand the data before committing to the ongoing design of how much power generation and storage capacity I was really going to need. It is indeed a more complex problem than I first envisaged and a few things have come to light.
For example my house is actually supplied by more than 250 volts from the Grid most of the time (not 240V) because we are much closer to the sub station and therefore there is a case for a voltage optimizer for the property with 4-8% energy savings potential !...I am weighing up whether the £2,500 investment is worth it ?
Secondly the three phase power supply essentially creates the need for three separate generator-and-battery systems and depending how well we have balanced the electrical loads on each phase drives how optimally each phase battery is used !...our phases are currently not well balanced and thus I have energy trapped in one full battery and a little in the other two !...We will fix this with newer electrical loads that are about to be added.
The good news is even with the short Jan/Feb days we have been able to generate an average of 8 kWh/day with a peak of 22.3 kWh/day and that means the Tigo solar optimizers are doing a good job with the low sun angles at this time of year.
But the difference from a sunny bright day to a gloomy rainy day is 5 times more generation! We hope that we will be 3-4 times this level of generation when those bright long June days come along!
I have to say the GivEnergy portal is excellent, providing real time view of the energy balance of the house and the opportunity to optimize the battery charge/discharge pattern to benefit from half hourly pricing tarrifs.
I know need to get stuck in to some excessive energy consumption patterns I am now detecting !