Pure Planet’s solar panels pilot with bp Lightsource Labs gets underway - meet the five participants getting their kit installed this week

Pure Planet’s solar panels pilot with bp Lightsource Labs gets underway - meet the five participants getting their kit installed this week
  • Community Manager
  • 5493 replies

Pure Planet’s rooftop solar PV panels pilot with bp Lightsource Labs gets underway this week as the scaffolding goes up and the hardware arrives.

Introducing the five participants taking part in the first phase of the pilot to test the installation and optimisation of the technology.

From today scaffolding teams have arrived at the five locations and all this week the rooftop solar PV panels and batteries will, one by one, be installed and wired up.

We’ll be sharing photos of the installations here in the Pure Planet Community and putting together lots of tips, myth-busting and how to guides based on the questions we and our Members have asked.

This week is the very start of the first phase of a two-year pilot to test the hardware and service needed for our Members to generate and store their own renewable electricity at home.

The partnership will also make use of Lightsource Labs’ home energy management technology – Tribe – and cloud-based Virtual Power Plant (VPP) platform to monitor and optimise live energy generation, storage and usage. 

Using the systems as part of a VPP means that Pure Planet can aggregate each individual storage system together into a ‘power plant’ and operate them to reduce the cost of supplying electricity and help balance the grid. We think VPPs could play an important part in getting the UK to net zero.

If you’d be up for taking part in future testing let us know by adding a reply to this thread announcing the pilot.

The Lightsource ‘Tribe’ app we’ll be testing during this pilot

For now, introducing the ‘famous five’ taking part, and a little bit about each participant.:slight_smile:

Ben Mulcahy, from Somerset. Ben, a digital service advisor at Pure Planet, lives with his partner and their cat, Honey, in a converted barn. They’ve got electricity with PP and an oil powered boiler. They’re currently using about 5,000kWh of electricity every year, and have SMETS2 smart meters. They own a petrol car and a hybrid car, but are looking into replacing both with one EV in the near future. The children have grown up and left home, but Ben regularly hosts foreign students. 

The scaffolding is up at Ben’s house in Somerset

Doug Ashton, from Witshire. Doug, who is chief data scientist at Pure Planet, lives in a detached 1970s five-bedroom house with his wife and three children. They have a Nissan Leaf (30kWh battery edition) and a Ford Focus petrol car, too. They’re dual fuel, SMETS2 meters, with underfloor heating in the kitchen, and a garage.Their yearly electricity usage is currently about 5,300kWh (about 1,000kWh is the car).

Jo Bushnell, from Gloucestershire. Jo, a business analyst at Pure Planet, lives with husband Dave in a semi-detached home with four bedrooms, garage and workshop. Their property is dual fuel, with SMETS1 meters. Their current annual usage is unknown as they moved into the home just two months ago. The house has an electric cooker and electric shower, gas heating/hot water. Most neighbours in the street have solar panels already, and there’s a large solar farm nearby. They currently own two petrol cars but, now they both work from home most of the time, they’re looking to replace one or both of them with EVs.

Victoria Ward, from Bristol. Victoria, a support manager at Pure Planet lives with her partner and their guide dog, Marshall. They’ve got a mid-terrace 3 bedroom house, are dual fuel users with SMETS2 smart meters. Victoria and her partner both work from home, and currently use about 3,800kWh of electricity a year. They own a petrol VW car.

Marc Cooper, from Somerset. Yep, this is yours truly, bringing up the rear! I live with my partner and our three cats in a semi-detached house, which has four bedrooms, a garage and a conservatory (which is unbearably hot in summer, impossibly cold in winter.) We’re dual fuel, and have SMETS2 smart meters. Our annual electricity usage is 6,000kWh, of which about 1,000kWH is used to charge a Nissan Leaf EV (40kWh battery edition). Our oven is electric, and we try to use a slow cooker instead, as often as possible.


So that’s a little bit about us, and we’ll be posting some updates in the replies below over the coming week as the kit is installed. 

You may also like: Solar panel and battery pilot - pre-install questions and info


28 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Ooh, lucky people! 

Jo’s kit has just turned up

Jo with a solar panel

 

 

Lots of new toys!

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Jo’s kit has just turned up

Jo with a solar panel

 

 

Lots of new toys!

 

👍

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Oooooh loved reading that Marc! 😳👍👏

Loved the photos even more! 📸👍

What a fab article, very professional indeed 👍😳, with all the background of the five participants! Ah loved it! 

