Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • teachergirl
    • By teachergirl 2nd Jan 11, 7:25 PM
    • 666Posts
    • 1,957Thanks
    teachergirl
    So now I have a solar PV system how do I make the most of it???
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 11, 7:25 PM
    So now I have a solar PV system how do I make the most of it??? 2nd Jan 11 at 7:25 PM
    Dear all. I know there are several threads about solar PV but many of them are debating whether or not they are a good idea and if the free ones are worth having. All of which is valid debate. Stuck in the middle of some of these threads I have found the odd tip about how to make the most of the generated electricity but they can be difficult to pick out.
    So I wondered if we could have a new thread where people share their tips for making the most of the electricity that they generate.
    Our system was put up just before Christmas in a snow storm. We haven't exactly generated much electricity but as we are all at home for the holidays we have changed our usage habits and used our appliances during the day. When we go back to work we will have to use the timing devices to get our appliances to come on during daylight. Now at the moment that is the only thing I can think of doing. However I have picked up so many handy tips from these forums I wondered if we could share our ideas as there are bound to be some clever people out there who have lots of MSE ideas
    Thanking you all in advance

    Official MoneySavingExpert insert: There are some great hints and tips on how to get the most from solar panels. Thanks to all who contributed!
    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 21-02-2012 at 7:19 PM.
    Enough money to live on so retired early...planning to see where life takes me
Page 106
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 11th Mar 12, 9:27 AM
    • 2,475 Posts
    • 4,315 Thanks
    EricMears
    We're having a great day (so far) today. Started generating at 7am though it took an hour to get up to 500w. Now (10:20) nudging 2.5kw so I'm running dishwasher - not quite 'free' as d/w (in heating cycle) + base load exceed generation by 200w but still a lot cheaper than an E7 load. Might even do a load of washing when d/w finishes.

    We're still of course ten days short of equinox - which ought to represent somewhere near annual average - so maybe there's six months to run with many days better than today ?
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • SailorSam
    • By SailorSam 11th Mar 12, 9:37 AM
    • 21,172 Posts
    • 36,772 Thanks
    SailorSam
    There was an interesting article article on Bbc/Click this morning. After the Tsumani caused so much disruption to power supplies they are building a new city, totally solar powered. They were showing the latest solar panels that were thin flexible plastic and stuck to your windows so they not only generated power from the Sun but also from any heat/light in the house.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
    • Plot Vendor
    • By Plot Vendor 11th Mar 12, 4:58 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Plot Vendor
    Is your monitor not calibrated in watts? I was wondering why you didn't just quote '110W'.
    Originally posted by Kernel Sanders
    It was easier to just give the dashboard reading - SoloPV's are calibrated in KW.

    There was an interesting article article on Bbc/Click this morning.
    Originally posted by SailorSam
    Thanks Sam - I found it at: bbc.co.uk slash click.

    It;s still early days for this PV spin off, as it seems suitable only for low power devices at present. However, I hope that the tech develops rapidly (well, faster than it did with PV cells) and we can paste these all over our windows. Next step: PV paint for houses!

    P.S. 8.872 KWh today from my 3.0 KWp west facing array: things are looking - ahem - brighter!
    Last edited by Plot Vendor; 11-03-2012 at 5:32 PM. Reason: update
    • Kernel Sanders
    • By Kernel Sanders 11th Mar 12, 7:29 PM
    • 3,480 Posts
    • 1,417 Thanks
    Kernel Sanders
    After seeing Plot Vendor's production today I shouldn't really be complaining, but the nearest I got to be able to switch on my 3kW immersion heater was 2750W. I waited until my optimum orientation arrived at 13.55, but generation was already slowly dwindling. I know the sky was hazy today, but yesterday I briefly noticed 3,750 on the display; surely this was an error on a 3.92kWp system? I mean, we haven't even passed the equinox yet, so what would be the peak at the solstice?



