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Old Nov 29th 2017, 9:12 am   #1
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Default Installing solar panels

Has anyone gone down the route of installing solar panels themselves….if yes please can you help.

I want to install 1.5kw of solar panels (6 panels). The cost to get someone to supply and install them is around £3000. I can order the panels and roof fixing kit from the UK for less than £1000, what I am not sure about is the type of solar inverter I need.

The other thing I am not sure about is how I stop my excess solar being fed back in to the system when there is a power outage (I think I can do this via the solar inverter).

Did you connect your solar panels directly in to a wall plug socket or in to your fuse box?

Any advice would be most welcomed.

Thanks
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 10:11 am   #2
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDNBEE View Post
Has anyone gone down the route of installing solar panels themselves….if yes please can you help.

I want to install 1.5kw of solar panels (6 panels). The cost to get someone to supply and install them is around £3000. I can order the panels and roof fixing kit from the UK for less than £1000, what I am not sure about is the type of solar inverter I need.

The other thing I am not sure about is how I stop my excess solar being fed back in to the system when there is a power outage (I think I can do this via the solar inverter).

Did you connect your solar panels directly in to a wall plug socket or in to your fuse box?

Any advice would be most welcomed.

Thanks
Hi

For everything Renewable i have found a Forum in the UK it's called Navitron and if they can't help nobody can. Click the link and have a look.

Peter


https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 1:44 pm   #3
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

You need to give more details; apparently you intend to connect your solar cells to the EDP power grid.
If that's the case, the connection to the grid has to be done by a licensed PT electrician.
The inverter will have to be the correct approved type; better check before buying.
EDP won't pay much [if anything] for power fed in, but will still charge you their normal tariff for power you take from them.
So if you use moderate amounts of power during the day, it will be quite profitable, but if you use little in the day, or use power in short hard bursts [like I do] then EDP will be the beneficiary.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 1:57 pm   #4
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

I am not bothered about connecting back in to the GRID, if I don’t have to I won’t

I will use the solar to run different devices in sequence – ie run my pool pump for 4 hours, then the washing machine, then the dish washer etc

Is it as simple as installing the solar panels on the roof connecting them to an inverter (that has a setting to not feed access back in to the grid) and plugging the inverter in to a wall socket.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 2:00 pm   #5
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

My grandparents now live in Portugal and they had this great intention to install the solar panels on the roof of their home when they first moved in. It turned out, however that if they produced more power than needed (and this was the expectancy) and they were returning electricity to the system the city had to pay them. This meant that they had to have a contract in place and dealing with the authorities was a nightmare - the government has this set of rules saying that green energy is more expensive to buy and they are very unwilling to sign such contracts. We then decided to put stoppers to prevent the power to go back into the system to avoid dealing with the municipality, but this meant that the energy was lost. You can purchase a battery and store the energy there but this is quite expensive and not everyone could afford it. I would say - research the topic very well before you start - green energy is a great idea, but be ready to get frustrated with all that has to be in place to use it.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 5:45 pm   #6
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

If you connect your inverter to your house, and EDP is also connected to your house, you are connected to the grid; whether you feed power in or not.

As soon as you do that, things have to be done right. If you do not feed power in, they have no way of knowing that you've connected your supply to theirs, so you'd likely get away with it IF nothing goes wrong.

The inverter required is more expensive than one that uses batteries as a buffer, and legally a licensed electrician is required.
You might get away with a DIY install, but unless you're good with wiring, I would recommend a pro to do the connections.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 6:49 pm   #7
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

1HP (or less) Pool pump, shouldn't be a problem but both dishwasher and washing machine can use up to 3kw when they are doing their 'heating cycle'. Also bear in mind that a 1.6kw theoretical production is going to be actually generated only in perfect conditions and you should calculate anywhere between 25% to 50% less than that in reality.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 8:31 pm   #8
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

Purchase this book. Solar Electricity Handbook, by Michael Boxwell, ISBN 978-1-907670-18-3, £12 from Amazon. Read from cover to cover; three times and if you posses more than a modicum of intelligence you will have no problems installing the system yourself. Beware; you are dealing with DC currant, deadly! The correct tools; highly insulated are a must!
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 9:28 pm   #9
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDNBEE View Post
I am not bothered about connecting back in to the GRID, if I don’t have to I won’t

I will use the solar to run different devices in sequence – ie run my pool pump for 4 hours, then the washing machine, then the dish washer etc

Is it as simple as installing the solar panels on the roof connecting them to an inverter (that has a setting to not feed access back in to the grid) and plugging the inverter in to a wall socket.
You use a grid tie inverter to connect your home generated electricity to your house's wiring while the house is simultaneously connected to the grid. If the grid fails, the inverter should immediately stop injecting power. If it doesn't do that it's not going to be approved.

If you are generating more than you are consuming, the grid will soak up the surplus. If you are consuming more than you are generating, the grid will supply the difference. No batteries required.
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Old Nov 30th 2017, 10:55 am   #10
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

Thank you for all your advice – I have ordered the “Solar Electricity Handbook”..but

After much number crunching I am not sure having solar without batteries would be worthwhile and with batteries the pay back in far too long.

We are on a dual tariff for our electricity (8am – 10pm 19c per KW and 10pm – 8am 9c per KW). The majority of the electricity we use at the moment is used between 10pm and 8am – ie we run the pool pump, run the dishwasher and washing machine). Our electricity bill is about 70-80 euros per month (it will go up over the winter as we will be running the air con units to heat the house).

Thus if we installed a 1500kw solar system and ran what we could during the day when the sun is out we may be able to cut our electricity bill in half at best. A saving of 30 euros per month, will means a payback of 6-7 years.

Maybe I should wait until batteries become cheaper.
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Old Nov 30th 2017, 11:27 am   #11
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

Battery prices are dropping. LG and the TESLA Powerwall being the most popular of the modern systems. You are looking at about € 5000 for a battery unit of this type. The best time to have it installed is at the same time as your panel system.

A battery system used properly will reduce your bill a further 40 - 50% and add immediate value to your property.

Too many people worry far too much about the "payback". The fact is, you will start saving energy costs from day 1.

If you go even further and add a 100% electric car or Plugin Hybrid..you can lower your costs even more and help the environment too.
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Old Nov 30th 2017, 11:27 am   #12
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

Why don't you re-run the payback calculation with maybe only 500W of panels. This would cover much of your 'background' consumption (fridge, freezer, PC, phone chargers, aircon on standby etc)?
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Old Nov 30th 2017, 12:12 pm   #13
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDNBEE View Post
I am not bothered about connecting back in to the GRID, if I don’t have to I won’t

I will use the solar to run different devices in sequence – ie run my pool pump for 4 hours, then the washing machine, then the dish washer etc

Is it as simple as installing the solar panels on the roof connecting them to an inverter (that has a setting to not feed access back in to the grid) and plugging the inverter in to a wall socket.
What will you do at night ?
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Old Nov 30th 2017, 12:21 pm   #14
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Default Re: Installing solar panels

I can see your point re pay back but it still has to make sense from a cost point of view.
If I was having a house built from scratch I would have enough solar and batteries fitted to go 90% off grid.

I did look at just putting a couple of panels on the roof, but the costs saving aren’t great.

Electric cars…I looked at that the leaf, but I need something a little bigger, I think over the next few years we will see a few new electric cars coming out with bigger batteries that the current models have.
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