Online meet up for May 2021 - get your vote in!

Online meet up for May 2021 - get your vote in!
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Our next online meet up - May

 

Following on from our successful first ever online event in April, we’re making plans for the next one, and we want you to decide the agenda.

 

We listened to attendees at the end of April’s event, outlining some areas they would love to be able to learn and discuss more about. I think we could do with an event dedicated to each of these climate related energy technology subjects. The question is, which one will we do first?!

 

As well as making your vote, I’d love to your hear ideas for how the session can be run. For example we could have a lead speaker (s) run the session, taking questions after a presentation. Alternatively we could allow the group to run the session, either with a fixed range of discussion points, or a less structured session like the one we had in April. The feedback I had from attendees was that more structure to the agenda might be better, but maybe this depends on the agenda we choose... 

 

Our aim here is to bring knowledgeable people together with others wanting to know more. To share experience, expertise and interests, so that we leave this session more empowered and confident in the subject matter then before it started. I believe this sort of community power is essential if we’re to fight the climate crisis. So let’s get talking!

 

As for a time and date, how’s the last week of May for everyone? Date and time preferences welcome :) 

What should the agenda of our May online meet up be based on?


59 replies

Userlevel 7
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OK, so I’ve (eventually) voted. However I’m actually happy with any of the proposed topics on the poll.

It would be heaps better if by 26th we’d actually received some news update from within OVO regarding

  • what’s happening post V2G charger trial
  • what sort of Time Of Use tariff concept is being proposed
  • how the obvious faults on the Smart Home Trials might be resolved

because any such information would undoubtedly alter our views on what we discuss.

Userlevel 7

As promised, here’s the event topic for you to RSVP to:

 

 

To trialists past and present, to members keen to hear about these trials and technologies, come along!

 

@Gingernut49 @PeterR1947 @Transparent @NinjaGeek @Simon1D @ArundaleP @sylm_2000 @nealmurphy @Jequinlan @Blastoise186 @hydrosam @juliamc @mrmojorisin04 @RAJ @Rob Whitney @jimmysnail @greengrazer @SandraAA @James_N @Mimo @SallyP @JMB @alexb @Wookie @Speps @New ASHP @jenthomson @tesla_model_3 @MrPuds @Stephen Bell 

Userlevel 5
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Thanks for running that.  Interesting information, and so impressive how much effort the triallists have put into making the trials work.

Userlevel 5
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Thanks again to everyone that made it! 

There’s a thread in the Smart Home Trials area where we’ll be able to hear from you trialists, for any follow up comments or questions based on what was discussed. 

For anyone who attended that isn’t currently on a trial and therefore doesn’t have access to that area, I’d love to hear from you about the event. Any follow up questions, takeaways or ideas, please post below... 

We’ll get a poll out soon so we can vote on the next event!

It is frustrating to be interested in but not compatible with any of the trials, so unable to have any idea what is going on.  I don’t even know what trials OVO are running and how many people are involved. We don’t get to hear about the success, learning or failures from them.

The more I think about what I heard today, the more amazed I am to find how much it has cost some of the triallists in terms of not just money, but time (lots), worry, thought and disturbance.  Thank you all for giving up so much to make our future brighter.

The knowledge of some of the participants in our forums is so wide and so deep.  The vast majority of OVO customers don’t have a clue just how helpful they are - on the forum generally and in the trials. Thank you for the education I have had reading the forum without being involved in the trials.

 

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Hi @Tim_OVO  I’ve voted.

I have quite a few appointments that week, not all of whihc are fixed on time. So I’ll join if I can at whatever time you set.

Userlevel 7

Thanks for your comments and votes, community members. Smart home trials and technology is currently leading in the polls!

 

I’ll leave this vote to run until the end of this week just in case there’s any stragglers yet to vote. It’s pretty close after all. But if this is the focus of our session, there’s plenty of things to go after. We could hear from members who have a vehicle to grid (V2G) EV charger, a Powervault energy storage battery, and an electric air source heat pump system. A lot of technology on hand to learn about here. 

 

Would any owners of the technologies mentioned be happy to lead, in what could be a more structured session? Alternatively we could leave the session agenda open so that we spend our time hearing about the technology the group most wants to hear about.    

 

I’ll be looking to book this in for May 26th at 16:30, which is very flexible and easy to change if we need to. 

