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ebuild is sad to announce its closure - it has become too time and resource intensive to develop, manage and maintain.

However, ebuild will remain on-line in archive mode (ie no posting facilties) for several weeks so that users can use it as an information resource.

End Of Solar Subsidies


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#81 ferdinand

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 09:35 PM

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View Posttemp, on 22 October 2015 - 06:18 PM, said:

Would be interested to know how that process went? Is it just a matter of filling out a form or do they charge for a survey etc?

It has been dealt with entirely by the potential supplier as part of the quotation process. The engineer who did the survey put in the necessary query to the DNO at the same time as he wrote up the results and generated the quote. I was impressed and they will get the order, with a minimal push on price (couple of percent maybe) rather than a haggle.

The DNO responded in 2 weeks. They are Western Power.

The engineer put ladders up to the various sides of our complicated roof, and measured it all so that he could recommend the appropriate size of panels to fit neatly and meet the requirement best. He put in the max possible in the request to the DNO (10kw = 35 panels). I will probably go with 30 or 31 as that doesn't uglify our front facade at all above and below the dormer windows and is still 8.75kw whjich should be plenty for my future key use - charging an electric car.

As we are looking at this plus 2 or 3 rental properties he spent 2 hours with me.

Important points in my view:

1 - At this stage there is still adequate time, but get a move on now. In my case, when I say do it the panels will be up in about 2 weeks. So if I was making instant decisions the total elapsed time would have been just under a month. I will be pushing the GO button by about next Wednesday, after a few modifications and some persuasion of family.

2 - I don't think I can overemphasise this - there is not time for a lot of mistakes or delays. Even 7 working days for a cheque to clear could be significant if it is tight.

Make sure you deal with a company who are familiar with larger installations and G59 so know how to make the DNO process as smooth as possible and will not make silly mistakes. I am dealing with a long established regional player - 15 years - with a total turnover of about £5m a year, who's solar unit does multiple installs every week. I have avoided small companies or nationals where I become a widget in a computer.

The key test was that they were able to point me to three or four recent domestic installs in the 6-9kWp range within a few miles off the top of the heads of the people in the office.

3 - There is not time for small players to learn the process and risk your install. One smaller local company I contacted had never done an installer bigger than 4kWp - there be dragons.

4 - Know your stuff enough to prove that you are serious, and don't mess them around. Once we are in November installation slots will be the scarce resource, so don't look like a timewaster. It won't be worth arguing heavily to save 5% of 12k install costs when 25k of FiT income is at stake.

5 - Make decisions on your end very quickly, and keep in close touch.

6 - Check access to neighbours property if you need it first. I will be buying both neighbours a crate of nice expensive wine for Christmas as we will have scaffolding up for 3-4 days on their drives.

7 - You may still be poleaxed as DNOs are allowed up to 45 days to respond. Have a plan B order for a 4k system ready which you can install as of right, and tell the installer about it at the start - that will keep your firmly booked install slot. I'd say go with that if you have not heard from the DNO in time, but it is a judgement call. You can always do the rest outside FiT and still get some of the benefit.

Ferdinand

Edited by ferdinand, 22 October 2015 - 09:59 PM.


#82 temp

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 09:40 AM

Thanks for that.

#83 notnickclegg

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 09:56 AM

View Postferdinand, on 22 October 2015 - 09:35 PM, said:

7 - You may still be poleaxed as DNOs are allowed up to 45 days to respond. Have a plan B order for a 4k system ready which you can install as of right, and tell the installer about it at the start - that will keep your firmly booked install slot. I'd say go with that if you have not heard from the DNO in time, but it is a judgement call. You can always do the rest outside FiT and still get some of the benefit.

Our DNO (SSE) took nearly six weeks to respond to our request for 8.5kW array. And that was submitted immediately after the big rush earlier this year to get systems installed before the rate dropped.

Thankfully the answer was positive.

Jack

#84 ProDave

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 08:24 PM

Some more thoughts on a DIY, non MCS, non FIT solar PV system.

I have already established you need to ensure you use all you generate either by real time usage, water heating or battery storage.

further thoughts.

It's pointless trying to optimise the total number of KWH from a given number of panels. Far better to have different strings of panels in different orientations. So for us with our site layout, one string facing E and one facing S. It might be possible to also get a third string facing W.

That would give less total generation, but a more usable amount of generation spread over more of the day.

On the basis of not wanting to export anything (you ain't paying for it so you ain't getting it for free) then if generation exceeds self usage and storage by a significant amount I would consider shutting down an inverter to reduce generation (I am assuming a separate inverter for each string and shutting it down by opening a contactor to disconnect it from the mains)

On the basis of the above if you never export anything significant, would anybody know or care if your system happened to exceed 4KW?

#85 ProDave

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 01:39 PM

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diy install 4KW solar PV now down to £2300 http://www.ebay.co.u...sd=161888354558

No connection, just watching prices fall. Should be comfortably under £2k by the time I am ready for them.

#86 ferdinand

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 02:33 PM

View PostProDave, on 23 October 2015 - 08:24 PM, said:

Some more thoughts on a DIY, non MCS, non FIT solar PV system.

I have already established you need to ensure you use all you generate either by real time usage, water heating or battery storage.

further thoughts.

It's pointless trying to optimise the total number of KWH from a given number of panels. Far better to have different strings of panels in different orientations. So for us with our site layout, one string facing E and one facing S. It might be possible to also get a third string facing W.

That would give less total generation, but a more usable amount of generation spread over more of the day.

On the basis of not wanting to export anything (you ain't paying for it so you ain't getting it for free) then if generation exceeds self usage and storage by a significant amount I would consider shutting down an inverter to reduce generation (I am assuming a separate inverter for each string and shutting it down by opening a contactor to disconnect it from the mains)

On the basis of the above if you never export anything significant, would anybody know or care if your system happened to exceed 4KW?

My setup will be 10kWp, of which 2.3kWp will face West, and the rest East. So I will get a big boost in the morning when we do washers and dishwashers etc.

Eventually the plan will be to shift up to 4kWp of the West facing panels to face South, once I have a new South facing roof in place in a year or two.

Ferdinand

#87 DamonHD

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 03:23 PM

...Or you could just add another 4kWp. Note that E/W panels generate about 10% of summer output mid-winter. (For south-facing it's 20% approx.)

Rgds

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#88 ProDave

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 03:50 PM

View PostDamonHD, on 16 November 2015 - 03:23 PM, said:

...Or you could just add another 4kWp. Note that E/W panels generate about 10% of summer output mid-winter. (For south-facing it's 20% approx.)

Rgds

Damon
If you are installing a FIT system you want to maximise total generation, so all south is definitely best.

But a non FIT system you would probably be better off adding some E and W panels to get more generation in the morning and evening to give more usable power throughout the day.

Of course the best would be a tracking system, but on our plot I can't think of one place that would work unshaded all day, but I can find separate places with clear E,S and W views.

#89 DamonHD

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 04:04 PM

I have a (multi) FiT system and have no south-facing roof at all, but in any case aim to maximise something other than cash returns, ie in this case maximise match of generation to load.

Rgds

Damon