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Review of Amelec Intelligent Solar Switch

Posted by Chris Rudge on 17 December 2012 at 9:27 am

For the cost, this looks to be really good value. The Amelec Eco2 Solar Switch is housed in a standard electrical housing such as used for consumer units and the like. As can be seen from the photo, it also has a standard DIN rail for fitting your selection of MCB/ RCD depending on application and existing electrics in the house. This unit has been put together with electricians in mind, as all the essential parts that are not included will be easily found in any electricians van.

The accompanying documentation provides the specifications for all three devices, main switch unit, CT clip and power reducer. Though I felt it was incomplete regarding actual connection. Especially the CT clip which needs to be installed the right way round (arrow to the electricity meter).

As mentioned, there is also a power reducer included, which will run your existing 3kw immersion heater at 1.5kw. The unit simply chops off half the voltage, thus running the heating appliance at half power: easy! Your PV or Wind system needs to be regularly generating 1.5kW or more for this unit to be of benefit and I would suggest owners of solar (or other) systems of 3.5kWp and above will find it of use.

People who would like to change their immersion heater to 1kW are able to recalibrate with a multi-turn adjuster, but despite mentioning this adjuster, nothing is mentioned about how this adjustment is carried out. The guys at Amelec seem friendly though and will probably give you guidance. The picture on the right shows the two LED’s illuminated in ‘relay on’ mode.

Out of all the basic relay units tested, this one was by far the easiest and cheapest to fit. I would however draw your attention as mentioned earlier that it is aimed at the electrically competent in both design and accompanying instructions, which lack some basic data (this may have been improved since). This is probably a good idea to put off people who are not competent from attempting an installation. 

The kit consists of 1 AGS1133 Intelligent Solar Switch, 1 APR-3 Power reducer and 1 ACT-200 CT clip. Retail cost of the kit is £220.

About the author: Chris Rudge is a qualified electrician who specialises in renewable energy.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

4 comments - read them below or add one

Experi-Mental

Experi-MentalComment left on: 18 February 2013 at 7:45 pm

Can the ACT-200 (clip on CT) detect the direction of current through the boards meter tails? if not why is it important to fit it the right way round? The manufacturers data sheet doesn't give this information :-

http://www.amelec-uk.com/product_downloads/ACT-200-AMELEC.pdf

An improvement to the system would be some way of controlling the power to the immersion element accurately, so as to use all of the available export power at any moment in time.

I had considered using a pwm controller and SSR to do this but stumbled when it came to detecting whether current in the meter tails was importing or exporting.

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Rudge Energy

Rudge EnergyComment left on: 25 December 2012 at 11:58 am

Updating the link to the manufacturers in the original blog : http://www.amelec-uk.com/pages/Solar-Power-Heating-System.html

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 20 December 2012 at 11:17 am

Hi catchercradle. You may find the comments under this blog useful in deciding.

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catchercradle

catchercradleComment left on: 19 December 2012 at 3:03 pm

I like the idea, though with only 1.9KW I am not sure that it would be worth it for us, still might help reduce our bills on the gas though. We currently use more gas in the summer as at this time of year, nearly all our hot water is heated by wood.

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