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Old 04-01-13, 12:40 PM   #71
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Old 04-01-13, 12:47 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by pulsechoes View Post
Has anyone on here succumbed to the "Free Solar Panels" offer that's going round at the moment. We keep getting literature through the post urging us to take the offer up. What's the catch??? I've always been led to believe that You never get anything for nothing these days!!
The catch is that your effectively renting your roof in return for using some / all of the electricity it makes, however the FITs tariff goes to the owner of the panels.

Downside it seems is when you come to sell your house, there's been issues with rented roofs in as much that some people either don't want panels ont he roof or they are put off by the fact that they are not getting the FITs

So in some ways the solar panels are having a detrimental effect on the housing market

Last edited by Tezfair; 04-01-13 at 12:49 PM. Reason: See above !!
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Old 04-01-13, 12:56 PM   #73
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So, the panel owner reaps the benefits of feed-in while the sun shines and the home owner continues to pay as normal when it is dark and power consumption is highest!

Sounds like the solution is to charge up a nice big battery bank during the day and use that when you need it - of course there might not be much left to feed back into the grid


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Old 04-01-13, 01:12 PM   #74
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The FIT is distorting the use of solar power, as many companies are quite cute with their wording, and as Martin has linked to, it can be a big hassle if you want to move house.

So, if you are going to do it at all, pay the money and buy your own kit.

Even then, you won't get the 7% they are quoting as a return, I'd be surprised to see anyone making 2& or 3% in practice.

You not only need the panels, you also need a lot of other kit like a battery bank, an inverter that will feed power back to the grid and hopefully to your selves as well, when the sun has gone down and the all important solar controller.

The big problem is that to be cost-effective, there has to be more than selling of the electricity back to the Utilities, and that's where the problems lie.

To get power, there has to be sunshine, and even then you won't get the rated power out of the panels in the UK, you'll be lucky to see 30%-40%, and as the panels are not tracking the sun, there is only really one time of day when they are in the optimum position.

So, you are indoors during the day, maybe using some of your power feeding back through the inverter, but that means it isn't being sold to the utility. Only when you are selling is there any kind of feedback.

If you use the inverter when the sun isn't shining, the batteries will get discharged, which means that the next day, all or most of the power from the solar panels will go towards charging the batteries and not to the utility.

If you get multiple days without sunshine, you could get your batteries going flat enough so they won't run the inverter.

Quite honestly, it's a mug's game for a homeowner.

We looked at the figures and knowing how our trailer panels work in the UK I'd say you'd have to have double what they recommend to get continuous usable power, either to sell or to use.

I couldn't see any return at all for the money put into it. Small-scale it may be good, and Matt & Rob can give their own experiences, but even with panels dropping in price, the costings don't add up for us.


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Old 04-01-13, 03:08 PM   #75
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Don't forget the money you pay to the power companies is money that's gone.
You could use that money to buy your own solar set up a reap the benifit for the rest of your life,and it's also a good excuse to use your stationary engine as part of your own power system.

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