Energy battery storage: First trials of MyReserve in UK – Wind & Sun installed the unit in less than half a day with one person

2/24/17, 10:25 PM -

Trials of battery storage system MyReserve of Solarwatt have begun in the UK and Ireland ahead of a planned April launch. pv Europe had the chance to talk with two installers and Solarwatt distribution partners about their experiences. Part one starts with James Ford, a member of Wind & Sun`s technical team in Leominster/Herefordshire, UK.

First installations of Solarwatt`s MyReserve took place in UK, installers net sales prices are between £4400 and 4800.
Distributor Wind & Sun in Leominster/Herefordshire sees safety and a user friendly interface of MyReserve as key drivers for installations.

“The MyReserve battery unit was installed in under half a day by one person with all wiring and commissioning”, James says.  The system has been installed on the office and warehouse of the renewable energy distributors. “Some of the periphery work took longer though as we needed to feed communication wires through a roof void from the meter cabinet to the MyReserve and to the Energy Manager which is on a different wall to the MyReserve”.“We also had to bring two new fused AC power supplies to feed the Energy manager and the MyReserve but in a typical domestic situation this would not have been as much work as was needed at our commercial site”, James from disitributor Wind & Sun says. “The AC sensor took a while as we needed to create a box to fuse down the 100a supply and downsize the meter tails to 16.sq. mm”, James reports. ”However, this is being addressed”.

Use of the AC sensor to measure the whole building import and export

The MyReserve 800 was installed with 4.4. kWh onto a Bosch 3.68 kW inverter with 16x REC 250PE panels. “This is only a part of our PV system which totals 45 kW. We decided to use the AC sensor to measure the whole building import and export rather than just the one phase that the Bosch is on because there is more likelihood that collectively the AC sensor will see net export and import and therefore charge and discharge the battery”, he said. “For our premises it is not the right solution but because we can have days with large amounts of export and import we can really see the battery at its full potential even in January”, he added.

Small teething problems could be solved

“Apart from a few small teething problems that are to be expected when trialling the first system in a new country, we are delighted with the result”, Ford underlines. As teething problems he mentions “a firmware bug and a programing cable (prototype) with which we had some difficulty. This has been massively improved with the programming stick that we were sent which makes programming a 5-minute job from start to finish”. “It’s a learning process and I expect MyReserve installation to become quicker and more efficient as we gain experience.”

Safety and simply friendly user interface as benefits

Installers training will start as soon as possible. Although “market interest is quite low but that is indicative of the UK market as a whole right now”, James says. “I feel that last year there was excitement in the market to get into storage as a lot of new products were brought to market at competitive costs per kWh and a lot of PV installers entered the on grid storage market place. I think a lot of the purchases were for the ‘earlybird’ uptakers which is now quite a saturated market. We are now looking towards the market where safety and having a simple, friendly user interface are the key drivers to installations. In response to the question whether there is a higher demand in Northern Ireland, James says: “I think the NIROCs still create a slightly healthier appetite for solar plus Storage in Northern Ireland, although I believe this is set to change soon. The almost complete withdrawal of subsidy in England has impacted on consumer confidence. We still hope that this battery storage system will be seen as the most appropriate solution to self-use of solar but a lot of people are enticed by the cheap £/kwh figures competitor products and are using bigger battery stores and AC bus connection for time of use arbitrage. Whilst this is one option we want to introduce a product where the sole purpose is to easily time shift the solar PV generation to when the customer can use it rather than export it. For this application a smaller battery capacity is appropriate.

Planned net sales prices for installers between £4400 and £4800 

The planned sales prices to installers are about £4800 plus VAT for the MR 800 4.4. kwh with Energy manager and 63 amp AC sensor, James says. For the MR500 4.4 kWh with Energy manager and 63 amp AC sensor the planned installers price is £4400 plus VAT. In response to the question whether there are major differences in certification requirements and electrical safety standards between UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland, James says: “None that I feel are majorly applicable to the MyReserve as it is behind the PV inverter”. (HCN)

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