Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 55 total)
  • PV being installed today and I'm quite excited….. must be a nerd!
  • sharkbait
    Member

    Well our 4Kw system is being installed today. Didn’t really want it on the house as they’re not always good to look at so it’s going on the roof of some outbuildings instead. Splitting the panels 50/50 east/west facing.
    Going to get one of the servers hooked up to the inverter and put a graph of the daily output on my website (green credentials and all that). Should be interesting plus I may even save a bit of money 🙂

    Who’s doing it?

    How much is it costing?

    etc etc

    hammerite
    Member

    Was the installation planned before DECC announced the cut in the FIT? Or did you rush for it when you heard of the cut?

    We’re having it put on the office. Scaffolders banging about as I type this ready for the installation this weekend and next week (160 panel 39kwp system). About time I suppose considering part of the company I work for is a PV system provider!!

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    🙁 had to pull my plans two weeks ago.

    There was no way I could get my planning permission through by the 12th Dec.

    If Id pulled my finger out this summer Id be making a mint. Bollox to the environment, it was a brilliant middle class investment wheeze 🙂

    Ah well. Instead Im going to buy some woodland. As a mate in the pub said: “Your kids cant camp out on a PV array or whittle 12v cable” 😀

    Jamie
    Member

    must be a nerd!

    No comment.

    sharkbait
    Member

    We were going to have it installed and decided to go ahead about 3 days before the FIT change was announced – the company we’d lined up then said they couldn’t install before the 12th as they had too many orders. 🙁
    Luckily the salesman put us onto another company who could do it before the deadline. Total cost is about £10k fully installed for a 3.99Kw system.
    The main problem is that once the FIT change was announced it’s been difficult to get panels!

    don simon
    Member

    Didn’t really want it on the house as they’re not always good to look at so it’s going on the roof of some outbuildings instead.

    I don’t really think that’s a problem as the more we’ll see, the more we’ll get used to them and it time homes without PV panels on the roof will look a bit odd.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    a 3.99Kw system

    you’ll miss that extra .01Kw when it comes to PV bragging rights 😉

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Never mind social security, public sector pensions, working family tax credits, or paying off the deficit, it’ll be the ridiculous Feed In Tarrifs that will bankrupt the nation…

    Premier Icon wonny j
    Subscriber

    Stoner, if you lived in Wales you wouldn’t need planning permission for a domestic installation!

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    I didnt want panels on the barn roof, hence the need for me to apply for PP to put them in the field. I think they woudl spoil the look of an old building esp one that can be seen from across the Common.

    southern elevation:@

    sharkbait
    Member

    You’re probably right, but even if we’d installed on the house we would have still had to split the panels 6 South and 10 West, so swapping to 8 East and 8 West isn’t losing much.

    sharkbait
    Member

    I didnt want panels on the barn roof, hence the need for me to apply for PP to put them in the field. I think they woudl spoil the look of an old building esp one that can be seen from across the Common.

    Don’t blame you. If I’d had the time I might well have gone for an installation in our field as well. To be honest they’re not going on the roof I want them on, but my prefered roof is old corrugated cement fibre sheets and I’m not sure how long they’re going to be there.
    the main thing is to get the installation in and running – the location could always be changed aferwards I suppose.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Outbuilding as it is now.

    Will post the ‘after’ pic later.

    ahwiles
    Member

    i have a beard, i wear sandals, i read the guardian, but i get all ‘telegraph’ over these bloody things.

    (paid for by poor people, so that people with big houses can make lots of money).

    don’t worry, i’ll have a cup of nettle tea – that’ll calm me down.

    +1.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    for every big house investment fund being supported by poor people there’s a company out there doing “free PV” installs on poor people’s houses and making a killing too. The FIT rate was always too high, but the slash in the rate is too deep.

    For green bunnyfondling points instead, the money really should be invested in tidal and wave power IMO.

    allthepies
    Member

    Given the Gov effectively pulling the plug on the scheme (for future installs) I wonder how many of these installation companies will exist in a couple of years time should any problems arise.

    my mate installs them. He’s been flat out recently with eveyone trying to get the panels up before the cut off. He pretty p!ssed off with the lowered rate, reckons that’s it for installations. As said, the feedin tariff was too high but halving it so suddenly won’t do any favours for businesses who have invested money in installing the systems onlt to see the market dry up overnight….

    sharkbait
    Member

    I wonder how many of these installation companies will exist in a couple of years time should any problems arise.

    probably not many!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Interestign fact I read in a boating magazine.

    On a sunny day a PV pannel in Cardiff will produce more electricity than the same pannel installed in Spain. Despit less light getting to the pannel due to the longer path through the atmosphere, the pannel in Spain is much les efficient as they drop off with increacing temperature, so sticking them in boiling hot sunny countries isn’t always the best idea.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Subscriber

    Got my 3kw on my garage roof in time. Its a big garage.
    Last weekend it made more power than we used ! Cost 9k, so it will work out to make more money than leaving that cash in an ISA.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    I didnt know that

    sharkbait
    Member

    Well it’s all up and running and I’ve finally got the nedy bit working as well 🙂
    ‘ve connected a very old laptop to the inverter with a serial cable and set it to wake up at 9:00 and record the output which is then uploaded to pvoutput.org every 10 mins. This allows me to check it’s still working and looks pretty! The website has a function that emails me if it doesn’t recieve any data for 45 mins which would indicate a problem with either the laptop or the inverter.
    You can also compare your output with other systems nearby which is handy.
    So far it’s been pretty interesting; especially when I switched nearly everything off in the house/office and my EON energy monitor was still showing 560w flowing through the cable from the meter to the consumer unit. After a few minutes I realised that this was not power we were using but the power flowing OUT of our system into the grid 🙂
    Link below for the graphs.
    Output graphs

    IA
    Member

    That’s geek-tastic.

