You’ve got the panels on the roof, supplying you with reliable, renewable energy… but how can you make even more use of your system? Let’s take a look at the solar PV accessories on offer to maximise the impact on your home.
It’s all very well generating your own free, clean electricity - but wouldn’t it be better if you could see exactly how much free, clean electricity? Well, with solar monitoring you can! Keep track of current generation (which can highlight any faults and alert you to the best time to turn on the washing machine), review historical performance and see the CO2 you’ve saved.
Monitors are available from specialists or the inverter manufacturers. See a demo on our live tracking page.
Unfortunately for many of us, we demand the bulk of our electricity in the evening, as the sun is going down. But fortunately for us, there are now devices such as the Solar iBoost. These PV optimisers divert excess solar power from your panels (that would otherwise go to the grid) into your immersion heater. So you can come home from work to a lovely warm shower - for free.
Do you have an electric vehicle, or are thinking about it now that the country is accelerating towards a network free of polluting combustion engines? Either way, a typical household can expect its electricity consumption to double with an EV. So it makes sense to try and supply that with as much of your own solar power as you can.
To make this as easy as possible, we recommend EV chargers optimised for solar. These can sync with your panels to maximise PV usage, charging the car when you have excess solar (as well as other features to keep charging economical with time-of-use tariffs).
On average, a home will utilise about 50% of the solar energy it generates, since the best hours of sunlight fall when many people are at work. The ultimate way to make use of this energy (worth more when displacing grid-imported electricity at 15p per kWh than you’d get for exporting it for 5.5p per kWh), is by saving it up in a big battery for when you get home.
The market for home battery storage has boomed in the last few years. With solar and storage, you can typically cover up to 80% of your annual electricity demand. Plus you can get benefits such as power cut protection and extra savings through time-of-use: buying cheap, using peak.
The last thing you want after installing your solar system is for feathered friends moving into the readymade shelter under your panels. They can damage the electrical equipment, become a fire risk and clog up your drains - hassle you can do without. Luckily there are bird-proofing solutions readily available for solar panels, such as specialist meshing and spikes. Get it installed from the start and you’ll never have to worry.
If your inverter’s due for replacement, then you may want to consider a SolarEdge upgrade. Regular inverters work in a string, so the whole system performs at the output of the weakest (which may be restricted due to shading or dirt). SolarEdge inverters give each panel its own power optimiser, so individually they perform at their maximum output - resulting in up to 25% overall increase in generation.
Retrofitting SolarEdge is rarely worth it in financial terms, unless your inverter needs replacing or you already have roof access in place. If you do upgrade, you’ll benefit from increased output and individual panel monitoring, but we can advise you on what’s best in your situation.
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