In June 2021, Spirit installed a 9.13kWp solar system for Mr J in Bracknell. We’d previously fitted an Andersen EV chargepoint in 2020, and are due to return to add a Tesla Powerwall battery later this year.
Mr J describes the experience best in his own words:
“We've always been very interested in environmental issues and have tried to do our best to minimise our impact. As a result, solar PV is something that has been in the back of our minds for a while, but we had never done more than vaguely ponder it from time to time.
Last September we switched our car from an ICE to a BEV (Volkswagen ID.3) and we got Spirit Energy to install our home charger (Andersen A2 - an excellent piece of kit I have to say). We've been very pleased with the car and charger, and the home charging aspect led us to switch supplier to Octopus (we are on the Go Faster tariff).
I was aware that the Andersen charger has quite good support for charging from solar (one of several reasons that made us choose it in the first place) and that kind of set a train in motion which led us to seriously look into solar PV plus battery storage. After some initial research I contacted Caius (as I'd been very pleased with the whole Spirit Energy experience relating to the charger supply and installation) and he helped us through the detailed planning and sizing etc.
In the end we went for a 9.13 kWp setup (made up of 3 panel arrays on different roof faces) and a SolarEdge 6 kW inverter plus a Powerwall 2 and Powerwall home gateway (the Tesla stuff sadly has not been installed yet due to the availability issues; we are waiting and hoping...).
The solar system went live on June 26th and to date we have generated just over 1 MWh of solar power. Our Octopus SEG export tariff went live on July 22 and since then we have already exported 157 kWh (around 11 kWh per day on average). Looking at the data in more detail we can see that if we were able to store this excess and use it at other times then on many days our overall import would be close to zero; roll on the Powerwall!
So far we are very pleased and I would say that the installation has exceeded our expectations. Of course, we've had a lot of good weather lately but even on dull, rainy days we have generated ~14 kWh. Of course this will be significantly less during winter but hey... Once we have the Powerwall up and running we will not only be able to store excess solar and use it to offset grid import, but we will also be able to 'time shift' some of our usage to further leverage our 5 hour 'cheap rate' slot.
From a purely cost perspective, compared to July 2020 our electricity costs for July 2021 have reduced by 65%! Of course it is about more than fuel costs for us, but still that's a very nice saving. I also really like the level of monitoring available from SolarEdge via their API. I am a software engineer by profession so I have implemented a system that grabs the quarter hourly data from SolarEdge plus the half hourly data from Octopus (import, export and gas) via their API and I then track all of the data in a sophisticated spreadsheet, which allows me to do all sorts of interesting analysis.”