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Solar Panels

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by rasA4, May 2, 2011.

  1. rasA4
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    rasA4 Four Rings Mafia Specialist

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    [May 2, 2011]
    just came back from Grand Designs Live and was looking into Solar Panels for the home to be fitted on the kitchen flat roof. Has anyone had these installed and saved £££?
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  3. consilio
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    consilio Up the owls!

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    [May 2, 2011]
    Have a look at a company called Homesun. Depending on your circumstances you can potentially get them installed and maintained for free. You get to use any energy generated to reduce your bills, they sell anything you dont use back to the grid. I'll shave about 30% off my annual bill I reckon, plus as energy gets increasingbly more expensive, it will add value to your home.

    I am just about to have mine installed. If you are interested then PM me as they'll give us something for a referal (gift vouchers i think)
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  4. rasA4
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    rasA4 Four Rings Mafia Specialist

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    [May 2, 2011]
    Thanks for the info just had a look at their website, sadly they wont fit them to flat roofs :(. I dont want it fitted to main roof as looking to get a dorma loft conversion in the future.
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  5. Keeno
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    Keeno Spooly Spooly Boosty Boosty!

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    [May 2, 2011]
    I'd check them out very closely. I looking at a local sustainable development during my degree, they used solar panels and said if they did it over they'd use wind turbines. Apparantly if one of the panels (on a given roof) was 10% shaded by cloud, evey single other panel lost 10% of it's capacity.

    Te technology may well have moved on since then, but it might be worth checking. Hot water solar panels are damn good though - from personal experience - 60 degree hot water in the middle of winter...
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  6. crazychris
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    crazychris Member

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    [May 2, 2011]
    Hi guys, I'm a qualified installer, wind turbines are only good when u start talkin three phase and industrial size like u see on hill sides an in the sea solar photo voltaic panels are much better as u don't need sun u just need day light it's been shown even in winter with snow on them they can still produce power, they are also self cleaning, so no maintenance, as for the loft conversion u can have them fitted an just re located at a layer date shouldnt cost to much as it's the initial install that's the hard part also optimal power comes from as far south facing as possible and elevated at 30 degrees which some roofs are in pitch, if u want any help info or calcs doing pm as it'd give me something to do in my spare time as I got made redundant recently an there's only so many times u can detail ur car lmao
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  7. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    [May 2, 2011]
    A friend of mine's neighbour fitted them to their roof (kinda unfinished looking IMHO) but there could be an issue as they didnt get planning permission?
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  8. crazychris
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    crazychris Member

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    [May 3, 2011]
    Khufu u don't need planning permission providing they are less that 600mm off the roof line hence why solar is another easier option than wind
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  9. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 3, 2011]
    I would be interested to know if it's useful for commercial applications? How much power do these panels generate, and how is it stored?

    Sorry for the questions, but you obviously know more than me on this subject.

    Cheers.
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  10. crazychris
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    crazychris Member

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    [May 4, 2011]
    Hi jo jo yeah we did a school and covered 50 square metres of roof in the stuff it all depends on which way the roof faces and how big and what quality panels u buy, u can store the power in batteries as they generate in dc however the cost of the kit and the service costs after are phenomenal usually you use as much as u can by it feeding directly into your electricity supply however whatever you can't use, simply gets fed back onto the grid and u get paid for it if I remember rightly for every kwh u produce u get 24.4 pence whether u use it or not and then for every kwh put on the grid u get an extra 5p why u ask mate?
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  11. crazychris
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    crazychris Member

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    [May 4, 2011]
    Also I'm know u can get grants from the carbon trust because it lowers your carbon foot print and I'm sure in an industrial place u can right some off against tax and I think they may even help more with tax for the same reason stayed above but it depends on how big the business and install is of I'm right..... Put it this way CIS (cooperative insurance service) head office in manchester has the whole side of the high rise office blocks completely covered from top to bottom although it did cost around 2 mill to put in
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  12. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 4, 2011]
    I run a take away, and was wondering if this could be useful for future, as my water/gas/electric bills have gone through the roof in recent years. I think my consumption exceeds what it could provide to be fair, but it's a thought though....
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  13. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 4, 2011]
    We are getting the hot water solar panels which are about 1.5kw. Whef they dont generate enough then the gas kicks in. Later when funds allow we will upgrade to 2 or more kw. Folk over here save alot on bills so well worth it.
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  14. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [May 4, 2011]
    Are you talking solar thermal or photovoltaic units?

    Im a solar thermal installer, and find more and more people enquiring as energy costs are only going to rise. They are well worth it if you can get them done for a reasonable price and they are fitted properly. Although you do need to be in them for the longhaul, Your not going to see your dosh back if you plan on selling in a couple years. People often see all there hotwater demands being met over the summer months, and it helps a little the rest of the time. With these you have the option of tube or panels, IMO tubes are better as they are better top maintain, as you can individually change them should one break.

    Electricity producing units are better IMO, the tranfer of power is much more efficient and you sell excess power to the nationgrid. A worthwhile investment if you have a spare 15-20k.

