Loop Solar and Battery Simulation - FAQs

Find out more about how our solar and battery simulation works

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  • What can Loop tell me about solar and home batteries?

There are two related solar features in the Loop app:

  1. Solar and battery simulation
    solar-track-screenHere we take a few details about your house and then forecast how much electricity an array of solar panels on your roof would have produced and when. 

    By combining this with your current electricity consumption we can tell you how much solar energy you would have used yourself and how much you would have exported to the grid. 

    We can even show you the effect of adding a home battery to store spare solar energy during the day to use once the sun goes down, plus the impact both these options would have on your electricity bill.  These simulations use a 4kW array and a 3kWh battery.  
  2. Solar playground
    solar-playground-screen-1Once we have enough data - normally 90 days - you will get access to the Solar Playground. 

    This looks at your usage data since you installed Loop and shows an accurate calculation of how self-sufficient you would have been with different configurations of solar array and battery sizes.   

    In the Playground you can explore the effect different sizes of solar array and various battery capacities have on your self sufficiency.   
  • Where can I see the solar simulation?

Once you have given us your roof details, we can then integrate our solar simulation with your electricity usage.  In the Track section of the app you can see the impact of solar panels and a battery across your Live, Day, Week and Month views.

When it unlocks you can access the Solar Playground through the Changes menu.   

  • How does the solar feature work?  

Our model works by looking at how much sunlight there would be if there were no clouds in the sky, adjusting it to the level of cloud cover that there actually is, and then converting that to the amount of generation produced by photovoltaic cells. To do this, we need to know your location, the angle of your roof, and the direction that it faces.  

  • What size solar array and battery are used in the calculations? 

In the Solar and Battery simulation shown in Track, we use a 4kW array and a 3kWh battery. 

In the Solar Playground accessed through the Changes menu you can explore the effect of other options on your self sufficiency.   

    • For solar, we have two different array sizes: 2 kW, which is about the size of an array that can fit on a standard UK semi-detached house, and 4 kW, which is the largest array that you can put on a roof without having to apply for special permission from the distribution network operator. 
    • For battery, we have three different capacities: 3kWh, 6kWh and 12kWh, which relate to small, medium and large batteries. 
  • How does Loop personalise the solar simulation?  

Firstly, we build a model for your house using theoretical historical generation for your roof. Once we have the model and we’ve calculated the amount of sunlight that would fall on your roof if there were no clouds in the sky, we add in the cloud cover from the latest weather data into our model to calculate the predicted solar generation.  

  • Does the solar panel simulator consider current weather conditions 

Yes. We use clear-sky irradiance, the term used to describe the amount of sunlight that would fall on your roof if there were no clouds in the sky, and the current cloud cover to predict your solar generation. The percentage of cloud cover is a good predictor of how much radiation will be blocked and therefore how much solar power you would be generating.  

  • Which brand of battery is usefor the simulation 

Instead of attaching ourselves to any particular brand or type of battery, we have picked values for three hypothetical batteries that roughly span the range of some widely available real-life batteries.  

  • How is the battery model calculated?  

We calculate our hypothetical battery options through four main considerations.  

  1. The maximum discharge rate - the amount of electrical power that the battery can supply. You might have a full battery, but if everything in the house is switched on, then the battery might not be powerful enough to run everything.  
  2. The maximum charge rate - the rate at which the battery can fill up. If you have a large solar array, and the weather is sunny, then the battery might just not be capable of taking it all in.  
  3. The round-trip efficiency of the battery - what proportion of the electrical energy that goes into the battery you can get out again?  
  4. Battery capacity - the chart below details the values for each size used in our app feature.  

Description 

Capacity (kWh) 

Maximum discharge rate (kW) 

Maximum charge rate (kW) 

Efficiency 

Small 

90% 

Medium 

90% 

Large 

12 

90% 

  • Does Loop install solar panels or home batteries 

Unlocking clean, homegrown power for the mass market is part of Loop's future.  These new app features are the first step towards discovering how solar could work in your home before you invest.  At the moment we don't offer installation for solar panels or batteries but will connect interested Loop users with our preferred solar partners.  

If you have any questions about Loop Solar Simulations, please email us at support@loop.homes