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Solar panels thought's

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Helen
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Solar panels thought's

Post by Helen on Thu 22 Aug 2013, 9:11 am

Two of our neighbours have had solar panels fitted across the full length of their roofs (bungalows) they are apparently free at the moment but your roof has to have a large surface area and you have to have an awful lot fitted the only charge is £250 for putting them in. My thoughts are that you don't get something for nothing these days but we are being told that they will cut our electricity bills in half and any unused electricity can be sold back ........ so have you heard of this and is there a catch ?

The thing is they look quite unsightly, if we put a roof window in we need permission and yet we are now looking at a full roof of solar panels ....... not a problem if they do cut bills and are a good source of green energy, but this is a lot of equipment being given away for free ????? ...... not exactly because the people who have had it done now have two electricity bills, one (low tariff) for the Electricity from the solar panels and one for ordinary electricity from the national grid. My argument is that if it's to help with renewable energy and household bills then why charge for what the solar panels produce and why not put them on all roofs ...... not just the ones where one side of the whole roof can be covered with them ? Surely even 4 panels would produce something that would cut down bills a little, but no you have to have two full rows ...... I think it's 18, I'll have a count later on as they are just fitting them on a roof opposite us.

I do like the idea of them but wonder if it's worth buying your own rather than have a bill forever for what they produce and why would you have a bill at all if they are going to overproduce enough to sell back? I just don't get the 'free solar panels' thing ..... is anything in life really free?

navver

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Join date : 2013-01-03

Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by navver on Thu 22 Aug 2013, 11:01 am

You can buy your own and have them installed and will probably be a better bet in the long run. Alternatively there are companies (Rent-a-Roof) we call them, who literally buy and install panels on your roof, but they own them.

The government pays a Feed In Tarriff (FIT) for the electric generated, currently about 22p per unit I think. You also get the electric generated for free so reduce your bill. The Rent a roof firm will no doubt pocket the feed in tarriff and maybe some of the savings on your bill. All companies will be different though.

Something that bothers me is that you will not own them, unless you buy your own. That means if you want to sell your house or repair your roof there may be problems. Typically they will be there for 25 years and the output decreases every year. At the end of 25 years they say you can keep them, what they really mean to say though, it is up to you to have them removed and disposed of environmentally correctly.

Having said that, they do produce electricity. Most PV (Photo Voltaic) cells have a kW peak rating and in UK will produce 10% of that in a year. There are 8760 hours in a year so a 1kW peak cell could prioduce 8760 times 1 kWHr per year if the sun shone all the time, evven at night. In practice it is 10% of the time so it will be 8760 times 10% = 876kWHr. Each kWHr is about 12p to buy so you get that and the FIT gives you another 22p. So 876kWHr is worth about £298 per annum.

They must be on a pitched roof which is south facing and not shadowed by a church tower or block of flats etc.

Despite what people say, the output drops when the sun goes in and in winter, but on average it is about 10%.

Next door has rent a roof types and sons, father in law has bought his own. He is delighted with his and says he looked at rent a roof but decided buying his own was much more beneficial. I think they cost about £5000 but they should be getting cheaper every year.
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Tow Itch
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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Tow Itch on Thu 22 Aug 2013, 11:45 am

The economics to yourself is one thing and I wish you the best but the economics to the planet of PV cells is almost certainly negative if we follow the gospel of man made climate change.
The details of this are somewhat out of date e.g. it no longer costs $1,000 per m2 of solar panel. Also I thought panels were in total only about 14% efficient. The co2 produced to manufacture the panels is generally not allowed for. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

So there is no net increase in global warming other than that from manufacturing if we all had slate roofs but for the world we would be better of perfecting the technology of white roofs and roads.

navver

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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by navver on Thu 22 Aug 2013, 12:04 pm

Yes you are correct Mr Itch. PV does use a fair bit of CO2 during production. Best is wind turbines and nuclear (there I said the dreaded word).

Wind is pretty good but there are problems over where to put the things. At least PV just sits quietly on your roof.

In my view, nuclear is essential. It is very low CO2 and produces 24/7.

Renewables are all well and good, but at every instant there must be generation for every bit of electric being used in the land. You switch your light on or plug your kettle in and someone, somewhere, must be already generating that electric.

The electrical load will continue increasing and with battery cars etc electric will be needed to charge them. The choice is gas, oil or nuclear for large scale generation to keep the light of britain on. Renewables can only play a relatively small part. With an overcast sky or during winter, when demand is at a peak, PV is non existent. On a windless day, wind power is virtually non existent. So gas or oil or nuclear must be there to pick up the pieces.

