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Optimising self-consumption

A residential home will normally have its peak consumption in the morning and evening. This does not combine well with the production characteristic of solar PV that starts as the sun reaches a certain height and has its peak at noon.

Unless your municipality offers net-metering, current feed-in tariffs are very low, making this an unattractive option for homeowners. There are effectively two ways to make better use of the power produced, namely storage and load shifting.

Storage is expensive and is usually included in systems for supply security during power failures and load-shedding as it normally does not serve to increase the financial feasibility of the investment at current electricity prices.

Load shifting involves using appliances and equipment during periods where PV production is high e.g. between 10am and 2pm. This may require some changes in routines.

Loads that can be shifted include pool pumps, washing machines (newer models have timers), tumble dryers, dish washers, vacuum cleaners and electric geysers on a timer.

If the appliance doesn’t have a timer and there is nobody home during the day standard plug timers can be used.