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    • harveydt
    • By harveydt 2nd Oct 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1Posts
    • 1Thanks
    harveydt
    Advice on new solar installation
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:56 AM
    Advice on new solar installation 2nd Oct 17 at 9:56 AM
    I am looking to have solar panels installed on my house in West London and had a quote from Project Solar.

    Much of their pitch seemed like that of the double-glazing salesmen of old: my wife had to be present with me - the regulators supposedly don't allow them to talk to me without my wife present. Not that I know anything about solar panel regulation, but this doesn't sound like something out of a rule book other than one drafted by their sales director.

    Then I am told they can only book appointments 7 days in advance... (exactly the same rhetoric as Zanussi, who phoned me a couple of days later).

    The Project Solar quote came in at approx. £11,500... they said they weren't allowed to offer me a lower price (but made it clear that didn't stop me from offering them a lower price and, if I was willing to give them a good review on Trust Pilot, they could consider it).

    Their quote was for 14 Evolution Max Life solar panels (which they assure me are the best ever). They didn't tell me the size of the panels or square metreage of the roof.

    Can anyone please give me a steer:
    1. towards reputable suppliers/installers
    2. whether add-ons like a voltage optimiser (promoted by Project Solar) are necessary/beneficial
    3. on any on-going maintenance/repair issues (e.g. what happens if a panel gets damaged, the roof starts leaking beneath the panel, effectiveness of the system reduces).
    4. whether the installation of panels is likely to impact the view from Velux windows (yes, we have a converted loft, so dormer + 3 Velux windows, just to complicate things)

    Many thanks,
    David
Page 1
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 2nd Oct 17, 10:06 AM
    • 1,599 Posts
    • 2,106 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:06 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:06 AM
    £11,500! Ha, ha! Yep, you've correctly identified the double glazing salesmen of old!

    There may be a few diffficulties with working on your roof and you'll probably have to pay a bit of a London premium but I had 16 panels and a diverter (to put spare power into my immersion) for a shade over £6K back in 2013, since when panel and inverter prices have come down considerably. I'm in Hampshire, FWIW, so still a slight SE premium.

    Other more expert commenters will be along shortly with similar laughter, and more advice.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 2nd Oct 17, 10:37 AM
    • 5,909 Posts
    • 9,965 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:37 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:37 AM
    I am looking to have solar panels installed on my house in West London and had a quote from Project Solar.

    Many thanks,
    David
    Originally posted by harveydt
    Well there's your problem ......

    Hiya David and welcome to MSE.

    First off, you've started at the bottom, so it can only get better from here.

    No point listing the problems with that company but have a read of some of the identical high price rip-off comments on other threads:

    Project Solar panels quote.

    Project Solar


    You now need to get some more quotes and learn a bit of background on PV, just so you can have a reasonable discussion with any installers/salesmen.

    Have a read of the PV FAQs, sections 1 & 2, and perhaps a play with section 5 (happy to help).

    Think of buying PV like buying a car. Nothing strange nor unusual if you've done it before, but complete 'magic' if you only have a horse and have never seen a car. So you'll learn all about it quickly, but it might seem a little daunting at first.


    Can anyone please give me a steer:
    1. towards reputable suppliers/installers
    2. whether add-ons like a voltage optimiser (promoted by Project Solar) are necessary/beneficial
    3. on any on-going maintenance/repair issues (e.g. what happens if a panel gets damaged, the roof starts leaking beneath the panel, effectiveness of the system reduces).
    4. whether the installation of panels is likely to impact the view from Velux windows (yes, we have a converted loft, so dormer + 3 Velux windows, just to complicate things)

    Many thanks,
    David
    Originally posted by harveydt
    1. I can PM details of a company I recently dealt with for an upgrade who specialise in SolarEdge systems (see point 4), but my interactions were limited so I don't know how good they really are? Though I suspect their prices are half what you've been given.

    2. Voltage optimiser almost certainly a waste of money. If you have a hot water tank then you may be interested in a diverter that sends excess leccy to the tank. There are also batteries to consider, but most likely not viable for several more years, but can chat more if you want, there is a thread on that very subject -

    On-grid domestic battery storage

    3. Maintenance is hopefully minor to nil. The inverter may need replacing during the first 20yrs, but the SolarEdge model comes with 12yrs warranty and a cheap upgrade to 20yrs. If a panel breaks then it can be replaced, but unlikely to break.

    Make sure the roof is sound and any works you want done are done beforehand, in fact, whilst you have scaffolding up, you might want to check gutters, clips etc and upgrade/fix if necessary.

    Panel degradation seems to be even lower than expected, perhaps 0.4% pa, so 8% over 20yrs.

    4. The panels will sit about 100mm above the roof, so this may impact your view (I don't know). I have a Velux and in the summer it's open, but only a few inches so it doesn't cast a shade over the PV.

    If you have a complicated roof, with shading issues, then I suggest you consider something like SolarEdge as this means all panels operate individually, whereas a 'normal' PV set up can result in a shaded panel causing the rest of the string to lose performance.

    I'm sure you have hundreds more questions, so just ask away.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • jeepjunkie
    • By jeepjunkie 2nd Oct 17, 11:35 AM
    • 1,365 Posts
    • 1,302 Thanks
    jeepjunkie
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:35 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:35 AM
    Reading your post I would end all contact with them now and shop around for a new installer.


    Or...


    Thoughts...


    Unless you can use a high proportion of what you generate I'd be tempted just to make the house as energy efficient as possible now the subsidy is so low. E.g. insulation/lighting/appliances, that's what I did as well as solar and found it more rewarding.


    And are you absolutely sure you not going to move for the next couple of decades. I was... but now moving house, however thanks to the high subsidy then it's paid for itself. So no overall benefit. Hassle included getting a panel replaced under insurance...


    Consider spending the money, if not already, on an electric car or even an electric bike Would save you way more than a ~tenner a month of your electricity bill...


    You could even make more money stoozing but that's not really helping to lead a greener lifestyle...
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