Self-consumption is the key
Self-consumption is the key to maximizing your investment in domestic solar PV.
Four factors that when correctly considered work in synergy to ensure the greatest possible self-consumption is achieved and hence the maximum return on your investment is realised.
- Identify the “high” energy consuming appliances which are typically; geyser, air conditioner, swimming pool pump, borehole pump and laundry equipment including washing machine, tumble dryer and iron.
- Maximize daytime electricity usage through “load shifting” electricity demand for these appliances where possible. Load shifting means that where possible an appliance is utilised over a specific time period rather that it be allowed to operate at random. For example;
- Set your geyser to run between 9am and 4pm by installing a timer. You can also install a lower wattage element which will allow the geyser to operate longer while still consuming the same average electricity each day .
- Set your swimming pool and/or borehole pumps to run between 9am and 4pm. Seasonal adjustments will also be applicable.
- Ensure that your first load of laundry and/or ironing of the previous days’ laundry is only started after 8am.
- In summer, if you use an air conditioner, set it to start cooling your home from about 3pm so that the bulk of the initial cooling is done while your PV system is generating electricity.
- Quantify how much electricity you use and/or will be using after load shifting as per point 2. above.
- Correctly size your grid-tied solar PV system to deliver sufficient electricity to meet your energy demands as per point 3. above.