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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a list of our most frequently asked questions.  If you cannot find the answer to your question, please get in touch.

Victron Product Troubleshooting

What if my Victron product is not working or it is not performing how I expected?

Step 1:  Read The Product Manual

  Victron Manual Icon

Your Victron product manual contains:

  • Features
  • Behaviour
  • Specifications
  • Limitations
  • Installation instructions
  • Troubleshooting steps

The product manual is essential reading before installation, or contacting someone for further support. It provides critical information for the safe and reliable use of your Victron equipment.

The product manual for your Victron Energy product can be found in the Downloads section.

Please take the time to review it before seeking further support.

Step 2:  Perform a System Check

Please be aware that a Victron Energy product is always part of a bigger system.

When performing a system check, pay attention to the following:

  • Are the batteries old, broken or empty?
  • Are there any faulty or loose fuses, cables or isolator switches?
  • Is the AC load too high or is there a short-circuit?
  • Is the grid or generator bad?
  • Are the generator settings correct?
  • Does the system suit the product?
  • Is the system configured correctly?

Please read Victron’s Wiring Unlimited reference guide and confirm that the systems electrical wiring is suitable.

Step 3:  Get in touch

If you have read the manual and performed a systems check, please email us at support@ijopower.co.uk outlining the following:

  • Your order number
  • What are the other system components?
  • What have you already tried?
  • Pictures of the installation.
  • Describe the exact steps to re-create the problem and the behaviour you are seeing.

Kits>Energy Storage Kits

What is an Energy Storage System?

An Energy Storage System (ESS) captures readily available energy for use when energy supply is low or unavailable. They are most commonly used for intermittent renewable energy generation, such as sun and wind, to time shift periods of high generation to periods of low generation. Rechargeable batteries are commonly used for short duration energy storage.

Why do I want an Energy Storage System?

There are two main reasons why you might invest in an Energy Storage System.

• Time shifting wind and solar energy generation
The relentless rise of energy prices, the cost of installing solar panels at an all-time low and the move toward Electric Vehicles growing momentum, it makes more sense to invest in renewable energy generation. The problem with wind and solar is its intermittent nature. We all know the sun doesn’t shine at night, yet household demand is most commonly realised after the sun goes down. Batteries can store the energy at times of high generation and discharge at times of low generation, effectively time shifting daylight.

• Energy Arbitrage
The term arbitrage effectively means buying in energy when there is low demand and therefore cheaper and discharging when demand is high. If you’re on an Economy 7 tariff (cheaper rates between 12am & 7am) you can charge your batteries using the cheaper overnight tariff and use the stored energy when you need it. Octopus Energy now offer pricing that changes every half hour going up or down depending on demand. Battery management systems and monitoring are now smart enough to arbitrage energy at the lower rates and discharge when higher.

How many solar panels do I need to charge the batteries?

We have a range of in-roof and on-roof solar panel bundles, which you can add to your energy storage solution. Just select from our specially designed solar panel kits

Kits>Solar Panel Kits

What size solar array do I need?

There are 3 main considerations when sizing your solar array. These are:

1. Your energy requirements
The most important factor in determining how many solar panels you need is to calculate your daily usage in kilowatt hours (kWh). You can determine your kWh per day value from your utility bill or by formulating a load schedule.

As a rule of thumb, in the UK you need about:
3kWh/10 panels for 2 people
4kWh/12 panels for 3 people
5kWh/14 panels for 4 people
6kWh/17 panels for 5 people

2. The sun hours where you live
The amount of sun you receive per day on average across the year varies between 3 & 5 days depending on where you live in the UK. More sun hours will generate significantly more energy per panel.

3. Roof size and orientation
Your roof size, shape and any obstacles, will determine how many panels can be fitted to your roof. Ideally your roof will face south with a 45 degree pitch and not be shaded, to make the most of the northern hemisphere sun, however this will vary depending on the time of year and is less of a factor than the number of panels your roof can accommodate.

If you have enough unobstructed outdoor space a ground mounted array may accommodate a larger array.

How much power does a solar array generate?

There are many factors affecting the power generation, measured in watts, of a solar array. 

Using the 365W JA Solar panel as an example, to calculate how much power the array will generate in a day with favourable conditions, multiply the panel wattage by the number of panels by the typical day light hours in your area, so:
365W x 10 panels x 4 daylight hours = 14,600Wh or 14.6kWh
365W x 12 panels x 4 daylight hours = 17,520Wh or 17.5kWh
365W x 20 panels x 4 daylight hours = 29,200Wh or 29.2kWh

How do I add battery storage to this solar array?

We have bundled energy storage solutions to match our solar array kits:
The 10 panel 3650W JA Solar array kit will perform optimally with the 3000VA Energy Storage kit.
The 12 panel 4380W JA Solar array kit will perform optimally with the 5000VA Energy Storage kit.
The 20 panel 7300W JA Solar array kit will perform optimally with the 8000VA Energy Storage kit.

Do I need planning permission for solar panels?

The following information is our understanding of the planning permission requirements for solar panels. Consult your local authority for accurate advice.

For residential roof installations and outbuildings within the curtilage of the main residence, solar panels fall under "Permitted Development" if they meet the following requirements:

  • Panels must not protrude above the ridgeline of the roof.
  • Panels should not be higher than 200mm above the roof cladding.
  • In conservation areas and world heritage sites, panels must not face or be visible from the highway.
  • Panel installation should minimise the effect on the external appearance of the building.
  • It is best practice to allow at least 300mm from the roof perimeter.

