Battery Backed Up PV System

Wanting to reduce my reliance on the Grid as much as possible and also further cut our Carbon Profile, I’ve been looking at Solar systems that also have a battery part to the equation.
I want the PV’s to power my home during daylight hours plus top up a battery array, then feed into the Grid once the batteries are full. That way once the light goes an inverter can kick on allowing the battery array to power our home for a while failing back to the Grid system. This way we make full use of any Solar energy and do not end up feeding in at a lower tariff then buying back at night at the higher tariff. The theory being that we end up with a miniscule electricity bill plus when the power fails locally our lights will still be on for a while.
My thoughts are to get a basic system installed without batteries then pick up some part used EV batteries at a later date as these seem to be really expensive right now. So I only need the PV’s and ‘magic box’ right now with a termination point where I can add my batteries as I get them, maybe start off with just a couple and add them until I can see the PV’s are just about coping with the house daytime load plus charging the battery pack so nothing going to the Grid, everything going to our home.
Prices quoted range from £6000 to £10,000 and as I’ve got a slate roof the mounting kit will be more expensive as well. I did think about fitting it myself but I feel its worth getting a professional outfit in to do the work as its going to be connected to our home and the grid so electrical test certificates will probably be required. If I was going totally off grid I think I would give it a go though. Our Leaf may soon be joined by our son’s proposed Renault Zoe so our power consumption will be quite high although he only does a few miles a day so charging once a week will be his lot !. Any suggestions on my thoughts from the UK or US will be gratefully received, especially if you have already been, seen and done what I’m thinking about. RSVP


About stevenbarrett23

I run a telephone & computer supply and maintenance business, mainly VoIP, traditional phone systems & Cloud office systems. I've been with the Company since 1981 so pre-mobiles pre-PC's. We are very keen on reducing our own and other businesses carbon output so we all work from home. The EV is just the next logical step towards being carbon neutral both in business and personally. Your kids will be thanking us for leaving a bit of the Planet for them once we push off !
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2 Responses to Battery Backed Up PV System

  1. Hi again Steven,

    You should definitely get it done professionally even if you reduce the cost by doing some of the donkey work – like installing the PV module frame, installing the cabling etc (assuming the ‘pro’ will let you – do you have any electrician friends who can ‘supervise’ you?). Otherwise you wont get your FIT payments – although they are not very high any more it is still worth getting.

    Also, you *really* want to be able to blame someone else when the grid goes down, something goes wrong with your set up and a linesman gets a shock from your inverter!

    Just my 2 cents worth. I’d like to do the same here but I already have a small (1kW) array with microinverters. I also already have 15kWh worth of LiFePO4 cells to use.

    Regards, Martin.

    • We live in the sticks hence the odd day without power. I would expect the magic box part of the installation to auto sense when the grid is down and stop pumping power down the line to them ! I wouldn’t like to give the linesman a shock Maybe my system stops working until I switch the mains to OFF whilst they fiddle with the grid wiring ?. I don’t know – and yes I do have a tame sparky – its all things to think about isn’t it ?.

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