Why Solar Diverters are Essential for Your Solar System

Concept of solar diverters for solar system

Harnessing the full potential of your solar system requires more than just photovoltaic (PV) panels; it calls for a solar diverter. Serving as an intelligent manager of your solar energy output, these devices ensure the efficient use of excess electricity produced by your solar setup, diverting it to practical uses such as water heating or battery charging.

Consequently, businesses employing a solar diverter realize significant reductions in electricity costs while maximizing their self-consumption of solar power.

Furthermore, their integration promotes energy independence, less reliance on traditional power sources, and improved sustainability, positioning them as crucial components for optimizing the functionality of a solar system.

Whether you are a homeowner, a business owner, or someone interested in renewable energy solutions, this article will provide the knowledge you need to understand and embrace solar diverters in Ireland.

What Is a Solar Panel Power Diverter?

Working solar panel power inverter mounted on wall

A solar panel power diverter, also known as a solar diverter or solar energy diverter, is a device that optimizes the utilization of solar energy generated by PV solar panels.

It works by diverting excess electricity not immediately consumed in the building to alternative uses, such as heating water or charging batteries.

By doing so, a solar panel power diverter ensures that people utilize the surplus energy efficiently rather than being wasted or exported to the grid.

It allows users to maximize their self-consumption of solar power, reduce reliance on traditional energy sources, and save on electricity bills.

Types of Solar Diverters

Dump Load Diverters

Dump load diverters redirect excess electricity a solar PV system generates to resistive loads, such as heating elements. That helps prevent overcharging batteries in off-grid systems or reduces grid export in grid-connected setups.

Water Heating Diverters

These diverters prioritize utilizing surplus solar energy to heat water. They divert excess power to an immersion heater, allowing homeowners to maximize solar energy for hot water production.

Battery Charging Diverters

Battery charging diverters can charge batteries with extra solar power. In addition, they ensure that any excess energy efficiently stays in batteries for later use. It enables homeowners to rely on stored energy during periods of low solar production.

How Does a Solar Panel Power Diverter Work?

Solar Panel Power Diverter Working Diagram

The solar panel power diverter accurately detects the real-time generation of solar power and consumption within the house. When the production of solar power exceeds the power usage, the diverter intelligently directs the excess power toward the immersion heater. It ensures efficient utilization of the surplus solar energy for the heat pump, maximizing the benefits of the generated power.

How Is a Solar Diverter Fitted?

To facilitate the functioning of the solar diverter, a compact electronic box is installed near the hot water cylinder, typically nearby. This box then connects in line with the power supply of the immersion element.

Additionally, two Current Transformer (CT) clamps are affixed—one around the AC cable of your solar PV system and the other around the main incoming mains supply.

These clamps accurately measure the electrical currents flowing through the respective cables, providing essential information for the solar diverter to operate effectively.

How Much Money Can You Save With a Solar Panel Power Diverter?

The amount of money you can save with a solar panel power diverter depends on various factors. They include your solar PV system’s size, energy consumption patterns, and the cost of electricity.

A solar panel power diverter can significantly save your electricity bills by maximizing the self-consumption of solar energy and reducing grid dependence.

On average, users can save anywhere from 20% to 50% on their electricity costs, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

How Much Energy Can My Hot Water Cylinder Store?

Hot water cylinder in airing cupboard

The energy storage capacity of your hot water cylinder depends on its size and insulation. A standard hot water cylinder typically can store around 100 to 300 liters. However, the specific capacity may vary based on the model and installation. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the cylinder’s storage capacity when planning to utilize a solar panel power diverter for heating water. In addition, it ensures it aligns with your household’s hot water demands.

How Does an Immersion Diverter Know When I Am Generating Too Much Electricity?

An immersion diverter determines when you are generating excess electricity by continuously monitoring the power output of your solar panels and comparing it with your household’s electricity consumption.

When solar generation exceeds the immediate consumption needs, the diverter recognizes the surplus and redirects it to alternative uses, such as heating water or charging batteries.

This intelligent monitoring and diversion process ensures practical usage of excess electricity, preventing wastage or exporting it to the grid.

Can I Still Use My Immersion as Normal for Hot Water?

You can still use your immersion as usual for hot water, even after a solar panel power diverter installation. This is because the solar diverter operates intelligently, directing excess solar power to the immersion heater only when available.

When solar generation is insufficient, or at night, the immersion heater can still function conventionally, using grid electricity or other heating methods to provide hot water.

It ensures that you consistently have hot water, regardless of solar power availability.

Can a Solar Immersion Diverter Work With Batteries?

Yes, a solar immersion diverter can work with batteries in a solar PV system. The excess solar power the house does not consume immediately can divert to charge the batteries.

