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    • Sio810
    • By Sio810 30th Nov 18, 10:10 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Sio810
    Advice on inherited solar panels
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 18, 10:10 PM
    Advice on inherited solar panels 30th Nov 18 at 10:10 PM
    Hi,
    I am looking for some help and advice as I cannot find anyone who understands domestic solar panels and everything online is a bit too technical for me to understand. This has ended up as a long winded essay and I am hoping someone can make sense and at least point me in the right direction.

    I have recently bought a house that already has 10 solar panels installed (about 4 years ago) The panels have been paid outright, belong to me, but the previous owners did not sign up the the FiT so I cannot receive money from the grid. The company that installed them went bust.
    I would like to find out 1. How efficient the panels are and 2. The best way to maximise the energy generated.

    I would eventually like to get a battery but have been advised that currently they are too expensive to be viable, and the house needs a lot of work so I want to wait until most of the work is done and see how much I have left. The company who came round to talk to me about batteries tried to push me into a loan for them but I'd rather pay for anything outright, I also couldn't find much information about the company who were selling me a Duracell battery that would store the energy and the grid could buy it during surges so I would be getting some money from this.

    Currently my house has an old gas boiler for central heating which isn't working (I've had a plumber look at this) and an emersion heater which looks quite new, I know you can add somthing to the Emerson heater so it is using the solar energy but I don't know how to find out if this has been done. Would it be more economical to switch to an electric combi boiler? Or is there another way.

    Trying to be a bit more environmentally minded I'd eventually like to get an electric car and install a charging point at the side of my house.

    I think what I'm trying to find out is how do I find out if the panels generate enough energy to heat my house and charge a car (Or at least enough to make it efficiant) or what is the best way to maximise usage of the energy created.

    I'd appreciate any help if anyone has any idea what I'm going on about

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • twhitehousescat
    • By twhitehousescat 30th Nov 18, 10:20 PM
    • 2,404 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    twhitehousescat
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 18, 10:20 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 18, 10:20 PM
    Hi,
    I am looking for some help and advice as I cannot find anyone who understands domestic solar panels and everything online is a bit too technical for me to understand. This has ended up as a long winded essay and I am hoping someone can make sense and at least point me in the right direction.

    I have recently bought a house that already has 10 solar panels installed (about 4 years ago) The panels have been paid outright, belong to me, but the previous owners did not sign up the the FiT so I cannot receive money from the grid. The company that installed them went bust.
    I would like to find out 1. How efficient the panels are and 2. The best way to maximise the energy generated.

    I would eventually like to get a battery but have been advised that currently they are too expensive to be viable, and the house needs a lot of work so I want to wait until most of the work is done and see how much I have left. The company who came round to talk to me about batteries tried to push me into a loan for them but I'd rather pay for anything outright, I also couldn't find much information about the company who were selling me a Duracell battery that would store the energy and the grid could buy it during surges so I would be getting some money from this.

    Currently my house has an old gas boiler for central heating which isn't working (I've had a plumber look at this) and an emersion heater which looks quite new, I know you can add somthing to the Emerson heater so it is using the solar energy but I don't know how to find out if this has been done. Would it be more economical to switch to an electric combi boiler? Or is there another way.

    Trying to be a bit more environmentally minded I'd eventually like to get an electric car and install a charging point at the side of my house.

    I think what I'm trying to find out is how do I find out if the panels generate enough energy to heat my house and charge a car (Or at least enough to make it efficiant) or what is the best way to maximise usage of the energy created.

    I'd appreciate any help if anyone has any idea what I'm going on about

    Thanks in advance
    Originally posted by Sio810
    not overskilled on this but ,,,,,,,,,,, the charging wont work at night
    Time pretending I was asleep whilst under his desk , has given me insight to this sordid world
    • molerat
    • By molerat 30th Nov 18, 10:36 PM
    • 19,726 Posts
    • 13,925 Thanks
    molerat
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 18, 10:36 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 18, 10:36 PM
    Best asking here https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=100


    One thing that sticks out - do not install an electric boiler, it is the equivalent of burning £10 notes, stick with gas.
    https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/give-support/donate-now/
    • dprice8893
    • By dprice8893 30th Nov 18, 10:58 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    dprice8893
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 18, 10:58 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 18, 10:58 PM
    You should be able to view what the panels are generating at any given time from the inverter display. Some inverters, namely SMA have Bluetooth connectivity, so you can view the generation history on a PC or tablet

    Unfortunately, all the financial gains to be made involve having a registered FIT account, so you'll only have the benefit of the electricity generated at any given moment, which isn't as much as people imagine. My 3KW system probably only saves me about £150 per year and I manage it fairly well.

