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Solar power, cost, installation etc etc

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3 hours ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

Nealo is yet to get his solar panels & system. I think he wanted data to try to work out what plan he should go on & what system to get.

I do, Parkside doesn’t. 

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1 hour ago, nealo said:

I do, Parkside doesn’t. 

Well it was somebody. :) 

I couldn't be bothered going that far back in the thread to see who.

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Grid meter getting replaced tomorrow, I’ll be able to have it turned on legitimately and start earning som FIT. 

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2 hours ago, nealo said:

Grid meter getting replaced tomorrow, I’ll be able to have it turned on legitimately and start earning som FIT. 

That's a pretty quick turnaround. Have to be happy with that. Make sure you have shut down the system before they turn up.

I know you will know how already but just in case, there will be a specific protocol for shut down and restart. Usually it's turn inverter off first at the switchboard, then turn off the DC lines from the panels. Restart is the reverse order.

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I just compared the difference between the distributor's meter readings and those reported via Solarweb (supplied by the inverter's datalogger which receives data from my Fronius meter).

140 days of data.

Export the difference was just 0.09% (2.47kWh). An insignificant variance.

Import the difference was 0.82% (30.69kWh).

The bulk of the small import difference was due to periods when the inverter was off and the inverter's data logger is not recording / sending data. We had 2 days of grid outages before Christmas following a big storm, power was on/off at times while the grid was being fixed. I turned the inverter off until I was sure the grid was stable again. This one event account for half of the discrepancy. There would have been a few other occasions the inverter was off and missed uploading some grid import data.

As a result I'm very confident in the accuracy of my Fronius meter data.

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Is that right Mr "wattmatters" :lol:

Thought I'd read that somewhere else...................

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33 minutes ago, nealo said:

Is that right Mr "wattmatters" 

Sprung!

Thought I'd share it here. When I went back through old threads, there have been people trying to reconcile differences between what they are being billed for and what their own meters have been telling them. So thought I'd share my own experience to date.

I used that name as it's the name of my cycling blog. Maybe I should write a solar PV blog!

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Got my latest quarterly bill today.

My bill estimate based on my own data was less than 0.2% different to the actual bill.

This is for the late-summer quarter which is traditionally our highest cost quarter.

Compared to the same quarter for the two previous years, the saving is ~$1,000.

Edited by Alex Simmons

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First 30 Days bill $129.47

Self consumption from Solar saved $65.69

Fed back to grid saved $24.45

Plan change with AGL saved $18.96

Savings total $109.10

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Nearly halving your power bill. Nice going for this time of year.

I notice I am getting a bit of production drop due to shading from the jacaranda trees along the north side of house as the sun is lower in the sky. Might look to give them another haircut for next season. Still putting out over 30kWh on sunny days though.

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Hey Alex do you have a spreadsheet I could put data pulled from Fronius to compare Time of Use vs Flat rate?

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7 hours ago, nealo said:

Hey Alex do you have a spreadsheet I could put data pulled from Fronius to compare Time of Use vs Flat rate?

you are asking the right bloke!!

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8 hours ago, nealo said:

Hey Alex do you have a spreadsheet I could put data pulled from Fronius to compare Time of Use vs Flat rate?

I have one for myself. It's part of my "virtual battery" model.

The issue is reprogramming it for the TOU periods which apply to your service area. The TOU periods differ by distributor and the TOU periods can also change by season in some areas.

Since my sheet is set for my local distribution area and TOU periods, whether it can be quickly augmented for a different distribution area and TOU periods depends on whether the TOU periods represent a simple or a more complex change.

e.g. if you are Ausgrid then it'd require a different programming approach as the TOU periods have seasonal variations.

There are other ways:

  • you can set Fronius Solarweb to have TOU tariff settings for calculation of ROI data. It'd mean manually adjusting tariffs to see the difference TOU rates has on the ROI figures by first making them all the same flat rate, then by changing them to the TOU rates.
     
  • programming the inverter to auto upload your data to PVOutput.org and applying TOU settings within PVO, which can then display the data broken into TOU periods. It's not a perfect solution by any stretch for various reasons but it is one way to get such data to do these sort of comparisons.

This latter approach can provide data either as a chart or in data table:

dw6o703.png

uaWX3Yl.png

With this data calculating the difference between flat rate and TOU plans would be fairly trivial.

PVO also provides the ability to create and save different energy tariff profiles, which you can load to simulate impact of different tariffs.

If you want to go the PVO route (the basic service is free), you'd need to become a donor (I guess it's $10-$20 / year) to unlock the more sophisticated options such as the above. It isn't the easiest thing to set up but can be a useful alternative archive location for your data.

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I wonder if the steam coming out of my ears trying to read that can be harnessed to power a turbine?  :nerd:  :lol: 

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Thanks for that Alex, I haven't gone down the PVO route as I couldn't find an easy one stop instruction to set up my Fronius output.

I just did a detailed 5 minute report for my last bill and then put that in to Excel with the AGL TOU tariffs.

Last months Bill was $130 but if I had gone the TOU plan it would have been $144.

I currently have my Spa set to heat during 10am and 1pm to use as much solar production as possible. But especially at this time of the year the solar production can be a bit iffy. It would be an interesting experiment under a TOU plan to move my Spa heating to night when the charges are basically the same as my FIT and then pretty much all generation would be harnessed.

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After 6 months, this is the analysis for us:

kt17VBX.png

A TOU plan would have been $243 cheaper for this period, a saving of $1.34/day on average.

Adding a battery would be a big fat waste of money.

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2 hours ago, nealo said:

Thanks for that Alex, I haven't gone down the PVO route as I couldn't find an easy one stop instruction to set up my Fronius output.

Yeah, it can be a little tricky to work out. It is in their help guide but as you say, it could be more user friendly.

 

2 hours ago, nealo said:

I just did a detailed 5 minute report for my last bill and then put that in to Excel with the AGL TOU tariffs.

Last months Bill was $130 but if I had gone the TOU plan it would have been $144.

Yes it will vary for everyone, and it will vary depending upon time of year. The other thing to assess are any differences in any other fees and charges. e.g. for me the daily fee would be different.

Of course it requires identifying the right TOU plan for your energy use patterns to begin with.

By splitting the energy import data into TOU period totals, then you can plug that info along with export info into the comparison engine of this site:

https://wattever.com.au/

It's pretty good, although I suggest filtering out all the small fry or unknown players from search results. Quite a few bait and switch providers that suck you in with cheap rates then raise them soon after.

2 hours ago, nealo said:

I currently have my Spa set to heat during 10am and 1pm to use as much solar production as possible. But especially at this time of the year the solar production can be a bit iffy. It would be an interesting experiment under a TOU plan to move my Spa heating to night when the charges are basically the same as my FIT and then pretty much all generation would be harnessed.

If your off-peak or controlled load tariff is line ball with your feed in tariff (FIT), then yep it's financially better to load shift to import during those times rather than self consume.

If adding a controlled load circuit (normally reserved for specific hard wired appliances such as hot water, pool pumps) then comparison also needs to account for the extra daily fee for having a CL. That means the CL tariff needs to be about 2c/kWh less (give or take) than the FIT for it to make sense. In my case my FIT is 2.5c/kWh higher than my CL tariff, so there is no point in me switching my hot water system over to using excess solar production.

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