Solar Panels?

Author
Discussion

Condi

15,053 posts

157 months

Tuesday 6th September 2022
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OldSkoolRS said:
I've got my usage down to around 4.5kwh per day,
You are an unusually low user of electricity, so solar is going to make less sense to you than to someone who uses 10-12Kwh a day, which is more typical of a UK household.

As you say though, each case is individual - some commercial installations pay for themselves in 2 years, some domestic installations take 10 years. Also everyone's reasons for having solar are different, some people prefer to do it for environmental and sustainability reasons than economic ones.

OutInTheShed

3,821 posts

12 months

Tuesday 6th September 2022
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g40steve said:
Still waiting for house prices to drop?
No, I'm waiting for 'home battery' prices to drop some way towards what I can buy LiFePO4 batteries for industrially.

I'm also waiting for the right moment for a BEV or PHEV to match with what we personally want.

It's all bonkers at the moment, normally people with boats moan about the 'yacht tax' of anything labelled 'marine' costing 3x as much.
You could put together an off grid system based on units commonly used on boats way cheaper than a 'home solar and battery system' right now.

E.g 5kWh of battery, about £1200. Solar about 2W per £. Inverters and stuff on top obviously.

OldSkoolRS

5,515 posts

165 months

Tuesday 6th September 2022
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Condi said:
You are an unusually low user of electricity, so solar is going to make less sense to you than to someone who uses 10-12Kwh a day, which is more typical of a UK household.

As you say though, each case is individual - some commercial installations pay for themselves in 2 years, some domestic installations take 10 years. Also everyone's reasons for having solar are different, some people prefer to do it for environmental and sustainability reasons than economic ones.
Perhaps I am, but it was only through a bit of care and thought about turning things completely off that aren't used at certain times of the day/week/month. I think that's far more environmentally friendly than burning much more then buying more parts, panels and in particular batteries to compensate: I'm not kidding myself that these are produced out of thin air with zero environmental cost themselves, they have an environmental cost themselves though it should be covered in the lifetime of the devices. Surely it's better to use less in the first place, especially if you're throwing the environmental card about?

See also electric car; if you can get about locally in something small and cheap to run then it's using an existing vehicle rather than having another one made. Better yet if you chose to live somewhere that you can either walk and/or use public transport, then you're not using the car in the first place. But no; extra solar panels, batteries and a £30k+ EV and you too can be 'environmental'.

Edited by OldSkoolRS on Tuesday 6th September 21:55

eliot

10,666 posts

240 months

Tuesday 6th September 2022
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OutInTheShed said:
No, I'm waiting for 'home battery' prices to drop some way towards what I can buy LiFePO4 batteries for industrially.

I'm also waiting for the right moment for a BEV or PHEV to match with what we personally want.

It's all bonkers at the moment, normally people with boats moan about the 'yacht tax' of anything labelled 'marine' costing 3x as much.
You could put together an off grid system based on units commonly used on boats way cheaper than a 'home solar and battery system' right now.

E.g 5kWh of battery, about £1200. Solar about 2W per £. Inverters and stuff on top obviously.
I’m running Victron - which of course is very popular with boaters and rv’s - they also work well for home storage systems too.
3.5kWh Pylon batteries are around £1200 plus delivery - where are you seeing 5kWh - unless you are talking about diy packs which is feasible at that price.

gazapc

1,234 posts

146 months

Tuesday 6th September 2022
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Griffith4ever said:
Indeed - if FITs don't improve significantly, then solar is only justified IF you can use the power you generate, OR, batteries become huge and cheap.

As it stands, the government should be increasing feed in tarrifs to encourage us all to generate power and top up the grid. But of course, they are not, because, stupid.
1) FIT hasn't existed for 3+ years now
2) why should the government directly subsidise generation? It is clearly economic on its own as there is evidenced by the difficulty in getting quotes, huge backlog of orders, shortages of equipment etc...

The problem with subsidising export is it incentivises people to just dump as much power onto the grid as possible. What we actually need is for people to reduce their grid demand throughout the day. There are plenty of large scale installations that will be able to push out megawatts at lunchtime for a much cheaper cost. The current lack of incentives has a benefit in that it pushes people to optimise for their home consumption.

dmsims

5,694 posts

253 months

Tuesday 6th September 2022
quotequote all
eliot said:
3.5kWh Pylon batteries are around £1200 plus delivery
There are lots of reports with warranty issues

eliot

10,666 posts

240 months

Tuesday 6th September 2022
quotequote all
dmsims said:
eliot said:
3.5kWh Pylon batteries are around £1200 plus delivery
There are lots of reports with warranty issues
No problems so far - but yes I have seen the grumblings about them. They are shifting thousands of them, so it could be a few bad experiences being vocalised - who knows.
At least unlike a monolithic setup - If i loose a pack, i can keep going i guess.