I thought you had a little bungalow for some reason, but might have made it up! 🤷‍♀️🙄😁

My panels are here…. :heart_eyes:

Solar panels being delivered

 

I thought you had a little bungalow for some reason, but might have made it up! 🤷‍♀️🙄😁

The bungys are across the road @Bev we tower over them! 

Just noticed the Hauwei equipment in the garage there. Especially given the online nature of the Tribe VPP, I guess you gotta add security of energy supply to the list of concerns…

Look at how hackable systems like smart phones are (where huge efforts in addressing security issues exist, but the baddies still discover exploits) and the prize is our data and some people’s personal safety. Now compare that to an adversary being able to disrupt the energy supply of whole neighbourhoods, regions, or nations. This has gotta be a significant risk for the future and one that needs considering right from the start.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

My panels are here…. :heart_eyes:

Solar panels being delivered

 

👍

Just noticed the Hauwei equipment in the garage there. Especially given the online nature of the Tribe VPP, I guess you gotta add security of energy supply to the list of concerns…

That’s a very valid and important bit of feedback, yes.  :slight_smile:

When we’re in the position of offering solar panel and battery installs to Members, reassurance of reliability, value and security is going to be important. 

First pic of the panels in place at Ben’s home in Somerset. We kinda like the single row look :relaxed:

Panels in place at Ben’s house

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

First pic of the panels in place at Ben’s home in Somerset. We kinda like the single row look :relaxed:

Panels in place at Ben’s house

 

Wow, looks fab! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

First pic of the panels in place at Ben’s home in Somerset. We kinda like the single row look :relaxed:

Panels in place at Ben’s house

 

That's a lot of roof, is there a survey done to establish how many panels a roof can accommodate?

 

Hope that’s not a pic from today or that sun is going to carry on moving round to the back of the house… 😉 

Hopefully a pic from yesterday afternoon...

Scaffolders have just arrived at my place. They work fast! 

 

Watch out for Diet Coke break time.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Watch out for Diet Coke break time.

 

Ooh err!

That’s one hell of a selfie-stick!

Here’s Doug the data scientist with his shiny PVs

Doug and his PVs

 

And here’s Doug’s set up 

Doug’s battery and inverter set-up

The battery is on the ground (the one that looks like an electric heater)

Above the battery is the white inverter. This converts the solar energy into AC electricity

Above that is the dark grey ‘Tribe’ box which connects to the app and smart meter and manages the information we see aobut how much energy is being produced.

Doug’s battery has just shut down this morning. The joys of being guinea pigs in the first pilot!!

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

WOW, that's a big battery! 

WOW, that's a big battery! 

Yes, quite big. But slimmer than I expected. It’s a bit like one of those stand-up hard drives that used to come with PCs.

It holds 5kWh  @Angelabikerbabe 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

WOW, that's a big battery! 

I was expecting something a lot larger than that, something like the size of a wheelybin on its side. What's the output from the panels @Marc 

WOW, that's a big battery! 

I was expecting something a lot larger than that, something like the size of a wheelybin on its side. What's the output from the panels @Marc 

Hey @Duppy It depends on how many panels fit on the roof. I’m getting 12 panels and the predicted output is 3.4kWh 

I’ve currently drafting another post all about the install process, the surveys, the questions I’ve got milling about still.

Mine was the last of the five to be fitted.

The installer is just tidying up now, while I hang about annoying him with loads of questions about the Tribe app. Even this late in the day the panels are producing enough energy to power the house. Behold!

My Tribe app showing energy being produced by the panels

I’ll do a proper post all about the tech/app as I get my head around it.

And I’ve also today posted a summary of the pre-install questions and info and other bits and bobs which came up. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Mine was the last of the five to be fitted.

The installer is just tidying up now, while I hang about annoying him with loads of questions about the Tribe app. Even this late in the day the panels are producing enough energy to power the house. Behold!

My Tribe app showing energy being produced by the panels

I’ll do a proper post all about the tech/app as I get my head around it.

And I’ve also today posted a summary of the pre-install questions and info and other bits and bobs which came up. 

Aw man, I'm so jealous!

I’d be interested in the rules for if the battery exports to the grid or saves itself for powering your house… Maybe it learns how much energy you typically need overnight and sells the projected balance to the grid during peak hours to make (you or PP) £££s.

Reply