Solar Optimisation: Getting the most out of Solar PV Panels
Government Feed-In Tariff
If you have Solar PV panels in NSW, since the 30th December 2016 you will not have received a feed-in tariff from the Government. By now, you should have converted from a solar Gross meter to a Net meter so that you can measure and use the energy you are generating, exporting only the remainder to the Grid. If you do not change your meter, all your PV energy will be exported into the Grid for no payment with no reduction in your electricity bill even when you’ve consumed your own generated electricity.
Once you have a net meter, electricity retailers will provide you with a feed-in tariff (this may change each time your retailer changes their electricity prices – check your price fact sheet from your retailer to find out what it is at any time). It is clearly preferable for you to use your own solar power as much as possible rather than export it to the Grid and then buy it back at much higher prices
How to make the best use of your Solar PV Panels
The underlying problem is that, in most houses, there are very few appliances running during the daytime when the solar panels are producing electricity. The only general exception to this is the pool.
The average residential swimming pool makes up a huge portion of the total energy consumption for your home. While it looks superficially attractive to set up time-clocks to run the pool equipment during the day to use the power from your panels, this can often cost you more. This is for the following three reasons:
- The pool (plus other devices normally running in the house at the same time) can require more power than the panels produce in any given instant. When this occurs you’re buying the balance at high shoulder and peak rates.
- It rains or is overcast on about 129 days a year in Sydney (and partially overcast on 127 days) and you will be buying some or all of the energy at high rates on those days. There are only 109 sunny days on average in Sydney each year.
- Without a Pooled Energy Swimming Pool, your Solar PV panels may not produce enough electricity for long enough to clean your pool adequately, even on sunny days – the balance of the energy consumed will be purchased from the grid.
In almost all cases, because of the changing weather and sunshine, it makes more financial sense to simply run your pool off-peak than to use time-clocks to try to use PV power. If you do use time-clocks, you will likely save energy but actually increase your electricity bill.
Pooled Energy offers you its unique Solar Optimisation Service to assist. With this, you will save much more energy, effectively use your PV panels and save $$.
Firstly, Pooled Energy will reduce your pool’s instantaneous power and overall energy consumption, to levels that are usually much better matched to the output of a typical PV system and minimise the need to buy expensive on-peak and shoulder energy from the Grid for the mismatch. Pooled Energy typically makes the panel/pool match much better.
Pooled Energy uses the weather forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology to decide whether it will be better for the following day to run solar or off-peak. You get real value from your panels this way…and a better pool. On sunny days, the pool will run as much as possible from the PV panels. On rainy/overcast days, it will run using off-peak power the night before. On spotty days, it will act statistically. You save energy and $$