Solar, V2G and Home Storage with OVO - what's the latest?

Userlevel 6

HI all and @Darran_OVO, I have the benefit of V2G and its great, however I also have a thirst for more technology available from OVO that would work alongside the V2G tech. 

As a OVO customer, you also offer Battery wall tech, can I also have this installed? and as I also have the smart charger (because we have multiple household EVs) I would like solar, I could self fund the solar but, to align and integrate it with the existing V2G I would like it to be provided by OVO, is this possible ? is there a future scheme ?

Having all the available technology, even on a trial basis like the V2G would be a great opportunity, as ideally I would like to have all technology installed as this would make a house more sustainable and in the right direction of were we need to be right ? I know your a power company but helping the sustainability of the grid indeed seems to be in OVOs “style” 

so I leave look forward to the answer, 

Can I have the available battery wall, if not why ?

Can or will OVO supply Solar installs now or in the future 


Thanks ;-) 


Best answer by Nancy_OVO 6 December 2019, 14:12

Hi @D10hul,

Is this the product you’re referring to? If so, more info via that link!


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18 replies

Userlevel 2

As a fellow v2g trialist, I would also be keen on improving our set up with solar/battery wall technology that works with v2g, so interested in any developments OVO can provide too.

Userlevel 6

@vespalads  might interest you ? 

Userlevel 6

Hi @D10hul,

Is this the product you’re referring to? If so, more info via that link!


Userlevel 3

@vespalads  might Intreat you ? 

Certainly does.

The current tarrif does not in any way promote the use of battery storage when used in the standard way.


Normally the whole point of a battery storage solution with solar is to allow you to store excess solar to use when you need it and therefore reduce your import energy costs, you can also then go a step further and take Econemy 7 or simalar, on the basis that most of your peak time needs will be met by your stored solar. You can even charge the battery at E7 rates overnight in the winter when your solar is not going to produce enough for your peak time needs.


Because the V2G taffif is flat rate for both import and export it actually costs you money (due to the conversion losses) to store excess solar in your battery, you are loosing out on the 26p export payment you could get from that solar export and using it to save only 14-16p import rate at peak time. You therefore loose 10-12p per unit stored before you even consider conversion losses. The only way you could get some benefit out of a storage battery is to frig it to constantly charge to 100% at 14-16p and then discharge into the grid at 26p, making sure it doesn't charge whist solar or V2G is exporting. This not the best way to achieve a green grid.


I dont like the traditional use of a storage battery to save excess solar for personal use, in the same way i dont like any other solar export saver such as immersion heating diverters or even smart chargers with solar matching. People look at the small picture when doing this, they get a warm glowing feeling that they in isolation are very green as most of there energy comes from solar. This however is at the detriment of the grid as a whole.


When solar is being produced at peak times, the owner should get paid peak rate export to give it to the grid to be used by anyone who needs it, therefore reducing the need for the grid to bring online fossil fuel power or imported power. When solar is being produced at off peak times, the grid doesn't want or need it, in fact if too much is oversupplied to the grid it will then have to start compensating wind farm owners to turn off turbines. The export price at off peak times should be so low to encourage the storage of this excess solar in a battery or car for later use.


If you have solar and give it all to the grid because you dont need it, and then import at night at off peak times, you will probably feel your are not being green because you are importing none green energy at night. However what you are doing by importing at night is reducing the chance that the grid will need to compensate wind turbine owners to turn them off because the grid is oversupplied.


The Tarrif needs to evolve so that we can import when costs are minimal and export/ use our stored energy when costs are high, only then will a fully integrated solar, V2G and home storage solution really reach its potential.


You could even store excess solar / low rate import in your battery when you are out, to then transfer into your car at peak times without having to pay peak rate electricity if thats what your schedule requires.

Userlevel 5

This would certainly interest me, although the landlord is not keen spending on renewable technology, it would be great as the position of the roof is perfect. Although I am not planning to live here for more than 2 years , ( came to live in UK in 2007 for 2 years :thinking: ) but still it could benefit the new occupant. If there is a trial that includes solar PV in Devon, I am up for it!

