Menu

Beware the villians mis-selling SolarEdge upgrades!

Solaredge power optimiser mounted behind solar panel

Solaredge power optimiser
mounted behind solar panel

Every industry has its villains and the solar PV industry is no different. Many have been pushing voltage optimisers and all sorts of other nonsense products for years, and now their salesmen are overstating the benefits of SolarEdge in order to grab a bit more of your hard-earned cash.

As a SolarEdge Advanced Installer we install many SolarEdge systems, both for new installations and for upgrades to existing systems. The benefits of improved yields, high reliability, unsurpassed monitoring, safety and long warranties are clear.

However, in the case of upgrades to existing systems it can be quite an additional investment over and above the initial cost of the solar PV system. Scaffolding will usually be required and as it’s not a new installation the full 20% VAT rate is applicable. It is important therefore to ensure that you understand what you are getting for your money.

SolarEdge themselves state that the additional yield from a SolarEdge system compared to a standard inverter is between 2% and 25%. Only if your solar panels are badly shaded can an additional 25% yield be had by retro-fitting SolarEdge optimisers and inverter.

However, on unshaded systems the increase in yield is likely to be under 5%. If your motivation for upgrading to SolarEdge is for the monitoring or long warranty then fair enough, but if you’ve been told that your unshaded panels will generate much more electricity then the salesman is lying to you and does not deserve your business.

We’re regularly hearing from people who have been approached by unscrupulous companies offering SolarEdge upgrades who are massively overstating the benefits and also charging ridiculous money. For guidance on the cost, we can retrofit SolarEdge optimisers to a typical 16-panel 4kW system from around £2300 including scaffolding and VAT.

Naturally for complicated scaffolding or more than 16 panels this cost may increase, but a recent caller told us that a certain Southport-based company had quoted £4500 to upgrade their unshaded solar PV system to SolarEdge and that it would boost their yields by 25%. Total bull and a complete rip-off.

The golden rule here is that companies that buy your contact details and then phone you up out of the blue are all villains, regardless of what particular products they are peddling. Next time, tell them where to go!

 

New! The Sonnen energy storage system

Sonnen energy storage system

The sonnenBatterie is a high-tech storage system that has proven itself in thousands of households – every day. The combination of a PV system and a sonnenBatterie will allow you to cover about 75% of your yearly energy requirement with self-produced and clean energy. Since your energy is being generated on your roof and not by some anonymous energy provider you are more independent than before.

So take your energy future into your own hands and reduce your energy costs to a minimum. The decision for a sonnenBatterie is also a decision for the highest standards in safety and quality that “Made in Germany” stands for.

Sonnen comes with class-leading monitoring using a web portal or smartphone app. This also allows you to control devices in the home to respond to surplus generated electricity, or you can switch devices on or off remotely.

The device shown on the left is the Sonnen main unit which contains one 2kWh lithium battery. Further 2kWh batteries can be added either at the time of purchase, or at any time thereafter. The system is therefore very flexible and can be adapted to any environment.

Contact us for pricing.

 

Special Offer! 4kW solar PV system fitted, just £4850!

This listing is an example price for a 4kW solar PV system fully fitted with online monitoring and a ten year warranty.

We use solar panels and inverters from various leading manufacturers and each installation is designed according to the requirements of the customer. We don’t just bulk buy one model of solar panel unlike other companies. We also use top quality mounting systems from Schletter and GSE that will not corrode or fall apart.

We never subcontract the installation work, every installation we have ever completed was designed and installed by the company’s owner.

All our installations are registered with MCS and we even complete the FIT paperwork for you.

If you want an honest survey with no hard sell then give us a call on 01772 311016 or email us at info@redelectrical.co.uk

The price quoted here is for a straightforward installation on a two storey house where we are able to use our own scaffolding. If we require a more complex scaffold then the cost will be higher. Upgrades to SolarEdge and/or battery storage are available.

Coming soon! SolarEdge Inverter-Integrated EV charger

SolarEdge are about to launch a smart EV charger that can use solar PV power to boost the charge current and reduce charge times.

Scheduled for release at the end of 2017 – watch this space!

We’ve just installed one of the first Tesla Powerwall 2!

Tesla Powerwall 2

Tesla Powerwall 2

The Tesla App showing power flow

We took delivery of one of first batches of Powerwall 2 units last week. Here is the first one, installed and working. The app shows surplus from the solar panels feeding into the battery for use later on.

Give us a call to order your Powerwall 2 today!

 

The arrival of the first UK batch of Powerwall 2 is next week!

We’re expecting our first Powerwall 2 shipment next week.

Looking forward to the first installation of this amazing product, all trained and ready to go.

Look out for some photos very soon.

Third-party maintenance contracts and Matt:e SolarPV+ optimisation device

It has come to my attention that there is a company in Liverpool that is cold-calling owners of solar PV systems offering them so-called “upgrades” and maintenance contracts. This is a scam.

Firstly, I would like to give an assurance that I have never shared my customers’ telephone numbers with third parties, and never will. My advice has always been that organisations that cold-call are seldom reputable. You should steer clear of them. They will sometimes claim that they have got your number from MCS. This isn’t true either – click here for confirmation: http://www.microgenerationcertification.org/about-us/news-and-events/359-solar-pv-thermal-upgrades-and-maintenance-in-partnership-with-mcs

The company appears to be marketing a voltage optimisation (VO) device that they’re calling “SolarPV+” and also a monthly maintenance / breakdown insurance. Let’s deal with these one at once:

“Matt:e SolarPV+” Voltage Optimisation device

According to the information on the company’s website:

Extract from ESE's website

Extract from their website

The implication is that without this device, your inverter will regularly detect an over-voltage condition and automatically shut down. This is complete nonsense.

