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David Porter from Fronius UK on the solar boom and ITFN at InstallerSHOW

Solar is experiencing a massive rise in growth. We spoke to David Porter, Technical Advisor at Fronius UK about the reasons for this and about what Fronius has in store for visitors to the Installing the Future. NOW! zone at InstallerSHOW.

Are we in a boom period for solar?

We have witnessed amazing growth within the industry over the past year. Understanding of both the environmental and financial benefits of solar is really increasing amongst homeowners and businesses.

Combine that with the skyrocketing electricity prices we have seen and the prospect of creating your own green electricity becomes enormously appealing. The payback period has shortened with energy price hikes, so many people toying with the idea of going solar for a while have decided that now is the right time to adopt the technology.

We anticipate that the demand and importance of solar energy will continue to grow at a fast pace, although we expect to see some stability return to the market in the mid-term.

 

What are the options for using solar to heat hot water?

Traditionally, solar thermal technology was used for heating hot water as this was more cost effective than electric water heating. The downside of this technology is that it requires more maintenance than solar electric (photovoltaic) systems and has limited applications. However, as photovoltaic panel prices have dropped dramatically, it now makes more sense to install a PV system and divert surplus energy to hot water immersions or any other electrical load on site.

There are many immersion diverter devices on the market but the Fronius Ohmpilot has a number of key benefits. Firstly, it can be used with single and three phase immersions (3-9kW) so it is ideal for both residential and commercial customers. Secondly, it is designed to work seamlessly with the Fronius Gen24 battery hybrid inverter.

Using third party devices could result in the battery and diverter ‘competing’ for surplus energy but the Gen24 and Ohmpilot can be given priority depending upon the users’ needs. Thirdly, data for the Ohmpilot is visible in the Fronius Solar.Web monitoring platform so the user can see how much energy has been saved, the temperature of their water and the financial savings of their PV system.

 

Are you seeing a rise in battery storage installations? What are the advantages?

The last couple of years have seen a huge increase in battery installations for Fronius. This is primarily due to the introduction of our Gen24 battery hybrid inverter range which has been extremely popular with installers due to its easy installation and excellent reliability.

With concerns over energy security and high demand in winter months, energy suppliers have incentivised customers to reduce energy consumption at peak hours and to use cheap overnight electricity. The Gen24 can be used to charge the battery from the grid when energy is cheap overnight and then supply a property during peak consumption periods. This ‘Time of Use’ feature can be programmed by the end customer and tailored for individual times and loads.

 

How easy is it for installers to train on solar and storage options?

There are several industry training courses for solar installers. City and Guilds 2399 is probably the most recognised of these.

Fronius provides technical training on its products and solutions at our Milton Keynes UK headquarters. The training school can provide product overviews and more in-depth technical workshops. Additionally, a range of online E-Academy trainings are freely available to anyone wanting to know more about our products.

For installers who are keen to work closely with Fronius, we offer the Fronius System Partner programme. This course is designed for installers who are regularly installing Fronius products and who want to provide a higher level of technical support and maintenance to customers. FSPs are able to maintain and repair inverters at board level which is both more cost effective and sustainable than a full replacement.

 

Why should installers head to Installing the Future Now at InstallerSHOW?

 This feature is for all installers who want to explore some of the product innovations playing a key role towards achieving net zero. Don’t just come and see the products on display – this is a working showcase where you can really get to see how products are installed, with practical demonstrations of their usage.

Come over to the Fronius feature and you will get to see a live demonstration of our hybrid inverter along with our BYD battery storage solution! Here you will be able to meet with our technical team who can answer all your questions. We are excited to meet you, so come over and see what Fronius has to offer!

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