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Are you part of an OVO Smart Home trial? Let us know to get access to the dedicated area

  • 19 January 2021
  • 71 replies
  • 900 views
Are you part of an OVO Smart Home trial? Let us know to get access to the dedicated area
Userlevel 7

OVO ‘Smart Home Trial’ private area is live!

 

Have you successfully applied to take part in one of our Smart Home Trials? This includes:

 

 

If you’ve had the new technology installed in your house already, we want to hear from you!

 

Leave a comment below, and I’ll add you to a private area with other trial members. This means you’ll be able to:

  1. Share and discuss the latest developments of the trial and the technologies involved. 
  2. Get advice and support from other trailists and experts. 
  3. Have access to a safe and private space to document your experiences and learnings.

Can’t wait for you to join! 


71 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

I am already on the V2G trial and signed up and at survey stage for the zero carbon heating trial.

Userlevel 7

Best of luck for that zero carbon heating trial, @ArundaleP :fingers_crossed: Let’s chat about it today in our call! 

 

Keep me updated and once you have your installation day and the kit fitted (don’t forget to take photos on the day), you’ll get access to our Smart Home Trial area, here

 

V2G trialists won’t be included into this area. They had their own private area back when their trial launched, which we combined with our public EV section, here

Userlevel 7
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@Tim_OVO wrote:

Keep me updated and once you have your installation day and the kit fitted (don’t forget to take photos on the day), you’ll get access to our Smart Home Trial area

Sorry, I’m unsure what you intend...

Are you suggesting that @ArundaleP will only get access to the Treehouse once he has the kit installed?

Of all the Trials, it is the Home Heat one which needs customers invited to the Treehouse at the earliest possible moment. There are so many possibilities to discuss about which technologies will sit alongside the Heat pump and what building modifications are best.

Userlevel 5
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@Tim_OVOwrote:

Keep me updated and once you have your installation day and the kit fitted (don’t forget to take photos on the day), you’ll get access to our Smart Home Trial area

Sorry, I’m unsure what you intend...

Are you suggesting that @ArundaleP will only get access to the Treehouse once he has the kit installed?

Of all the Trials, it is the Home Heat one which needs customers invited to the Treehouse at the earliest possible moment. There are so many possibilities to discuss about which technologies will sit alongside the Heat pump and what building modifications are best.

 

I’m with you there @Transparent. There are so many possibilities and it would be great to get other members feedback and discuss proposed installation before it actually gets installed.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

So @Tim_OVO please clarify this.

As a self-builder I have been installing these sorts of technologies in my house for 15+ years. I know what works… and, more importantly, what doesn’t!

There are obviously certain items which must be installed professionally at the same time as the Heat pump, but there are related devices which can be added by the home-owner at a later date provided those possibilities are left open.

@Jequinlan and I have already discussed the number of heat-inputs which could be allowed for with the choice of thermal store. Eg if there’s a spare coil, then this could later be used for inputs from a wood-chip burner or solar-heating panel. But customers may not consider the reasons for having an extra coil (or two immersion-heater ports) unless we mull over the possibilities now.

It even affects Building Regs. Did you know that a thermal store fitted to mainly provide heat for rooms is exempt from the clauses in Approved Document L1a? But if it’s installed mainly to provide hot water used for washing, then it needs a certificated installer and a Building Regs application.  That can prove expensive and cause delays.

Userlevel 7
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@Transparent it is with great regret i need to announce i am no longer on heating trial! 

 

Apparently my standard build, 3 bedroom semi council built 1970s house is too expensive to retrofit with what is needed and exceeds trial costs. An interesting lesson for the trial itself! 

 

I am gutted, but super keen lessons are learned on how to remove gas given this is a typical house!

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

We need to discuss this situation with @Tim_OVO. There will be some people who are invited into the Smart Home Treehouse who are not themselves trialing the products. Instead they wish to contribute to the discussions and be involved in solving problems which arise.

If you want to implement these technologies @Jequinlan, but to do so yourself (as I have) then the Treehouse group could still benefit from you being present. It obviously depends on whether you wish to get stuck in to the issues, and only you know that.