    With either you can just have them mounted on A-Frames, so there's no issue with mounting on a flat roof. I personally would steer away from big companys as you will be paying all there managing directors, supervisors and janitors. Find a decent local installer and go down that route.
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  15. crazychris
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    crazychris Member

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    [May 5, 2011]
    sports tractor is right 3.3kw of solar pv is ruffly around 16.5K but it take around 10 years to get that back before ur into "profit" however there are alot of grants you can get out there EcoSkies where i did my training are also installers, again sportstractor is right stay with a small company if you go on the napit or niceic websites and search for micro generation installers it will bring lists up of people and where they are based as for the takeaway, you would need to sit down and do some number crunching to really hit the nail on the head
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  16. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [May 5, 2011]
    interseting reading , Ive been thinking about buing some panels and getting them installed as I don`t fancy a company running them and telling me they need to get to the roof of my house.
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  17. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [May 6, 2011]
    Give me a shout if your looking for an Installer, I know a few guys who travel all around the country fitting PV and very good at it.
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  18. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Aug 4, 2011]
    Looking at doing my house now as it looks like the payment may be dropping next year. Think my roof is approx 30 deg and is 9m x 3m A lad at work is having a 4kw system fitted for £10,500 which sounds cheap to me ??? any info gratefully recieved
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  19. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [Aug 4, 2011]
    That does sound too cheap...

    Im not sure on the output / m2, but it does vary on your location etc.

    Best off getting a survey done by an installer.

    If you got the money sitting in the bank, and your planning on staying put. Get it done!
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  20. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Aug 4, 2011]
    Also getting the front of the house extended, not as we wanted as they won`t let us but 2nd best and I was going to do the panels after but looks like i`ll be doing panels 1st then extension next year in the spring :)

    thanks for the reply
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  21. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [Aug 4, 2011]
    A couple of things to bear in mind:
    1. Are you going to be in the house long enough to recoup the costs? These things pay back over 10 - 20 years, how confident are you that you'll stay put for that long. The resale market for houses with photovoltaic panels is still very immature so it's not clear if you get any of the cost back if you attempt to sell your house with them installed.

    2. Photovoltaic panels need to be kept clean to maintain their efficiency. Whilst sticking them on the roof might seem like a good idea, you need to be able to access them to clean them - ideally annually - to keep them running them efficiently. Can you do that safely & cheaply when they are installed?
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  22. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    good points, We don`t plan on selling the house and I can see us staying here until a ripe old age.

    Getting on the roof isn`t easy so cleaning wouldn`t be simple but I guess I`d watch my power generation and if it drops then clean the panels ???? Some state self cleaning but ive heard that before lol
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  23. crazychris
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    crazychris Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    Jcs356 not sure who told you they need cleaning but that was incorrect info, we was taught all this when I did the installer course,
    The glass is like that pilkington k stuff, it self cleans and in the winter the can still generate with snow on them, so he doesn't need to clean them every year
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  24. crazychris
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    crazychris Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    Jcs356 not sure who told you they need cleaning but that was incorrect info, we was taught all this when I did the installer course,
    The glass is like that pilkington k stuff, it self cleans and in the winter the can still generate with snow on them, so he doesn't need to clean them every year
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  25. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    I was just going on what a friend had been told. They live on a south facing hillside near the sea so were advised to make sure they were cleaned annually. He ended up ground mounting them in his garden. I also have a certain amount of cynicism towards 'self cleaning' claims especially when the panels are mounted on a shallow angle roof.

    One further thing I'd forgotten about is the whole deal assumes that the feed in tariff remains in it's current attractive format. As with anything, there is no guarantee that this will remain 10 years into the future, especially if lots of people join the scheme and the government can't afford the subsidy. It has already happened with the larger scale solar installations.

    I'm not being deliberately negative here, just my usual cynicism towards things that look 'too good to be true'...
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
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  26. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    Hmm I sure you don't have to clean them, slight water staining won't do much to dampen efficiency?

    Being a plumber, I fit solar thermal. Iv had a few cases where we have had velux windows fitted so to easily gain access to evacuated tubes.
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  27. consilio
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    consilio Up the owls!

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    Ive had mine installed for around 2 months now and have generated about 400 Kwh via solar

    I reckon it will reduce my electricity bill by about £200 a year, and that will only get more attractive as energy prices continue to rocket (which they will do)
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  28. a3tdi2001
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    a3tdi2001 Member

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    [Aug 5, 2011]
    15-20k to install a system that takes ten years for you to break even!
    In ten years, the system will look like it's been designed by Fred Flintstone and installed by, a drunk, Barney Rubble.
    Meanwhile your wife's probably run off with the local postman, plumber, policeman etc and the bailiffs are knocking on the door whilst you knock back another bottle of vodka.
    Not to mention the legendary Audi corrosion which has eaten half your car...
    Ten years is a long time!
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
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  29. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    Went to have at look at some today and they are talking 11000 for Sanyo panels. They are going to come to do a survey to make sure everything is ok with my roof but looks like ill get 81% efficiency with the way my roof faces.

    The feed in tariff is paid by the suppliers and is just goverment lead. We are all paying more to cover this tariff not the goverment as far as I could work out from the info.

    The Tariff is dropping in april 2012 but thats for new installations then, eventually they hope the panel prices will drop to a level they don`t need the tariff to make them a good investment.

    Think I`ll take a chance for 11k
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  30. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Aug 6, 2011]
    bah dbl post
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