Edited by eliot on Tuesday 6th September 23:56

Griffith4ever

2,342 posts

21 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
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gazapc said:
1) FIT hasn't existed for 3+ years now
2) why should the government directly subsidise generation? It is clearly economic on its own as there is evidenced by the difficulty in getting quotes, huge backlog of orders, shortages of equipment etc...

The problem with subsidising export is it incentivises people to just dump as much power onto the grid as possible. What we actually need is for people to reduce their grid demand throughout the day. There are plenty of large scale installations that will be able to push out megawatts at lunchtime for a much cheaper cost. The current lack of incentives has a benefit in that it pushes people to optimise for their home consumption.
The way I see it, is we have an energy shortage, and offering to buy surplus day time energy from domestic solar installations at a reasonable rate would surely incentivise people to install solar. As a nation, we get more energy into the grid, which we desperately need (businesses and factories would gobble up all that day time energy). People are not using day time energy , so nothing to discourage there.

Surely that's a good thing? Currently we are limiting solar appeal to those with deep enough pockets for batteries, and niche cases.

Even if , say, electricity was 60p/kWh and the gov offered 20p , it would mean a "cheap" flow of electricity into the grid. Probably cheaper than nuclear energy.

Harnessing the rooftops of every house to ease our energy demands.

Am I missing something? (I could be, this is spitballing without serious thought put into it)

Condi

15,053 posts

157 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
It's not the government it's the energy companies which need to improve their export tariffs. Octopus are the only company which offer an export tariff connected to wholesale prices and only then if you are also a customer. There is no reason other companies couldn't do the same with the number of smart meters there are now we really need to reap the benefits of them beside not having to submit readings.

Offering 1 price for solar wouldn't be that useful, wholesale prices are so volatile that it would either be wildly over or wildly under, much better to have a price which connects to wholesale prices as it would also encourage investment into storage, so rather than just exporting at 2pm when demand is low, they export at 6pm when prices are very expensive.

There are quite a few things which can be done with the technology, it just needs the market to start leveraging the opportunities.

Griffith4ever

2,342 posts

21 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
Perhaps we could do with building a fair few more "Electric mountains"?

https://www.fhc.co.uk/en/electric-mountain-visitor...

A great way of storing cheap solar electricity for peak use.

I say "great", as I don't know any other way of storing evergy on such a scale. Electric mountain stores 9.1 GWh

Ironic really as it was built to harvest cheap night time energy for day time peak release.

Jambo85

3,069 posts

74 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
Griffith4ever said:
gazapc said:
1) FIT hasn't existed for 3+ years now
2) why should the government directly subsidise generation? It is clearly economic on its own as there is evidenced by the difficulty in getting quotes, huge backlog of orders, shortages of equipment etc...

The problem with subsidising export is it incentivises people to just dump as much power onto the grid as possible. What we actually need is for people to reduce their grid demand throughout the day. There are plenty of large scale installations that will be able to push out megawatts at lunchtime for a much cheaper cost. The current lack of incentives has a benefit in that it pushes people to optimise for their home consumption.
The way I see it, is we have an energy shortage, and offering to buy surplus day time energy from domestic solar installations at a reasonable rate would surely incentivise people to install solar. As a nation, we get more energy into the grid, which we desperately need (businesses and factories would gobble up all that day time energy). People are not using day time energy , so nothing to discourage there.

Surely that's a good thing? Currently we are limiting solar appeal to those with deep enough pockets for batteries, and niche cases.

Even if , say, electricity was 60p/kWh and the gov offered 20p , it would mean a "cheap" flow of electricity into the grid. Probably cheaper than nuclear energy.

Harnessing the rooftops of every house to ease our energy demands.

Am I missing something? (I could be, this is spitballing without serious thought put into it)
My bold - there's the problem. stloads of energy in the middle of the day in June and July, while useful, doesn't solve the wider issues our energy system has. And it is because there is minimal grid level storage.

ChocolateFrog

19,777 posts

159 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
nunpuncher said:
I'm having a real problem even getting companies to give quotes for solar and batteries. The industry seems to be like the double glazing industry in the 1980s right now. 2 companies have sent "surveyors" that have turned out to be salesmen (both appeared to be just out of school). No kowledge beyond the basic system that doesn't require planning and only interested in getting you to sign up right there and then with fanciful projections. 1 other wasn't interested the minute I mentioned using the interest free Scottish government loan as they said the boss wasn't prepared to wait for his money.

So far I've only spoke to 1 out of about 10 companies that didn't seem like an absolute cowboy.
This is what's putting me off.

Absolute chancers just price gouging until it hurts then gouging some more until the gravy train moves on to the next thing.

OutInTheShed

3,821 posts

12 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
Griffith4ever said:
Perhaps we could do with building a fair few more "Electric mountains"?

https://www.fhc.co.uk/en/electric-mountain-visitor...

A great way of storing cheap solar electricity for peak use.

