Does anyone use solar power?

Munkey

DW Regular
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Messages
5,849
Reaction score
179
I'm building my house and am considering integrating solar power if possible. I guess I should have thought about this months ago really.

Does anyone have any experience using solar power for any use at all, even charging your mobile?

I have no idea about wattage etc so any advice from solar users would be greatly appreciated.
 

edcase

Inactive User
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
1,161
Reaction score
18
I think only people in houses that have been built with goverment grants where they are required to use renewable energies (seen a few on a new estate along with mini wind turbines lol)
I think in general they are using it to heat water rather than photovoltaic cells to produce electricity.
Anyway, more to the point, where the hell are you to be seeing sunshine??? lol
 

english

Inactive User
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
5,571
Reaction score
101
Location
pepperland
solar=free electric

i think they'res a bit of a scam going on here.

surely it's a simple/cheap chemical reaction, with wires and stuff Lol

i'm sure it costs a Lot less to D.I.Y it than B&Q it (2200+ quid) ..

we just need someone who knows to tell simply how the system works


even if it's just enough to run ur lights? or the Pc, alarm and fridge?

use it to run the basics and turn the electric OFF so it isn't costing when it doesn't need to? total sci-fi

8)
 

Munkey

DW Regular
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Messages
5,849
Reaction score
179
I think only people in houses that have been built with goverment grants where they are required to use renewable energies (seen a few on a new estate along with mini wind turbines lol)
I think in general they are using it to heat water rather than photovoltaic cells to produce electricity.
Anyway, more to the point, where the hell are you to be seeing sunshine??? lol

Well there's more pollution that sun in London for sure. I guess you make a fair point TBH. We don't really get much sunshine all year round so maybe solar panels are not really ideally suited to UK conditions. The reason I was asking was, the missus is in the US and solar energy is big there. If you have enough panels you can end up getting paid for the electricity you provide to your electrical provider.

Hmm heating water? I don't think I like the sound of that as solar panels are meant to be quite expensive to install in the UK. I was think more in the lines of total electrical supply from these panels.

Hopefully more people can chime in or I'll end up with a $2 mobile phone solar charger from Hong Kong of stinky bay.

i think they'res a bit of a scam going on here.

surely it's a simple/cheap chemical reaction, with wires and stuff Lol

i'm sure it costs a Lot less to D.I.Y it than B&Q it (2200+ quid) ..

we just need someone who knows to tell simply how the system works


even if it's just enough to run ur lights? or the Pc, alarm and fridge?

use it to run the basics and turn the electric OFF so it isn't costing when it doesn't need to? total sci-fi

8)

Nice thinking. Even if the panels can power important electrical items that would be great. I haven't done any searching yet but I'll have a snoop around now.
 
Last edited:

english

Inactive User
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
5,571
Reaction score
101
Location
pepperland
going overboard now ;)

we could make a switch that kicks in when hardly any electric is in use (say when you go out, or go on holiday). the energy stored from the solar panels run then, simultaneously turning off ur electric meter, which would normally carry on regardless. Costing Money.

:Cheers:
 

Munkey

DW Regular
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Messages
5,849
Reaction score
179
B&Q don't give enough info on their website. Looks like £5k is the ballpoint figure for solar panels. I wouldn't spend that in the name of going green.

I better figure out wattage, ohms and amps fast if this is going to be possible.
 

english

Inactive User
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
5,571
Reaction score
101
Location
pepperland
B&Q don't give enough info on their website. Looks like £5k is the ballpoint figure for solar panels. I wouldn't spend that in the name of going green.

can u imagine the carbon footprint on earning 5K ? LOL
 

Spectre

Administrator
Staff member
Jnr Admin
Joined
Jun 3, 2001
Messages
41,120
Reaction score
5,446
Location
Airstrip One
I better figure out wattage, ohms and amps fast if this is going to be possible.

Remember the Power Factor unless you have a purely resistive load ;).

Solar Power is considered general; you could heat water directly using solar collectors, or generate electricity from the Sun using PhotoVoltaics (PV).

I think PV is what you are thinking about, I consider it but unless someone gives me the system for free it would take a while to pay for itself. Very efficient PV panels were expensive the last time I looked. What's the current efficiency and output available?

I've heard various statistics about the energy level from the Sun per square metre on the Earth. The energy you can gain from it depends upon the efficiency of your PV system and where the system is located on the Earth.


~Edit~

Batteries are also expensive and difficult to dispose of after their useful time has expired.
 
Last edited:

digicol

Inactive User
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,800
Reaction score
41
Location
North East England, but nowhere near Dutcho!!! Ba
Hmmm, this solar powered wind combined blah blah self powered electricity thing sounds good to me, but only if the governement are going to help me fund it as I have a plot of land that is less than 20 yards from our town center.

It's only the size of a double garage, but is in a prime position in a shit hole of a town. Well not really a shit hole, the council are very good, and try their best. We are quite a large town for a small village, lol.

