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Brewnaldo

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Hoping for some knowledge on domestic solar power.

Now to start, I know the tarriffs are less favourable now than what it used to be, BUT.... The way energy prices are going, and the way the future looks, some degree of self sufficiency and future proofing cant be bad?

The price cap is going up, I think history tells us that prices dont come back down to where they were following a surge, even IF the reasons for the surge get better.

So that leaves us with a straight up "is it worth it" question. I would be looking to buy them so no concerns over shady lease arrangements.

I would look to acquire as many panels as I could aswell as a solar battery, as I believe currently with prices as they are, the money is in what you dont buy from the grid as opposed to what you export (for which you are paid, but at a less favourable rate than years gone by.)

One issue that I have heard of that I am unsire still exists is charging EVs on a system containing a solar battery. I dont currently have an EV, but lets face it, one day I will.

Again, in terms of future proofing, I hear my home with gas. I would assume that one day, possibly when my boiler goes, I could install an air source system and run it off my own power, and at that point become almost fully energy self sufficient. Am I missing anything stupid? Does anyone have experience in this?

Talk to me!
 

Druncan

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Hi @Brewnaldo I'm looking at two systems. Bought one and getting ready to install. https://www.stovesandsolar.com/product-page/pro-kit-5830-complete-solar-thermal-kit Heats water for our 400l HLT/buffer store + eco7. Then through two 5kw PHE's one to our domestic (heat overflow) one for the BIAB tank and recovery.
Also looking at Solar PV hybrid system as a house UPS and export power from eco7 to grid. GivEnergy - just not decided on system yet. Interested in your views? Just can't decide,,, :roll:
 

Chippy_Tea

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I have posted this before i think it was in the electric car thread, I like the way the guy explains his set up -

 

Brewnaldo

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Hi @Brewnaldo I'm looking at two systems. Bought one and getting ready to install. https://www.stovesandsolar.com/product-page/pro-kit-5830-complete-solar-thermal-kit Heats water for our 400l HLT/buffer store + eco7. Then through two 5kw PHE's one to our domestic (heat overflow) one for the BIAB tank and recovery.
Also looking at Solar PV hybrid system as a house UPS and export power from eco7 to grid. GivEnergy - just not decided on system yet. Interested in your views? Just can't decide,,, :roll:

My views are that you are ludicrously further on than me in terms of knowledge and research 😂

Iv just had the idea and am trying to establish if it is in essence, a good one or a non starter!!! I suppose getting quotes from reputable conpanies and speaking to them about the best system is the way I need to go
 

Clint

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Chap works with me has a friend who lives off grid...
Own land, built his house,own water supply etc. I asked about electricity...he does water, wind and solar. The solar goes to power batteries which power his house stuff and charge his car...
Heating is powered off his log burner.
 

ChilledGecko

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I have some real world experience, but it may not be too relevant regarding the prices.

I had a solar system fitted to my roof during the 'good times' of high tariffs. I'm on the original tariff of around just under 50p generation and 4.xp export.
This was fitted over 10 years ago now, cost me £11k to install but paid back in seven years.
Export is deemed to be 50% of generation as I don't have an export meter.

I monitored the amount of export I was 'wasting' and decided it was not financially viable to add a battery system, the payback would have been too long, around 25 years. Sods law dictates something would have failed before I hit payback.

However, I managed to get a deal with a new separate panel system along with 12Kwh (10Kwh usable) of batteries.
This option costed in for me, so I now fill up my batteries during the day and use them when the sun goes down.

During the winter I charge my batteries from the grid during a cheap overnight period and run off them during the day rather than paying peak prices, topping up from the grid as and when the sun shines to keep the batteries charged for longer.

The bottom line is does it cost in?
What is an acceptable payback period for you?
What is your usage like, does it fit a solar/battery lifestyle?
 

Clint

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Is it correct that if you got an outside company to fund and install solar panels to your roof...they "own" part of your roof and getting rid of the panels and/or selling the house can be problematic?
 

Nicks90

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If you are going to buy your own solar panel system, you may as well buy a decent battery powerbank and 240v converter.
You charge the batteries during the day and then run your house from them in the evening.
Negates any messing with tariffs etc.
Stick with the cheapest regular fixed price deal you can get and enjoy the fact you'll be buying much less than you did before.
And if your leccy usage isn't as much as you produce, swing the other way and go for a heat pump to use up that leccy capacity. Do the maths though, as even if you 'save' 50% of the power you use, electric is a lot more expensive than gas.
 

ChilledGecko

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Is it correct that if you got an outside company to fund and install solar panels to your roof...they "own" part of your roof and getting rid of the panels and/or selling the house can be problematic?
Not sure on the 'owning' but allegedly mortgage companies are shy about offering a mortgage on such houses.
All you would get out of it would be the free 'leccy and a world of legal pain I suspect.
 

ChilledGecko

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My battery system is a Sofar Me3000 attached to 5 x 2.4Kwh Li-ion Pylontech batteries.
Fit and forget, tell it to charge at night at these times/months and walk away.

You can get geeky about it, I have but it's not necessary.

Not sure what Brexit/covid have done to supply & prices mind you....
 

Brewnaldo

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This is all pretty helfpul stuff as was the video Chippy put on which marries up to what you guys are saying.

