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.
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