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Solar Power + Domestic Battery Installations, impact on sound quality

Discussion in 'audio' started by Jennifer F, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. Jennifer F

    Jennifer F pfm Member


    I'm interested to hear if anyone here has had solar panels installed on their house and a battery / inverter system fitted. Specifically whether this has had a positive or negative impact on the hifi.

    I'm currently investigating putting quite a large solar array on my property to offset running an Air Source Heat Pump, but I'm keen to understand whether this will have a positive / negative or zero impact on the hifi and whether I may need to try and feed the hifi without the battery system in the loop.

    Many thanks

    Simon s likes this.
  2. shoniss

    shoniss Well-Known Member

    I've had a 6kW PV installation since October I don't have a battery as most of the excess production goes into my EV when it is home during the day. I've not noticed any impact on sound quality but then I stream most of my music from local storage or Tidal, you might find this already intrinsically compromised but it's fine for me.


  3. iansr

    iansr pfm Member

    Assuming you are still connected to the grid (?) I suspect it won’t make any difference as you will still be importing all the crap that comes from the grid.
    the caretaker likes this.
  4. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    It won't make any difference as mains quality has no effect on sound.
    Emlin, RJohan, nmtjb and 2 others like this.
  5. gingermrkettle

    gingermrkettle Deep vein trombonist

    Got PV and a battery, haven't noticed any difference soundwise.

    The only possible thing is that our mains voltage regularly runs above 240V per the inverter diagnostics so if you have marginally specced kit that might cause a problem. And if so, get something that is designed properly.
  6. Jennifer F

    Jennifer F pfm Member

    Thank you that's helpful, my mains is normally just over 240 anyway and my kit is all happy with that.
  7. gingermrkettle

    gingermrkettle Deep vein trombonist

    And to take it over to off topic, it might be worth considering something like a Sunamp to go with the ASHP so you can store excess solar and release as required for heating.
  8. Somafunk

    Somafunk pfm Member

    I’ve got a Tesla powerwall on octopus agile so I store cheap/free electricity at night to offset the cost of running an ashp and there’s zero difference.
    Now there’s a question for the mains quality believers, does free electricity stored in a battery and used to run the house sans grid improve the sound?, course it does......anything for free must be betterer ;)
  9. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Funnily enough, I posted a thread on this same issue a decade (+/-) ago, when the first and very generous feed-in tariffs were about to be reduced. As I had a full Naim line-up and fully dedicated radials I was concerned. I never did get that installation for which I'd been quoted as time ran out. That thread ran to some pp and if I remember correctly, the consensus was that solar-powered electricity was unlikely to have an effect on mains quality.
  10. Jennifer F

    Jennifer F pfm Member

    Somafunk, super helpful thank you. That's exactly my plan. My hope is to sell as little as possible back to the grid and consume, likewise using the Octopus off-peak is hugely appealing.

    Currently debating whether to go three phase to ensure sufficient capacity going forward. ASHP and anEV seems a little optomistic for 100A incomer. Especially as I like cooking and have a monstrous range cooker. I have little desire for an EV but I guess they are inevitable.
  11. Jono_13

    Jono_13 Duffer

    EVs are coming without an doubt, we have also just installed an electric Aga60 and are thinking about PVs. The impact on sound is a red herring, I suspect that if anything the feed is cleaner and more stable than mains.
  12. Jennifer F

    Jennifer F pfm Member

    Jono, the point re the feed being cleaner should be a given, the challenge is the ability to deliver current. but I think the pass through shouldn't be interrupted, however, it's great to have the backup from owner experience. In all honesty the ASHP and Lacanche are more likely to be an issue, the ASHP is classed as a dynamic load and needs Grid permission (size) and if running with the ovens on Max is potentially close to brownout.
  13. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    I would love to be all over solar and battery storage, but I’m in a listed building and it’s just not going to happen :(
  14. simon g

    simon g Older, wiser but no longer retired

    I would hold off on battery storage for a while. Battery technology is changing quite rapidly. New production is coming on line, so prices will probably fall.

    I also have a concern about the whole idea of buying equipment as a contribution to energy saving. There must be an awful lot of energy and resources involved in the manufacturing, distribution, installation and maintenance of all this kit. I haven't looked at this in detail, but presumably there is some research on this? What is the 'payback' period (I don't just mean financially)?
  15. gingermrkettle

    gingermrkettle Deep vein trombonist

    If you use overnight energy rather than peak and store solar generation, we worked out a carbon payback for our Powerwall of about a year and a half.
  16. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Same here. I did ask the local conservation officer in a non formal way (he was here on another matter) and I got an unequivocal answer. He did say that if I wanted ground mounted garden devices that might be different - but in a town centre the garden is both walled all round and not really big enough.
  17. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Looking into a battery wall again post COVID, look after an Architect IT system and he has had it looked into in detail a couple times for projects. Like you say it's a moving target. Lifespan is an issue too, buy cheap and replace more often, the best ones lasted up to 15 years when I looked into it. I already have roof PV panels. If you vacate the house during the day the equation is different to working from the building.

    OP - not noticed any impact on my Hi Fi
  18. Jennifer F

    Jennifer F pfm Member


    Thank you for the experiences much appreciated. I'm in a conservation area, but solar shouldn't be an issue other houses have it as such I think that will be fine. The battery point is very valid. One of my big gripes with electric cars is the Co2 in production and safe disposal of lithium batteries vs petrol cars pollution . I suspect that on a total vehicle lifecycle running my 18 year old Mercedes will still be greener than buying an electric car, sadly the government doesn't see car tax that way!

    I will be installing just over 6KW of panels as such the commercial case for battery is pretty good. Solar overall isn't as exciting as it used to be and if I wasn't looking at an ASHP I probably wouldn't bother.

  19. gingermrkettle

    gingermrkettle Deep vein trombonist

    Polestar did a full report on this and a lot other aspects of environmental impact for their car recently, worth searching out
  20. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Lithium batteries will not be disposed of any more than existing LA batteries in the waste vehicle stream. There is too much residual value. Ask any plumber how much copper piping he throws in a skip. None, if he can avoid it. He keeps it in a corner and weighs it in.

    The energy cost in making a car is about the same as 50,000-100,000 miles of normal use.The general view is that half of the energy a car uses in its life is in making it. I don't think that EVs cost much more in energy to build, batteries aside. Indeed, they don't have engines, gearboxes, fuel pumps, coolant systems and the rest. But as you say this is not about green issues. It's about keeping the car industry rolling by killing old cars, because an old car costs very little other than fuel to run. Once a year a service, MoT and replace a few worn out parts? Big deal. Nobody is making a fortune on that compared to selling you a new £30k machine, then the same again in 5 years.
    Jono_13 likes this.

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