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Solar panels & lithium battery

1625 Views 45 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  JK-KIAEV6
Hi folks
I am thinking if installing some solar panels & a lithium battery to help/provide the electricity for my EV6 (when I get it) does anyone have the panels and battery installed and do they provide adequate electricity to charge your vehicle. Are these panels and batteries worth while or is the cost too great to be beneficial.
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Okay, sit down please for this one. I reside in San Diego county, CA. Our utility rates are significantly more than what you are paying based on 124p to a US dollar rate. And because there are 7 rate schedules and the bills are very complicated, the state government has passed a law to simplify the bills for consumers to understand. So the utility companies propose that the monthly bills include a flat charge of $25 USD to $120 USD based on your taxable income in exchange for a simple bill!
Sit down for this one.. because of Texas deregulated market, our best billing company (Octopus) is launching there right now! 😂
Sit down for this one.. because of Texas deregulated market, our best billing company (Octopus) is launching there right now! 😂
But Octopus has known issues with chargers and the Kia EV6.

I wonder if they are going to resolve these issues as well.

When I saw my dealer today they have been told that the Octopus company is still beta testing roll out resolution of flattening the EV6 battery by it's continued asking the car if it wants charging meaning the car turns on and off a lot and flattens the battery.

Plus there peak hour rate is one of the highest so you have to do your maths based on how much you charge your EV 6 against daily usage,

Currently for me the Octopus rates and not the cheapest despite the cheaper night time rate.

With energy prices falling and the market starting to recover more deals will be made available so it's a sit tight and watch this space in the UK.
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Octopus smart tariff is currently working fine with my ev6. Coupled with having a house battery, 95% of our electricity use through the year is on the 7.5p off peak rate.
Octopus smart tariff is currently working fine with my ev6. Coupled with having a house battery, 95% of our electricity use through the year is on the 7.5p off peak rate.
Are you doing it via a Zappi or an Ohme? Because then it is the charger performing the "wake up", not the car.
Are you doing it via a Zappi or an Ohme? Because then it is the charger performing the "wake up", not the car.
Zappi, but the Zappi integration isn't running yet and IO was set up with our Podpoint charger.
Energy bills in the UK drop.

Capped rates,

ELECTRICITY unit rate,
  • 30p per kWh
  • Standing charge: 53p per day
  • These are caps on unit rates (not a cap on total bills) and vary by region, Ofgem has cautioned.
Makes solar even more long term to repay for me.

With this new drop in rates means it would take almost 10 years to break even on a solar and battery setup for me. :mad:
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But Octopus has known issues with chargers and the Kia EV6.

I wonder if they are going to resolve these issues as well.

When I saw my dealer today they have been told that the Octopus company is still beta testing roll out resolution of flattening the EV6 battery by it's continued asking the car if it wants charging meaning the car turns on and off a lot and flattens the battery.

Plus there peak hour rate is one of the highest so you have to do your maths based on how much you charge your EV 6 against daily usage,

Currently for me the Octopus rates and not the cheapest despite the cheaper night time rate.

With energy prices falling and the market starting to recover more deals will be made available so it's a sit tight and watch this space in the UK.
Obviously "Best" is a subjective thing.. Generally their billing is accurate and simple, customer service is decent etc etc. The API access that they give you for 3rd party apps is really good too.
I would say they are well placed to shake up the US market which sounds horrendously complex.
I think you could be right. If prices for electricity were to fall to 20p peak, the economic case for adding panels and a battery would be pretty shaky. Octopus do a Tracker tariff which is at that point already. But it's also likely that prices will rise again in the near future. I'm sure in 3 or 4 years time 35-40p peak will be standard again.
I think you're right, the trend for the next few years will be up. For me the system will easily pay back in its lifetime and within the time we are in this house. And it's the right thing to do.
I cannot understand why new houses are allowed to be built without solar and battery
I cannot understand why new houses are allowed to be built without solar and battery
The cynic in me thinks it's because it will eat into CEO bonuses, but I guess there are practical reasons.

Some houses may not have optimal facing roofspace and everyone's use case is different. There isn't a one size fits all solution.

Supply is bad enough without a Government mandate.

It seems crazy to be adding heat pumps without a method to keep electric bills down.

But it seems obvious that its the equivalent of adding a power station if it was 100k homes for significantly less money (could even be free to the taxpayer if the housebuyer shoulders 100 of the costs).
This array you see in my profile is a 10Kw array I installed myself, it was put in right before net metering was abolished in Michigan. I'm grandfathered in for 10 years but the catch is that I cannot modify it or the terms would change.

It pays to do some research and DYI, mine has almost paid for itself. The installation passed structural and electrical inspection and is connected to the grid. What a beautiful day was today, almost perfect. It saved me about 50% for installing it myself. It took several weeks but it's well worth it. I'm tempted to add more panels now that I can find them lightly used on eBay and Facebook marketplace. One recommendation, use SolarEdge inverters and optimizers if you can, they are so much better than micro inverters or string inverters. I took a class online and I'm a certified SolarEdge installer now.

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In the UK it is critical that your installer is MCS certified and I would advise that they don't even start your installation until you have DNO approval and the installer can provide written proof of this, otherwise you will have no end of problems getting your export payments set up.
I haven't read the thread, but given the big difference between off-peak and peak prices, isn't it a more lower cost and efficient system to just not bother with solar at all and simply install a battery to charge at the cheap rate and use at the expensive rate. Although at times certain parts of the UK would be good for sun, many parts aren't, and in winter where we have really short days, that is even more the case. Just build a power storage system and forget about solar seems to be the way to go ?
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The cynic in me thinks it's because it will eat into CEO bonuses, but I guess there are practical reasons.