Theres another side to this... Il likely never sell this house. Im 36 years old. So I expect usage over the long hall. I also have money to do something like this by virtue of shares from a previous employer. What I am effectively looking to do here is move some volatile money into something that is a passive investment. I realise there are many ways to do this, but this one has the advantage of guarding against something that looks like it has the potential to reach crisis levels ie energy prices.
 

ChilledGecko

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Il likely never sell this house. Im 36 years old. So I expect usage over the long hall. I also have money to do something like this by virtue of shares from a previous employer. What I am effectively looking to do here is move some volatile money into something that is a passive investment.

That's the same thought process I went through, loose money gaining no interest of note. Unlikely to move.
 
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Is it correct that if you got an outside company to fund and install solar panels to your roof...they "own" part of your roof and getting rid of the panels and/or selling the house can be problematic?
Basically, yes. You effectively rent your roof to the solar company. They get any subsides from the energy generation and you get the free electricity. Whether or not it makes you house more or less desirable if you were to sell depends on the buyer I suppose. Yes, the roof is rented to a third party but there is also an amount of free electricity that comes with it.
 

Clint

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If I had solar panels they would now be smashed as I lost at least 4 ridge tiles last night..possibly more which would have bounced all over them before bouncing all over my extension roof then busting the gutter...ah well...its only money.
 

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@Clint you have brought up something i have often wondered if you roof leaks or you find a couple of slates in your garden after a storm how do you get to the roof to see if there is any damage and if there is how do you or a roofer repair it?
 
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This is something I have been thinking about myself. I recently insulated the full house plus pumped the walls and fitted tripel glazed windows. Trying my best to reduce the energy I use
That all goes out the window when I come home from work to find the heat on with the windows open. Apparently that's the only way my wife can dry the clothes.
 

Clint

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@Clint you have brought up something i have often wondered if you roof leaks or you find a couple of slates in your garden after a storm how do you get to the roof to see if there is any damage and if there is how do you or a roofer repair it?
Get a man in...unfortunately.Unless you got ladders and a death wish. I could see mine off/on the patio and mortar missing between some others..plus the damage on the extension roof is easily visible from the bedroom. PITA but sh1t happens.
 
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I jumped on board the solar in 2009, forecast was energy prices were to sky rocket the deal was surplus to go back into the grid and we would get paid 64 cent per kWh. No brainer when we were paying around 30 c a kWh to buy it. I can't make any changes to my system and the deal ends in 2024.
So with the current state government offering batteries for half price I will take up that offer and increase my solar panels to be self sufficient for energy and get rid of the gas.
We export gas to Japan cheaper than what we can buy it for!
 

Shirley Bassett

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I used to live in North Wales and purchased a new build house that a 4kW solar PV system. When I moved into the house in late March I went to take a meter reading. The meter had a silver rotating disk in it. I took the meter reading to give to the supplier and thought I’m sure that meter is going backwards. I asked the better half to put the kettle on, and the disk stated to rotate the other way. In other words we were generating more than the house used just running the fridge freezer spare freezer tv and a few lights.

The electricity company eventually changed the meter to a digital one.

I used to get around 15p per unit generated, and it was assumed that half of what we generated was exported to grid, for which we got paid 4.5p per unit. This was a 25 year agreement and when I moved out a couple of years back we calculated the remaining earnings that the system would generate and put this in the house details of sale. I think it helped to sell the house. We owned the system outright.

In the summertime we got paid lots, but the winter quarter used to pay us around £30. The overall payment for the year, 2.5 years ago covered our annual electricity bill. I doubt it will do so at current costs.

I now live in Aberdeenshire and have a Solar hot water system fitted to this house. In the summer on a sunny day we get a 300 litre tank of water at 60+C by lunchtime. In late December when it doesn’t get light until after 9am and is dark by 15:30 the water gets to 11C on a good day. It is currently getting to about 25C on a sunny day. In the wintertime our incoming water temperature from a private borehole is around 6C on average.

I’ve seen a paper advert from Scottish Power saying they will fit and install a 4KW PV system, I think with battery backup, for £4k. I didn’t read the further details, as I assumed based on my Welsh experience that the battery system wouldn’t really be utilised.

My neighbour has a steading (barn conversion) and installed a ground source heat pump which heats the house via underfloor heating, and his hot water. He says he has 2 woodburning stoves in his open plan living quarters because the pump system isn‘t up to the job during the coldest winter periods. It was professionally specified and installed. He also said beware of the efficiency figures that get banded about, because they are based on all year usage. He says that when his RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) system ends he is looking at going over to an oil fired boiler and buy all his oil in the summer when the price is about 40% lower than the winter cost of fuel.

Depending upon how much land you have with your house, there is always the option to put the solar array at ground level. I’ve seen several house up here that have such a system.
 
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On the roof rental aspect I don't see it being any trouble to potential buyers or mortgage companies. When I got a mortgage i don't remember the question being asked.

It is similar to those that have electric poles on their property. I have a wooden pole from western power on some land I own. They pay me a nice some for it being there and maintain the trees around it. Result.

Also on an old property a similar pole was on the boundary. Again western power paid me and when I sold, we provided the buyer the contract with western power, solicitors had no issues and the buyer was to negotiate his own contract, which was slightly more than mine.
 

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