Maximise the efficiency of your solar PV
How can you maximise the efficiency of your solar PV system?
When a solar photovoltaic (PV) system is generating more electricity than the home is using the ‘excess’ energy is usually exported to the grid. Home owners normally receive an extra payment for this exported energy from their energy supplier, in addition to the payments they receive for generating renewable energy via the feed-in tariff or other incentives.
But since a unit (kWh) of electricity always costs a home owner more to buy from the grid than they receive for exporting energy it makes sense to use as much of the energy a solar PV system generates as possible. Obviously there is no point in turning on lights, or other devices which do not need to be on, but if the ‘excess’ energy can be diverted into things which can store the energy, or make use of it to avoid buying electricity in the evening or at night, there are big savings to be made. Controlling a PV system in this way makes great sense and can reduce the time it takes for the system to ‘pay back’ its’ installation cost.
Wattson, the makers of the Solar Plus and other electricity monitoring solutions used to sell two products to help home owners control their PV systems in this way. The first was the Optiplug, which picked up signals from the Wattson Solar or Wattson Solar Plus (or Wattson XL, if it is set up to record energy generation as well as energy usage). The second was the Optimmersion, a stand alone controller which diverts ‘excess’ solar energy into the immersion heater in your hot water tank.
Wattson are no longer in business but you can still buy a solar immersion to maximise the efficiency of solar PV. Check out the following products:
- PowerFlow E.R.S Mini Solar Immersion Heater (£520)
- PowerFlow E.R.S PRO 6kW Solar Immersion Heater (£750)
- Solic 200 Solar Power Immersion Heater (£140)
See our Top 10 energy saving tips.