Discuss Home solar panels are they worth it ? in the Solar PV Forum | Solar Panels Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

David Prosser

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I've had a small amount of spare time the last couple of evenings so had a quick look at whats available in the way of PV panels for the home. From the limited information I can get without numerous companies contacting me to sell me solar panels it looks like they aren't really worth the bother now.

I'm asking for a bit of honest information from people who have them and from those who fit them. I have a pitch roof 38° about 9m long buy 4m facing 178° so they should be worth fitting, I thought. However with no more FIT the returns are virtually limited to what you could save over the twenty to thirty year life span and that looks very limited if your out at work during the day, from what I can work out the payback is far too long and you could up not even breaking even after twenty years.

Anyone here have them fitted and if so would you have them again or just not bother. Also am I missing some sort or return or potential saving ?
 

Zerax

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When I last looked at solar panels a while ago... it wasn't economically viable with the low price of grid sourced electricity and no FIT. However... if the price goes up, as I think it might with this crazy fad of electric vehicles and electric everything, it's a different ballgame.

Although even then you'd need some sort of storage medium such as batteries. Even then, the short overcast winter days will probably mean you'd still need some grid power.
 

marconi

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Just a few early morning thoughts and findings from my analysis for an off-grid applications:

1. When I wander the streets with Mabel our Jack Russell I don't see many roof top panels. This suggests to me not many have thought of solar pv and of those that did they have not thought it worth it at the moment.

2. New builds do seem to come with panels if the roof has the right aspect.

3. Solar pv costs rise at a slower/slowing rate than installed peak kW. So large capacity systems have reducing marginal costs.

4. I think solar pv costs are set to reduce and reduce rather like they did for mobile phones did; the time to invest then is yet to come.

5. MW scale solar pv farms are cost-effective - there are two near where I live.

6. Solar pv is best consumed rather than exported so if one has a load profile which is of similar shape to the pv generation one that is a nice match. A large air-conditioning or refrigeration load would then suit local pv generation. The TESCO distribution warehouse near me has a roof covered in panels. Battery storage is expensive.

7. Local petrol/diesel/gas powered generators have costs which means solar pv can become competitive for off-grid applications.

8. Some folk do derive a 'feel-good' factor from doing their bit to reduce CO2 using solar PV which has value to them.

9. Listening to an interview with Prof McDonald - I posted a link 'Is the National Grid fit for purpose' - argues that the grid will change its topology (my word) as more distributed generation becomes the norm. Maybe in the future more new homes and factories will use their roofs site pv panels and this sort of close generation to consumption will become more valuable and necessary as electric cars become the norm. Lily pads of generation and consumption then linked together perhaps:

Gigantic lily pads reappear in Paraguay lagoon - https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/huge-lily-pads-reappear-paraguay-lagoon

10. I reckon some clever software and measurement system will be invented so that the exported outputs of a large number of small pv systems can be bundled up effectively to produce a virtual large solar pv farm - you get the gist- which can then be sold in a market for electricity.

11. One can now invest in large solar farms and receive a revenue from their production - as if you had put the panels on your own roof.

12. If one looks at the GB GridWatch site circa 5GW (maybe a little over-estimated) solar is already available and only set to increase. Solar definitely has a rosy future in my view.

G. B. National Grid status - https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/



Regards

Marconi
 
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littlespark

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I got PV solar back when the FIT was good... not great, but good.
Fast forward a few years, and my short lived career as a property developer. I asked the same installer to price PV for the rental property. Exact same quote.

He explained that, though price of equipment had come down, Labour costs had gone up. And of course, FIT had come down too.
The only time it was economical was when on a new build, and scaffold around the house already, the roofers could mount the panels just after the roof went on.
 
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I've had a small amount of spare time the last couple of evenings so had a quick look at whats available in the way of PV panels for the home. From the limited information I can get without numerous companies contacting me to sell me solar panels it looks like they aren't really worth the bother now.

I'm asking for a bit of honest information from people who have them and from those who fit them. I have a pitch roof 38° about 9m long buy 4m facing 178° so they should be worth fitting, I thought. However with no more FIT the returns are virtually limited to what you could save over the twenty to thirty year life span and that looks very limited if your out at work during the day, from what I can work out the payback is far too long and you could up not even breaking even after twenty years.

Anyone here have them fitted and if so would you have them again or just not bother. Also am I missing some sort or return or potential saving ?


Hi David,

We put a 5.3Kw array on the roof exactly two years ago. Total cost, including installation, permits, Goods and Service Tax (GST), etc. was NZ$13,500.

So far we're getting about a 21% return on our investment in savings off our electric bill. This is because we run a business out of two large sheds at the back of the house and our electric bills were pretty high (averaging about $450 per month before solar and now about $200 per month).

The business paid for the array and got the 15% GST back which reduced the cost to NZ$11,700 (approximately US$9,000).

In addition to the savings we expect to get some payback when we sell the place as it would add value.

All-in-all worth it to us.
 

Zerax

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The economics of PV solutions vary widely from country to country. It's not just about how 'sunny' it is, but also the price/reliability of grid sourced power that you'd be saving.

For the UK, with cheap (relatively) grid sourced power and high cost of PV sourced power, you need something else. Either subsidies (no more FIT, but very small grants available) or you need the 'off-grid' solution.
 
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I think that installing solar panels is worth the investment. For example, I'm from Florida, USA. In this state we have a very flexible system, which encourages us to install solar panels in our households. Their installation gives us many advantages about this has been written on the sites. So I'll talk about the basic advantages. We can get a loan at a low-interest rate for the installation of solar panels. We are provided with a tax refund. Also we have a lot of sunny days. As you see, it makes us interested in installing solar panels. So for me personally investing in solar panels is beneficial.
 

mattg4321

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Possibly worth it in Florida where you have a lot of sun and use AC a lot during the daytime.

Here in the U.K. we might get maximum 2/3 weeks a year when AC would be used, if anyone even had it fitted! We also go for days, sometimes weeks at a time without seeing any blue sky.

On my old house I had a 1.1kw array. South facing, no shading at all. I used to generate under 1000kw per annum. That’s close to the south coast of England where the conditions are favourable to the rest of the U.K.
 

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