 

Forgive the mass-tag, but if you have time to let me know your date/time preference and any ideas on how you’d want to use the time available (or to volunteer as a guest speaker), I’d be grateful to hear from you @hecate @PeterR1947 @ArundaleP @Jequinlan @Blastoise186 @hydrosam @gmmarcin @Transparent @Simon1D @juliamc @NinjaGeek @Rob Whitney 

Userlevel 7
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26/5 at 16:30 should be ok with me.

Userlevel 7
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Anytime after 17:30 works for me during the week. 

Userlevel 7
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Those are valid points @EverythingNeedsAUserName .

I did start a tutorial on the open part of the Forum called Using a Heat Pump, which draws heavily on the discussions being held by trial participants within the Smart Home Treehouse.

I deliberately avoided any content which was derived from particular trial sites. Nevertheless some of the participants did decide to comment about aspects of their Heat pump installations in the follow-up discussions to that tutorial. That’s why I responded more extensively on the important matter of those trial sites lacking storage for the space-heating of their homes.

 

You wrote:

I don’t even know what trials OVO are running and how many people are involved.

There I can help further regarding four particular trials.

1: The V2G charger Trial was not discussed in a private Treehouse area. So you can view comments from participants during the past 2 years that the trial has been active.

The original intention was to have about 1000 trial sites, all with Nissan Leaf cars.

The installation time, costs and level of expertise required on-site were underestimated. This meant that the installation budget was used up when around 450 V2G sites had been activated.

The trial term is now completed for those who started first. There is no follow-on product in the UK and no licensing for control of the charger to be continued by Kaluza if the customers wish to switch to another Energy Supplier. You can read what the participants are saying and doing about this on the topic Should I stay or should I go?

The V2G technology developed by OVO/Kaluza is now being made available by the Australian Energy Supplier AGL.

 

2: Sönnen Storage Battery Trial. This was commenced in partnership with the DNO, Western Power Distribution. It operates only in an area south and east of Lincoln.

The trial was required because WPD had power-constraints on two Distribution Grid feeds serving the area, one at 32kV and the other at 11kV. That was creating a significant drop in line-voltage during the early-evening peak. I have access to the Distribution Network Map for the Trial area, but am unable to post it here for licensing reasons.

To overcome this power constraint by a network upgrade would be prohibitively expensive, involving the need for an entirely new Bulk Supply Point (BSP) transformer. A 32kV feed from a BSP would normally serve an area with around 20,000 - 40,000 homes.

The obvious alternative was to place a number of Battery Storage devices in customer homes. These would supply energy during peak demand periods and could be replenished slowly at other times of day & night.

It is necessary for WPD to involve end-users because their Ofgem Distribution Licence forbids any DNO from owning generation, storage and grid-export devices themselves.

I don’t know the exact numbers involved, but a reasonable guess would be less than 100 properties.

All battery management is undertaken remotely using the Flex Platform

 

3: The Zero Carbon Heating Trial was the one you heard about most during today’s video link-up. It is one of three such trials being totally funded by the Government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Dept (BEIS). OVO won a contract to administer a trial in SE England in the regions where UKPN and SSEN are the DNOs.

Each of the three trials are to recruit 250 participants split across a defined set of social and housing backgrounds. One of the trial participants has helpfully posted some slides from a BEIS seminar about this trial within the Treehouse. As it’s 100% publicly-funded I don’t think there can be any objection to me re-posting it here!

 

4: PowerVault Battery Storage Trial. This is the smallest of the current trials and not yet operational. You can read the OVO announcement to see the background details.

It uses 24 trial sites, two of which have 8kWh batteries and the others have 4kWh. All sites have PV Solar Panels.

PowerVault is a UK company who have put extensive R&D into an off-site central management system. This allows end-users to decide how and when their battery should receive import from the Distribution Grid in addition to electricity sourced from their PV arrays.

It is not yet known how Kaluza might be able to add any benefit to this using their Flex Platform. The PowerVault software already handles the system such that a site minimises its grid demand during the early-evening peak.

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I’m certain we have a mix of Trials here… including some with customers from Octopus, who aren’t one of the Suppliers listed in the BEIS Trial that @nealmurphy reported about.

For the Zero Carbon Heating Trial, OVO are the overseeing organisation for the southeast. It's not a requirement to be an OVO customer for the trial, so there will be customers of a number of suppliers on it as it was promoted in various ways by equipment manufacturers etc.