For ground mounted systems the conditions are more restrictive before planning permission is required and include:

  • Must not be more than 4m high
  • Must not exceed 9 Square metres (4-5 panels).
  • Must be more than 5m from the boundary.
  • In conservation areas and world heritage sites, panels must not face or be visible from the highway.

Ground mounted systems that don't meet these conditions require planning permission.

Don't be put off by making a planning application. A plan that minimises negative impacts is likely to be treated fairly.

Do I need to make an Energy Network Application (ENA)?

For Solar Panel arrays with a generating maximum capacity of 3.68kW or less, your installer simply must inform the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) within 28 days of connection to the grid that a connection has been made. For systems above 3.68kW that are not harvesting energy into an Energy Storage Solution an ENA is required for connection to the grid.

Do I need to notify my local authority?

Nearly all electrical work is notifiable and nearly all PV installations are electrical work.

Regarding building regulations, this is dependent on the type of installation and the preference of the local authority. For example, an In-Roof GSE system is integrated into the fabric of a building.

Installation of solar panels can touch on many areas of the building regulations including structure, fire safety, moisture, sound, ventilation, protection from falling, access and use of buildings and electrical safety.

Involving building control will ensure there are no issues when it comes to selling the property.

Kits>Off Grid Kits

I have a building which is not grid connected, what do I need to make it off-grid?

To ensure a continuous supply of power for your off-grid building, firstly assess your energy requirements, then match these requirements with a Solar Storage Solution.

If you know your size requirements our Off-Grid Kits may be the ideal solution. If you're looking for more power and storage we have a range of Energy Storage Kits and Solar Panel Kits to meet your needs.

How can I store the energy I generate from my solar panels?

You can store excess energy generated by your panels in an Energy Storage System (ESS). An ESS comprises of a battery or battery bank, battery management system (BMS), solar charge controller, DC-AC inverter, cabling, monitoring device and accessories such as isolators, fuses and power distributor.

How many solar panels will I need?

This will depend on your energy needs, your available roof space and your budget. You can determine your appropriate kWh per day value formulating a load schedule.

Rigid solar panels are in the order of 1000mm x 2000mm. You can use this measurement as a guideline when assessing how many panels will fit on your roof. Ground mounted panels may be an option for you if you have land to accommodate a south facing array.

As a rule of thumb, a 1000W array will accommodate the energy needs of a small office, so you'll need 3 x 365W panels for a 1095W supply in favourable conditions.

Kits>Marine

How many solar panels will I need?

This will depend not only on your available space but also on your requirements. Your energy needs will differ based on how often you use your boat. For occasional, light use, you will require few panels but if you use your boat more regularly, or live on it, you will have greater energy needs and will require more panels.

Do I need galvanic isolation?

Yes, so that the boat can be earthed independently to make it electronically safe and prevent current flowing around the hull of the boat, which may cause the paint to peel. However most boats should already be fitted with this – but it is important that you survey the boat first.

Which solar charge controller do I need?

This will depend on the size of your solar array and how the panels are configurated. Most commonly your panels will be connected in series. When panels are connected in series the voltage increases. Speak with us if you'd like help with sizing.

Can I plug my boat into the shore power?

Yes. We would recommend that you limit the recharge current so you don’t trip the marinas MCB/RCBO and you can either do this in the software settings or you could purchase the digital multicontrol 200/200A GX, which can be found within this kit. Connection to shore power can create a low voltage circuit with neighbouring boats which can increase underwater metal corrosion. Make sure you have a galvanic isolator fitted.

Can I charge my batteries whilst on the move?

Yes, we supply a DC to DC converter as part of this kit.

Kits>Campervans, Vans & Motorhomes

Which solar panel do I need for my campervan / van / caravan / motorhome?

As rigid panels are not warrantied for this application, we recommend the Verditek flexible panel, as it is light - which will provide greater fuel economy, easy to install and provides reduced wind resistance. Although a flexible panel is more expensive, than a rigid panel, you are saving on the need for a mounting kit and is easy to install, with just a tube of Sikaflex.

Do you sell roof mounting kits for a campervan?

We do not sell roof mounting kits, as we recommend the Verditek flexible panel, which is easy to install and does not require mounting.

How many panels will I need on my campervan?

This will depend on your roof space but also your requirements. Your energy needs will differ based on how often you use your vehicle. For occasional, light use, you will only require one panel but if you use you vehicle more regularly, you will have greater energy needs and will require more panels.

Kits>Shed, Garden Offices & Tiny House

I have a building which is not grid connected, what do I need to make it off-grid?

To ensure a continuous supply of power for your off-grid building, firstly assess your energy requirements, then match these requirements with a Solar Storage Solution. If you know your size requirements our Off-Grid Kits may be the ideal solution. If you're looking for more power and storage we have a range of Energy Storage Kits and Solar Panel Kits to meet your needs.

How can I store the energy I generate from my solar panels?

You can store excess energy generated by your panels in an Energy Storage System (ESS). An ESS comprises of a battery or battery bank, battery management system (BMS), solar charge controller, DC-AC inverter, cabling, monitoring device and accessories such as isolators, fuses and power distributor.

How many solar panels will I need?

This will depend on your energy needs, your available roof space and your budget. You can determine your appropriate kWh per day value formulating a load schedule. Rigid solar panels are in the order of 1000mm x 2000mm. You can use this measurement as a guideline when assessing how many panels will fit on your roof. Ground mounted panels may be an option for you if you have land to accommodate a south facing array. As a rule of thumb, a 1000W array will accommodate the energy needs of a small office, so you'll need 3 x 365W panels for a 1095W supply in favourable conditions.