Author Topic: Solar tile panels  (Read 8369 times)

border-rider

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2011, 03:08:33 pm »
Should be very straightfoward  Unless you're conservation area or listed building then domestic PV has "Permitted Development" and doesn't need planning permission.

AONB.

David Martin

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2011, 03:18:25 pm »
Hmm.. stil looking at this and reckoning that with removal of some trees (which need to be removed anyway) there is definitely scope for about 40-50kW of power from the roof of the church. 50ish degree roof facing S.
That is one chunky cable that may need to be laid to run the lectrickery back to the mains.. Time to talk to the energy provider.
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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2011, 04:13:35 pm »
Should be very straightfoward  Unless you're conservation area or listed building then domestic PV has "Permitted Development" and doesn't need planning permission.  There are exceptions - e.g. if your PV is of unusual design, sticks up more than (I think) 200mm above the surface of the roof, or extends above the roofline etc.

"Above the roofline."

Does that mean "higher than the roof", or "visible from the road as poking out above the roof" ?

The reason I ask is that we are the North end of a semi with the front facing East. However, the loft has been converted at the rear of the property which means we have a large flat roof behind the ridge tiles. To mount PV panels there at a reasonable angle they would certainly be higher than the existing roof line, but quite possibly not visible from the road.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2011, 09:30:35 am »
@hatler

See The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2008
Section A1(b) answers your question

@Malvolio
This link may also help you to some extent, though the specific application of the guidance for AONBs is likely to being given precedence by the local planners. However, the permitted development order does spell out what is acceptable permitted development for UNESCO world heritage sites so if you meet that requirement you should be ok!

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2011, 07:53:23 pm »
Rust never sleeps

Adam

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #55 on: May 30, 2011, 05:21:45 pm »
I've now had 4 firms in to quote, and am at the stage of deciding which one to go for (after trying some haggling).

Interestingly, they all say as part of the selling angle, that the Feed In Tariffs are being paid for people who haven't installed solar.  In that the cost is being raised from the industry, who in turn recoup it by raising prices.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #56 on: May 30, 2011, 11:40:05 pm »
I've now had 4 firms in to quote, and am at the stage of deciding which one to go for (after trying some haggling).

Interestingly, they all say as part of the selling angle, that the Feed In Tariffs are being paid for people who haven't installed solar.  In that the cost is being raised from the industry, who in turn recoup it by raising prices.

In fact the cost of paying for the FITs is spread over all grid connected domestic electricity bills including those who have installed solar PV - it's just that they'll pay a bit less.  That's why George Monbiot described it as a middle class tax break, since those who can afford to install PV are benefitting at the expense of everyone else.  The energy companies don't profit from administering FIT payments - there is an agreed cost to serve as part of the FIT agreement/obligation.

However, this is by no means the only additional cost that's collected via your energy bills.  First there was EEC1 and EEC2, since replaced by the CERT and CESP energy efficiency programmes. These are obligations upon suppliers with >50000 customers to provide subsidised (or sometimes free) energy/carbon reduction support to domestic energy users (this funds mostly insulation measures and has paid for a lot of the discounted loft insulation you see in the DIY shops.  But you pay for it in your bills.

When the Green Deal is launched in 2012 there will be an ongoing "ECO" Energy Company Obligation to continue to provide support to consumer carbon reduction where the customer is unable to take up loans under the Green Deal (because the measure they're seeking to install doesn't meet the "golden rule" of paying back from the savings it generates).

The other one people generally don't know about is that theft of gas from the gas network (or leaks) is spread across your gas bills so that the network operator isn't left out of pocket (Nat Grid).

In summary - if you work like heck to reduce your energy usage you'll spend a lot less money subsiding everyone else.

Speshact

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2011, 12:24:34 am »
We've had the first company come and quote on our small SSW facing 35 degree roof and my head has started to spin. I'm trying to work out which are the numbers I need to concentrate on - any help/views very much welcome:
6x Photovoltaic High performance modules
Eging EGM – 190Wp,
Monocrystalline cells (width x height: 808:1580)
1x Inverter
DC/AC SMA Sunny Boy SB 1200
Strings/cables, 6mm², MC4/with Tyco connections
Schletter solar mounting system (made of aluminium and stainless steel
Full roofing and electrical installation
Scaffold to rear
System size:
1.14 kWp
Breakeven point:
11.1 years
Feed in payment (Year 1):
£392.25
Electricity saving (Year 1):
£74.73
Net Present:
£19,135.62
Yield:
6.3%
Electricity Usage:
3,000 kWh p/a
Panel degradation (over 25 years):
10%
Inflation Feed In Tariff:
10%
Inflation Electricity:
10%
TOTAL cost including vat @ 5%:£6,666.45

border-rider

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2011, 12:29:32 am »
Important figures:

Cost
payback time
Feed-in payment
Ability of installers

We got quotes for about £12k for 4 kW installed, so £6.7 k for 1.1 kW seems a bit steep to me.

