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Agile & Solar

Mattwrigley

Member
Jul 2, 2020
13
1
UK
So my car is coming early September (eagerly watching Mr Miserables thread!).

I have a 3kw solar system on my house and I’m just sorting out the charger.

I’ve also just switched to octopus and am looking at using the Agile tariff.

From reading online, it looks like I either need to use:
1. solar + octopus go with something like the EO smart home charger or another solar compatible charger
2. Ignore the solar (for ev use anyway) and use Octopus agile with a dumber charger and ev.energy or something similar.

Does anyone use Agile with also solar panels and can help me with what setup to look at?
 

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
981
590
North West
I don’t have solar but the challenge seems to be getting long enough periods of solar for the car to start charging. Many using a Zappi. Think cloud coming over.

Go vs Agile is probably a separate call to your solar. More a case of how much you drive/need to charge.
 

Gatsojon

Member
Aug 4, 2019
577
536
Manchester UK
Zappi v2 works well for me. It’s a well made bit of kit.

Eco plus mode gets your excess solar into the car. Best to keep sentry mode on as that gets round the Model 3’s reluctance to wake up when the sun comes out and Zappi wants to charge it. That’s a Tesla problem, not a Zappi one.
 

Drew57

Member
Apr 4, 2020
915
1,033
Chester UK
Solar/Zappi/Agile....

Plug in, set Eco+, choose a charge level then let the Zappi decide when & how to charge (... turn on the kettle, use the oven, cloud crosses the sun or whatever & it regulates the charge going to the car using solar or battery storage first - house priority, car gets the surplus).

It has cost me literally nothing since the Spring & over time the car charges back to 90% or any level I choose. Then once the days draw in & solar is reduced it will take from whatever low tariff Agile periods I set.

There are several smart meter options but the Zappi is ideal when you have solar.
 
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Epico

Member
Aug 8, 2019
408
376
Hampshire
Solar/Zappi/Agile....

Plug in, set Eco+, choose a charge level then let the Zappi decide when & how to charge (... turn on the kettle, use the oven, cloud crosses the sun or whatever & it regulates the charge going to the car using solar or battery storage first - house priority, car gets the surplus).

It has cost me literally nothing since the Spring & over time the car charges back to 90% or any level I choose. Then once the days draw in & solar is reduced it will take from whatever low tariff Agile periods I set.

There are several smart meter options but the Zappi is ideal when you have solar.

This is exactly the same as me, haven't spent a penny on charging the car since march...works really well especially now as the bug has been fixed and the car wakes properly. You can also get the ev.energy app that works with agile for when you do need to draw from the grid. It will work out the cheapest times to charge based on how much you want the car charged by and when. Clever stuff.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,328
4,824
Surrey, UK
4kWp solar.

I take the attitude that I need to charge rather than want to charge for free. As a result, a bit of cloud (or making a cuppa) doesn't make much difference, you are still talking about average unit rate of a few penny's on a non discounted rate. Note that minimum vehicle charge rate is 6A so you need over ~1.4kW spare generation to trigger an all free charge at 6A, 2.3kW at 10A, 3.6kW at 16A, 7.2kW at 32A. With 3kWp, you are probably looking to top out at 8A for late spring/summer.

I charge at 10A, start around 10:30/11:00am stop around 3pm via a SoC % limit. Everything manually set. Something like a Zappi would allow me to charge at reduced rate a bit earlier and later, maybe an extra 2-3% charge on a good day (you need the 6A spare capacity over house usage to remain free).

Below 10:29 - 14:47 (could have charged for longer). 1.47kWh metered (10:30-15:00), approx 20p cost on Go (9p if Agile), 10.23kWh to car, 13% added to battery. Average < 2p/kWh (Go).

For comparison: Average Agile unit price for period 6.2p/kWh. I could have charged 11% overnight on Go at 5p/kWh or Agile at 5.6p/kWh. Oh, and getting paid ~£2 for FiT over same period or ~ a fiver for the day!

