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New PV System being considered

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Posted by Phil on August 30, 2008, 5:03 pm

I'm a UK Newbie to this group. I live in the North West Uk, and I'm
considering getting a 1.5 kW PV system.

I'm getting the system to "do my bit for global warming" and to reduce
monthly outgoings on Power.

I've been quoted ~ 8K for a 1.5 KW PV system.

I'm intending to sell spare power back to Grid Supplier (not much I'm sure).

Has anyone got any recommendations  ?



Posted by Jussi Saily on August 30, 2008, 7:23 pm

What exactly was your question, where to get it cheaper or what?
Anyway, getting a large solar array might not exactly pay out if you
weigh the investment costs and grid power cost. You might consider
also a small wind power plant in addition to the solar panels. You
would get wind power when the sun doesn't shine, which is a large
portion of time in the UK (and here in Finland, too!).

-- Jussi

Posted by Eeyore on August 30, 2008, 11:10 pm

Jussi Saily wrote:

What he needs to do is understand the calculations. Then he'll run a mile.

Wind turbines are worthless in urban areas since buildings, trees and foliage act
as wind breaks. Plus the fact that the wind at rooftop height is a fraction of
government figures which are measured at 25m height IIRC.

You may also do structural damage to your hiome.


Posted by Bruce Harvey on August 31, 2008, 7:32 am
Regardless of the reply above, if you need more info then you will need to
start with reducing your usage first. The best place to start is to draw up
a table or download one from the internet to calculate your usage and where
it is going. Then compare that to what the utility company is charging you
per kWh. Work out how much each appliance in your house is using especially
for water heating and space heating/air conditioning. These things will
reduce your usage considerably in most cases and will give a better return
on your investment. Then after that is done and the insulation on your house
is up to scratch you could have another look. Remember the best way to save
the environment is not to use it up in the first place. The other thing to
consider is are you able to sell back to your electricity supplier, how much
will metering cost, and with wind turbines you need to find out what your
average wind is year round. Also note that unlike PV solar, wind turbines
are not silent and there may be local or other government restrictions on
their installation especially in urban areas. This is just the start. BTW
going by Australian prices and exchange rates the 8,000 pound price tag does
not sound too ridiculous but it may not perform to its full ability in your
area. Another thing to consider is does it snow where you are as this can
INCREASE you winter power production in some cases but may increase
installation costs as the panels cant be cleaned with a shovel after a snow
fall. There is a whole other set of information to consider if that is the
case. Another thing to think about is does your roof face south or not. If
not, mounting the panels may be more expensive.
Just a rudimentary start but I hope this helps a bit.
My system is 2.8kW PV, solar hot water, 30deg S of the equator and $5,000
to get connected to the grid. It was worth it for me here in Australia but
mine was definitely a special case. Don't assume it will work for you. Do
the research and calculate the costs and returns on your options and that
will tell you the best way to go and where to start. Every situation is
different. I also suggest talking to anyone in your area who has a solar
panel on the roof and ask them about their experience. The people who try
these things are usually proud of their achievements and love to share
information. The worst they can say is, go away.

Posted by Eeyore on August 31, 2008, 7:38 am

Bruce Harvey wrote:

I think you'll find that's what I said too. And in Northern England INSULATION
is the big one.

You need a foot of classic loft / roof insulation and if the property was built
with cavity walls (most houses in the UK are built of building block and brick
with an air gap inbetween and tied together, blow an insulating material like
rockwool into it.


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