I'd also want to be sure they knew what they were doing.  Could they answer your questions ? Can you talk to previous customers ?

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2011, 11:12:12 am »
Spesh

Panel degradation varies a bit between manufacturers but is usually at least 10% over 20 years.  What's more important is any warranty on the first 10 years while you're getting your money back from the feed-in tariff.

Most panels that are being sold are in the range of 175 - 190 Watts peak output.  This is only relevant if you have very little roof space in which case the higher efficiency panels will enable you to get more output from a given area.

SMA Sunny Boy inverters are one of the two main reputable products, though there are some other perfectly adequate ones.  The Sunnyboy can be used with free SMA software to display your output/record output data but I don't know how they link up - speak to your installer if that level of detail is of interest.

Regarding value, £3k/kWp is fine on large installs, but on a 1.14kWp array they've still got to rock up, erect scaffolding, order goods etc so I'd expect a figure approaching £5k minimum, bearing in mind that about a fifth of the price is VAT.

The FIT income will vary as the FIT payments are RPI linked, and free of income tax.

Similar to what Mal Volio says - focus on:
* Value (cost for an acceptable specification)
* track record/case studies (especially if you can talk to them)
* estimated annual generation
* installer credentials.  If they are not accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) then the installation won't be eligible for feed in tariff payments.  Are they members of the REAL Assurance scheme (see REAL Assurance Scheme )

What is the basis for the installers estimated energy production?  If you divide the estimated FIT income (year 1) by the current FIT generation tariff (43.3p) and then by 1.14 you get a specific generation of 794kWh per kWp per annum.  This sounds reasonable for a SSW facing array on a pitched roof without shading.  I've managed more than that on a WSW facing array with partial shading so it sounds like your installer isn't over-egging the claims, though this will depend on your latitude (I'm in Oxfordshire).

Their figures for inflation Feed in Tariff and Inflation energy price seem a bit high at 10%, but this is arbitrary and beyond their control.  Since FIT is RPI linked I'd assume FIT inflaction at <5% per annum.



Biggsy

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2011, 11:18:47 am »
Robert Llewellyn's 10 grand system from British Gas: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/PZyvjXHlBvA&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/PZyvjXHlBvA&rel=1</a>.
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LEE

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2011, 11:30:03 am »
I wonder what the addtional costs would be to install a Solar PV roof system on a new-build house.

There'd be economy of scale (on a housing development).
There's be no need for extra scaffolding as the roof-fitters would be trained to fit the panels (doesn't seem difficult).
Electricians would be on site.

It could add an insignificant amount to the cost of a new house. 

Maybe half the roof could be PV panels and the other half a hot water system.

There's something very appealing about charging the battery of an electric car for free. 

A 100 mile range would be perfectly adequate for a week for many people so charging in 1 day isn't necessarily a requirement..

Biggsy

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #62 on: June 13, 2011, 01:58:16 pm »
E.On for its customers is offering a 3.89kW solar system installed for £99 (+£210 if extra scaffolding from normal required) that you can use for 25 years.

They get a government subsidy, and I presume they don't let you earn money from power put back into the grid, but still it seems too good to be true.  £99 is nothing.  Is there a catch?
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Adam

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #63 on: June 13, 2011, 09:46:39 pm »
Not really, but they're going to be taking all of the Feed In Tariffs, so on that size of installation in the South East, it would be at least £1,300 pa payment (increasing by RPI, not CPI). 

The site specific quotes I've had, and all the general example ones I've seen, tend to look at around 10-11 years to pay back the installation costs, leaving you with perhaps 14-15 years of those payments. 

That's why it's worth it for those companies to offer free (or almost free) installation.  You'd get free use of the electricity being generated, just not the kick-back.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #64 on: June 14, 2011, 03:06:15 pm »
@ Biggsy. No catch on the E.ON deal but as Adam said they take the FIT income, but also the risk of underperformance.  However, over 25 years they'll make a reasonable profit even after cost of finance.  I seem to recall someone calculated that at interest rates up to 7% it's still worth you borrowing the money yourself to fund it rather than have a "free PV" scheme.

The real catches are that these "free" schemes will only go for optimum sites - hence 3.89kW which is a lot of PV (approx 1kW is 8m2).  The £99 admin fee is to weed out people who are seriously interested otherwise they'd be inundated with requests from people with little serious intention of buying.

FWIW my PV was installed by E.ON (I happen to work for them) though I paid myself and receive the FIT payments.  Their FIT administration process is working well (I've had my install for over a year) with direct payments to my account every quarter.  The installation took a couple of days.

