Solar Panels & F-I-T's

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TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
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Exeter
Does anyone have have Solar Panels on their roofs and benefit from FITS and if so what is your experience of the same please.

Those that have panels but not secured FITS , what is your experience of Battery Walls and the best way to go 'off grid' in a pragmatic fashion?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,141
4,493
Mid Wales
I was considering it then realised the tariff had gone from nearly 50p/kwh in 2011 to 5p in 2019. I am more interested in self sufficiency of power than a return on the capital and effort though so I still intend to do something soon. I have an 8.5Kw inverter sitting waiting for me to do something with :)
 
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Chainsaw

Native
Jul 23, 2007
1,347
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Central Scotland
I've an array of 16, on a good sunny day they generate about 3.2kWh peak. (I'm in Scotland roof is about 20degress off south) Think the best I have pulled in a day is about 23kWh. My last quarters income was £270. So far I am about £400 under their estimated income after 7 years. They give you a budget thing to forecast your income etc. This doesn't take into account your actual electricity savings. We a quite religious about doing washing and dishwasher etc when the sun is out so we get it for nothing. Our house uses about 600W/h and even on an overcast day we can just about generate as much as we use. To get the full benefit a deep cycle batter would be in order or a 1kWh windmill perhaps.

We got them not to save/earn money but to reduce/remove our energy consumption. They are not going to make you rich.

Any other Q's fire away!
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
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Exeter
I'm thinking if the FITS are actually worth the effort of its better to just go it alone and add as and when I can.

I really do think its more the storage of the energy that is the bigger issue in the room. Not sure how others feels but Tesla seem an expensive solution where there seems to be not much in the way of competition.
 

Chainsaw

Native
Jul 23, 2007
1,347
118
54
Central Scotland
I'd be tempted to go with a wind generator. You normally need the power in the evenings. Up here in winter it's dark at 1600 so lights are on until about midnight, 8 hrs. If you had a deep cycle you could consume that in the evenings from the juice you had stored up during the day. But they are pricey.

I would be seriously tempted to skip the panels and use a wind generator which would simply chuff away all day and night offsetting your consumption. I reckon most houses can get by on <1kWh. There will be peaks when kettles go on, washing machines etc but they should be short lived relatively speaking.

I got the array in Feb 2013, so far I have had a shade over £4k from my FIT payments. The 16 panel array cost £7.5K. So after 7 years I am about half way paid off. I get about 20p per unit, I started at 15p but it's supposedly index linked.

This is me running right now, left box is input to the grid so about 1Kw the right one is output. Right now I am self sufficient. Fridge, clocks, PC etc. I work from home so this is my usual run rate.

50277887001_2ef84e3b2e_k.jpg


This is me with all my downstairs lights and TV on and there are a lot of lights! All low energy but the wee green pip you can see on the output box is me starting to consume energy. This is way more than would normally be on of an evening.

50278044757_5eff8281e8_k.jpg


If I now put on the kettle (which is a fast boiler) we're into the amber. Putting an electric shower on is scary! The washing machine and dishy use less power than the kettle.

50277886881_39196f6b5a_k.jpg


I think we have saved a lot on power over the last 7 years, we pretty much use zero in the hours of daylight. A windmill would extend this to the evenings too assuming there is some wind about. I haven't looked at them seriously but they are worth a poke.

Hope this helps,
Alan
 
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Chainsaw

Native
Jul 23, 2007
1,347
118
54
Central Scotland
Panels and battery may be a better way to go then. You are a lot further south so maybe 6 or 8 should cover your consumption and leave a bit over for charging. Need to balance this against the cost of the extra panels. Inverter and battery are the more costly items. Don't think there is a right answer, if you have the money spare and intend to stay put for about 7-10 years then I'd go for it.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,141
4,493
Mid Wales
I got the array in Feb 2013, so far I have had a shade over £4k from my FIT payments. The 16 panel array cost £7.5K. So after 7 years I am about half way paid off. I get about 20p per unit, I started at 15p but it's supposedly index linked.

Is the 20p/kwh a Scottish only rate? When I last checked I couldn't get anywhere near that in Wales :(
 

Orhdposs

Forager
Mar 27, 2020
104
58
65
Essex
I think it not a money making project and like mentioned in some of the above use when it's sunny on a good day I can get 23kw + on a sunny day on a poor day 300w in winter or very cloudy I assume this will just about power all the things we leave on fridge, freezer, alarm clocks and other led lighty things. I have thought about battery? but for 5 kw that returns 4kw ? at £5000 ish ? I have a little gadget that will switch over power if I'm sending any excess over to the grid which powers my immersion heater to heat the hot water . I imagine it's a bit like giving up smoking if I could work out how much I save washing machine + other bits for free when it's sunny ? but you don't drop £5 a day in a tin if you smoked 20 a day, but I know it's reduced my gas bill for heating water and my electric consumption when the suns out and I'm in different story try to convince her who needs to be obeyed, to wait till the sun comes up to do washing in the morning. think my tariff was 21p per unit made plus 50% at 4p ?
 
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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,436
446
-------------
So if the feed in tarif is significantly better than the economy 7 nighttime tarif could you charge a powerwall during the night and sell it back during peak?
Would possibly even reduce the load on the grid as well.
 

MartiniDave

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 29, 2003
2,343
120
59
Cambridgeshire
I have them, we missed the first "mega-high" FIT, which roughly halved as I recall. Subsequent to that the price of PV panel installation did the same, so we took a punt and had them fitted. I have to say it's been good. Far better return than investing in ISA's or whatever, and lower electricity bills. I will probably look into the storage type system sometime in the future.

Dave
 
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