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Solar panels

 
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jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 27368
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 21 7:23 am    Post subject: Solar panels Reply with quote
    

Any thoughts on current state of play?
We had then on one of the free install deals at our old house. Where we are now I haven't got round to it, as in part we don't seem ideal as it's a bungalow with a loft conversion.
But not ideal is not the same as it being a no go.
How to get a sane and honest estimate?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 41288
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 21 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

sensible shopping after ds advice?

not a bad suggestion for this time of day, better than some of mine

think about load and try to find the correct supply

i am out of date with domestic scale tech power for "house" stuff, i can make your torch, phone or gps work, at a push a lappy and coms a few hours a day is possible

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13446

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 21 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

We are in a similar position. We have a south facing roof, but a power line quite close that sheds a moving shadow across the roof as the sun goes round. Need someone technical who would really tell us if it would work rather than some salesman who claims it would only to find it is useless.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44881
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 21 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

We have someone really good but you're both nowhere near his area. Panels are much cheaper and also much cheaper to install. He might know someone local:

https://www.theecoteam.com/

It's a two man firm, the partner who does all the sales/speccing is Felipe/Phil

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 6113
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 21 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Mistress Rose wrote:
We are in a similar position. We have a south facing roof, but a power line quite close that sheds a moving shadow across the roof as the sun goes round. Need someone technical who would really tell us if it would work rather than some salesman who claims it would only to find it is useless.


Shadow from a power line shouldn't usually be a problem, unless it's really very close to the panels. My power, and internet lines run in front of my panels, about 12 feet away at the closest, though it's a complex diagonal, so mostly further away than that. The shadow cast is very narrow, and not really noticeable.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 41288
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 21 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

a thin shadow is no bother

choosing a system needs good advice and sensible consideration re useage/demand/local storage or grid, what kit is available and will it be cost effective while you use it

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 27368
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 21 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

What I'm reading suggests more than a decade before you make a return on it. Does that sound about right?
That's problematic as we probably will have moved well before that.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 7152
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 21 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I've heard that before Jema.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13446

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 21 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

It will take a fair while to get your money back. Depending on what the situation is when you move, it may be a good selling point to have them, or you may lose out. If electricity and gas prices continue to rise, then it may pay back faster, and of course if the lack of generation and infrastructure are not sorted out as we increase the use of electric everything, those who can generate their own are going to be the comfortable ones.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44881
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 21 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Didn't look at payback time as we're not moving anywhere. For the commercial projects we install them on they're rentals retained by us so again we've not looked at payback.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 41288
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 21 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

how long is a bit of string, it depends on the string and relativistic physics

for domestic pv 10 to 15 years has been the usual timescale

costs and energy prices(and inducements)have changes but that sort of timescale of half the expected working life seems reasonable

mobile and micro pv is priceless and often cheap if it is needed

lights, coms etc are easy, a washing machine, hot things or a server room are rather investment heavy
hot things might be better done differently, load matters, load timing vs harvest timing matters, that leads to grid or off grid, which leads to business type stuff as well as the techy aspects

this has reminded me to get the mobile stuff out of the bag and do basic fettling to keep it in good order.
5kg and a couple of hundred quid is a good deal for basics like lights, radio and phone coms and power hungry posh cameras as an off grid package pv rig
i can harvest and store a few days worth in a day unless using the camera for video and don't sit on the radio's on button too often

work out what loads you can do with pv and get a return time in your planned timescale might be a start.
can you take it with you is a consideration unless it is a long-term project
panels from a roof and a battery from inside should fit in a van pretty well,
a "contract" might not be so mobile

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13446

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 21 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

We use a portable solar panel in the woods to keep the lights going in a couple of shelters. Works really well in summer, but not so well in winter, as although we have less leaves on the trees, daylight is shorter and we need the lights more frequently, so have to top the battery up at home sometimes. It is also useful if we use our camping trailer as we can run the lights in that perfectly well from it.

We have a big pylon line to the south of our house, so multiple cables and quite thick, so although a diffuse shadow, quite a substantial one.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 6113
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 21 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Two other thoughts on payback time, both big unknowns.

Future cost of energy. The supply cost of electricity just went up more than 80% here this year. I'm completely insulated from that as I have only paid the distribution cost (grid connect fee, essentially) since getting our panels.

Resale value. It all depends upon who your potential buyers are, what they value, etc... To some, solar may be seen as an unknown potential problem I suppose (though I struggle to see it being a hindrance....), While an increasing percent of the population would see it as valuable. When I sold my previous house the buyer mentioned their excitement regarding the solar panels and the work I had done to improve insulation and energy efficiency. The market was hot, so a little tricky to judge how much of my profit was because of how much more appealing the property was because of my improvements, and similar for how quickly the house sold (offer was a day or two after listing). Realtor and I both got the feeling that the solar was a motivating force in the offer

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 13446

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 21 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I think people will see solar panels as an increasing plus here, but at present it will put some people off, particularly if the panels have been fitted for some years. Rather depends, as Tahir says, on whether you are intending to stay or move on after a few years. Certainly I would look very carefully at insulation that had been carried out as some has been found to be less than ideal, bridging damp courses and some of the early wool based ones even causing such severe moth problems that it has had to be removed, which can be a major rebuild job.

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