Anyone reckon I could turn this place into an energy efficient generator for some local businesses?
 

little_pob

VIP Member
VIP Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
8,769
Reaction score
2,476
Location
mmm....padded walls....so soft...

edcase

Inactive User
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
1,161
Reaction score
18
In this country you would probably be better with a ground source heat pump. But even then, the cost of putting one in would be huge (I would guess 9 or 10k, though I havent looked) - I guess it would take years (if ever) to pay for itself.
 

zzzz2

Inactive User
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
88
Reaction score
2
Solar panels, PV or heating, have a very long payback period, somewhere in the region of 15-20 years. Personally, I would opt for spending the money on extra insulation and sealing the house against draughts and then install a decent ventilation system with heat/cool recovery. You could be looking at over a 50% saving on fuel over a minimum standards house, with a payback period of 3-5 years.
 

DiamondGeezer

VIP Member
VIP Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,002
Reaction score
166
Location
Bangalore
I looked in to this a while back, wasn't worth my while and to get the best out of any system would be best installed on a south facing roof

npower install Schueco polycrystalline 170Wp panels and can install a system of any size or shape to meet your requirements. The smallest system that we install costs from £7,518 Including VAT and installation; this requires approximately 10sqm of roof space and will generate approximately 20% of an average households annual electricity demands. The average size of system that we install is 2kWp and costs from £11,848 including VAT and installation. A 2kWp installation will require approximately 20sqm of unobstructed roof space and will generate approximately 40% of an average household's electricity requirements. By installing a 2kWp system, joining the microgeneration scheme and selling the excess electricity that you generate as well as any Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) that you accrue, you could save up to £280 a year off your electricity bill. In addition to the buy-back scheme, it is also worth noting that the government also runs a capital grants programme

These people will point you in the right direction

[email protected]
http://www.ecofirst.net

on another note, how are you going about building your own home, are you using someone like buildstore?
 

karym6

DW Member ++
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
6,926
Reaction score
65
Location
Edinburgh, UK
I have a house down south that uses solar power to supplement the power from the national grid.

It is actually quite easy to set up and install yourself, you will need a set of batteries to hold all the power you want to store, the capacity and the amount of power you think you will need will determine just how many batteries you will need to install.

Tot up how much power your house uses over a 24 hour period first to get an impression of the drain you incur.

I have a link on my bookmarks at home that has some really useful information of DIY installations that should help you out for this, when I get home I will post it here.
 

Munkey

DW Regular
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Messages
5,849
Reaction score
179
I looked in to this a while back, wasn't worth my while and to get the best out of any system would be best installed on a south facing roof

npower install Schueco polycrystalline 170Wp panels and can install a system of any size or shape to meet your requirements. The smallest system that we install costs from £7,518 Including VAT and installation; this requires approximately 10sqm of roof space and will generate approximately 20% of an average households annual electricity demands. The average size of system that we install is 2kWp and costs from £11,848 including VAT and installation. A 2kWp installation will require approximately 20sqm of unobstructed roof space and will generate approximately 40% of an average household's electricity requirements. By installing a 2kWp system, joining the microgeneration scheme and selling the excess electricity that you generate as well as any Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) that you accrue, you could save up to £280 a year off your electricity bill. In addition to the buy-back scheme, it is also worth noting that the government also runs a capital grants programme

These people will point you in the right direction

[email protected]
http://www.ecofirst.net

on another note, how are you going about building your own home, are you using someone like buildstore?

Thanks Tony and to all that have helped with some advice. I am not building a home from scratch, the house that I am moving into has not been decorated since 1984 and completely renovated since it was built in the 1920's. I'm playing the role of builder for a few months as it's nothing too difficult, just a loft conversion, rear and side gnd and 1st floor extensions.

UK prices are crazy for this solar power gear.

I emailed around 10 different German companies with some info regarding the the amount of electricity I may consume. I am now waiting for some quotes for supply only, I'll be doing the fit myself. The absolute maximum I am prepared to spend it £2.5k, that to me is a large amount for a one off hit on energy costs. For that amount of money I want the whole house to be powered by solar with the national grid as my backup.

The energy conversion efficiency (sunlight to DC energy) of current photovoltaic (PV) cells range from about six percent for a thin layer cell made of amorphous silicon to 23 percent for high-quality single-crystal silicon cells. Some very special manufacturing techniques have produced cells in the high 30 percent range. Today's typical single crystal silicon cells usually average around 14 percent, thereby giving module efficiencies of 11 to 12 percent. Some manufacturers claim 300w from a panel but this is not the industry norm. I guess you get what you pay for like everything else in life.


As far as I have researched I am ineligible for any government grant or subsidy unless I divorce my wife and move out of my house (bloody tempting this going green)

If you could post those links karym I'd appreciate it, budget permitting solar power is on.
 
TEST
Top