I have doubts about fracking.
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Vandriver

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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Vandriver on Thu 22 Aug 2013, 3:06 pm

To my mind the solar panel industry is going the same way as second hand car salesman, mobile phone salesmen and double glazing salesmen. Using confusion and underhand tactics to sell their products. At least once a week i get phone calls trying to sell solar panels amongst other things and they go around the houses to get to their point, which I hate.
One minute it's free, the next you pay for the installation and then after that you will be paid for the electric you don't use and then suddenly the supplier gets paid for that electric. Lots of people signed up for panels then the government reduced the price for excess electric to a pitiful amount. Until it is regulated in a clear and concise way and the TRUTH about how much we personally will save on our bills I won't be going near them. Call me a sceptic.
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Helen
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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Helen on Sat 24 Aug 2013, 10:50 am

Buying your own makes more sense to me ........ these people continue to knock on our doors even after being told NO several times. I counted and there are 16 not 18 panels but each one is huge ........ think I may get my own but I won't be having the free ones fitted. These blokes make you sound stupid though for refusing ....... to me if it's that great then why would they bother if a few of us don't want them!

navver

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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by navver on Sat 24 Aug 2013, 7:01 pm

One thing seems pretty sure. We are told by our energy suppliers that the cost of electricity will double by 2020. There are on costs to the energy suppliers like free insulation and contributions to the renewable energy schemes etc which will all have to be paid for by us consumers.

We are investing much of our energy budget in reducing consumption, mostly by replacing old lights with LED. I did a feasibility for one of our offices the other day and the energy reduction on lighting is 87%. Lighting accounts for about 40% of our electricity usage (with the old lights). Street lighting is also going over to it as well as going part night by switching off between midnight and 5.00am in many areas. You would be amazed at how much energy goes on street lighting.
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Helen
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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Helen on Sun 25 Aug 2013, 9:22 am

By coincidence ........ the street lights on our road are being replaced, work starts on the 9th and there are circles with SL in the middle to indicate where the new lights will go and some are in ridiculous places so the residents have had to complain as they are obstructing drives. They've already been done on my pops street and I don't like them Evil or Very Mad the light isn't a nice mellow orange light but they are like floodlights ...... bright white and even with the curtains closed they light the living room. Apparently it will help reduce crime scratch The only crime we've had in 15 years was our car being stolen off the drive and that has a floodlight that comes on with movement ........ so the light probably assisted them to see what they were doing. If they are to save energy then I can understand but they keep them on all night long here.
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Eilis
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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Eilis on Sun 25 Aug 2013, 9:34 am

Our street lights go off every night now and I'm v pleased as there is a light v close to my bedroom window so makes a big difference
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Helen
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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Helen on Sun 25 Aug 2013, 9:45 am

I'd be a happy bunny if they were going to turn them off at nights ....... no mention of that in the letter we all got. The justification for changing them seems to be to stop crime ........ so that means leaving them on all night long and they are seriously bright.
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Eilis
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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Eilis on Sun 25 Aug 2013, 9:50 am

Personally I'm less impressed with solar panels and more interested in wind power which seems a quicker return for your money

What do others think?
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Caz1960

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Location : Cardigan west wales

Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Caz1960 on Sun 25 Aug 2013, 10:30 am

Shocked I don't have street light well not on that works and all sorts happen here more fighting than ever for the 5th night had to call police to a mass brawl drink again the cause this place is getting like Thailand lovely by day bad by night     ( our council take in the people that other councils want to get rid off  ) yes i agree with wind power a small turbine each generates more usable electric than solar but the big question I have is .. they keep placing wind turbine farms up and I have not seen any benefits electric has gone up in price the more wind farms go up and the higher the prices go up so who is benefiting???? NOT ME!!! No 
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Eilis
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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by Eilis on Sun 25 Aug 2013, 10:37 am

Yep I agree Can numbers, prices going up and up with excuses about need to invest for years, when does the investment kick in?

Same with water and gas

navver

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Join date : 2013-01-03

Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by navver on Thu 29 Aug 2013, 10:04 pm

Got some facts and figures from our solar cell suppliers.

A typical 4kw domestic costs approx £6500 supplied and fitted etc.

A typical Feed In Tarriff (FIT) payment from the government based on sept to oct 2013 of £775 pa (RPI increased annually).

A typical saving on annual electricity bill of £308 from the use of the electricity generated at todays rates, but electricity is due to double in price by 2020 so by then your saving will be double.

So in summary, a £6500 investment saves £1000 per annum giving a 6.5 year payback at today’s rates,

FIT is capped based on the numbers of take up. The more people buy solar cells the less it will be, but will be fixed at the rate at which you take it up.

These are typical figures and will vary in individual cases. For me, it looks a good investment if you can get a good deal. Not sure what happens if you move house; these figures are for you owning the cells so presumably take them with you or sell to the new owner. Not sure what will happen to the FIT in that case.

navver

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Re: Solar panels thought's

Post by navver on Thu 29 Aug 2013, 10:15 pm

On the part night street lighting our people look at each area to assess the impact on things like crime, accidents etc before deciding to switch off. Not all areas will be switched off. Our area is pretty good for crime, that means not much of it. Probably means we're all so poor there is nothing worth nicking.

I know you think that electric from wind and solar etc should be cheaper, but the kit costs a lot of money. In my last post, the £6500 investment only produces £308 worth of electric per year which is not much. The cost of electric is made up of the power station costs, fuel and the cost of CEGB and the DNO (Distribution Network Operator, your local electricity board probably owned by the french) and the metering company. Fuel is a small part of that cost and is the only thing saved by solar cells or wind turbines.

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