Some houses may not have optimal facing roofspace and everyone's use case is different. There isn't a one size fits all solution.

Supply is bad enough without a Government mandate.

It seems crazy to be adding heat pumps without a method to keep electric bills down.

But it seems obvious that its the equivalent of adding a power station if it was 100k homes for significantly less money (could even be free to the taxpayer if the housebuyer shoulders 100 of the costs).
You may be right on the bonuses but in another way the simple solution would be to add the panels and put the price of the house up to cover.

It is far easier to install the system when the house is built then to add to an already build house.

plus if a house has them and was an extra 10K to buy you would not know as your be buying the house with the panels fitted.

As others have said should be made legal requirement to have panels and EV charge points on all new built homes and not down to the discretion of the builder.
I haven't read the thread, but given the big difference between off-peak and peak prices, isn't it a more lower cost and efficient system to just not bother with solar at all and simply install a battery to charge at the cheap rate and use at the expensive rate. Although at times certain parts of the UK would be good for sun, many parts aren't, and in winter where we have really short days, that is even more the case. Just build a power storage system and forget about solar seems to be the way to go ?
I would agree if you can't do both then just having a battery makes a huge difference.
I would agree if you can't do both then just having a battery makes a huge difference.
I reckon it's a easier and cheaper install. I assume you recoup the cost of the initial capital a lot quicker. And I suspect many have a dwelling that is suitable for battery, but not suitable for solar panels (space, planning, roof not facing the optimal direction etc). And if you plan ahead, you can always add the panels later should you wish/able to do so.

I guess the "halo" feature of a full install is a notion of at least partially being energy self-sufficient.
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I'm very new to Solar, having only just had a good sized array fitted (April 2023) with 40 year guarantee on the solar panels (Sunpower Maxeon 3 all black 420w each x 24). I have a 25 year guaranteed 8 KWh SolarEdge invertor for this. I am awaiting the installation in just over 2 weeks time (12 June 2023) of a Tesla 13.5 KWh battery system, plus an Myenergi EDDI for the hot-water system to be heated using solar. Now in the month of May in the UK we are having better sunnier weather and the system I have is producing high 60KWh+ for the day. (One assumes that potentially higher in excess of topping the 70KWh in the real summer months). I fully expect that the car (EV6 GTLS AWD with HP arriving 05th July 2023) will quickly reach full capacity during the late spring, all summer and early autumn months - potentially costing me nothing to run the car! I'm seeing how great the solar is with seeing that I'm paying nothing for using household appliances during the day and drinking free hot cups of tea and coffee whilst sitting in my hot-tub that is being freely heated too. I'm moving onto Octopus energy from 31 May 2023 (When my existing fixed heavily discounted contract term end with my supplier. Whilst there is a waiting list for Octopus Flux tariff, I can move freely onto the Octopus Agile or Go tariffs and benefit from any excess energy being exported under Smart Export. Theoretically I should be able to export during the key 4pm - 7pm timeframe and benefit from the high return received for exporting power earning around 38p p KWh. In the winter I can use my battery and still benefit from this income which at minimum will help to pay the standing charge. Payback on this system is 4.7 years for info and I do appreciate that this is best estimate and I'm yet to see what my bills are in the coming months. I have many friends that have solar systems and have seen their bills reduced down to almost nothing for the year! As I see more information gathered, I will share on here.
Happy and safe driving
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Can I be rude and ask how much this has cost you as it sound way more then the systems I have been quoted and they are quoting upto 10 years to break even based on the tariffs.

Interested where the 4.5 years quote has come from.

Any assistance would be appreciated.
If you are on an EV tariff from suppliers such as Octopus then having home battery storage can make your leccy bills very small indeed.
I have 33kWh of Battery at home plus solar and a Heat Pump. I'm on an EV tariff and get cheap rate power for 5 hours a night. That's when I charge my car and home batteries. Last calendar year, my leccy bill including charging my car and standing orders was £363.00.
It is not that I don't use the battery to charge my car. I did just that today. I'd charged them to 100% with solar and then put the granny charger on (2.5kW). Solar provided most of it but the rest came from the batteries. THAT is not the point really.
The point of home battery storage is that it needs to be part of a grand plan for your home. I run my home even in winter from the batteries (ideally I need another 8.3kWh but I get by). They charge at night at £0.045/kWh rather than at £0.30+/kWh peak rate.
Managing the whole thing does take some getting used to. Despite what some companies may say, there is no one simple solution to managing the home. Many of these companies are looking towards micro-grids and selling power back to the grid. Some of the deals for the latter are frankly insulting and should not be seen as a way to make money (that has to be declared to HMRC by the way as it is income).

Finally, my leccy bill so far this year is £166.00 approx. This includes £36.00 charging my car at cheap rates.
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Can I be rude and ask how much this has cost you as it sound way more then the systems I have been quoted and they are quoting upto 10 years to break even based on the tariffs.

Interested where the 4.5 years quote has come from.

Any assistance would be appreciated.
Hello JK-KIAEV6, £23K for my system in total which was my choice on spec that pushed it up past the £20K mark.
The payback period quoted was from the supplier whom I've already sent a previous PM on.

Update: I had confirmation of the changeover yesterday from Octopus, following my supply of my meter readings for both Gas and Electric. I am moving over onto the Octopus Flux tariff at this very time which I thought and was told that there was a waiting list, but I have this now confirmed when looking at my account on-line. There is a process to follow for the changeover and not sure how long this will take so I'm on the standard Octopus tariff in the interim (which might sound annoying, but I have the solar working and my gas usage is low during this warm sunnier months. I also have the Tesla battery system being installed on 12 June, so Monday week I should be up and running.
Happy and safe driving
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