Solar Power and installing ?


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Jan 19, 1999
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i have been looking for a while at getting some solar panels for me roof....

im not a green mad envioromental crack pot lol but i do think if it can cut costs in the long run then it must be a good idea ?

but i want to know how it works i mean i have noticed some 100 watt ones and they would not power much but would you put them in like series to increase the wattage and power ?

say for example you end up with a system that pumps out 5000 watts how would you make it stop the meter and use this until the solar batts are in need of a charge and switch back to normal power from the suply ?

im an electrican myself but this is out of my area and wondered if anyone knows about it ?

I have no idea but just wanna say good luck Mickie. You always seem to have a project up ur sleeve lol.

Ps: Im not sure but I remember a long time ago about the government giving grants to people "going green" so to speak so might be a possibility if its of any interest so save costs.
hmm? since power=voltage x current, would you not wire them in parallel to keep the voltage constant but increase current flow. And then just get two big zener diodes and wire the panels in after your meter. I'M JOKING! but I did find this which might be of interest to you.

you've got me thinking now.

Apparently its something stupid like 30 years before they pay for themselves.
If solar panels get cheap and more efficient, then it might be worth a look.
In my opinion I think solar panels used for electricity just isnt going to be any use for most people. Its ok if your really stuck in an area without electric and running from a generator, have loads of spare cash, have loads of spare time to keep maintained, and have a high income to be able to renew parts. But even then its not ideal in the uk due to the possible lack of sun. Put it this way, its not something you would choose to install just to save money thats for sure.
Apart from that the real reason to have roof solar panels is for- Hot water supply. Thats the reason people have solar installed, because that is a realistic solution already. You can easily get hot water and it can be run into existing tanks, and can run alongside exisiting hot water supply. If you are a bit of a diy-er or a plumber then you could even build them yourself. It obviously saves money on heating bills so pays for itself much quicker and you dont need to be super rich to start with. :)

I think there is intended confusion between solar for hot water & solar for electricity. The link above may say 'it pays for itself within a short time' but it doesnt say if its taking about hot water savings ;) it only says 'bill savings'. In my view solar for electricity will certainly not pay for itself within a few years.
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I am looking at the same thing, but for my garden!

I cant be arsed running a 2.5mm armoured cable down my garden as I spent the last two years doing it up.

I want to run the garden lights from it!

Doing it in the garden is easy as all you need is storage, and that is a battery, and the charging regulator.
yeah i was looking at the solar water heating systems aswell.. but they only heat upto 30 in the winters which i suppose is not bad if put alongside the normal boiler.

i dont think it will be a project i get into because it looks like alot of time to set it all up and i dont have the time right now....

but its interesting to know how it all works
I have previously read up a little on the subject and had a conversation with promoters of such equipment and even the promoters say that the cost and current technology mean that solar generation of electricity in the uk is a non starter at present. If you're in a suitable area wind generation and solar hot water are both options albeit with high up front costs. I suspect for most of us the cost of the kit needs to fall before we can install it, hopefully that shouldn't be more than a couple of years away.
Read loads about all the different things and am sure I read that if you produce more energy than you use it pumps it back into the national grid and you get some money back.
was a programme on BBC2 other night.They simply connected up copper tubing to make it look like a radiator,placed insulation on the back of the tubing followed by a perspex/glass panel on the front of the tubing so that the tubing was in a sandwich ran the inlet and outlet pipes to to a pump and a copper cylinder to allow solar hot water at a cheap price, and they hung the contraption from a wall to get the sun.Full details will be on BBC Website,going green or sommat like that.