It allows for efficient energy storage, ensuring no wastage of extra power. Furthermore, when solar panels are not generating enough electricity, one can utilize the stored energy in the batteries. The energy can power the immersion heater or other household appliances, providing uninterrupted hot water and reducing reliance on the grid.

How to Install a Solar Panel Power Diverter?

The installation of a solar panel power diverter typically involves a few steps. First, a small electronic box is installed near the hot water cylinder, close to the immersion element power supply.

This box then connects in line with the power supply. Next, fit two Current Transformer (CT) clamps—one around the AC cable of the solar PV system and the other around the main incoming mains supply.

These clamps accurately measure the currents in the respective cables. Once the diverter is connected, it can be configured and calibrated according to the specific system requirements. It’s advisable to consult a professional installer for safe and accurate installation.


Solar diverters are the superheroes of the renewable energy world, ensuring that the power generated by solar panels doesn’t go to waste. They work tirelessly to optimize self-consumption, reduce reliance on the grid, and harness the free energy from the sun.

Solar diverters make every watt count, whether heating water, charging batteries, or powering appliances.

By implementing a solar diverter, you contribute to a greener planet. In addition, you enjoy the benefits of lower electricity bills and increased energy independence. So, embrace the power of solar diverters and let them guide you toward a brighter, more sustainable future.

Smart Meters Ireland – Installation, Benefits, Challenges, and the Future

Concept of Smart Meters Ireland

Understanding smart meters, their operation, advantages, potential hurdles, and their role in Ireland’s energy future is vital in our ever-evolving digital age.

Smart meters enable efficient energy consumption monitoring and management and promise cost savings and ecological benefits.

Despite the government’s plans for a nationwide rollout to improve energy efficiency and provide accurate billing, concerns around data protection, privacy, and public perception linger.

Understanding Smart Meters in Ireland

Digital display of a smart meter

Smart Meters digitally monitor and record gas and electricity usage in homes and businesses. They replace traditional meters that require manual readings, providing a more accurate and efficient way to manage energy consumption.

Smart Meters measure energy and automatically send this information to the energy supplier. Customers no longer need to provide manual meter readings or receive estimated bills, as their energy consumption tracking happens in real time.

There are two types of Smart Meters in Ireland: electricity and gas. Electricity meters measure the electricity used in a property, while gas meters track natural gas consumption.

Smart Meters use wireless communication technology to send data to the electricity supplier. Smart Meters securely transmit and store data; only authorized parties can access it. The technology used in Smart Meters prioritizes safety and reliability, with strict regulations in place to protect customer data and privacy.

How Smart Meters Work in Ireland

After Ireland committed to the Paris Agreement in 2015, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) announced in 2017 that it would deploy smart meters in Ireland as part of its pledge to the National Climate Action Plan.

However, some people tested smart meters in households across Ireland before the rollout. Results indicated that homes with smart meters saw an average decrease in electricity consumption of 3% and an 8% reduction during peak hours.

The smart meter rollout program, worth €1.1 billion, was launched in 2019 and assigned to ESB Networks, Ireland’s National Electricity Distributor, to install smart meters.

Benefits of Smart Meters in Ireland

Benefits of Smart Meters in Ireland

Smart Meters offer a range of benefits to both energy suppliers and customers in Ireland. Here are the top benefits of Smart Meters:

1. Energy Usage Tracking

Smart Meters allow you to track energy usage in real time, giving you more control over your electricity usage. In other words, by monitoring energy usage, customers can identify ways to reduce consumption and save money on their bills with a smart tariff. Smart meters can offer more accurate and detailed data on your consumption, helping you understand your commercial electricity rates in Ireland.

2. Cost Savings

Smart Meters can help save money on your energy bills by providing accurate readings and eliminating estimated bills. You only pay for energy, leading to cost savings over time.

Additionally, energy suppliers in Ireland offer different tariffs for customers with Smart Meters, which can result in further cost savings—this smart meter tariff often lowers rates during off-peak times or for customers who use energy more efficiently.

3. Improved Energy Efficiency

Depending on electricity usage in a home, smart meters promote energy efficiency by giving you real-time feedback on your energy usage. Smart meters allow homeowners to gain precise insights into how many kWh their house uses in Ireland. It will encourage you to change your energy consumption habits, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

4. Environmental Impact

Having a Smart Meter installed is a crucial tool in the fight against climate change, as they promote energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Furthermore, Smart Meters help minimize energy consumption’s environmental impact by reducing energy waste.

5. More Accurate Billing

Smart Meters eliminate the need for estimated billing, providing accurate bills based on energy usage. It improves billing accuracy and stops the need to submit meter readings manually. With the help of smart meters, users can effectively track how much a unit of electricity costs in Ireland.