If a healthy inverter ever shuts down due to high mains voltage, either the cable to the inverter is sized too small for its length of run, or the mains voltage exceeds statutory limits. If it’s the cable then it will need replacing. If it’s the grid voltage then the DNO (Electricity Northwest in this area) are obliged to correct it. No gimmicky gadget required and no fee to pay.

Solar PV maintenance or breakdown insurance

Apparently the company are offering this service at something approaching £20 per month. That’s £240 per year, or £1200 over five years. A lot of money.

Solar PV systems are inherently very reliable but do occasionally go wrong. When they do, the most common fault is a defective inverter. If yours fails and is outside its manufacturer’s warranty, you may be looking at a cost of £650 to have it replaced (based on a typical 4kW system). This new inverter would have its own five year warranty, which can be extended to ten years for a nominal fee.

Conclusion

Many people have often drawn parallels with the solar panel industry and old-style double glazing. Salesman’s patter and gimmicky products are the undesirable side of the business, and there remain lots of shyster companies lining their pockets.

If your PV system is working correctly then there is no need to do anything. If, however, it develops a fault, give us a call on 01772 311016. No silly gadgets or monthly policies will be offered.

 

NPower Announce Huge Price Increase

Announced today Npower will raise standard tariff electricity prices by 15% from 16 March resulting in an increase of around £100 for average households in the UK.

The increase is due to the rise in the wholesale cost of electricity, therefore other suppliers are likely to follow suit.

You can read the BBC article here

Solar panels are a great way to take permanent control of your energy prices. Give us a call for a quotation.

 

Slash your electricity bills with the new TIDE tariff from Green Energy UK – even WITHOUT solar panels!

TIDE

Electricity
Daily Fixed Charge 24.00p
WEEKDAY
 –  unit/kWh 4.99p
 –  unit/kWh 11.99p
 –  unit/kWh 24.99p
 –  unit/kWh 11.99p
WEEKEND
 –  unit/kWh 4.99p
 –  unit/kWh 11.99p
Gas
Daily Fixed Charge 25.00p
Per unit/kWh 3.59p

All prices include VAT

The new TIDE electricity tariff from Green Energy UK could cut your electricity bill by hundreds of pounds.

When you sign up for the TIDE tariff, Green Energy UK will arrange to fit a smart meter to your home, free of charge. This allows you to take advantage of their time-of-use tariff, which has four charging periods per day, starting at just 4.99p per unit of electricity. Multi-rate tariffs are common for businesses and industry, but now domestic customers can take advantage of them too. All the rates are in the table opposite.

You are probably wondering how can this save you money when the peak rate is 5 times higher than the headline-grabbing rate. The answer is that you need to ensure that your electricity usage occurs during the cheapest charging rate.

Firstly, energy-hungry appliances such as your washing machine and dishwasher can be timed to come on during the 4.99p charging period.

Secondly, you could install a battery storage system to ‘time-shift’ your usage so that you don’t use electricity during the expensive part of the day.

More information on TIDE can be found by clicking this link

Powerwall 2

Tesla Powerwall 2

Powerwall 2 can store up to 13.5 units of electricity in its lithium ion cells. It can charge itself up overnight while the electricity price is very low, then strategically release the stored electricity when the price is higher, preventing you from using the more expensive rate of electricity. It will do this every day of the year, saving you money on your electricity bill. Even without solar panels.

Of course, if you do have solar panels you can also be charging Powerwall 2 for free during the day.

Introducing Tesla Powerwall 2

As a Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer, we at RED Electrical are excited to announce the launch of the second generation Powerwall.

Powerwall 2 stores double the amount of solar energy to power your home day and night.

With Powerwall you can store solar energy generated during the day for use any time. During the day, the sun shines on your solar panels, charging your battery. At night, your home draws electricity from your battery, powering your home with clean, sustainable energy 24/7.

Installing Powerwall with RED Electrical is easy. We take care of everything from system design, permitting, right through to installation.

Powerwall consists of a 14 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, liquid thermal control system, an integrated inverter and software that intelligently dispatches electricity when it’s needed most. The unit mounts seamlessly on a wall or on the ground, indoors or outdoors.

Powerwall 2 is available from Febrary 2017.

Powerwall can provide a number of benefits

Increasing self-consumption of solar power generation –Powerwall can store surplus solar energy during daylight hours and use that energy later when the sun is not shining.
Load shifting – Powerwall can charge during low rate periods when demand for electricity is lower and discharge during more expensive rate periods when electricity demand is higher.
Back-up power – Assures power in the event of a grid outage.

Powerwall 2 specs:

Mounting: Wall or Floor Mounted, Indoor/Outdoor
Inverter: Fully integrated Tesla inverter
Usable Capacity: 13.5 kWh
Power: 5 kW continuous, 7 kW peak
Round Trip Efficiency: 90%
Operating Temperature Range: –20°C to 50°C (–4°F to 122°F)
Warranty: 10 years
Dimensions: 1150 mm x 755 mm x 155 mm (45.3 in x 29.7 in x 6.1 in)