Talk to me about solar panels

hop

Well-Known Forumite
It depends on your use case.

We live in a conservation area and AONB as well as a historic building so would not want panels on the house or outbuildings visible from the house.
Our typical base power draw to keep the house ticking over is 220watts - fridge, freezer, alarm, router, backup devices etc...
In the end I bought 2 * 250w panels and a micro invertor and connected these in a discrete location.
This reduces the amount of energy we buy at peek and enables us to take advantage of economy 7 for higher use appliances.
We will receive no feed in tariff but that was never a concern. I estimate that with my use case the system will pay for itself in 4 years. A lot of the costs is the installation.
If your happy to just reduce the amount you buy in and also have a suitable location where you could mount panels yourself you may find it works out best to just buy a few panels and fit them yourself. The best way is to find a trade supplier and pick up the parts yourself, the panels are over 1 metre so an internet purchase will be shipped on a pallet - the shipping costs being about the price of a panel so altering the pay back time.
 

ac198621

Newbie
I am wondering if anyone knows where to buy solar panels from along with all of the mounting equipment?

I am new to this and would like to setup my solar array before the government feed in tariff is cut.

A friend of mine suggested:http://solarandheatstore.com/

Does anyone have any other ideas? Really want to get this sorted.
 

ac198621

Newbie
Has anyone had solar panels installed?
looking for recommendations of companies to use.
Not the ones where you get the panels for free and they keep the money from the electricity sold back to the grid.
The tariff is apparantly going down in January so we are keen to buy as soon as possible.
I have heard good things from a friend of mine who has recommended http://solarandheatstore.com/
I'm in the same boat myself and trying to find local companies with good reviews myself before i commit
 

Jade-clothing

Well-Known Forumite
we were recommended to use solar PV energy solutions. We know someone who used them and they were impressed. If you contact them they are based in Sandbach I think but cover this area.
 

staffordjas

Well-Known Forumite
Hubbys company used to manufacture and sell (didn't fit them) Solar Panels, but they don't any longer. He says when the feeding tariff was high you would eventually get your money back over a course of years. But with the feeding tariff dropping lower, you will never get that money back at current prices, even though the price of the panels has dropped.There is also the cost of maintaining them. When a panel on a hotel failed , they had to take all the panels off the roof and send them back to their factory abroad where they were made ,to assess which one failed, as this couldn't be done on site.Luckily for this hotel it was my husbands company , which is still active in other products so the cost of all this work was met by my husbands company.(If a company goes bust, you are stuck! )

He says make sure you have a cast iron warranty and with a company that is not going to disappear. The life span of a solar panel is around 25 years , so a 10 year warranty isn't good enough. Also needs to include the full cost of repair and replacements and labour with just one point of contact and no 3rd parties involved fitting etc.
Also probably right not going with a company who fits them for free and you get free electricity , because some of the contracts state that you are responsible for the maintenance and any repairs that occur. While it is broken, the loss of earnings from the feeding tariff of the company that installed them may be claimed from yourselves.
 

Gadget

Well-Known Forumite
I have a friend who runs a company who fit solar panels and assorted other things, They are fairly small but have good testimonials I believe. Based in Midlands. They can also fix your industrial furnace if it breaks lol. Let me know if that's any use to you.
 

wmrcomputers

Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist
When a panel on a hotel failed , they had to take all the panels off the roof and send them back to their factory abroad where they were made ,to assess which one failed
Surely they are parallel wired so that if one fails, they just produce slightly less electricity? If they are wired in series that would put me off altogether.
 

staffordjas

Well-Known Forumite
Surely they are parallel wired so that if one fails, they just produce slightly less electricity? If they are wired in series that would put me off altogether.
Dunno, maybe it is just his companys system that is wired that way.But it cost hubbys firm a lot of money driving up to Edinburgh , taking them off the roof, bringing them back to Stafford and then shipping them back over to Germany to be looked at etc etc
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
Old thread but seemed logical place to start!

Anyone looked into it lately? With the new energy caps adding a huge amount to my bill I'm starting to look again, although a grid connected battery system and a good smart tariff may do the job.
 

Bob

Well-Known Forumite
No idea but it’s a something that keeps popping into my mind, we don’t have a massive budget to go fully off grid but they say it’s all about keeping making small changes.

I think it’s bizarre that greener technology isn’t a stipulation of every new build (solar panels/ground source heat pump/ rain water harvest to flush the loo etc)

I’d be really interested in some non biased opinions/recommendations for solar panels and what’s needed to get up and running.
 
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