Homeowner Blog

Are Solar Batteries Worth It in 2021?

George Riley · 07 Jul 2021

Good Energy estimates that the UK will need 23-55 GWh of domestic storage to reach net zero, which is equivalent to 1.5-4 million Tesla Powerwall sized batteries in people’s houses. Why? Because battery storage in homes is vital to help people use more renewable energy, reduce the evening peak demand and avoid costly transmission upgrades to the national grid.

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall

Talking All Things Solar with Mark Sanders

George Riley · 12 May 2021

We went to speak to Mark Sanders, one of our most enthusiastic customers, about his experience with solar PV and Tesla Powerwall.

Watch our chat in the video below:

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Topics: Battery storage, EV charging, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

Solar PV Monitoring Solutions: The Best Apps and Platforms

George Riley · 01 Apr 2021

Image: SolarEdge.

Since solar panels are static, there’s little to actually, well, see when they’re generating. Sure, it’s nice to start receiving smaller energy bills but, if you’re like most of our customers, you’ll want to dig into the performance data every now and then.

As well as checking when the most solar power is being generated (a useful reminder to turn on the dishwasher and make the most of that free electricity), solar monitoring is great for reviewing past output and comparing performance. Sudden drops can indicate faults that need fixing, or help assess if it’s worth giving the panels a clean.

Wondering which solar PV monitoring solutions are the best? Read on...

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Topics: Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall, Inverters

Tesla Energy Plan for Solar PV and Powerwall

George Riley · 05 Nov 2020

We’re entering a period of dramatic change for the energy sector. From smaller independents breaking the hold of the Big 6 and consumers generating their own solar power to dynamic pricing plans and smart homes.

The latest innovation is one that combines all of these: Octopus’s Tesla Energy Plan. Previously this was only available to Tesla vehicle owners, but now it’s open to everyone with solar PV and Powerwall battery storage.

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Topics: Battery storage, EV charging, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

Upgrading Your Home Battery to Backup

Mark Golding · 25 Mar 2020

In light of the recent news, the idea of being grid independent with your own power cut protection has become a lot more attractive. 

We have had a number of customers interested in upgrading their solar PV or battery systems to protect them from power cuts. As we mentioned in a previous blog, a solar PV system alone will not protect you from an outage. With no batteries, if the power goes out, your PV system will switch off. This is a safety mechanism so that you do not discharge any excess PV energy to the grid and seriously injure someone if they are working to repair the grid near your house!

Even if you have a battery, some of them will not be able to island your property from the grid, which is the crucial step needed to have a backup system. Batteries need to follow strict DNO regulations to operate during a power outage as well, and will always need prior grid permission before installing.

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall

Do You Need Power Cut Protection?

George Riley · 11 Feb 2020

At the end of January, thousands of homes local to us across Reading, Bracknell and Basingstoke suffered power outages for an average of 3 hours. This past week, Storm Ciara denied over 500,000 of us access to electricity. And last August the country was hit by the worst blackout in a decade, affecting hospitals, trains and over a million people. 

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall

Spirit’s Year in Review 2019

David Woon · 19 Dec 2019

Now that Christmas is less than a week away and the new year is just around the corner, it only seems right to reflect on what has been quite an eventful year for the solar and renewables industry.

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Topics: Battery storage, Spirit Energy news, EV charging, zappi, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

Victor Kiam and the Tesla Powerwall: So Impressed I Bought the Company

Erica Charles · 12 Apr 2019

Yesterday I had my own modest version of a Victor Kiam moment.

If you are too young to remember Mr Kiam, spend 30 seconds watching this… Mr Kiam's famous line ‘I loved the shaver so much I bought the company’ was the cornerstone of a hugely successful 1979 advertising campaign.

Mr Kiam was swept away by the joy of a sharp shave. For me it was Tesla and the sheer passion with which they are pursuing their mission ‘to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy’.

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall

Power Cut? Not My Problem... Tesla Powerwall's Solar Panel Backup

Erica Charles · 01 Mar 2019

The long-awaited Powerwall 2 backup capability is ‘on the water’, with the first wave of deliveries expected in April.  There’s a two stage roll-out, based on the type of earthing system required. Stage 2 will be in August.

If you are familiar with the Powerwall system, you will know that the system consists of the Powerwall unit itself, which houses the battery and the inverter, along with a ‘gateway’ which provides remote connectivity.

The original gateway, ‘GW 1’, was a plastic fronted box providing remote connectivity to the system.

From April this will be upgraded to a new gateway, GW 2, a stylish frosted glass-fronted ‘mini’ version of Powerwall 2, measuring 380mm wide x 580mm tall x 127mm deep, and weighing 9.8kg.  It is IP55 rated, so suitable for outdoors, and can be padlocked to stop any unwanted access.

The main purpose of the gateway upgrade is to enable ‘backup’ capability so that the homeowner can still power their home in a power cut.

So confident is Tesla that all customers will want the new backup enabled system, that they are actually expecting to discontinue GW 1 altogether, even though GW 1 offers a lower cost entry point into the Powerwall 2 system.

Tesla has certainly done its research. According to the company, in the nine month period 18/6/18 – 18/2/19 there were 93,965 unique power cut incidents in the UK, typically lasting between 15 mins and 4 hours and impacting 2 million customers. Anyone with a solar panel backup system in place would be smiling now....

[Apparently there are 22,200  online searches for "Schadenfreude" every month in the UK.  I wonder if Mr Musk has checked that stat out ....]

 

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Topics: Battery storage, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

Tesla Time-of-Use Goes Live: Is 2018 the Year for Time-of-Use Tariffs?

Henry Day · 13 Apr 2018

Tesla recently confirmed that their eagerly anticipated Time-Based Control feature for Powerwall 2 is being rolled out to existing systems. 

We are now able to reveal the functionality available (and to confirm that as expected it's pretty comprehensive)...

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall