Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm about to pick up my new e-golf shortly and looking for a charge point that will work in conjunction with my PV solar panels.

Is the Zappi the go to option or does anyone have experience of the recently introduced (as I understand it) ChargedEV Smart+ solar charging functionality.

Alternatively if there's any other options worth investigating I'm all ears?

Many thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I have the chargedev smart+ and solar panels. Obviously it's not been possible to make much use of it so far, but I have used it a couple of times and it works fine.

You select solar charging in the app and it will then start charging when you are exporting power. Once the charge starts it will adjust the power to match but can't go lower than about 1.2kW and won't stop until the car is fully charged.

I'd like to be able to use the app to set a time window for solar charging, but this isn't possible so I'm going to use the car's timer for this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Andy

Good to hear from you. How was the chargedEV experience overall?, Did it take long to get a slot to have it fitted?.

Yes it's not an ideal time if year for the solar side if things but hopefully be more useful come summer when we don't consume much on weekend days.

Does the smart+ just have the option to charge solely from your panels or are there any other options to mix the solar and top up from the grid (or is that just normal mode really?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I had no problems with chargedEV. I filled in the online form and sent in all the photos needed at the end of September. They gave me a provisional slot of Nov 12th when I paid a deposit of £50, but then they took a couple of weeks to review the form and photos. I had to chase them up about that and was then told I needed to have an isolation switch fitted because the consumer unit was full and they weren't allowed to pull the main fuse.

I had to change electricity supplier to get the switch fitted for a reasonable cost (ie nothing, compared with the £204 that my original supplier needed). I lost two appointments with chargedEV due to delays getting the switch and it was finally installed on Jan 14th. I was very pleased with the installation - the engineer did a good job and it looks very neat.

The app that comes with the smart charger allows you to set a departure time and to give details of your electricity tariff. It will then charge so that the car is fully charged by the departure time and it will use the cheap rate electricity as much as possible. You can override this by pressing a boost button in the app or on the charger - this will just turn the charger on full immediately. To use solar charging you have to select solar charge mode and not set a departure time. It will then wait until you are generating enough solar energy and the start charging at a rate which matches the solar, but with a minimum of around 1.2kW.

I tried using the departure time schedule via the app, but have normally used boost mode and the charge timer on the car because I don't always want to charge to 100% and there is no way to achieve this in the app. I have the app set for solar charging and no schedule set so if I want to solar charge I just won't press boost,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
If you are with octopus energy, so the night time electricity for 5p per kwhr, will charging of solar still save you money? I work most days, so solar for me would be mostly weekends. Concern is Zappi is £300 more than BP charge master and I estimate octopus charge bill for the car will only be £120 per year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
It will be minimal! I think the absolute maximum solar energy we could recover to the car is 1000kWh per year - and the car would need to be plugged in several hours every sunny day to get that so it's not going to happen. If this just replaced cheap rate energy at 5p/ kWh then that's £50 per year. It's inevitable that the solar output will drop below 1.2kW at times so some peak rate power will be used whilst solar charging which will reduce the saving.

The smart+ charger was the same price as the alternative from chargedEV when we bought ours and it was about the cheapest option, so there was nothing to lose by getting it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
They have increased their prices. My ev (nissan leaf) arrives mid march, was holding off on getting home charger, as also applying for V2G as well. But that is throwing up issues as well, and thinking i will be better on octopus (who i am already with, new smart meters get fitted at the end of this month) .

The restrictions on their charge mean i probably would only charge over night as guaranteed 5p rate, as risk with solar you still pick up grid elect as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It's certainly a minefield between the different tariffs and benefits of solar.

We came late to solar in 2017 so our export rate is fairly low and assumed to export 50% of what's generated. So I guess in a sense if we're already using 50% off what we generate.

I can see that it might just be easier to charge off peak if elec unit cost is similar to our export rate. However it gets more complex again once you add in the different gas rates and standing charges.

Like most I guess I'll be charging at weekends via solar if I can but I do bike to work the odd week day or two so that will help.

There seems to be three modes in a Zappi but not sure whether one would be akin to just running any charge point on a sunny day when the grid tops up anything the solar panels produce in order to hit a defined departure time.

The chargedEV and Zappi do cost a bit more but I don't mind if it's helping exploit the solar panels better. Be interesting to get a transparent view of the payback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
We’ve had solar for over 9 years....got a Kona EV last June and a Zappi-2.
The integration is cool: the hub allows us to boost from a phone (handy for those of us with cars which are not so connected!).
We tend to leave the thing on “Eco”, which always puts 1.2kWh trickling in, with any more if solar excess allows it.
Love it when we see the “free energy” (like never for this time of year!) :cool:

However: just before Christmas we got a SMETS2 meter, and are now on the Octopus GoFaster trial tariff - we have 5p/kW from 20:30-00:30. Which is also great for washing/dishwasher etc (y)

Most days our car only needs up to 25kW to “fill up”, and that means it costs around a quid. In winter this is about 60 miles....in summer, perhaps 90-100. Pretty impressive stuff!

Come spring/summer, the free solar power will be good, and for me, it ”feels” like the right combination of things, even if, in reality, we may struggle to recover that extra Zappi-2 cost in any short timeframe. Heck, our solar panels recovered their cost last year, so anything now is a bonus!

I would say Myenergi and Octopus are both great companies with good ethos about them. Glad we bought into their kit :)(y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I think that's about where I am, it's about doing what feels right overall too. Including in the long term. It's hard to look past the Octopus off peak offerings, lots of people seem pretty chuffed with it too.

Some of the lowest overall tariffs on the comparitors do still look good but I may need to look at my comparison spreadsheet and try and refine it a bit to get a clear comparison including how much solar power I actually utilise. My wife's at home all day so we try and do what we can when the sun shines... If it does!. A Smets 2 meter would help too I guess.

Has anyone seen any other interesting solar charge points up and coming or maybe available now?.

The Zappi looks to be about £500 installed after Olev whereas the Chargedev Smart+ seems to be £249 after a voucher that seems to be floating about. So a fair difference if functionality is the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Hi not sure where you are getting your prices. Zappi had two quotes both at £700 after OLEV grant. Smart+ tethered is £500 (just gone up in price by £50).
my lowest quote is the BP Chargemaster at £390. But would prefer Zappi, but not for £300 extra. The smart+ I am not keen on as solar adjustment appears limited, so I wouldn’t use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Sorry they're a bit superficial but my PV Installer who has a Zappi advised costs to be about £1k before OLEV. That seemed plausible as if figured about £400 for the install and about £600 for the unit (which I figured are discounted/5% vat to traders).

There's a £200 voucher floating about for Chargedev so assumed the £449 would come down to £249.

If your right the extra cost for the Zappi at £700 v £249 it would have to be good. Though to be fair from what folk say it is. Maybe again it might not be all about the direct payback. More about the feel as was said before I guess.

I picked up my new car today which I'm chuffed with so far. Be good to get a proper charge point sorted soon as granny through the letter box is a bit of a hassle.
Think I definitely need to reappraise my solar utilisation. It seems my current smart display no longer works now I've changed suppliers a few times so hard to tell. It might just be that it's worthwhile trying the agile/off-peak tariffs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Not sure if you have had solar installed recently or years ago and have FIT. Has some bearing on best solution.
Zappi is the goto solution for Solar and strongly recommend you look at Octopus for elecy supplier, either GO or Agile.
Also check out the Ohme charger with Octopus, special deal via Octopus too and that is a very smart solution also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yes sorry take that for granted but 4.2kw solar panels fitted 3 years ago and on FIT. Albeit about 4.5p a unit and assumed to export 50% of what produced.

Managed to see about 5kwh produced yesterday and only 800wh the day before. So pretty negligeable at this time of year. Especially as out collecting the car in the morning.

Looking FWD to less grey days to get some benefit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Yes sorry take that for granted but 4.2kw solar panels fitted 3 years ago and on FIT. Albeit about 4.5p a unit and assumed to export 50% of what produced.

Managed to see about 5kwh produced yesterday and only 800wh the day before. So pretty negligeable at this time of year. Especially as out collecting the car in the morning.

Looking FWD to less grey days to get some benefit.
OK good, reason mentioned is because newer installs don’t get FIT, but new system called SEG (smart export guarante) and Octopus and others are now offering new options to pay for export. None of those though are as good as using the power you generate, so finding ways to not export anything are best. If you don’t have a diverter to heat hot water or other electric heating, worth getting as cheapest option. (Many options available, better ones do more than just heat water via immersion). Best option is battery storage, but they are expensive, but rapidly becoming a better ROI with the likes of Octopus Agile as costs very likely to charge overnight and also solar excess can charge too.

This is the half hourly rate data for yesterday... excess wind power so paying people to use electric. In general it seems to be about 5p a lot of the time overnight.