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
    Last edited by Kernel Sanders; 11-03-2012 at 7:42 PM.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 11th Mar 12, 10:12 PM
    • 13,244 Posts
    • 12,313 Thanks
    jimjames
    It does seem to be quite variable with the amount of hazy cloud in the sky. Today our output was all over the place with peaks followed by huge dips. We did manage 2300/2500 on a few occasions and that is on 3kWp system so maybe it was more cloudy where you are. So far the max peak output we've achieved has been 2736W so I'd definitely expect over 3500W for a 3.9kWp system.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • Kernel Sanders
    • By Kernel Sanders 11th Mar 12, 10:52 PM
    • 3,480 Posts
    • 1,417 Thanks
    Kernel Sanders
    I got 2080 wH from my 2280 w system last week.
    Originally posted by seagull09
    That's not impressive at all - unless you mean you had a peak of 2080W


    Where do I get a 20w kettle?
    Originally posted by seagull09
    I actually have a 26W one!
    Well, OK, it's just one of those black plastic beakers with lid and handle, and a socket to take a 12V feed from a vehicle cigarette lighter outlet. I tried it using a domestic transformer from the mains, but it took so long to heat that I suspect the transforming process consumed most of those 26 watts!


    mid Wales, S edge of Snowdonia. Close enough to the mountains to get all the rain, and close enough to the sea to get all the sea mist. Probably not the best place to stick solar panels, really.
    Originally posted by seagull09
    Actually that sounds like an ideal location. I mean, surely you don't have mains electricity (or anything) there.....

    I presumed from your name that you would be coastal, or maybe seagulls have colonized those reservoirs?



    Last edited by Kernel Sanders; 12-03-2012 at 12:56 AM.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 12th Mar 12, 6:35 AM
    • 8,939 Posts
    • 13,912 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    In 4 hours around Noon, you could lose up to 16kw (around £7 or £8). Or of course nearer 25p if weather anything like yesterday Well worth asking DNO if they're offering compensation for your loss. Afraid I've no idea whether or not you're entitled to it but asking will cost nothing and not asking will absolutely guarantee you don't get it.

    (added later) Elsewhere on the MSE pages I've found postings suggesting that to be entitled to compensation you need 18hrs of outage (either all at once or in several episodes).
    Originally posted by EricMears
    Thanks, with my shallow panel angles, system only sustaining about 2.5kW at the moment (peaking around 2.9kW). So potentially 10kWh's, but weather tomorrow should be cloudy till 1pm anyway. Also (and not moralising) but the FITs rate is so generous that I'm more than happy, and the DNO have kept us very well informed.

    On the plus side, those new cables should be fresh and shiny, so the electrons will be able to 'slide' out faster!


    Actually that sounds like an ideal location. I mean, surely you don't have mains electricity (or anything) there.....
    Originally posted by Kernel Sanders
    And so it begins! Did I mention 4/5ths of a GrandSlam?

    Mart.
    • KevinG
    • By KevinG 12th Mar 12, 5:27 PM
    • 1,557 Posts
    • 4,510 Thanks
    KevinG
    Wow - fantastic day, best since 1st September. 9.92kWh (2kWp, SSE facing, 37 deg pitch, North Sussex).
    • Kernel Sanders
    • By Kernel Sanders 12th Mar 12, 11:48 PM
    • 3,480 Posts
    • 1,417 Thanks
    Kernel Sanders
    Wow - fantastic day, best since 1st September. 9.92kWh (2kWp, SSE facing, 37 deg pitch, North Sussex).
    Originally posted by KevinG
    This shows just what massive regional differences there can be in the volume generated. My record came on Sunday, but I produced barely half of that on Monday.
    Last edited by Kernel Sanders; 13-03-2012 at 4:49 PM.
    • John_Pierpoint
    • By John_Pierpoint 13th Mar 12, 1:25 AM
    • 8,248 Posts
    • 7,388 Thanks
    John_Pierpoint
    What a difference a day makes !
    Sunday 16 degrees some clouds but bright all day
    Monday 12th 6 degrees - beautiful sunrise over Canvey Island and generating at 06:30 when I went outside.
    OMG fog rolled in at 08:30 and generation slumped for the rest of the day.