Note, other electricity being used during that period, cuppa, lunch, hot water immersion

upload_2020-8-5_8-13-34.png


Smart meter usage
upload_2020-8-5_8-48-34.png

Agile pricing during that period

upload_2020-8-5_8-28-42.png
 
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Dougall1248

Member
Jul 28, 2020
98
56
Glasgow
I can't believe all the nonsense about solar and agile and Zappi leads. Octopus will give you a free smart meter which recognises all the electricity that you put into the grid. If you transfer your solar contract to them they will pay more than 6 pence per unit for all the electricity that you put into the grid. With Octopus Go you pay them 5 pence per unit so that you are more than a penny a unit better off selling to Octopus than putting it in your car and you are free to use your car when it's sunny. There is also the benefit that you don't need to waste your money on an expensive lead. The reason this works is because you produce electricity when it's needed and charge your car when wind power is wasted.
 

Drew57

Member
Apr 4, 2020
915
1,033
Chester UK
I can't believe all the nonsense about solar and agile and Zappi leads. Octopus will give you a free smart meter which recognises all the electricity that you put into the grid. If you transfer your solar contract to them they will pay more than 6 pence per unit for all the electricity that you put into the grid. With Octopus Go you pay them 5 pence per unit so that you are more than a penny a unit better off selling to Octopus than putting it in your car and you are free to use your car when it's sunny....
...but some of us signed up to the FIT scheme well before it ended & receive payments in excess of 6p/kWh including the export allowance (50% of everything generated).
 

Dougall1248

Member
Jul 28, 2020
98
56
Glasgow
...but some of us signed up to the FIT scheme well before it ended & receive payments in excess of 6p/kWh including the export allowance (50% of everything generated).
You are correct but by changing your FIT to Octopus you will still get FIT payments the same as you were getting before for everything you generate whether you use it or not as well as 6.5 pence for actual export instead of the miserable 1.5 pence for estimated export that I have been getting from EON for the past 10 years. My panels earn me over £1000/year tax free and index linked.
 

Drew57

Member
Apr 4, 2020
915
1,033
Chester UK
You are correct but by changing your FIT to Octopus you will still get FIT payments the same as you were getting before for everything you generate whether you use it or not as well as 6.5 pence for actual export instead of the miserable 1.5 pence for estimated export that I have been getting from EON for the past 10 years. My panels earn me over £1000/year tax free and index linked.
That does sound interesting but since getting the car we frequently manage to use virtually everything & export as little as possible (+5kW PV, 6.7kW battery)

So 6.5p of relatively little vs currently 50% of everything at current ~3.5p seems to make more sense to me.

My biggest frustration with an inverter at 3.5kW means that even when solar is generating +5kW the car at 32a/7kW would still draw a further 3.5kW from the grid. On that basis, for the summer months we never use Fast mode & make sure the Zappi only charges at up to 3.5kW max, ie slower (in winter with very low PV I will charge at 32a/7kW whenever Agile is cheapest)
 

Dougall1248

Member
Jul 28, 2020
98
56
Glasgow
That does sound interesting but since getting the car we frequently manage to use virtually everything & export as little as possible (+5kW PV, 6.7kW battery)

So 6.5p of relatively little vs currently 50% of everything at current ~3.5p seems to make more sense to me.

My biggest frustration with an inverter at 3.5kW means that even when solar is generating +5kW the car at 32a/7kW would still draw a further 3.5kW from the grid. On that basis, for the summer months we never use Fast mode & make sure the Zappi only charges at up to 3.5kW max, ie slower (in winter with very low PV I will charge at 32a/7kW whenever Agile is cheapest)
You certainly have a point if you are using nearly all of your electricity. I have a large house .5 beds 3 public rooms, conservatory double garage etc. In Scotland ie. no sun in winter. Including FIT payments etc my net cost for electricity and gas including 2 electric cars is less than £500/year. I have a 4kw/hr solar panel set. I feel that the few pounds more I could winkle out of doing everything when the sun shines is not really worth the effort. Powerwall is a gamechanger but is it worth the cost?
 

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