Challenges Facing Smart Meters in Ireland

While Smart Meters offer many benefits, some challenges face implementation in Ireland. Here are the top challenges:

1. Data Protection and Privacy Concerns

The use of Smart Meters raises concerns about protecting customer data and privacy. There are strict regulations to protect customer data in Ireland, but some people are still wary of the potential for data breaches.

2. Technical Issues

The rollout of Smart Meters in Ireland has faced some technical challenges, including issues with compatibility between different meters and communication technologies. It has led to delays in the rollout in some areas.

3. Health Concerns

Some people have raised concerns about the potential health risks associated with the electromagnetic radiation emitted by an electricity meter. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these concerns.

4. Funding Challenges

The rollout of Smart Meters requires significant investment from energy suppliers and the government. Funding challenges and high energy costs have led to delays in the rollout in some areas.

5. Public Perception

Some people are skeptical of the benefits of a new Smart Meter and resist having them installed in their homes. It has led to a slower rollout in some areas as energy suppliers work to address public concerns.

In addition to these challenges, there are concerns about a Smart Meter’s accuracy, particularly in comparison to traditional meters that use estimated meter readings. However, Smart Meters are more accurate than estimated readings, as they provide real-time data on energy usage.

Smart Meter Rollout in Ireland

In Ireland, a nationwide rollout of smart meters began in 2019 to replace all existing electricity meters with smart meters by 2024. The Commission is leading the rollout of the Regulation of Utilities (CRU), the independent regulator for Ireland’s electricity and gas sectors.

The rollout of smart meters in Ireland is happening in phases. The first phase focuses on households using more than 4,000 kWh of electricity annually. The second phase, which covers homes using less than 4,000 kWh per year, is scheduled to begin in 2022 and finish by the end of 2024.

As part of the rollout, customers will receive information about the benefits of smart meters and how to use them effectively. They can also access an online portal providing detailed information about their energy usage and tips on reducing their energy consumption and saving money.

The Smart Meter Rollout in Ireland aims to empower customers to understand better and manage their energy usage, reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Smart Meter Installation Process in Ireland

To install a smart meter by ESB, you can contact your energy supplier or the distributor directly. One can reach ESB Network at 1800 928 123 or 01 698 5005, and they are responsible for managing the smart meter installation process in Ireland. Remember that the meter exchange will require a power outage lasting up to 45 minutes.

We recommend you watch this YouTube video to help you understand how to read your ESB smart meter:

Smart Meter and Energy Suppliers In Ireland

Electrician installing smart meter in electricity box

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and ESB Networks manage the deployment of smart meters in Ireland. The smart meter installation process is currently underway. You should contact your energy supplier to schedule an appointment to install a smart meter.

Furthermore, many energy suppliers in Ireland support the rollout of smart meters by offering various benefits to customers with a smart meter installed.

For example, some suppliers offer real-time energy usage information to help customers manage their energy consumption. In contrast, others provide access to online portals that allow customers to monitor their energy usage and receive personalized energy-saving advice.

The CRU has mandated that all electricity suppliers in Ireland must have their customers’ smart meters installed by 2024. Contact your energy supplier to find out about the smart meter rollout in your area and schedule an appointment to install a smart meter.

Smart Meter and the Future of Energy In Ireland

The deployment of smart meters in Ireland is an essential step toward the future of energy in the country. Smart meters empower customers to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint by providing real-time usage information.

In addition, smart meters alongside solar energy in Ireland also enable a more efficient and flexible energy system, critical for integrating renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. With smart meters, energy suppliers can manage the grid more effectively, reducing the need for costly upgrades to the energy infrastructure.

The smart meter rollout in Ireland is part of the National Climate Action Plan, which aims to make Ireland a leader in climate action and reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

Deploying smart meters will play a significant role in achieving this goal. Experts estimate the rollout could reduce 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2030. Smart meters are also integral to calculating your returns from the feed-in tariff in Ireland, as they measure the amount of solar electricity fed back into the grid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Cost for Getting a Smart Meter in Ireland?

There is no cost for getting a smart meter in Ireland, as it is part of the national rollout program.

Do Smart Tariffs Cost More?

Smart tariffs may cost more or less depending on usage and supplier, but they are optional and not mandatory with smart meters.

Are Smart Meters Compulsory in Ireland?

No, it is your legal right to decline the installation of a smart meter if you choose not to have your current meter upgraded.

Can I Opt Out of an ESB Smart Meter Installation?

Yes, you can opt out of an ESB smart meter installation. We recommend you contact ESB Networks to let them know.


Smart Meters in Ireland are here to stay, bringing with them a world of benefits and exciting opportunities for energy management.

While there may be some challenges, we can look forward to a more innovative and sustainable energy future.

So let’s all get on board with the Smart Meter revolution and power up towards a brighter tomorrow!