    Sunday..15.65 - best ytd
    Monday...4.91
    kWh on a 3.6 kWp SE facing 30 degree elevation system.
    Last edited by John_Pierpoint; 13-03-2012 at 1:30 AM.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 13th Mar 12, 12:31 PM
    • 13,244 Posts
    • 12,313 Thanks
    jimjames
    Sunday 16 degrees some clouds but bright all day
    Monday 12th 6 degrees - beautiful sunrise over Canvey Island and generating at 06:30 when I went outside.
    OMG fog rolled in at 08:30 and generation slumped for the rest of the day.

    Sunday..15.65 - best ytd
    Monday...4.91
    kWh on a 3.6 kWp SE facing 30 degree elevation system.
    Originally posted by John_Pierpoint
    We had exactly the same. When I left home yesterday to go to work approx 10 miles away it was bright sunshine. It was sunny all day at work so I was expecting a record breaking generation so very disappointed to find we'd only just got over 3kWh. I thought there had been a fault until I found that it was very cloudy and dull all day so shows how localised the weather can be when 10 miles away it was bright sunshine and clear blue sky!
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • sly_dog_jonah
    • By sly_dog_jonah 13th Mar 12, 12:58 PM
    • 1,005 Posts
    • 1,211 Thanks
    sly_dog_jonah
    Last couple of days have been pretty rubbish, but despite this we're well on target to beat PVGIS this month, and to beat it by some margin if this cloud/mist/fog clears off and we see some sunnier mornings.

    If we make an average of 9.8kWh a day until the end of the month we'll beat PVGIS by 25%, or 6.6kWh/day will see us hit PVGIS exactly.

    Time for a sun dance
    • HalloweenJack
    • By HalloweenJack 13th Mar 12, 5:40 PM
    • 614 Posts
    • 205 Thanks
    HalloweenJack
    had a look at total output today:

    310kwh for an `up time` of 725 hours since install. and thats winter production
    • old grouser
    • By old grouser 14th Mar 12, 9:08 PM
    • 175 Posts
    • 900 Thanks
    old grouser
    Hi Everyone,
    I haven't been here for a while, and am interested to see discussion of how much is being generated, rather than what to do with it.
    On a different (now moribund) Solar PV thread I wondered in August 2011 whether my new Sanyo panels would justify their extra cost by working well in winter. Judging by what I read, they are doing me proud. My 3.29 kWp array has generated an average of 8.33kW hours per day in the 277 days since installation. Best winter days 9th Dec 11.6kW/h; 16th Jan 13.8kW/h; 26th Feb 17.0kW/h; 12th March 19.0kW/h. South facing near Brighton.
    I'm still waiting for the right box of tricks to control my immersion heater. There are some promising things on Electricians' Forum....
    Best Wishes to all Druids,
    OG
    O G Somewhere on the South Downs
    3.29kWp S by E
    Greetings to Druids everywhere
    • edwink
    • By edwink 14th Mar 12, 9:43 PM
    • 2,217 Posts
    • 14,394 Thanks
    edwink
    Hi Everyone,
    I haven't been here for a while, and am interested to see discussion of how much is being generated, rather than what to do with it.
    On a different (now moribund) Solar PV thread I wondered in August 2011 whether my new Sanyo panels would justify their extra cost by working well in winter. Judging by what I read, they are doing me proud. My 3.29 kWp array has generated an average of 8.33kW hours per day in the 277 days since installation. Best winter days 9th Dec 11.6kW/h; 16th Jan 13.8kW/h; 26th Feb 17.0kW/h; 12th March 19.0kW/h. South facing near Brighton.
    I'm still waiting for the right box of tricks to control my immersion heater. There are some promising things on Electricians' Forum....
    Best Wishes to all Druids,
    OG
    Originally posted by old grouser

    Hello OG

    I am in the south east in Hertfordshire. I have a 2.4kw array, 10 panels which are South facing. They generated 7Kwh today. Mostly it was overcast but this afternoon the sun did finally come out. I had my system installed last month. So I am also very interested it what others are generating.