As for what system everyone has got, I would like to think each system is tailored to the property and wouldn't expect a 'basic' set up, if there is such as thing for heat pumps. How well the systems are optimised could be down to the experience of the installers. Getting my run through of my new system tomorrow so will report in the forum with more details then, but first impressions are good.

Userlevel 7
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1st one was amazing and whilst i am massively time starved these days due to trying to grow my company, it is wonderful to see the community doing so well. I do really read all i am tagged in!!

Userlevel 7

Right then community members, we’ve had 8 votes in so far, I have a feeling we have a few potential attendees who haven’t had their vote. 

 

So, please excuse the mass-tag, I just want to give you all the chance to have your say in what we talk about in our next meet up. If you have no intention of joining us later this month for our online event, maybe don’t vote in the poll, and please excuse me for tagging you. Otherwise, jump in with your vote! @MrPuds @sylm_2000 @ArundaleP @NinjaGeek @PeterR1947 @tesla_model_3 @Transparent @gmmarcin @juliamc @hydrosam @mrmojorisin04 @TomThumb @Simon1D @hecate - anyone I’ve forgotten, please tag them below. 

 

I’m looking at the w/c the 24th May. 16:30 worked the last time, let us know your availability that week and we’ll see if there’s a consensus. 

Userlevel 7
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My vote is in 😀

Userlevel 6
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My vote is in and if it’s 16:30, any day that week for me

Userlevel 3
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Voted. 

I think the “Smart home trials and technology” and “TOU tariffs” should/cloud be bundled as one topic. 

Userlevel 5
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I’ve voted and the time is good for me. I missed the last one completely for some reason.

Userlevel 6
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Sorry @Tim_OVO my bad. Too excited 😆

Userlevel 7

Just 2 days too early @sylm_2000, but we love the enthusiasm!

 

See you Wednesday! :smiley:

Userlevel 5
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Could you please give us some up to date numbers regarding the recruitment  of the current and previous trials and what the original expectation was? 

Userlevel 7

The votes are in, no not the Bristol local elections, I mean our poll for our May meet up!

 

Our agenda, chosen by a majority of you, is: Smart Home Trials and Technologies. 

 

The meet up: May 26th 16:30-17:30. 

 

Put this in your calendar to keep it clear. I’ll be posting an event topic later this week with some more info, and I’ll tag you all here when I do so you can RSVP. 

 

Looking forward to this!

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Looking forward to it.

Userlevel 4
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See you soon! 

Userlevel 5
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Sorry, I was supposed to be home by then but I won't be now. 

Next time!

Userlevel 5
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counting down...

Userlevel 7
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I’m glad you enjoyed the event @EverythingNeedsAUserName ! It’s something that will definitely be happening again. I’m also glad that this time, the overall reliability and accessibility of Google Meet seemed to have been much better than it was last time. The only real technical gremlins were probably more down to Transparent’s internet connection being a bit too see-through to actually be useful, but that’s beyond reasonable control. :stuck_out_tongue:

Unless you want to do a me and spend £1,000 on overpowered kit that is! But at least Tim‘s line held out for once… This was probably the first time I’ve ever been on a call with Tim using Google Meet and he hasn’t crashed out! Hehehe.

But yeah, I’m seriously glad to hear your thoughts about the forum. While a tiny bit of the magic happens in a certain private area that very few members have access to, almost everything is made public eventually.

Shh… Don’t tell anyone! That’s the Top Sekrit Lair! XD

Me and Transparent often use the sekrit lair for drafting new articles before they go live. It’s ideal to get feedback and also allows OVO to check that the content is good to go first. Especially in cases where some of the contents of a guide require approval first. Some of them generate a LOT of traffic here, but guides alone do not make a forum.

While volunteers like us are highly dedicated to the forum community and work hard to make it a success, we cannot pull it off by ourselves. The contributions from ALL members combined are what helps - even those who take part in trials or do other things. And yes, I do also consider those who aren’t actually with OVO but come here for help with their issues. Their own questions and contributions are highly valued.

You don’t need to be hold the Super User role or Plan Zero Hero rank to help out here either. 🙂 If you contribute in any way, you will be rewarded. I actually happen to know exactly what triggers all the rank ups, but apparently Tim gets upset if I reveal them because he then has to reconfigure everything. You’ll just have to figure them out without my help...

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