Apollo Gem Compact: maximise the efficiency of your solar PV system

by Ellen Evans

Apollo Gem Compact: maximise the efficiency of your solar PV system

The Apollo Gem is a clever little gadget that works alongside your solar PV system to make sure you use as much as possible of the electricity you generate. This allows you to minimise the amount of energy you draw from the National Grid.

Why get a solar PV diverter?

Unless you have a battery storage system, the energy you generate cannot be stored, so it goes to the National Grid to be used elsewhere. You then pay to import energy to your property when your solar PV system is not generating, i.e. at night or on a cloudy day. Rather than doing this, it’s much more worthwhile to use the energy you generate, rather than letting it go to the National Grid. This way, you are one step closer to self sufficiency, and you’ll save on your energy bills.

Apollo Gem Compact (Wireless)

The Apollo Gem solar PV diverter costs less than £250 and is an affordable option to maximise the return from your solar PV system. In fact, a family of 4 with a 4kW solar PV system could make back the initial outlay within as little as a year.

The unit monitors when your solar panels are producing more electricity than is being used in your house. It redirects this surplus to the immersion heater on the hot water tank. The electricity you send to the immersion unit on the hot water tank means the gas boiler doesn’t have to fire up as much to heat the hot water. This saves you money on your heating bill.

Priority is always given to household appliances, so energy will only be diverted when the demand isn’t there from your washing machine, dishwasher etc. The unit is highly reactive and kicks in when there is a surplus of just 70W.

An LED lighting panel on the unit shows you in a straightforward way what your solar diverter is doing at that moment. You will see different colours depending on whether solar power is currently being imported or exported, whether or not the immersion heater is using solar PV power, and if the immersion heater is up to temperature.

FAQs

Will I still get Feed-in Tariff payments with a solar diverter?

Any owner of a solar PV system is eligible for payments from the Feed-in Tariff. This pays one rate for every kWh of energy generated, and another for the energy you contribute to the National Grid. Where it gets interesting is that (while everyone has a generation meter), you are currently not required to have an export meter, so no-one else knows how much energy you are sending back to the Grid. If you use this energy yourself, you will still get paid the same amount, as the Government assumes you are exporting an arbitrary number – 50% – of the energy you generate.

If you use all the electricity you generate yourself, you will still get paid as if you were giving it away – and you’ll save on your bills with every unit less you have to get from the Grid.

Does the immersion heater need its own dedicated circuit?

This ones simple – no!

I have thick brick walls in my property – will the consumer unit still be able to communicate with the immersion heater?

The two units communicate via radio waves and, in most cases, there shouldn’t be any problems. If you need it, we sell a wireless extender.

Get yourself an Apollo Gem solar diverter

If you have a solar PV (or wind generation) system, definitely consider an Apollo diverter. The Apollo Gem Compact is wireless and discreet. It is designed and manufactured in the UK and has a 5-year warranty!

Because it’s wireless, the Apollo Gem Compact is simple to install, either by an electrician or a competent DIYer.

As ever, if you have any questions about the technology, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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