Renewing our company one electric vehicle at a time

Pardon the pun, but our newest electric Maxus van has been on the roads for a couple of months now. One of our four 100% electric vans, it is emblazoned with our new Carter Renewables branding, an exciting division of our company focusing on Solar PV systems, Electric Vehicle Charging, Tesla Powerwalls and Solar battery installations.

As we look to diversify Carter Electrical with its new sister division Carter Renewables, it’s important we showcase the best of what renewable energy has to offer. And what better way than through our electric fleet; the Maxus EDeliver 3 does around 135 miles on a full charge, perfect for our work in and around the Reading area.

Carter Electrical New Electrical Vehicle

Why change to Electric Vehicles?

The electric vehicle (EV) market is booming, according to the latest vehicle stats. Electric car sales increased by 40% in 2022 and EVs enjoyed another record year with more than one in ten new vehicles being electric. The proportion of electric cars within the wider used car market is only going one way – up. Overall, 1.61 million new cars were registered in 2022 – a figure that’s 2.0% down on 2021 due to the impact of the pandemic and the continued global semiconductor chip shortage. Despite this, more battery electric vehicles (BEV) were sold in 2022 than ever with 267,203 registrations (16.6% of all new car sales), while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) made up 6.3% or 101,414 cars.

Electric car sales are now second only to petrol cars in the UK.

Completing the circuit

With this in mind, more and more clients are reaching out to us to start the conversation about how they can make renewable adaptations to their homes and business premises to reduce their running costs for their electric vehicles. These include projects as straightforward as installing personal electric car chargers, such as the MyEnergi Zappi, or opting for our self-titled Triple Solution, where clients are storing the energy from their solar panels in storage batteries before using that generated power to run their homes. Batteries also let you charge up overnight with cheaper electric to reduce your unit price of electricity in the winter when there is less solar being generated.

Get Carter, go green!

So what are you waiting for? If you’re considering going green with your vehicle in the interests of contributing to a cleaner planet, not to mention adding value to your property or commercial venue, talk to us about an initial quote.

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EV charging point

Take Tesla Battery With You

Removal and re-install of Tesla battery for new home

Some very good clients of ours recently moved to Herefordshire. We were delighted to be asked by them to remove their Tesla battery from their house in Reading and refit it in their new home. People are making major investments in green energy for their homes so that it is good to know that most elements of a solar system can be removed and used in new houses. It is rare that solar panels are moved as the costs of removal make this prohibitive. Also, newer panels are much more cost effective than older ones.

We have written several blogs about the benefits of installing storage batteries and their pros and cons. After a period of shortages we are also noticing a better supply of Tesla Powerwall batteries now.

As well as fitting their Tesla Powerwall storage battery we added 17 x 425 Trina Vertex modules (solar panels) and SolarEdge optimisers and an inverter. This was to minimise tree shading and allow a couple of elevations. Along with this we fitted a MyEnergi Zappi electric car charger. This was a great project to work on as our clients will now be generating plenty of power from their panels, storing it in their Tesla battery and running their electric vehicles from their generated power. We’ve called it the Triple Solution

Please do get in touch with us if you’d like any more information about whether your installations can be moved or indeed if you are starting out on the green energy journey.

Carter Electrical Helpers Bailey & Pebbles
All of our work in Herefordshire was watched over by Bailey and Pebbles.

Read other Tesla related articles:
Tesla Powerwall Installation In Reading
Approved Installers of Tesla Powerwall 2 Batteries
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tesla powerwall installation reading

Best Ever Testimonial for Installation of Green Energy Products

Installation of solar panels, Tesla Powerwall battery and Air Source Heat Pump

This project in Caversham has been a full installation of Green energy products. We installed 10Kw of solar panels with a supporting Solar Edge inverter and hot water diverter, a Tesla Powerwall battery, an Air Source Heat Pump from Midea, and a Mixergy smart tank. A fully integrated solution. So much so that the client has had his gas supply removed.

Please read Nigel’s glowing testimonial below.

“From the moment we contacted Carter Electrical, they demonstrated a deep understanding of our renewable energy goals and provided a high-quality service.

Renewable energy solution

Their team worked closely with us to design and implement a custom renewable energy solution for my home, covering; solar, heat-pump, battery, smart hot water tank, underfloor heating and car charger.

The installation process was completed rapidly, with Matt getting us up and running before the winter set in. The team were flexible during the installation and were able accommodate additional panels on our roof.

Since the system was installed, we’ve seen significant reductions in our energy bills. In mid Feb for the first time we achieved full independence, going a full day on solar and battery alone. We’ve also had the gas meter taken out. Having independence and energy security were core objectives of our project and Carter’s helped to deliver them for us.

We highly recommend Carter’s to anyone who is looking to start saving money on their energy bills and doing their bit for the planet.”

Nigel Markey

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tesla powerwall installers reading

Green Energy Projects-The Heat Goes On.