    For example, if I boil the kettle at midday on a sunny day, the panels may cope with two thirds of the required power consumption. The best way to monitor the system is with a smart meter because it shows you exactly what the balance of use is at any given time.
    Last edited by dprice8893; 30-11-2018 at 11:01 PM.
    • ajbell
    • By ajbell 30th Nov 18, 11:11 PM
    • 1,033 Posts
    • 3,329 Thanks
    ajbell
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 18, 11:11 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 18, 11:11 PM
    10 panels will be about 2.5kw which should generate around 2500kwh per year. Not signing up for FIT payments was an expensive mistake that would be earning you about 20p+ for every kwh generated.
    Don't bother with batteries at the moment as they are too expensive, just buy a cheap energy monitor that tells you what you are producing at any moment and use power when you are generating.
    I have an iboost which puts excess power into the hot water tank.
    4kWp, South facing, 16 x phono solar panels, Solis inverter, Lincolnshire.
    • Sio810
    • By Sio810 1st Dec 18, 2:02 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Sio810
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 18, 2:02 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 18, 2:02 AM
    I was more thinking that if I bought a battery I could use the stored energy, but I'm not sure it would store enough
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 1st Dec 18, 10:18 AM
    • 6,840 Posts
    • 4,395 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 18, 10:18 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 18, 10:18 AM
    I was more thinking that if I bought a battery I could use the stored energy, but I'm not sure it would store enough
    Originally posted by Sio810
    You need to factor in the cost of the battery; cost of installation and it’s predicted life. My 2kWP system generated only 43.6kWhs of electricity in December last year. I suspect that a high proportion of that was used by various appliances during the day.
    • dprice8893
    • By dprice8893 1st Dec 18, 11:01 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    dprice8893
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 18, 11:01 AM
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 18, 11:01 AM
    To summarize, and I know it's unfortunate but you'll be lucky to save about £100 per year if it's a 2.5Kw system, whereas owners of the same system with a registered FIT account would be earning around £1200 per year.

    The maths is fairly simple, it's not worth spending money on batteries because you'd never recoup the outlay. At least you didn't pay to have the system installed.
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 2nd Dec 18, 10:48 AM
    • 2,219 Posts
    • 1,398 Thanks
    baldelectrician
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 18, 10:48 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd Dec 18, 10:48 AM
    If you are getting a new central heating system then i would recommend one with hot water storage.
    I have a hot water tank and have installed a Solac immersion heater controller which diverts the power going to the grid and heats the water tank instead
    In other words it monitors electricity going past the meter (using a current clamp that clips round the meter cable) and diverts this to the immersion heater

    It operates like a glorified dimmer-
    If the panels are sending 500w to the grid it powers the immerser with just under 500w

    On another note (for people who are registered for FIT)
    DO NOT get a smart meter as they measure ACTUAL export, if you export less than this you will be paid less
    If you have DEEMED EXPORT then you will be better off.
    baldly going on...
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 2nd Dec 18, 7:38 PM
    • 1,834 Posts
    • 700 Thanks
    sevenhills
    I have recently bought a house that already has 10 solar panels installed (about 4 years ago) The panels have been paid outright, belong to me, but the previous owners did not sign up the the FiT so I cannot receive money from the grid. The company that installed them went bust.
    Originally posted by Sio810

    Maybe you are been told lies so that the original owner can keep the money, just a thought.


    whereas owners of the same system with a registered FIT account would be earning around £1200 per year.
    Originally posted by dprice8893

    I have eight panels and I receive around £300 per year, they were installed in 2015

    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 2nd Dec 18, 8:13 PM
    • 6,840 Posts
    • 4,395 Thanks
    Hengus
    Maybe you are been told lies so that the original owner can keep the money, just a thought.
    Originally posted by sevenhills
    Presumably, a ghost of the owner past will read the generation meter.
    • Sio810
    • By Sio810 2nd Dec 18, 8:58 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Sio810
    Maybe you are been told lies so that the original owner can keep the money, just a thought.
    The only people I have spoken to is the energy company and another company and the property has never been registered for FiT
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 2nd Dec 18, 9:03 PM
    • 6,840 Posts
    • 4,395 Thanks
    Hengus
    The only people I have spoken to is the energy company and another company and the property has never been registered for FiT
    Originally posted by Sio810
    Having just sold a house with PV Solar, I had to answer a comprehensive set of questions from my buyers’ solicitor about my PV Solar installation.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 3rd Dec 18, 10:21 AM
    • 1,834 Posts
    • 700 Thanks
    sevenhills
    The only people I have spoken to is the energy company and another company and the property has never been registered for FiT
    Originally posted by Sio810
    Note- As a result of a number of government changes to the FIT scheme in January 2016, Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified installations with an issue date and commissioning date of 14 January 2016 or earlier had till midnight of 31 March 2016 at the latest to apply to a FIT licensee. This applies to all MCS technologies (solar PV and wind with a declared net capacity of 50kW or less) under the scheme. If no application was submitted by the deadline, the installation will not be eligible to receive FIT support from any FIT Licensee. Please note that as administers of the scheme, there are no provisions to enable Ofgem to allow an applicant who has missed this deadline to enter the FIT scheme
    Last edited by sevenhills; 03-12-2018 at 10:25 AM.

