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  • FIRST POST
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 7th Jan 13, 5:36 PM
    • 4,258Posts
    • 5,656Thanks
    zeupater
    Solar ... In the news
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 13, 5:36 PM
    Solar ... In the news 7th Jan 13 at 5:36 PM
    Hi All

    Thought it was about time we had a thread specifically to discuss relevant press articles relating to solar pv & thermal ..... so here goes ...

    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 07-01-2013 at 5:48 PM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
Page 117
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 10th Aug 18, 9:15 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    pile-o-stone
    Tis true Dave, but panel efficiencies are increasing, perhaps double in the next decade from perovskite/silicon panels, so that could mean 6-8kWp on the roof.

    Study: 32% tandem cell solar still competitive at triple the price

    Just brainstorming here, but as PV gets cheaper, there's also wall mounted, ground mounted, conservatory roof solar glass, or PV pergola's for garden shade.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    I agree with this, the standard configuration used to be 16x 250w panels to give a 4kW array. The most efficient panel I can find currently is 370w and the panels are roughly the same size as the old 250w ones. This gives you an array of 16 x 370 = 5920 w. If you're looking to add a conservatory on the back ond use the new transparent pv panels (the ones I have been looking at give good transparency at 250w), you could add 8 panels to give a further 2kW of generation. A reasonably sized semi could be generating almost 8kW.

    The stumbling block will be the DNO. Increasingly they seem to be trying to block arrays over 3.68kW. They won't even look at your application unless you pay a 300 fee and often it results in a demand to 'strengthen the grid' that costs thousands.

    I was looking at adding a lean-to oak pergola with transparent pv panels (2 banks of 6 panels @250w = 3kW). The DNO said I'd have to pay 1500 to strengthen the grid. With no Fits and an additional 1500, they are just not cost effective. I might just put up the pergola without panels and look at adding them at some point in the future if I win the lottery or something.

    For anyone who is interested, the details on the transparent panels are here:
    http://www.bisol.com/images/Datasheets/EN/BISOL_Lumina_BMO_BSO_BLO_EN.pdf

    p.s. I have also considered having the 3kw panels 'off-grid' and use the 1500 DNO fee to buy batteries, but I don't know what I'd then do with the power? If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate the input. All I can think of is running a rainwater harvesting pump for toilets and garden irrigation, garden lights and perhaps a DC freezer to hold the produce from our allotment.
    Last edited by pile-o-stone; 10-08-2018 at 9:38 AM.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
    • Coastalwatch
    • By Coastalwatch 10th Aug 18, 10:34 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 546 Thanks
    Coastalwatch
    Also coming at it from a supply side (rather than export), maybe some sort of faster EV charging potential in the future ..... not really sure about that bit as I assume we are already good for 20-25kW(?).

    Oh, and one other bit, I think any batteries than can discharge at a rate greater than 3.68kW (PW II is 5kW & 7kW briefly) also need DNO approval.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981

    Yes, interesting points and as usual the plot thickens as there seldom seems to be a straightforward answer. On the one hand is the desire to have a fast charging ability, certainly necessary when on long journeys, but perhaps questionable domestically as once home time is generally available to charge at a lesser rate. For those of us fortunate enough to be home daytime with the EV happily charging off solar it's not a problem, but for those out at work all day then overnight on E7 seems the only alternative until home storage of suitable proportions and cost become available. Domestically batteries of circa 4-12kWh may suffice but bring an EV into the mix and we're perhaps needing upwards of 50 kWh's!

    Now something on that scale would be really useful!

    If need be we could run a whole week domestically off of it.

    To date the largest I've come across is 20.5 kW retailing at around 11k, so it looks like it's going to be sometime before we shall be "investing" any further.
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23 pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 10th Aug 18, 3:49 PM
    • 21,098 Posts
    • 97,585 Thanks
    michaels
    I agree with this, the standard configuration used to be 16x 250w panels to give a 4kW array. The most efficient panel I can find currently is 370w and the panels are roughly the same size as the old 250w ones. This gives you an array of 16 x 370 = 5920 w. If you're looking to add a conservatory on the back ond use the new transparent pv panels (the ones I have been looking at give good transparency at 250w), you could add 8 panels to give a further 2kW of generation. A reasonably sized semi could be generating almost 8kW.

    The stumbling block will be the DNO. Increasingly they seem to be trying to block arrays over 3.68kW. They won't even look at your application unless you pay a 300 fee and often it results in a demand to 'strengthen the grid' that costs thousands.

    I was looking at adding a lean-to oak pergola with transparent pv panels (2 banks of 6 panels @250w = 3kW). The DNO said I'd have to pay 1500 to strengthen the grid. With no Fits and an additional 1500, they are just not cost effective. I might just put up the pergola without panels and look at adding them at some point in the future if I win the lottery or something.