    ED
    • John_Pierpoint
    • By John_Pierpoint 15th Mar 12, 2:43 AM
    • 8,248 Posts
    • 7,388 Thanks
    John_Pierpoint
    Wed 14/3..7.60 kWh on a 3.6 kWp inverter - 18 SE facing 30 degree elevation panel system in S.Essex.
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 15th Mar 12, 6:49 AM
    • 8,855 Posts
    • 14,528 Thanks
    jackieblack
    March has been disappointing, so far, in NE Essex
    Despite a high of 11kWh generated on the 8th ( highest since 15th Oct 11), we are almost half way through the month and only 55kWh generated so far - only 35% of prediction for March
    Shaping up to be the first month since Feb 11 to generate less than prediction , (although even if we generate no more at all this month, total generation since installation would still be approx 120% of predicted figures )
    Of course, there are still 17 days to go ...... maybe the sun will break through the thick fog we have at the moment and the rest of the month will be spectacular..
    Last edited by jackieblack; 15-03-2012 at 6:55 AM.
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

    MFW #4
    (2018 £866.89 OPd)
    2019
    YTD £873.85 (£600 offset)
    Jan £105.26, Feb £103.31,Mar £135.77, Apr £104.51, May £100, June £100,
    July £120.64, Aug £104.36


    Everything will be alright in the end so, if itís not yet alright, it means itís not yet the end
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 15th Mar 12, 12:10 PM
    • 8,939 Posts
    • 13,912 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    March has been disappointing, so far, in NE Essex
    Despite a high of 11kWh generated on the 8th ( highest since 15th Oct 11), we are almost half way through the month and only 55kWh generated so far - only 35% of prediction for March
    Shaping up to be the first month since Feb 11 to generate less than prediction , (although even if we generate no more at all this month, total generation since installation would still be approx 120% of predicted figures )
    Originally posted by jackieblack
    Jackie, if Mch is poor, try this site afterwards:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/anomacts/

    Click on sunshine, and Mch 2012 then see how this year compares to an average of 30 years.

    Weather has gone bad here too, freezing fog, it's almost like Winter!

    Mart.
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 15th Mar 12, 12:28 PM
    • 2,475 Posts
    • 4,315 Thanks
    EricMears
    There's really not a lot of point worrying about how this year compares with last, next or even long term averages. The predictions are useful when deciding whether or not a future investment might be worthwhile but there's very little you can do with them after you've made the decision.

    Perhaps worth bearing predictions in mind if you're consistently below them but that would either be caused by weather (about which you can do nothing) or shading - which is pretty easy to detect just by standing outdoors and watching for shadows. Some shading can be overcome (e.g. prune a nearby tree); some can't (your neighbour probably wants to leave his roof where it is).

    Similarly, now is not the time to worry that your roof has the wrong slope or points in the wrong direction. You - &/or your installer - should have taken those points into consideration and designed the best installation for your house.
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 15th Mar 12, 12:55 PM
    • 8,855 Posts
    • 14,528 Thanks
    jackieblack
    maybe the sun will break through the thick fog we have at the moment and the rest of the month will be spectacular..
    Originally posted by jackieblack
    Brilliant sunshine and blue skies appeared by 10am !

    Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket...... I could be on a roll!
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

    MFW #4
    (2018 £866.89 OPd)
    2019
    YTD £873.85 (£600 offset)
    Jan £105.26, Feb £103.31,Mar £135.77, Apr £104.51, May £100, June £100,
    July £120.64, Aug £104.36


    Everything will be alright in the end so, if itís not yet alright, it means itís not yet the end
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,444Posts Today

6,000Users online

Martin's Twitter