    • Sio810
    • By Sio810 6th Dec 18, 11:38 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Sio810
    Having just sold a house with PV Solar, I had to answer a comprehensive set of questions from my buyers’ solicitor about my PV Solar installation
    Unfortunatley this house is a repossession, bought by a company and sold on to me. My solicitors did a great job of getting the information about the panels, delaying the sale of the house, but there was no information about FiT payments, I imagine because the previous owners did not sign up for them.

    Thank you Sevenhills, I am aware of this (although it's probably the only thing I have been able to work out) which is why I'd like to find out how to make the most of the energy generated by the panels rather than it going into the grid. I live on my own and work 5 days a week so apart from supporting green energy I'm not personally getting much from them
    • dprice8893
    • By dprice8893 7th Dec 18, 10:46 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    dprice8893
    On another note (for people who are registered for FIT)
    DO NOT get a smart meter as they measure ACTUAL export, if you export less than this you will be paid less
    If you have DEEMED EXPORT then you will be better off.
    Originally posted by baldelectrician

    I'm not sure what you are saying here? The smart meter is separate and plays no part in FIT payment calculations. In fact, it's not necessarily communicating with your FIT payment provider or in my case, it doesn't even communicate with my energy provider. It just shows me energy usage at any given time or period.

    You get FIT payment for every unit generated and a standard (deemed) amount for export.
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 7th Dec 18, 12:06 PM
    • 863 Posts
    • 510 Thanks
    Mister G
    I'm not sure what you are saying here? The smart meter is separate and plays no part in FIT payment calculations. In fact, it's not necessarily communicating with your FIT payment provider or in my case, it doesn't even communicate with my energy provider. It just shows me energy usage at any given time or period.

    You get FIT payment for every unit generated and a standard (deemed) amount for export.
    Originally posted by dprice8893
    Indeed. I installed solar PV in 2012, back in the good old days when the FIT was a sensible figure. I happened to be with nPower at the time for my electricity supply, so put the FIT with them for convenience. It didn't really matter as they all paid the same rate.

    I moved supplier to OVO a couple of years later and they fitted a smart meter. Of course it's only smart with the current supplier so nPower certainly could not have seen what I was generating.

    I've changed supplier a few more times since and of course the meter is now dumb. I still send my generation readings every quarter to nPower and still get my FIT and deemed export tariff.

    Sorry, I realise this does not help the OP, but I thought that I would just clarify the situation with regard to the smart (or no so smart) meter
    Last edited by Mister G; 07-12-2018 at 12:09 PM.
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 7th Dec 18, 11:12 PM
    • 2,219 Posts
    • 1,398 Thanks
    baldelectrician
    I'm not sure what you are saying here? The smart meter is separate and plays no part in FIT payment calculations. In fact, it's not necessarily communicating with your FIT payment provider or in my case, it doesn't even communicate with my energy provider. It just shows me energy usage at any given time or period.

    You get FIT payment for every unit generated and a standard (deemed) amount for export.
    Originally posted by dprice8893
    This differs from what a few people have told me

    My mates supplier called to 'sell' a smart meter and was told once it was installed he would no longer have to send in FIT readings as the meter registered export and he would be paid on actual not deemed export
    He has a solax immersion controller which greatly reduces his export to almost zero a lot of the time so he refused.
    baldly going on...
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 8th Dec 18, 10:58 AM
    • 6,840 Posts
    • 4,395 Thanks
    Hengus
    This differs from what a few people have told me

    My mates supplier called to 'sell' a smart meter and was told once it was installed he would no longer have to send in FIT readings as the meter registered export and he would be paid on actual not deemed export
    He has a solax immersion controller which greatly reduces his export to almost zero a lot of the time so he refused.
    Originally posted by baldelectrician
    A bit dated but it shows that not all smart meters are the same:

    https://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/08/smart-meters-and-solar-panels-whats-the-sticking-point/

    All SMETS 2 meters should have built in export readings; however, there are ongoing issues that suppliers have been told by Govt to sort out ASAP. If a meter is fitted that gives export readings then these have to be used for FIT payments.
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 8th Dec 18, 11:09 AM
    • 863 Posts
    • 510 Thanks
    Mister G
    I'll just stick with my good old SMETS1 meter then!
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