Userlevel 6

Hi @D10hul,

Is this the product you’re referring to? If so, more info via that link!


Yes @Nancy_OVO @Tim_OVO, I am also interested in solar, can we open any of this up to OVO members ? 

Userlevel 1

I would be interested in solar too! 

Userlevel 6

Hi @Nancy_OVO @Tim_OVO, Have we got any answers for this ? the original posts 5 days old now, you can Direct message me if needed !


Userlevel 7

Hi @Nancy_OVO @Tim_OVO, Have we got any answers for this ? the original posts 5 days old now, you can Direct message me if needed !



Let me confirm where we’re at from our perspective @D10hul - I’ll be messaging here soon :)

Userlevel 7

From the V2G team - please have a read and respond below @D10hul @Kat Leaf @Andras @vespalads @piersjk 


Thanks to all for raising such interesting and insightful points - it’s great to have such an engaged community of trialists, and we’ve really enjoyed seeing the trialists working together to offer advice, expertise and solutions.


Looking specifically at the proposal of solar and battery storage solutions, they’re great options to have, however must be viewed in the context of the V2G trial - it’s worth keeping in mind that the aim of the trial is to assess the viability of providing flexible grid balancing services from an EV. 


The addition of extra home generation and storage devices can muddy the waters somewhat and potentially prevent us from learning about the key objectives of this trial.


Additionally, with a Kaluza software controlled system the ease of use is maintained - introducing additional systems and technologies may impact the ability to easily manage the V2Gs benefits.


It is also worth noting that adding complexity to a home generation and storage system does come with DNO considerations. We’ve set up our current proposition in order to remove complexity and hassle from the user perspective, and there will be additional complexities as each generation asset will need a separate assessment and connection fee, and it’s very likely to result in a request from the DNO to enforce an export limitation scheme on the property.


So in conclusion, although we recognise the potential of solar and home energy storage to reduce carbon and reliance on the grid we believe it falls outside of the scope of this trial.



OVO Energy

Userlevel 7

@Transparent you also may find this worth a read ^

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Ah… Thanks for the heads up. I need go sharpen my quills.

I’d really like to hear what @vespalads has to say on that OVO Statement. What he wrote here last week was very insightful and he’s on the current V2G trial.

Userlevel 6

Hmm very disappointing as @vespalads has possibly said, this is a very typical reply of a “we can’t be [edited by moderator]?” When ever a task arrives out of scope it’s often easier to simply grease your desk up and move on. 

I am very pleased that OVO are looking at the tech but  let’s not forget they are using government money to do this “I could be wrong here” and any further move forward should be embraced with open arms, it’s not very complex as the software from Kaluza has already got solar matching and e V2G will have dynamic export designed specifically to work with solar, so why the issue ? 
An extra 5kw battery pack would only store excess and feed it into the EV or grid whe required it’s very simple and the software is already in place or in testing to control this 


unfortunately @Tim_OVO i appreciate your answer but I done buy it, OVO are better than that and could be a ground breaking company that all EV drivers would flock to, but In order to do this OVO need to open the limits. 

sorry forgot to tag you @Transparent  what’s your thoughts, sorry I am not as constructive as you ! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

This Topic is a much-needed discussion. Thanks @D10hul.

Coincidentally I had a long video conference with @Tim_OVO a few days ago, where we discussed this very subject. I’m hopeful that he will send an internal memo to relevant senior managers to draw this Topic to their attention.


I’m largely in agreement with what @vespalads has already written above, and this sentence in particular:

People look at the small picture when doing this, they get a warm glowing feeling that they in isolation are very green…

We, and I include here the wider population, and Kaluza in particular, must progress towards a new way of handling domestic electricity use and distribution. That needs clear vision, correct analysis of the current data and a strategy that is altruistic.


The “statement” above from OVO seems to be looking too intently at the present V2G Trial rather than seeing this technology within the wider context.

Let me pick up one example:

the aim of the [V2G] trial is to assess the viability of providing flexible grid balancing services from an EV.

What does the writer think Grid Balancing means?