I say "great", as I don't know any other way of storing evergy on such a scale. Electric mountain stores 9.1 GWh

Ironic really as it was built to harvest cheap night time energy for day time peak release.
Unfortunately, there's a shortage of suitable sites.
It's not everywhere where you can have two lakes with a good vertical difference but not too far apart, the right geology and all that.

It seems like an obvious thing we should have done ten or twenty years ago, isn't hindsight great?

But lots of people have believed such Victorina technology wouldn't be needed because people keep inventing better batteries and fuel cells.

TBH so long as we've got some gas to burn and no surplus of renewables, storage is not the immediate problem. It would take a lot of Festiniogs to make a big difference in the near term.

fat80b

1,696 posts

207 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
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monkfish1 said:
Im DIYing it.
This is something I have been thinking about. - For those considering the DIY approach, are there any recommendations for suppliers / brands to head for ?

I think I’ve concluded I want micro inverters but that’s about as far as I have got ?

dmsims

5,694 posts

253 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
fat80b said:
This is something I have been thinking about. - For those considering the DIY approach, are there any recommendations for suppliers / brands to head for ?

I think I’ve concluded I want micro inverters but that’s about as far as I have got ?
Enphase have effectively shut down the DIY market

The cheapo Chinese inverters are a lottery

Victron is good, you can shop around but can be a steepish learning curve with very limited choice if you want on grid

https://midsummerwholesale.co.uk/ have been good and https://diysolarforum.com/ is worth reading (even with USA bias)


nunpuncher

3,086 posts

111 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
ChocolateFrog said:
This is what's putting me off.

Absolute chancers just price gouging until it hurts then gouging some more until the gravy train moves on to the next thing.
I honestly thought those days were over for this industry.

I worked at a deign agency 10+ years ago when domestic solar was on a real government push back when the FIT was a thing. I'm not sure what the incentive/scheme was but all of a sudden we had loads of solar installer clients appear out of nowhere wanting websites and marketing material yesterday then within the space of a year or so they vanished as quickly as they appeared.

The market doesn't seem quite as saturated with the same type of cowboys now as I guess there's no free government money or no roof rental type scheme. It just seems like an industry that's still largely pretty immature and unprofessional despite domestic solar being a thing for decades now.

The companies have all been pretty quick to get in touch following initial enquiry so I'm not sure they are all as busy as folk on here seem to think.

Regarding price gouging, I wouldn't say the ball park figures I got were that ridiculous and certainly seem comparable to prices posted here. What I do find strange is that the prices do seem to align almost to the penny to the maximum loan the gov are offering. Whether that's coincidence or by design is anyones guess.

eldar

19,867 posts

182 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
I'm thinking about an electric car, so I assume solar power is sensible.

Getting any interest from suppliers is just about impossible, Ive asked 10 companies, but only 1 has returned my call or email!

The one quote I've had is for a 4kw system with a 5.2kwh battery.

Specified Sharp panels, Sunsynk inverter and battery. Quoted £9k

Is this a reasonable quote?

Is it worth increasing the capacity, say 6 or 8 kw and 10.4kwh battery- domestic use is 10kw per day, plus a car in a few months.


Tesco

75 posts

36 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
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Out of curiosity and knowledge seeking, now that the weather has turned a bit, how much are those of you with solar producing on a daily basis?
Be nice to see some real world wattages Vs array size figures.

OldSkoolRS

5,515 posts

165 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
quotequote all
Tesco said:
Out of curiosity and knowledge seeking, now that the weather has turned a bit, how much are those of you with solar producing on a daily basis?
Be nice to see some real world wattages Vs array size figures.
If it helps I came across this on another forum I post on.

This is NOT my solar system: This is a 4kw array in Northumberland and split East/West taken as an AVERAGE over 7 years since installation.



Gives some idea of what you might expect in the winter months. For me in the South with a South/East facing array I might expect a bit more from a similar sized array, should I ever get a sensible quote...

With my use at around 140kwh per month in summer, rising to maybe 240kwh per month in winter, then I'll be under producing for the four months from Nov to Feb and over producing the rest of the year, so I'll end up sending some back to the grid. It wouldn't offset the winter months, but it might cover the standing charge I suppose depending on the SEG rate I get (existing Octopus customer).

Edited by OldSkoolRS on Wednesday 7th September 18:46

Dave726

19 posts

5 months

Wednesday 7th September 2022
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It will be interesting to see if the expected Government intervention will have any impact on demand. It’s not changed my mind but it has certainly made me relax a little bit in terms of time frames i.e. I was desperate to get mine fitted in time to reduce my exposure to the 50ppkWh and higher prices we were due to be paying over the next 6+ months but now I won’t lose as much by waiting a few months longer for the install.

I have also noticed some hints of reluctance on behalf of installers to quote based on my need to do a G99 application and also needing planning permission to install some panels on a flat roof. So if you are looking at an install greater than 3.68kW per phase then that might be something to be aware of. I’ve been given differing information that G99 applications can take anywhere from 4 to 11 weeks.