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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a Schneider Electric box (for charging EVs) next to the garage, and subsequently had solar panels installed.

It appears that the Schneider Electric box completely ignores the solar panels and draws only from the grid.

Do you know how I can check that this is definitely the case, and how should it be fixed please?
 

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Do you know how I can check that this is definitely the case, and how should it be fixed please?
It would depend entirely on how the chargepoint and the solar are connected internally.

In the UK, both usually connect on the inside of the meter - effectively meaning that any solar is available for internal use first, before any import.

If your chargepoint is claiming to detect solar generation and use that, then there should be a sensor (or two) to determine whether you are generating and/or exporting. If all this was intended to be the case then my first question is whether the sensor is connected the right way round and is fitted to the right wire. If this is wrong then increasing consumption can increase the charging and it will always just run at the maximum.

If the solar was fitted after the chargepoint, then maybe the sensors haven't been fitted in the right place, or at all. I suspect you'll need to contact the chargepoint supplier for advice.
 

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Zoe R110
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Do you have any way to monitor what power you house is pulling? Something like an Owl or ecoeye would do the trick, possibly the app for the charger (if it has one)
These days you're not exactly producing a lot of solar so there isn't much to charger the car on so it could be hard to know for sure without specific numbers.

If the solar is wired in to your consumer unit then any power generated will be offset against the EV charger, no settings or other gizmos needed, it just works like that.
The only way it wouldn't work is if you have a very unusual setup and have two meters one with solar and the other for the house+charger then you are poo out of luck. I've never heard of that ever being done though as it clearly more expensive and is just daft.

I think this is a difference from what you expected to what has been sold to you. I am assuming you have some thing like a EVH2S7P0CK
Seems likely that if you want to just use solar for charging then you are going to need some extra kit, a couple of current clamps to monitor the solar and house then a box to control what goes to the charger.
Unfortunately, if you knew you were likely to get solar then just about everyone would have suggested getting a Zappi, yes there are others now but I like my Zappi :cool: . That is probably not worth the expense now unless you can sell the current charger for almost the full cost you paid.
 

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It would depend entirely on how the chargepoint and the solar are connected internally.

In the UK, both usually connect on the inside of the meter - effectively meaning that any solar is available for internal use first, before any import.

If your chargepoint is claiming to detect solar generation and use that, then there should be a sensor (or two) to determine whether you are generating and/or exporting. If all this was intended to be the case then my first question is whether the sensor is connected the right way round and is fitted to the right wire. If this is wrong then increasing consumption can increase the charging and it will always just run at the maximum.

If the solar was fitted after the chargepoint, then maybe the sensors haven't been fitted in the right place, or at all. I suspect you'll need to contact the chargepoint supplier for advice.
The electrons coming from solar generation on site and those coming from the grid are the same and interchangeable.
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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The electrons coming from solar generation on site and those coming from the grid are the same and interchangeable.
Ones generated from Solar are much superior to ones generated from fossil fuels (which flow slower due to the pollution) or nuclear (which go in zig-zags because of the radiation). ;)
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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Ones generated from Solar are much superior to ones generated from fossil fuels (which flow slower due to the pollution) or nuclear (which go in zig-zags because of the radiation). ;)
The electrons produced from photons in a SP are known to be snobby and don't like associating themselves with electromagnetically driven ones.:oops:
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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Surely, solar panels are usually connected to the mains in your property and will supply the load, whatever it is, as well as the grid if there is no load. I cannot see how panels could only supply the charger when the output from them is not stable and you'd need a big array to supply even 13amps, never mind 30. (or the battery bank would have to make up the shortfall)
If the total load is more than the panels can supply, the grid makes up the shortfall, so you are still saving.
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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Surely, solar panels are usually connected to the mains in your property and will supply the load, whatever it is, as well as the grid if there is no load. I cannot see how panels could only supply the charger when the output from them is not stable and you'd need a big array to supply even 13amps, never mind 30. (or the battery bank would have to make up the shortfall)
If the total load is more than the panels can supply, the grid makes up the shortfall, so you are still saving.
That depends on the charge point settings. Some charge points just suspend the charge when the generation falls below a threshold but others "top-up" from the mains to maintain the desired level. The issue with the former is that it risks the car going to sleep and the charge not recommencing, the latter may end up charging unnecessarily mainly from the mains.

I assume that the OP is referring to the latter situation but wants the former.
 

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Hi, I have a Schneider Electric box (for charging EVs) next to the garage, and subsequently had solar panels installed.

It appears that the Schneider Electric box completely ignores the solar panels and draws only from the grid.

Do you know how I can check that this is definitely the case, and how should it be fixed please?
It’s winter. Unless you have a very large array it won’t be generating enough to charge your car.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for so many informed replies!

The chargepoint came first and was not sold as something that can detect the solar production.

On the sunniest day in January, the solar counter displays showed 2300W coming from the sun and 2000W going to the grid. Trying to use that 2000W by charging the car by using domestic socket was successful, ie the displays showed all of that 2000W being used up (and more). However plugging into the Schneider had no effect on the solar displays, yet the car was charging correctly.

The house is in France, not sure that if that makes a difference. I will look further into what the chargepoint actually is and if it has settings.
 

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Thank you for so many informed replies!

The chargepoint came first and was not sold as something that can detect the solar production.

On the sunniest day in January, the solar counter displays showed 2300W coming from the sun and 2000W going to the grid. Trying to use that 2000W by charging the car by using domestic socket was successful, ie the displays showed all of that 2000W being used up (and more). However plugging into the Schneider had no effect on the solar displays, yet the car was charging correctly.

The house is in France, not sure that if that makes a difference. I will look further into what the chargepoint actually is and if it has settings.
OK in France it could well be a 3 phase supply to the house. If the solar output is single phase and on a different phase to the charge point then this is what would happen.
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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I think you are misunderstanding how the solar charging is working. When the meter shows the charge entering the grid, this does not mean you are not, or cannot use it. If you supply power to the grid, you will be using it, and the grid is just topping up the extra above that 2kw. If you look at your electric meter's consumption display and then switch off the solar charger, the reading will rise by 2kw.
Just to add that much depends on how the solar charging display is wired, but the fact remains that if power is supplied to the grid, your property will use it, and the grid will top up any shortfall.
 

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OK in France it could well be a 3 phase supply to the house. If the solar output is single phase and on a different phase to the charge point then this is what would happen.
Yes, please update the thread with your supply arrangement, either 1 or 3 phase and probably best to get a sparky to review which loads are on which phase.
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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Agreed, but also if the charge point is on the same phase as the solar whether it is connected between the incoming mains and the solar meter. In a lot of UK installations it would be and hence would show the same as you are experiencing.

Out of interest, what subsidies are you receiving for exporting your solar to the grid in France? Under some regimes in the UK it is more efficient to be paid for exporting solar than self-consumption. o_O :rolleyes:
 
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