Solar Energy

1650453850975.png
Can putting Solar panels on your house save you money?
Quick answer is YES.

Can they pay back what they cost in a reasonable time?
Well, this isn't as straight forward. This depends on how much energy you use and how much cost per unit it is. Having a 4kw system on the house it took around 7 years to pay for itself, and energy costs was around 16p per kwH. Things have changed since having the panels installed. Cost of electric is over double what it was. Also any new systems you dont get paid for selling back to the grid(I'll cover this later)

How much can it save?
The 4kw system on the house generated around 3600kWh over the year. Say if our energy costs is 48p per unit, that 'could' save you £1728 per year. The reason I say 'could' is if you dont use the energy you generate, it is lost. The summer months it can generate over 20kWh in a day, but if you only use 4kWh in a day, then the 16kWh left over is lost(unless you store it). So really you are only saving electric when you are using electric when the sun is out. Ideal to cook the roast dinner while the sun at mud day, as it would be totally free. Often seeing 3kw being generated. So boiling a kettle would be free at that time.

Before solar panels I was using 2200kWh from the grid. After installing panels I was buying in 1200kWh. The house is using power overnight, fridge, things on stand by etc, boiling the kettle when the sun wasn't out. Having a shower is 10kWh for however long you take. So there is plenty of energy being used that solar isn't helping with.

Costs
The cost of panels are fairly cheap, around £150 for a 400w panel which is 1mx2m. 10 of these for £1500 gets you 4kw. Then you need an inverter, these are around £1000. You would also need an electrician. So not including electric costs/cable etc, £2500 for a 4kw system that could save you £1728 a year if you are a heavy user of electric 24/7, that pays for itself in under 1.5years

How can we make this better?
Mentioned earlier, if we dont use the electric generated then it is lost. However if you have battery storage you can use everything you generated. The batteries are the really expensive part. £1500 for 5kwh of storage. 4 of these would store a whole day of summers energy. If your house is only using 4kwH a day, then you can run the house for 5 days with no sun. The system would keep itself topped up when ever the sun comes out. Certainly a very good thing to add to the solar system, however the cost is a real draw back. The price I put was for a Lithuim rack mountable battery, has temprature control built in, communications with the inverter. you can actually use a stack of car batteries instead as the inverters can charge lead-acids too.

FIT Payments
On new installations this cannot be applied for. However I wanted to pop this in here for completness. Every 1/4 of the year I need to give the solar meter reading to the energy suplier that I signed up for FIT payments with. Over the year I get around £700 back for the energy I have generated. This is from a generation meter, I could have used all that energy and not put any back in the grid, but still get paid the same.
 
Last edited:
I read somewhere that a solar panel must not be within 5m of your boundry. That messes up the above plans. However this rule wasn't clear is that was for ground mounted panels or on a garage/shed roof.
I have sent the above sketch to the council to run it past them. They may say that is too much and unpleasing to the eye, or too much of a fire hazard, or something. Rather keep them in the loop than go ahead and then be asked to take them down later.
 
Have heard back from the council. Its out of the scope of a regular email. I need to pay £42 for pre-planning approval. I think it would be nice to hear what they have to say. So I have paid. Now to sit back and wait.
 
Heard back from the council with a couple of questions. Like will the panels be on the ground. I've taken photos of the aera, and explaining whre the new shed will be, where shadows will be cast. They seemed very happy with the photos and explaination and I should hear back shortly.
 
Bet they will ask you more questions and the H&S in relation to shed and battery's.
 
It won't have more storage than an electric car.
It will put their mind at ease when I say a Welsh electrician will wire it up.
 
Lol..
What the size and capacity of Nissan leaf or a tesla???????
 
Lol..
What the size and capacity of Nissan leaf or a tesla???????
Nissan leaf was around 20kwh.
Tesla is 50 - 75kwh.
So my storage would be compatible to a car storage

I did hear back from the council with regards to the pre-planing. I can put solar panels on the old shed, and build the new shed, but need to seek planning for solar on new shed and garage due to the look from the road.
I put the idea on pause, it's an expensive expansion, most of the cost being in the batteries. To make used of the 'free' electric I need more crypto miners, however they cost too.
Just come across this article today, VAT off battery storage ...
https://www.pv-magazine.com/2024/02/01/uk-vat-relief-on-residential-batteries-comes-into-effect/

This could spark my solar ideas again...
 
3wk battery's in property's around here soon to be more company has 37 at the last count ,
 
3wk battery's in property's around here soon to be more company has 37 at the last count ,Yeah that a little one,
Yeah 3kwh or 4kwh are regular household ones, after charrging up in the day it just keep your things on standby going overnnight to cut down on your electric bill. Some days recently there hasn't been enough power to charge up a 3kwh battery with 4kw of solar.

Was tihnking of a different manufacturer of batteried wthich is thy I came up with 76kwh, I have since some accross Fogstar, UK made, price is great. Possibly 3 of these, to go with a 20kw solar system. In the winter it wont get enough sun, but in the summer I can run computers for free 24/7.
https://www.fogstar.co.uk/collectio.../fogstar-energy-30kwh-48v-rack-battery-bundleI
 
a few rows of tiles across the front of the garage would give the appearance of a pitched roof and hide the panels. what is really needed in this country, is a panel that turns rain into electricity.
 
a few rows of tiles across the front of the garage would give the appearance of a pitched roof and hide the panels. what is really needed in this country, is a panel that turns rain into electricity.
Thats probably not a bad idea. The roof of the garage is approx 7mx7m. If we get 10mm of rain that is a hige amount of water down the 3inch drain pipe. Could turn an impellor in the pipe to make electric.
7000x7000x10 = 490000000mm of rain, 3inch pipe is 4417.86mm. So if you block up the pipe and measured the depth of water you get 110meters, can it really be that much, seems a lot.
 
Back
Top