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  • FIRST POST
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 7th Jan 13, 5:36 PM
    • 4,359Posts
    • 5,797Thanks
    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
    • 68 Posts
    • 91 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
    • 251 Posts
    • 1,004 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
    • 21,444 Posts
    • 99,376 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
    • 7,569 Posts
    • 12,087 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
    • 68 Posts
    • 91 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
    • 68 Posts
    • 91 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).
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 16th Aug 18, 1:38 PM
    • 7,569 Posts
    • 12,087 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Petition launched urging government action on new housing and solar PV

    The petition seeks to trigger a debate in parliament over whether or not the measure could be enacted, and how it would work in practice, mentioning how there is currently no supporting legislature that specifies the addition of solar panels to new build developments.

    With the government having last year outlined plans to build 300,000 new homes each year, the petition argues that if just half those were built with standard solar PV installs, it would be enough to increase the country’s solar generation capacity by 5% annually.

    It seeks legislation to require house builders to install a “meaningful amount” of solar PV, with firms needing to justify their decisions based on a lifetime economic return calculation reached using a national model.

    There would, however, be exemptions for properties developed in areas of high shading or low irradiance, as well as recommendations on how to install solar on homes with shared roofs.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 19th Aug 18, 8:45 AM
    • 7,569 Posts
    • 12,087 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    The Aussie state of Victoria is to subsidise 650,000 domestic PV installs over the next 10yrs to bring the number up to about 1,000,000. For context there about 800,000 installs in the UK.

    Victorian Labor offers half-priced solar panels for homeowners in $1.24bn pledge
    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.
    • Coastalwatch
    • By Coastalwatch 19th Aug 18, 10:14 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 1,004 Thanks
    Coastalwatch
    Thanks for posting Mart, have signed the petition and also written to my MP urging her to support renewable energy wherever possible.
    Wonder what sort of reply I'll get, apart from the usual automated response that is!
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 20th Aug 18, 8:18 AM
    • 7,569 Posts
    • 12,087 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Thanks for posting Mart, have signed the petition and also written to my MP urging her to support renewable energy wherever possible.
    Wonder what sort of reply I'll get, apart from the usual automated response that is!
    Originally posted by Coastalwatch
    The news today shows huge support for solar:

    Majority of UK public want to install solar panels, poll finds

    More than half of the British public would install solar panels and home batteries to tackle climate change if there was greater assistance from the government, polling has found.

    While many have already made their home more energy efficient, 62% said they wanted to fit solar and a surprisingly high 60% would buy an energy storage device such as .

    An even greater number !!!8211; 71% !!!8211; would join a local energy scheme such as a community windfarm or solar panel collective, according to the YouGov survey.
    The government line tends to be simple - that there is only so much money, and PV and on-shore wind should now be looking after themselves.

    However, that policy flies in the face of their support for new nuclear, since it's already had 60yrs of support, and given the vast volume of generation, then that also means a vast amount of subsidy v's the relatively small amount of generation that receives subsidy support for PV and on-shore wind.

    So far less money in, has delivered faster cost reductions for RE.

    I have no problem with subsidies being reduced, nor removed when appropriate, but chopping 4p/kWh support for PV, to be paid to UK households in 2019 makes no sense when new nuclear is to get 5-6p/kWh of support in 10yrs time (when PV will surely be subsidy free) and that money will leave the UK economy as it'll be paid to the Chinese and French governments (EDF is 85% state owned).

    It's also clear that the PV industry is struggling, not thriving, so the government can hardly point to any factors that support their position.

    I think 4p FiT (v's the 5-6p foe nuclear), combined with an ending of the MIP (EU minimum import price for PV), and perhaps some sort of national policy on storage, would allow the PV industry to bounce back and the 'cost' to the subsidy pot would still be tiny:-

    1,000,0000 new PV installs getting that 4p on 4,000kWh's pa [in reality they wouldn't all get 4p as the rate would drop over time, but lets leave it high for now] would result in £160m pa in subsidies for 20yrs, v's the £1.3bn pa that HPC will get for 35yrs.