I have colleagues in Devon who have been taking part in Trials to retro-fit 1970’s “council houses” to extremely high energy efficiency levels. So I’m well aware of what is theoretically possible. You can have a look at this refurbishment program on these pages of Devon County Council.

Personally, I wouldn’t approach the problem in the way that they have. The Zebcat process is really aimed at Housing Associations who have to address energy efficiency in hundreds of houses with similar design. But we can still learn from what they have found to be effective, and adapt that to our own homes on a DIY basis.

Userlevel 7
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Yes, I am, interested still!

Userlevel 7

Hi all, and a happy Monday morning to everyone out there,

 

It’s such a shame to hear that you’re not able to progress to the installation phase, @Jequinlan - we were counting on you as a community insider on the trial. We’ll need to assume the reasoning by Retrofit was sound.

 

Trialist and non trialist access to our ‘Smart Home Trials’ treehouse area needs to be managed carefully. Only members that have had their installation will count as active trialists. As we can see, that’s the best way of knowing eligibility. 

 

We will also admit community members who own the ‘Top Volunteer’ badge to this area, as these members perform key roles for all community content. If you’re not an owner of the ‘Top Volunteer’ badge, and you're not part of one of the trials running in 2021, you will need to contact me directly in order to be considered for access. Sorry folks, that’s the nature of private areas. Sometimes some people aren’t allowed in….

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

@Tim_OVOwrote:

We will also admit community members who own the ‘Top Volunteer’ badge to this area

 

That means you have to dress as a Plan Zero Warrior and wear OVO-regulation green underpants on the outside of your leggings.

 

Or, on a more serious note, @Jequinlan - does your software knowledge provide a useful skill-set which would help in analysing how effective are these Home-heat and Battery-storage trials?

With Heat pumps in particular, the energy-in v. heat-out is a critical figure. This is quoted as a coefficient of performance (COP), and would normally be around 3 or 4. So for every 1kWh of electricity input, 3kWh or 4kWh of heat is imported to the house.

Some customers on the Trial will have no understanding of this at all at the outset. So they will be needing help to analyse what’s happening and then advice on how to get the COP higher.

 

Userlevel 7
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“Or, on a more serious note, @Jequinlan - does your software knowledge provide a useful skill-set which would help in analysing how effective are these Home-heat and Battery-storage trials?” - Sadly not @Transparent . If I can get the data my data analysis skills can lean to finding useful insights but getting the data isn’t something my software engineering skills are.

Userlevel 5
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Folks - back to the forum after a gap due to work commitments and hope to stay connected more regularly now. Some exciting developments since the last time I was here. Lots of chatter to pick up :)

I await delivery of 64kWH Nissan EV in March so keen to understand how the V2G trial will pan out going forward.

@Tim_OVO - I completely missed the battery trial. Is it still open to express interest? Ready to join the private forum you’ve mentioned in a few chat discussion.

Let’s hope that 2021 is better than 2020 …..

 

Userlevel 7
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Welcome back @sylm_2000 ! Good to hear! I too am drowning in work, but am always here to be tagged! (Still awaiting v2g replacement) …

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Ah… I’d wondered who’d been doing all the work during this lockdown. It’s @sylm_2000 and @Jequinlan.  HMRC will be glad of your contributions :wink:

@Jequinlan - have you yet devised a way to get either of your EV’s charged? It’s not like you live in a town where you could just walk to the nearest shop.

Userlevel 5
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Ah… I’d wondered who’d been doing all the work during this lockdown. It’s @sylm_2000 and @Jequinlan.  HMRC will be glad of your contributions :wink:

@Jequinlan- have you yet devised a way to get either of your EV’s charged? It’s not like you live in a town where you could just walk to the nearest shop.

 

@Transparent you’re right, just submitted my tax returns to HMRC over the weekend 🙂 Your articles are always very insightful and fun to read, so much to catch-up!

Been having (hardware) trouble with the V2G charger which is being looked at but otherwise, I am looking forward to the new leaf in March and potential decision on heating trial (which has been rather “interesting”). 