2023 has started out extremely busy for us here at Carter Electrical Installations. We are working on several projects, both commercial and residential, where clients are looking for Green energy solutions. So as well as having solar panels fitted clients are looking for solutions by adding storage batteries, EV chargers and Air Source Heat Pumps. We described this as the Triple Solution in a blog last year.

Clearly the surge in energy prices last year is driving demand for Green energy solutions. The return on investment on installing these products is so much higher when gas and electricity prices have soared. Also helping is the easing of supply chain bottlenecks, although some products are still on fairly long lead times.

Emmer Green Energy Project

We recently completed a project in Emmer Green where we added more solar panels, an immersion diverter and a Zappi EV charger. This project will be completed next year when we add a Tesla storage battery. This is one of the products that still has a long lead time.

The solar panels were mounted on a K2 system and we installed a Solar Edge 4kw inverter. The EV charger is from myenergi Zappi and we also installed an Eddi immersion diverter from myenergi.

Caversham Energy Project

The project highlighted in the header picture is from our recent work in Chazey Road, Caversham. The client is so pleased with the results that he has cut off his gas supply and gone fully electric. This was a comprehensive project with 10kw of solar fitted to SolarEdge inverter, with optimisers to maximise panel performance and minimise the effects of shading, a Tesla storage battery, a Samsung HTQ air source heat pump and a Mixergy smart hot water cylinder. This is a serious investment by the client but has superb outcomes with lower bills for most of the year and insulated against price increases.

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Solar panel installation

2022 and all that

For this our December blog we are going to look back on our blogs posts from 2022. Little did we know how prescient our first blog of the year was going to be. Titled “Coming to your in 2022-Higher Energy Bills” we predicted that the energy cap would rise sharply in April. What we didn’t know was the Putin would order the invasion of Ukraine and send gas and oil prices soaring further. The energy cap will rise to £4,279 in January.

However consumers are protected by the Energy Price Guarantee until March 2024. The Energy Price Guarantee protects consumers reducing the unit cost of electricity and gas so that that a typical dual fuel direct debit bill for January 2023 remains at £2,500 and will be increased from April 2023 to a new level of £3000. Ofgem are also moving to quarterly price cap updates.

Lets hope that energy prices saw their peaks in 2022 and that wholesale prices of gas and oil continue to fall further. We have offered advice in a couple of blogs of how to save money and how to run your gas boiler efficiently.

We further addressed price inflation in our blogs for May and June titled The Perfect Storm-Parts 1 and 2. As well as energy price inflation these two blogs discussed the shortages in the supply chain affecting our electrical business. Some parts have been in acute shortages all year and have affected our work flow and deliverability on projects.

The rapid rise in energy prices has led to a record year for Carter Electrical Installations with our Green Energy projects. We have covered the installation of Green Energy in several blogs this year. Offering advice on the best products to use and how to run things efficiently. We have seen good demand from golf courses to install Solar PV and storage batteries and covered the topic in our July blog-Golf Courses Go Green. We also wrote blogs on Solar Panels and how they work and storage batteries-Battery Power

Carter Electrical are a local to Reading family run company, that has built up plenty of experience in installing Solar PV, inverters, storage batteries, EV chargers and Air Source Heat Pumps. Its this combination of skills combined with our electrical contracting background that makes us quite unique in the industry. The one issue that we continue to focus on is recruiting more electricians with experience of green energy. Though we do offer training in this area for qualified electricians. We covered this subject in our August blog-Are You Looking For A New Challenge?

It just remains to wish all of our readers, customers and suppliers a very merry Christmas and a successful and healthy New Year. Best Wishes from Jon, Matt and the Team

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Battery power

Battery Power

Two of the most popular storage batteries available on the market are the Tesla Powerwall and Huawei Luna. We have installed both products so thought that a good idea for a Blog would be to compare and contrast their features. Storage batteries, alongside inverters, are becoming increasingly popular as domestic customers look to store the power created from their solar panels and then release the electricity when needed.

All batteries store DC (direct current) power, and solar panels produce DC power. But home appliances use AC (alternating current) power. This is where inverters and rectifiers come into play.

When solar panels produce DC power, it runs through an inverter, where it’s converted to AC, then flows through your house. If you have a backup power system, excess energy that’s not used in the home will keep flowing to charge your battery. It will need to run through a rectifier to be converted back to DC power in order to be stored in the battery.

Storage batteries have been in limited supply over the last two years due to many different issues. However we are beginning to see an improvement in the situation with Huawei becoming more available. Tesla batteries are still on a 12 month lead time but we do have some coming in soon.