If we are intended to think that this is about flattening out the peak-demand time-slot, then the term “balancing” is being used in a particularly narrow sense.


Over the past year I have been a member of one of the seven Community-based Organisations on the Ofgem-funded OpenLV Trial. This involved prototype monitoring equipment from EA Technology being installed in (11kV) sub-stations and the live data being publicly available for us to interrogate.

Balancing is a serious issue to my DNO (Western Power Distribution), and it was important for us to appreciate what they meant by this.


A: An imbalance of current between phases at a sub-station results in losses which can be detected as a rise in temperature.

large phase imbalance Wednesday due to more solar generation on phase L2

These losses at the substation have doubled to 10% in the last 20 years since domestic properties have been feeding back renewable-energy to the Grid using their single-phase connections. That is unsustainable.


B: Housing developments can cause additional loading on one substation whilst the adjacent ones are well below saturation. The OpenLV Trial identified 30 such locations and paired transformers in a “Meshing” experiment to counteract the imbalances across both phases and “feeds”.

One of these locations is about 5 miles from the substation on our Community Trial which yielded the above graph.

The current now being drawn by the substations in the area of the Meshing Trial is much greater than the original designs allowed for. This results in a lower-voltage during the early evening peak. To overcome this, our Primary (33kV) substation boosts the voltage to all other local substations in the area. This can clearly be seen here:

domestic voltage must be 230v -6% to +10% (216-253v)

A successful implementation of Meshing should permit these high voltages to be lowered in the surrounding area due to transformer loadings being brought into a more balanced arrangement,


C: There is insufficient capacity in both the Distribution Grid and the National Grid to take all the renewable energy which is available. In Western Power’s SW Region, almost all the Primary, Bulk and Grid transformers are being offered more solar or wind power than they can manage. This results in their supply areas being designated as “under a capacity constraint”, shown red in this map

National Grid Supply Points shown in blue

The SW could provide more renewable energy to the UK if the output were tied to Load Management software which could turn on domestic devices to help provide balance.

Here’s an updated version of a drawing I’ve uploaded to the Forum previously which shows a range of domestic loads that could be deployed in this balancing operation:

It’s of interest that many of these devices are more likely to be found in older properties where there are elderly occupants. So the outcome of removing the renewable energy capacity constraints by “intelligent balancing” would benefit the least well-off members of society.


So what’s the problem?

Well none of the three balancing illustrations I’ve just given are being addressed by Kaluza’s V2G Trial.

If the Kaluza platform is all it’s cracked up to be, then we must assume that there is a management decision to address only the particular matter of peak-demand. But I would struggle to refer to that as balancing.

Userlevel 6

Thanks @Transparent, I truly believe that V2G, Home storage and PV are all and should all be installed as one element, if the property is able to accommodate, they would go a long way to helping the situation. 

The V2G unit is capable of solar matching (the smart+ already has this capability and is released to the public) it is also capable of many other things, however for the trial many of these features are disabled, Solar PV upto 4KW is already allowed on the trail and beyond as the unit will become a dynamic export in the next software release. 

So my question still poses, why do OVO no longer offer solar installations? and if the battery wall is available this too would easily be able to be fitted along side the V2G unit, controlled in the same way, I really can't see an issue. 

Bringing me back to my original point, and I fully understand it is at OVOs discretion, however I feel OVO could be absolutely cutting edge and really get the ball rolling and be very much ahead of the game, a real game changer if they would combine the 2 elements in install if the premise was able to accommodate. 

Looks like D10hul has gone! Real shame he was very well informed, a break  from the usual twists and gripes, you must have upset him !! @Nancy_OVO  the forums loss !!    

Userlevel 7

Looks like D10hul has gone! Real shame he was very well informed, a break  from the usual twists and gripes, you must have upset him !! @Nancy_OVO  the forums loss !!    


We’ll get them back on the forum, or we’ll try anyway - watch this space! 


Still, all we ask is that the debates here are free of expletives. See our User Guidelines for more info. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

The issue of Grid Balancing is expanded upon in a separate reference-topic.