The Solar PV 'add on' that everyone is talking about!
What is self consumption?
Put simply, using all the electrical energy generated by a solar PV system within the building that it is attached to, not exporting anything to the grid, is known as 'self consumption'. The problem with Solar PV (and other renewables) is that much of the power is generated at times when it is not needed. A typical scenario is a surplus of electrical energy being generated during a summer day when the householders are out at work, wouldn't it be good to store some of that energy for 'self consumption later'.
The two best ways to increase self consumption of electrical energy are immersion optimisers and battery storage. Battery storage means that more energy is available for self consumption after sunset, it's still solar electricity but now it can run the lighting plus sockets for your TV, laptop and more!
These systems detect when there is more energy being generated than is required, they then switch on a battery charger to charge the latest generation of super efficient batteries. When the PV is no longer generating electricity the stored energy in the batteries is released to meet any electrical demands.
Immersion diverters increase self consumption by sending surplus energy to the hot water cylinder. In the same way as the battery systems they detect an excess of power before switching on. All that solar energy is then available for a hot bath or shower in the evening.