Thermal Solar Power - worthwhile under the upcoming RHI scheme?

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  • beastmanbeastman Forumite
    43 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Cardew wrote: »
    There are several reasons. The main one being solar thermal is a complete waste of money.

    If you search through several threads in this section you will see several references(and a link) to a Government sponsored study testing, over a 12 month trial, 10 solar thermal systems.

    The report is very long and technical, but in essence it showed that the DHW(Domestic Hot Water) on average saved approx 1,000kWh per year.

    That if you have gas will save you about £40 a year, or £50 if you have Economy 7. You also, at daytime electricity rates, have to run a pumps and power the electronics.

    Even then the great majority of hot water is in the summer months and virtually nothing in the winter. The best Navitron evacuated tube panel produces DHW worth about £1 in the whole of January.

    Now of course you can have more and more panels fitted(at a cost) and supply all your hot water needs in the summer months, but still little in the winter.

    The Energy Saving Trust stated that the savings from solar thermal for the average houses heating/DHW bill would be 5.5%

    Secondly costs.

    The Solar Thermal industry have a well deserved reputation of selling tactics that would make a Double Glazing salesman blush! They were number one in the complaints to any Trading Standards office and subject of many Watchdog type programmes.

    Their claims of savings are absolutely stupid, and some of the prices quoted on MSE and elsewhere unbelievable - '£15,000 with 20% reduction if you sign today!'

    It seems £4,000 might be a reasonable price to pay - but nobody interested in money saving would dream of paying that sort of money for such meagre returns.

    Thanks. Yes I've seen that report and its highly relevant. I am hoping the upcoming RHI might help with the costs (although I'm totally unconvinced about the whole green deal thing) and I have to agree that the dodgy sales side of the industry is counter productive and I guess theres none of that going on in Europe and its just a British disease. Its interesting though when you look at double glazing as a comparator because even though they mis-sold their products big time by saying the payback was around 6 years, (when it is probably well over 3 times that) they still sold millions!

    http://www.confusedaboutenergy.co.uk/index.php/heat-loss-and-insulation/double-glazing
  • edited 8 January 2012 at 12:55AM
    CardewCardew Forumite
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    edited 8 January 2012 at 12:55AM
    beastman wrote: »
    Thanks. Yes I've seen that report and its highly relevant. I am hoping the upcoming RHI might help with the costs (although I'm totally unconvinced about the whole green deal thing) and I have to agree that the dodgy sales side of the industry is counter productive and I guess theres none of that going on in Europe and its just a British disease. Its interesting though when you look at double glazing as a comparator because even though they mis-sold their products big time by saying the payback was around 6 years, (when it is probably well over 3 times that) they still sold millions!

    http://www.confusedaboutenergy.co.uk/index.php/heat-loss-and-insulation/double-glazing

    I have seen that report and several similar. Whoever talks about 'payback' in those terms should retake their 11+ exam to get into Junior school.

    If you 'invest' £5000 in double glazing to save £74 a year, you lose about £180 a year in interest.

    Mow let me think! I gain £74 a year and lose £180 a year I wonder when I have achieved payback!!! Mmmmm

    Not a surprise that millions sold. If you look on other parts of MSE you will find people who have bought for £15 some magnets that you strap to the fuel lines of your car(or oil central heating) and it improves fuel consumption by over 30% - it apparently lines up the mollycules(sic)
  • zeupaterzeupater Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    .... It seems £4,000 might be a reasonable price to pay - but nobody interested in money saving would dream of paying that sort of money for such meagre returns.
    Hi

    Probably find that a ~250l tank plus a pair of 'well known brand' (think county city ;)) panels, controls etc is sub £3k fully installed .... that's what I was quoted in the autumn, and that was without/before negotiation and excluded the RHI premium payment.

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    zeupater wrote: »
    Hi

    Probably find that a ~250l tank plus a pair of 'well known brand' (think county city ;)) panels, controls etc is sub £3k fully installed .... that's what I was quoted in the autumn, and that was without/before negotiation and excluded the RHI premium payment.

    HTH
    Z

    Obviously if RHI is attractive enough and you can get a system at that price(the cheapest I have seen) it is worth considering.

    IMO it still wouldn't be worthwhile without RHI.

    However Beastman asked why the UK had been slow to take up the technology.
  • rogerblackrogerblack Forumite
    9.4K Posts
    It can be rather cheaper, if you're competent to DIY it.
    Vacuum tube collector ~400 quid on ebay, pipes and pumps to existing HW cylinder ~100, with a small radiator to dump heat in case it gets too hot.
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