Userlevel 7
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Sadly @Transparent  I haven’t, It is sitting there, virtually dead. There is a charger in the village car park but is sadly broken 90% of the time. I think it relies on mobile signal, something villages don’t have!

Userlevel 7
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I think we need to tag Dawn French. This story has the all the elements required to compose an excellent script for The Vicar of Dibley. :hugging:

Why has Quinlan Parish Council allowed a company to place a charger in a village car park where there isn’t enough GSM signal for it to operate?!

Didn’t they have to provide the results of a Technical Feasibility Study to the Local Planning Authority when they submitted the Application?

Wasn’t this included in the statutory “request for comments” sent to the Parish Council ?

I don’t suppose the village has retained a community-owned horse, has it? :thinking:

 

Userlevel 7
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Erm... @Transparent the community has 2 horses on call as needed. They water flowers etc on streets, attend village parades...

Userlevel 7
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Two horses!

Eeek, there’s real affluence in the South East, isn’t there?!

So couldn’t OVO supply you with a matching buggy until they can replace the charger?

the Amish lifestyle somehow seems really attractive!

 

Userlevel 7
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Just so you know, I’m enrolled on the Storage Battery Trial.

The PowerVault-3 is here and connected to rooftop solar panels. However, there’s still another meter to be fitted and some commissioning work before it can be handed across to OVO and controlled by the Flex Platform.

 

installation not yet completed

The Storage Battery Trial is to last 2 years, but will not operate during the 6-months of summer due to the way in which grid-demand is being assessed. So I’m unsure yet if my site will actually provide any data for this first winter.

Top-left of the photo is the connection box containing safety-trips and lightning suppression. This one is slightly more complex than most because I have the ability to switch one or more of the rooftop PV arrays to off-grid use if I want.

Today I’ve been adding electronics into this enclosure to power the digital meters and the anti-surge monitoring whilst the panels are not connected to the PowerVault battery (including at night). I need to be able to view the panel-voltages before throwing the trip to make a connection to the PowerVault unit in order to ensure it’s safe to do so.

 

You’ll see that I’ve also added a dedicated display showing the PowerVault Portal. This provides live readings of what is being imported from the PV Solar Panels and Distribution Grid. Actually it’s not quite “live”. There seems to be a variable lag of a minute or three before the display catches up with what I can see on my own metering.

This is just a brief overview to show you all what’s happening. The detail of the Trial is being kept for discussion in the

 

Userlevel 7

Hi @sylm_2000 and welcome back - good to hear from you!

 

I believe the Powervault storage trial is no longer allowing members to register their interest. The product page with FAQs is here. Pretty sure it was roughly based around the South West, but don’t hold me to that. 

 

@Jequinlan and @sylm_2000 with unrelated V2G unit issues :confounded:  I’m glad to hear Indra are aware of both though. @sylm_2000 are you not able to charge till this is resolved?

 

If there’s any updates on your other trial application, send me a PM or feel free to share the latest in this thread! 

Userlevel 5
Badge +1

@Tim_OVO - thanks, no response to a couple of emails from retrofit over the last three weeks. I am sure they are working in the application in the background.

 

Yes, the V2G charger is down from 10 days now.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

@Tim_OVOwrote:

Pretty sure it was roughly based around the South West, but don’t hold me to that. 

I haven’t yet heard of anyone else on this PowerVault Trial, so I can’t be sure of the geographical coverage.

However, the Installation company (GMEC) who fitted my battery are based in north Devon and install PowerVault equipment throughout Devon & Cornwall. My site is just over an hour’s drive from their base.

And yet they haven’t installed any other batteries for the OVO/Kaluza Trial. So I’d assumed we were more widely spread.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Sorry to hear @sylm_2000 . I have been down since before xmas!

Userlevel 5
Badge +1

Sorry to hear @sylm_2000 . I have been down since before xmas!

@Jequinlan - I hope you have a back-up. That’s a long time to resolve the fault.

Let’s hope they come around quickly

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