    *applauds*

    For bonus geek points, and lower power, did you know you can run a PAMP webserver stack on old nokia symbian phones? Not quite sure about the serial interface, but sure you could whip something up…

    Premier Icon Jerome
    Subscriber

    I am loving that.
    I work in the energy business and we have a few clients that got big schemes in just before the cut off.
    Lack of roof space here.

    Edukator
    Member

    “the inverter”

    I thought you needed two inverters for an E/W installation as linking up panels at differing exposures the production of all the panels will be that of the lowest panel. Separating into two doesn’t solve the problem according to my installer.

    There is a temperature effect but not enough to make a cool panel in Cardiff produce more than a hot panel in Spain. Spain has at least 30% more sun and is only hot enough to have an adverse effect on production for some of the day some of the months.

    sharkbait
    Member

    I thought you needed two inverters for an E/W installation

    Aparantly not – our inverter has inputs for 3 strings of panels. Will look into that though.

    For bonus geek points, and lower power, did you know you can run a PAMP webserver stack on old nokia symbian phones? Not quite sure about the serial interface, but sure you could whip something up…

    I didn’t do much really. the laptop is running ShineNet (which is monitoring software from the inverter manufacturer) and an app from pvoutput.org that runs as a windows service and takes the data captured by Sinenet and uploads it.

    Some people are using little netbooks such as the eee PC as they use very little power – typically I sold mine about 6 months ago 🙁
    I think the idea of monitoring using an old phone is great though as you can link to the inverter using bluetooth instead of a serial cable. I’m sure this will be sorted by someone one day.

    Edukator
    Member

    3 inputs, technology has obviously moved forward.

    the pannel in Spain is much les efficient as they drop off with increacing temperature, so sticking them in boiling hot sunny countries isn’t always the best idea.

    A sunny winters day will see the best yeild.

    I thought you needed two inverters for an E/W installation as linking up panels at differing exposures the production of all the panels will be that of the lowest panel. Separating into two doesn’t solve the problem according to my installer.

    Your installer is behind the times or installing basic systems. SMA have updated a good few of their invertors earlier this year to track the highest peak, not the lowest. Plus stuff like tigo units have been around for a good while to prevent differential exposure nerfing output.

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Subscriber

    A sunny winters day will see the best yield per hour

    There you go

    3kW in here since Fri afternoon, but cloud and sleet/snow = £2 worth generated.

    TooTall
    Member

    Temperature reduction in efficiency is about 0.5% to 0.6% per degree C over 25 degrees C (surface temperature).

    The trade off of free energy and loads of solar insolation is usually worth it for the reduction in efficiency in high temperatures.

    NZCol
    Member

    So do these systems need battery storage or ??
    Sorry bit of a noob – we have double solar panels on the roof and a solar controller for all our h/w – between nov-june we pay basically $0 for water and quite like the idea of generating power as well seeing as we are in the box seat for sun vs temperatures.

    Edukator
    Member

    Well the panels on my roof produce significanly less per hour on a sunny Winter’s day than on a sunny Summer’s day, and that’s with the sun 9° higher in the sky than in Cardiff. Parts of Spain are slightly further north than where I am so I’m confident that the same would apply in Spain. Angle of incidence is part of the differenc but the main difference is the amount of atmosphere the sun’s rays have to get through in Winter even on a clear day.

    Here is a sunny Winter’s day at 43°N. 1800W peak On a sunny Summer’s day the graph peaks at 2750W in continuous sunshine(click J5 which is a day with at least 1h continuous sun). The power drops off due to the heat effect within a few minutes Winter or Summer (note the spikes to 2750W on other cloudy days when the sun forst comes out) but the level it settles down to is higher in Summer..

    Premier Icon Smudger666
    Subscriber

    <geek mode> Educator – 3 inputs is quite low for some inverters – but for an east/west system ( or any system with differently orientated arrays) you need one that has more than one MPP tracker. This ensures the max power point is achieved at all times for all arrays – see stoners graph above P=IV

    </geek mode>

    The cut in the feed in tariff may not be enough – panel prices have already tumbled for orders placed for January delivery ( which in a weird way is what the FIT was meant to achieve anyway) taking the returns back to where we were at the start of 2011 when we were selling shed loads of PV. I can see another cut coming April or maybe October 2012.

    In terms of output – we lucky enough to live in the kingdom of fife get more out of our panels t.han the same roof anywhere north of birmingham

    Edukator
    Member

    So does your inverter have more than one MPP tracker, Sharkbait?

    My panels all face south but I have an odd number so they are all in series: in Summer I see over 700V!

    sharkbait
    Member

    1 🙁
    Going to look into this more. I had over 800W at one point yesterday 🙂

    Edukator
    Member

    Yesterday’s peak was 1200W, the sun almost came out for a few minutes.

    We’re now inot the part of the year where consumption exceeeds production:

    Production Consumption

    Nov 163kWh 190kWh
    Oct 301kWh 160kwh
    Sept 353kWh 160kWh

    Cooking the evening meal on the woodburner doesn’t save as much as more lights and having to use the immersion heater to top up the solar-warmed water.

    Premier Icon wingnuts
    Subscriber

    And mines going in today! Going to change the look of the house as we are completely flat roofed. One long line of shiny things.

    So please explain this to me. As the peak electricity deamnd is during the evening, when it is dark, how will solar PV help?

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