The Powerwall

Our view of the key features:

*built in back up facilities 

*great name and product

*good product for retrofit arrays eg. Solar already installed 

Here’s a snapshot of key Tesla Powerwall specs:

  • Energy Capacity 13.5 kWh
    100% depth of discharge
    90% round trip efficiency
  • Power 7kW peak / 5kW continuous
    Quick backup transition
    Pure sine wave output
  • Size and Weight L x W x D
    45.3″ x 29.6″ x 5.75″
    1150 mm x 753 mm x 147 mm
    251.3 lbs / 114 kg
  • InstallationFloor or wall mounted
    Indoor or outdoor
    Up to 10 Powerwalls
    -4°F to 122°F / -20°C to 50°C
    Water and dust resistance to IP67
  • CertificationsMeets local safety standards and regulations
  • Warranty10 years

Huawei LUNA2000 Battery key features

Huawei LUNA battery

Our view of the key features:

*Comes in smaller 5kw segments so easier to handle when Installing and capacity can be expanded with ease.

*High end product. 5kw max output power. Most other battery products, excluding Tesla, can only produce power up to 2/3.0kw

*DC coupled so no need for DNO application (general applications take 12 weeks)

*Good for new installs

  • High Voltage Lithium (LFP) modules with 100% DOD
  • 5kWh capacity per module scalable up to 30kWh
  • Power output per module, 2.5kW continuous, 3.5kW peak
  • AI-powered internal cell short circuit diagnosis to avoid fire hazards
  • Cell-level temperature control to detect overheating
  • Optimizer-enabled 0V rapid shutdown for safer installation and maintenance
  • Internal heating system for better performance in extremely cold climates
  • 10-year warranty

Modular battery system

The LUNA2000 batteries are made using lithium iron phosphate cells and can be stacked up to three high for a maximum of 15kWh of storage capacity per stack. However, the system can be expanded with a second stack offering up to 30kWh of total capacity with two stacks in parallel. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) is widely known as one of the safest and most stable battery chemistries available for energy storage applications due to its wide operating temperature range and reduced risk of thermal runaway (overheating).

Compact, slimline design

Storage Battery
Huawei LUNA2000 battery system installed

The Luna2000 system is one of the most compact batteries available with a very small footprint thanks to the slimline design, which is quite appealing compared to some of the other more box-like batteries. The top section of the battery system is the power module, technically known as a BMU or battery monitoring unit, which is similar to other stackable battery systems controlled via a top-mounted BMU to provide the interconnection and communication to the inverter. The Huawei power module has inverter connections for flexible connection options on either side, while the main isolation switch and an inbuilt fuse are located on the right-hand side. The front led display features a round dial of ten LED lights to indicate the battery state of charge; this is a neat and unique way to indicate the state of charge.

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Electric car charging points

The Perfect Storm-Part 2

Following on form our previous blog about lack of supply and high prices we have now had the Price Cap announcement from Ofgem and the government’s response to the expected much higher energy bills this autumn. After a £700 rise in the energy cap this Spring the cap is expected to rise to £2,800 in October. This is a further rise of £800.

The government is helping out the less well off with payments totalling £650 in July and in the Autumn. This money will be given to over 8 million low income families who are on Universal Credit. All households in October will be given a £400 discount on their energy bills

With many households already paying over £300 per month for gas and electricity we are seeing a huge rise in enquiries for Solar PV, storage batteries and Air Source Heat Pumps. With annual energy bills approaching £3,500 to £4,000 the economics of installing green energy in your home are becoming very favourable. It has been possible to install Solar PV and storage batteries for £5,000 in your average UK home. So with energy prices where they now are green energy domestic projects look to be giving a good return on investment.

However the industry is facing critical supply issues.

1. Shortages in Raw Commodities

Heightened demand for certain commodities has resulted in soaring raw material prices as supply shortages continue, a lingering effect of COVID-19. In particular, a shortage of polysilicon, a key component in the photovoltaic (PV) supply chain, has caused solar panel pricing to skyrocket due to exponential demand for solar cells. Other components of PV cells — including silver, copper, aluminum and glass — have also been subjected to inflationary prices as demand outpaces supply.

We have experienced delays in Tesla Powerwalls and Solar PV Inverters. These are two of the biggest parts that we are having supply issues with. Solar panels can be installed but cannot operate without an inverter. Inverters convert direct current (DC) electricity, which is what a solar panel generates, to alternating current (AC) electricity, which the electrical grid uses.

2. Supply Chain Constraints

Commodity shortages are only exacerbated by global supply chain bottlenecks caused by increased shipping costs, factory closures, trade actions and import tariffs. These supply chain constraints hit China particularly hard and have resulted in nearly crippling schedule impacts on the United States solar industry, which is heavily dependent on solar panels manufactured in China. This is having a knock on effect in Europe.

For a variety of reasons manufacturers of solar panels have had to shift production away from China, resulting in higher prices and longer shipping lead times for key project hardware. Shanghai was recently subject to further lockdowns due to Covid19.

Ocean freight rates surged again in April, worsening supply chain bottlenecks. Also issues with P&O ferries have not helped getting supply into UK.

It really is the perfect storm creating product shortages and spiralling prices. We really will try our best at Carter Electrical but patience will be needed from our customers when it comes to completing green energy projects.

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