Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need planning permission for home solar?2020-01-24T09:54:30+00:00

The good news is that for the vast majority of domestic installations, no planning permission is required.

The main exception may be if you are in a conservation area. Read our Blog here for more information.

Will it help with power cuts?2019-01-17T16:15:37+00:00

As an option you can set up an emergency power system (EPS) to help you cope with power cuts. There are three main options:

  • A single socket on the storage system to allow you to plug in whatever is most useful such as to keep your smart phones and LED torches charged. Keep your router plugged in so you keep internet connectivity.
  • A specific ring main could be kept powered. This could protect your fridge and freezer, or allow you to use your gas cooker and central heating, and power some lights. This option would require some additional wiring work.
  • You want to power your whole house. In this case we would design a system with sufficient power and storage for this to be a realistic option.
How does the power output differ from the energy stored?2019-01-17T16:15:19+00:00

Imagine a bath full of water. The volume of water is like the amount of stored energy (the kWh). Now imagine a tap is opened and the water flows out. The speed that it flows out is like the power (kW). The water (energy) will pour out of a big tap, but only trickle out of a tiny tap.

For your home system, you want power sufficient to run real world equipment (a big enough ‘tap’). For example, a kettle typically uses 2 kW for a few minutes. If your battery can deliver a power output at 2kW or above then it will all come from your cheap stored energy (the PowerBanx X range can output up to 3 kW).

What are battery cycles?2019-02-06T11:07:25+00:00

Batteries are usually warranted for a certain number of cycles over their lifetime. A ‘cycle’ means a full discharge / recharge cycle. If you only partially drain the battery before recharging it this would count as a partial cycle. The number of cycles multiplied by the usable capacity gives the total energy that will be available to you over the life of the battery and that is warranted by the manufacturer. Good quality batteries will keep working well beyond their warranty.

What is usable capacity?2019-02-06T11:07:45+00:00

To avoid damage, most batteries are never drained completely (there are exceptions to this). Our systems allow the drain level to be set to ensure your battery life is maximised. The usable capacity is how much of your total battery capacity is available to use when the battery is fully charged.

How is energy storage measured?2019-01-17T16:14:23+00:00

Batteries store energy measured as kWh (this is the ‘kiloWatt hour’ – exactly the same as the ‘unit’ of electricity in your electricity bill). To imagine what it means, consider a typical electric fan heater rated at 1 kW. If you have a 5 kWh battery, it could run that 1 kW heater for 5 hours.

What is home energy storage?2019-03-27T10:19:23+00:00

The most versatile is an electrical battery that stores surplus or cheap electricity and makes it available to you when it is most needed.

A lower cost alternative to an electrical battery is a thermal battery. This uses a solar diverter to send excess Solar to your immersion heater to give you free hot water.

How long will it take to get a system installed?2019-03-27T10:21:07+00:00

Not long. Typically within 2 weeks of receiving your deposit, but we will always make sure it is at a time to suit you.

For some systems we must get approval from your DNO (Distribution Network Operator) who need to understand if high energy sources are being added to the grid. This typically takes from 4 to 8 weeks, but as soon as approval is achieved, we install within two weeks.

This doesn’t affect any of your normal consumer protections, including the 14 day cooling off period.

I already have solar PV. What will happen to my FIT export payments if I add a battery?2019-03-27T10:23:49+00:00

This is a win-win for you. We connect our battery systems after the generation meter, in compliance with OFGEM rules, so your FIT readings and payments are unaffected, even though you keep the energy for yourself.

Do I need solar panels to benefit from a home battery?2019-01-17T16:10:17+00:00

Not always, but the savings are best when you have solar panels installed.

Your battery takes advantage of both solar and the Economy 7* cheap overnight tariff. For the battery only case, the more electricity you use, the more cost effective it is, so it is particularly suitable for large domestic or commercial situations.

What are the three big wins of a home battery?2019-02-06T11:09:00+00:00

Store your day-time generated Solar electricity to use at night, and still get your FIT subsidy paid.

Store cheap night-time energy for use during the day when it costs more.

Be protected against power cuts with your very own emergency power supply. Did you know that gas central heating won’t work in a power cut?!

Watch video for more information https://youtu.be/KtvJqN3wQrU

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