Half-hourly unit rate

Avg. unit rate
16th February 2020
PeriodPrice (inc. VAT)
00:00 - 00:301.66 p/kWh
00:30 - 01:001.66 p/kWh
01:00 - 01:302.07 p/kWh
01:30 - 02:000.66 p/kWh
02:00 - 02:30-1.76 p/kWh
02:30 - 03:00-2.21 p/kWh
03:00 - 03:30-2.21 p/kWh
03:30 - 04:00-3.35 p/kWh
04:00 - 04:30-3.09 p/kWh
04:30 - 05:00-3.09 p/kWh
05:00 - 05:30-2.43 p/kWh
05:30 - 06:00-2.21 p/kWh
06:00 - 06:300.66 p/kWh
06:30 - 07:001.79 p/kWh
07:00 - 07:301.66 p/kWh
07:30 - 08:002.21 p/kWh
08:00 - 08:301.76 p/kWh
08:30 - 09:005.95 p/kWh
09:00 - 09:304.69 p/kWh
09:30 - 10:007.23 p/kWh
10:00 - 10:307.76 p/kWh
10:30 - 11:008.12 p/kWh
11:00 - 11:307.50 p/kWh
11:30 - 12:007.76 p/kWh
12:00 - 12:308.12 p/kWh
12:30 - 13:007.94 p/kWh
13:00 - 13:307.68 p/kWh
13:30 - 14:007.01 p/kWh
14:00 - 14:307.30 p/kWh
14:30 - 15:006.64 p/kWh
15:00 - 15:304.52 p/kWh
15:30 - 16:005.47 p/kWh
16:00 - 16:3019.66 p/kWh
16:30 - 17:0021.86 p/kWh
17:00 - 17:3023.40 p/kWh
17:30 - 18:0024.11 p/kWh
18:00 - 18:3024.07 p/kWh
18:30 - 19:0022.52 p/kWh
19:00 - 19:3010.06 p/kWh
19:30 - 20:008.62 p/kWh
20:00 - 20:308.12 p/kWh
20:30 - 21:006.17 p/kWh
21:00 - 21:307.72 p/kWh
21:30 - 22:004.41 p/kWh
22:00 - 22:304.94 p/kWh
22:30 - 23:001.98 p/kWh
23:00 - 23:302.12 p/kWh
23:30 - 00:001.76 p/kWh
 
  • Like
Reactions: catherington

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Alternatively if there's any other options worth investigating I'm all ears?
One that doesn't get a lot of press is the combination of an eMonPi and an eMonEVSE. The eMonPi monitors your power use and generation, and the eMonEVSE reads the difference from it and sets the available power for the car.

Installing the eMonPi is a DIY affair, but amounts to putting a couple of current clamps around wires, and then following the instructions in the guide. Installing the eMonEVSE is the same as any other charge-point, but it needs a Wi-Fi connection.

In addition, the eMonPi has a "DemandShaper" module which can control devices (including the car charging) based on energy prices, or carbon levels, or local generation, or .....

It's a really flexible solution, but it does need some time invested. There's a pretty good community around it too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Yes it is a bit frustrating not being able to utilise the good work my solar PV system has done. I'd looked at the water heater/diverter but don't have an immersion tank so maybe wrongly concluded it wasn't the best option (Though I'm still interested). The phase change material options looked good from a space saving perspective.

You've got me pondering a small modular battery backup system again too as prices seem to have come down a bit and coupled with something like an agile tariff could really maximise the PV benefit.

Oh and the agile rates are crazy. Might have to give it a go. There's no tid in do I guess I can bail at any point. Maybe I should have a wind turbine instead eh.

The emonPi is quite interesting. I'd wondered about getting a RaspberryPi to help start teaching my children to programme. I suspect tho I'd maybe not have the time to fully make use of it at the moment.

I noted that the EO smart mini has a PV mode too so there's a few more options out there it appears.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
I switched to Octopus Go and then quickly realised that with an EV and a PHEV and the way we used electricity it made a lot of sense to switch to Agile. Other than the peak 1600-1900 period with very high rates it is a lot cheaper than Go and the normal tariffs you get elsewhere. Of course you need a working Smart 2 meter to generate 30 min readings but I have been lucky as have had no problems. The switch from Go to Agile was a matter of 48hrs after requesting online.

As others have said elsewhere you can even occasion have them pay you to use electricity, especially with the wind blowing hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Indeed, the flexibility once with octopus makes me think it's worth trying. Either way really, go or agile.

Really need to sort a charge point first though I guess so I can charge at a rate fast enough to take advantage of the cheaper rate times.

There seems to have been hints in another thread of the Zappi being £3-400 after install but that may have been the older version (albeit I understand it had the added complexity of the earth rod so it may balance out with the new version). That'd make the chargedev smart+ comparison a bit more competitive too. Just reading the Zappi manual and it sounds quite flexible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Indeed, the flexibility once with octopus makes me think it's worth trying. Either way really, go or agile.

Really need to sort a charge point first though I guess so I can charge at a rate fast enough to take advantage of the cheaper rate times.

There seems to have been hints in another thread of the Zappi being £3-400 after install but that may have been the older version (albeit I understand it had the added complexity of the earth rod so it may balance out with the new version). That'd make the chargedev smart+ comparison a bit more competitive too. Just reading the Zappi manual and it sounds quite flexible.
I hadn’t considered Octopus originally, but on reading in depth, realised with referral codes that any delay in getting a replacement smart meter meant I wasn't going to loose out whilst on a slightly higher tariff than before switching. Originally I had thought of waiting till later in the year as solar would provide more free energy, but actually made more sense to get switched asap. Just a couple of weeks more to wait and should have smets2 meter and trust soon after on Agile. lots of users trying to do comparisons with agile vs other std tariffs, but in general it’s half the price of most, just make sure you use as little as possible during the peak 4 till 7pm window. Looking forward to getting Powerwall2 charged up overnight along with Tesla M3P when it arrives.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weebull
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top