At Gold Coast Solar Power Solutions we often recommend a 24-hour timer be installed on certain loads to help maximize the self-consumption of solar power. The thinking behind the timer is to set the load such as a hot water system or pool pump to come on during the day when the sun is shining. This helps to ensure that the majority of the power for these loads is coming from your solar power system rather than from the power grid. As you don’t get paid a great deal for solar power that’s surplus to what you’re using it makes sense to try and use that power yourself rather than send it back to the grid as surplus.
Pool pumps and hot water systems are perfect loads to run off of a timer as they’re large loads that should be run every day. With hot water systems what we usually do is replace the existing element which is usually rated at 3.6kW with a 1.8kW rated element. The reason for this is the 1.8kW element draws half the power of the larger 3.6kW but still does the same job, it’ll just take twice as long to do it. When we have 6 to 8 hours to heat the water per day during peak sun hours this works perfectly. As the 1.8kW element only draws 1.8kW of power it means that you’re much more likely to be taking surplus power from your solar power system to heat the water compared to if you used the standard 3.6kW element – if it’s a cloudy day a 6kW system is much more likely to be putting out 1.8kW of power than 3.6kW!
With the installation of a 24-hour timer on your switchboard it’s very important that you learn how it works and how to adjust it if required. Below are some common timers that Gold Coast Solar Power Solutions have installed and information on how to set them up along with the product manual.
How to set your 24 hour timer
There are many different brands of 24-hour timers and they are all slightly different in how they read and how to set them up. Below are some common timers that Gold Coast Solar Power Solutions have installed and information on how to set them up. Just find the timer make that matches the timer installed in your switchboard and check out the appropriate information.