    For anyone who is interested, the details on the transparent panels are here:
    http://www.bisol.com/images/Datasheets/EN/BISOL_Lumina_BMO_BSO_BLO_EN.pdf

    p.s. I have also considered having the 3kw panels 'off-grid' and use the 1500 DNO fee to buy batteries, but I don't know what I'd then do with the power? If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate the input. All I can think of is running a rainwater harvesting pump for toilets and garden irrigation, garden lights and perhaps a DC freezer to hold the produce from our allotment.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    We have 4kw of panels that max out at about the inverter rating of 3.6kwh facing west. I reckon in theory we could add the same amount of panels facing East using the same inverter and just dump about 10% of generation daily at peak. What would the DNO say to this? Problem is that we have FIT on the existing panels so I don't suppose we could just add more panels through the existing inverter, the utility company would probably notice if our generation increased by 30%....

    Seems like it would take a big battery to store typical summer day generation but given our summer import seems to be 15kwh per day we would at least be able to use most of the power stored....
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 10th Aug 18, 5:13 PM
    • 7,233 Posts
    • 11,695 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    For anyone who is interested, the details on the transparent panels are here:
    http://www.bisol.com/images/Datasheets/EN/BISOL_Lumina_BMO_BSO_BLO_EN.pdf
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    I'm interested, and thanks. I had no idea they'd reached that level of efficiency. Take your eye of the ball for one second and PV leaves you behind again, wow.

    I like the table on here showing the level of transparency, so you choose the panels you want:

    BISOL Lumina series (monocrystalline)

    Thinking about it for a pergola, when it's cold and dark you stay in, and when it's hot and sunny you put up a sunshade, so something like this is fascinating.

    Also for a DIY greenhouse they could make great sense as the plants suffer from full sunlight (and heat) so reducing the total amount that gets through is advantageous. Perhaps a monopitch greenhouse, all south(ish) facing but with 30-50% of the light blocked.

    PV no limits. Cool!
    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.
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 13th Aug 18, 5:02 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    pile-o-stone
    We have 4kw of panels that max out at about the inverter rating of 3.6kwh facing west. I reckon in theory we could add the same amount of panels facing East using the same inverter and just dump about 10% of generation daily at peak. What would the DNO say to this? Problem is that we have FIT on the existing panels so I don't suppose we could just add more panels through the existing inverter, the utility company would probably notice if our generation increased by 30%....

    Seems like it would take a big battery to store typical summer day generation but given our summer import seems to be 15kwh per day we would at least be able to use most of the power stored....
    Originally posted by michaels
    The DNO doesn't care about the DC generation of your solar panels, as long at the output to the grid from the inverter is 3.68. The problem you'd have is that inverters only allow a certain amount of 'overclocking' (for want of a better word) and they have a maximum DC input. I doubt you could put 8kW of solar into a 3.68 inverter without blowing it up Your inverter should have a max input value printed on the side or maybe in the user manual.

    You're correct about your FiTs stopping you from adding panels to the existing inverter. If you added more panels, they would have to be attached to a new inverter that doesn't feed through the FiT meter. We added 1.8kW of extra panels and these go to a separate 1.5kW inverter. Extensions don't qualify for FiT payments, so these don't go through a meter (though you could add one for your own info if required).
    Last edited by pile-o-stone; 13-08-2018 at 5:37 PM.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 13th Aug 18, 5:20 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    pile-o-stone
    I'm interested, and thanks. I had no idea they'd reached that level of efficiency. Take your eye of the ball for one second and PV leaves you behind again, wow.

    I like the table on here showing the level of transparency, so you choose the panels you want:

    BISOL Lumina series (monocrystalline)

    Thinking about it for a pergola, when it's cold and dark you stay in, and when it's hot and sunny you put up a sunshade, so something like this is fascinating.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    That was my thinking. I like sitting on our patio when it's sunny, but I dislike eating at the table in full sun and so always put up the brolly. A solar pergola above the patio, even if it just covered the table would make perfect sense.

    This company manufactures them: http://en.irfts.com/irfts-shadow-solar/

    you can buy them in the UK from bimble solar.

    Also for a DIY greenhouse they could make great sense as the plants suffer from full sunlight (and heat) so reducing the total amount that gets through is advantageous. Perhaps a monopitch greenhouse, all south(ish) facing but with 30-50% of the light blocked.

    PV no limits. Cool!
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    I also considered this as it wouldn't make sense for me to pay 1500 to 'strengthen the grid' to just add 3kW on a pergola when the DNO said I could go upto a max of 10kW. I was therefore pondering the pergola and also adding a passive greenhouse further down the garden with maybe another couple of kW of transparent solar on it.

    The following design could have the transparent solar on the top row of glass, which would shade some of the powerful summer sun, but wouldn't really block winter sun as it's much lower in the sky. I could also change the design and instead of the downward sloping roof at the back of the greenhouse, have the slope continue upwards and attach a couple of 370w panels in a landscape orientation at the very top. They obviously wouldn't let light through, but as they're so high up, it wouldn't matter too much.



    p.s. if anyone is interested in this sort of greenhouse design, it's a passive greenhouse that is heavily insulated in the floor and northern wall, with either partial glazing and insulation or just insulation on the east and west walls. This extends the growing season deep into the autumn and early into the spring months. Loads of details here:
    https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/how-to-design-a-year-round-solar-greenhouse-zbcz1502
    Last edited by pile-o-stone; 13-08-2018 at 9:17 PM.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
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