Recommendation: If possible have the scaffolding put up on a Friday afternoon with the install to start on a Monday.  That gives you the weekend to repoint your chimney/ridge tiles etc before they start.

Biggsy

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2011, 03:40:28 pm »
I think the £99 thing seems like a great deal for some people even if the spare juice is nicked.  I'm thinking of people on a low income who won't qualify for a loan without risking their property, or afford to repay it.

Also, what about those who would use nearly all the power themselves?

I would be worried though if the roof ever needed work during the life of the solar panels.  How much would it cost to have someone take them down and put them back up again?  (Assuming one is too feeble or scared to DIY!).
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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #66 on: June 14, 2011, 03:49:34 pm »
I think the £99 thing seems like a great deal for some people even if the spare juice is nicked.  I'm thinking of people on a low income who won't qualify for a loan without risking their property, or afford to repay it.

Also, what about those who would use nearly all the power themselves?

I would be worried though if the roof ever needed work during the life of the solar panels.  How much would it cost to have someone take them down and put them back up again?  (Assuming one is too feeble or scared to DIY!).

Yes, you need to read the T's and C's well.  Particularly questions like
1. Who is responsible for repairing breakdowns" as the inverter is likely to require replacement within the 25 years of the FIT.  Since E.ON are taking the FIT income I'd imagine they'd want to replace it, but you need to check who picks up the cost. 

2.Who owns the kit at the end of the FIT period, and is there any cost/admin fee at that time?

3. What are your obligations with regard to insurance (e.g. revaluing the rebuild value of your house?)

4. What happens if you sell the house?

etc

There are three benefits (ignoring smugness for a minute) of installing PV
1. FIT generation payment (43.3p/kWh) - this is paid for every kWh you generate - whether you use it on site or not.  Either way, E.ON (or chosen "Free PV" provider) will still take the income.
2. FIT Export payment (3.1p/kWh) - this is paid for every kWh you export BUT for most domestic installations this will be deemed to be 50% of total generation.
3. The offset cost of imported kWh from the grid (i.e. your savings).

By comparison, I have a 3.5kWp array and relatively low usage, so the % of own generation that I use ranges from under 25% in peak summer to nearly 70% in December.

Hope that helps.

C

Biggsy

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #67 on: July 03, 2011, 12:22:00 pm »
bobbyllew today tweeted:
Quote
Indeed the Swallows have deposited some Watt sapping business on my Solar Panel and I have remonstrated with them most firmly!

Can bird poop be a serious problem?

...Especially when your neighbour puts out tons of bird food every day, so the area becomes Bird Mecca, meaning several birds (mainly pigeons) are perching on your roof all the time.
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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #68 on: July 03, 2011, 11:31:15 pm »
On a typical pitch roof the panels seem to be pretty much self cleaning as far as I can tell from the ground. No noticeable turd related performance degradation!

Biggsy

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Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #70 on: August 22, 2011, 09:08:05 pm »
I have just experienced the first example of total mis-selling of FIT installations. There are two houses local to me who have just had what look like 4kwh arrays installed. The roofs are ..............east facing. mmmm.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #71 on: August 25, 2011, 11:12:35 pm »
I have just experienced the first example of total mis-selling of FIT installations. There are two houses local to me who have just had what look like 4kwh arrays installed. The roofs are ..............east facing. mmmm.

Mine is WSW - it's not a problem, you just get a lower output and longer payback, but I still generated nearly 3000 kWh in 12 months from a 3.5kW array, but it never does more than 2.85 because of the orientation.  If it's east facing, you just get more generation in the morning, so you can put the dishwasher on after breakfast or load up the washing machine before you go out to work.

border-rider

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #72 on: October 28, 2011, 11:02:01 pm »
I see that the Govt cocked up today and prematurely released the revised FIT figures; it's going down to 21p, which torpedoes the economics totally

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #73 on: October 28, 2011, 11:06:03 pm »
I see that the Govt cocked up today and prematurely released the revised FIT figures; it's going down to 21p, which torpedoes the economics totally

I doubt it was a cock up, rather a warning not to try and get on rapidly departing bandwagon.

inc

Re: Solar tile panels
« Reply #74 on: October 29, 2011, 10:01:45 am »
With the original object of giving a 5-6% return the new rates will not be too far off ( est 4%)  because the install costs are dropping rapidly from @£16K a year ago to nearer £10K for a 4kW system. It looks like the new cutoff date is 8th Dec for the existing terms, installed, commissioned and paperwork submitted. It should be a major deterent for the rent a roof mob. It also looks like the bar is being raised for required installed energy saving measures, if you don't meet the requirements the rate will be even lower. These are only proposals from a PDF on the EST site, I downloaded it before it was removed but the timing would seem to fit in with the required 40 day notice of change. It may just be a ploy to gauge reaction but I doubt that.