    Yes, HPC will generate much more leccy, but that doesn't change the unit subsidy which is still higher (6p v's 4p), and the subsidy pot's ability to fund a vastly greater amount of generation.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 23rd Aug 18, 6:38 PM
    • 7,569 Posts
    • 12,087 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Some news on higher efficiency PV using perovskite, and on the same subject, Germany is to fund research for perovskite. So 30%+ PV could be on its way next decade doubling the capacity from a given roof/area. I'd guess that a doubling of capacity will result in only a 50% increase in cost of install, and expect costs to keep falling in real terms too.

    Should also be excellent news for PV farms as they'll get twice the generation for the same land, labour, racking, transport costs.

    Researchers propose doubling today’s solar panel efficiency using two weird tricks

    Oxford PV awarded €2.8 million German grant to ready perovskite-silicon solar cell production
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 25th Aug 18, 7:28 AM
    • 7,569 Posts
    • 12,087 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    BIG NEWS:-

    EU likely to eliminate MIPs for Chinese solar products

    In a meeting in Brussels, the majority of EU member states have decided not to re-apply the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures for crystalline solar PV modules and cells. As such, the undertaking on the minimum import price (MIP) is likely to end on September 3.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 27th Aug 18, 5:09 PM
    • 7,569 Posts
    • 12,087 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Quick, somebody tell the government.
    With the help of carbon pricing (burning FF's has real external costs (externalities)), we now see PV is cheaper in Europe.

    Solar beats oil and gas price in EU

    The Sandbag figures cite lowest bids of €38/MWh from recent wind and solar PV auctions in Germany against a carbon price which, combined with the raw fuel prices gives year-ahead generation costs of €46/MWh for coal generation and €49/MWh for “bridge” fuel gas.
    With Germany this year preparing to draw up a timetable for the phase-out of coal, it appears there has never been a better time to invest in renewable energy, rendering the U.K. government’s decision to place its faith in nuclear and fracking for gas even more perplexing.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 27-08-2018 at 5:14 PM.
    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.
    • warrenb
    • By warrenb 31st Aug 18, 3:32 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 355 Thanks
    warrenb
    Chinese anti dumping tariff to be abolished from the 3rd September.
    Living in supposedly sunny Kent
    14*285 JA Solar Percium Panels
    Solis 4kw inverter
    ESE facing with a 40 degree slope
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 4th Sep 18, 7:16 AM
    • 7,569 Posts
    • 12,087 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Some speculation and numbers on the impact of the end of the MIP:

    MIP impact: EU module prices to decline by 30%, 2019 PV demand up 40%

    According to IHS Markit, on the back of the decision to end the MIP in Europe, solar module prices will decline by up to 30%, while total project system costs will be “immediately” driven down. Overall, it forecasts PV demand to grow 40% in 2019.
    Just some thoughts (thoughts as I'm not sure I can even guess at the final results), but the reduction on module prices will take some time to feed through(?) since stocks will need to be used up and new cheaper priced panels introduced to the supply system.

    Also, these are module price reductions, not install price reductions. Last I read panels represented about 50% of the ground mount large PV install costs, and about 30% of domestic rooftop install costs, so speculating outwards, a possible reduction might be 15% for large PV farms and 9% for domestic PV?

    Don't hold me to any of this, I just make it up as I go along.
    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 4th Sep 18, 9:00 AM
    • 68 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    pile-o-stone
    Wow, I didn't realise that the EU put such a high tariff on solar panels. It makes you wonder what other products that we consumers are paying over the odds for, in order to prop up inefficient EU industries?

    I did see a report that said finished food goods imported into the EU had a 100% tariff and that Germany makes more money out of Coffee production than Africa does. Wouldn't it be much better to have coffee produced in factories in Africa than in the EU - providing Africans with higher grade jobs in manufacturing than just in agriculture, reducing their dependence on foreign aid and also reducing the carbon footprint in moving all these raw materials around the planet?
    Last edited by pile-o-stone; 04-09-2018 at 9:03 AM.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
    • michaels
    • By michaels 4th Sep 18, 9:41 AM
    • 21,444 Posts
    • 99,376 Thanks
    michaels
    Wow, I didn't realise that the EU put such a high tariff on solar panels. It makes you wonder what other products that we consumers are paying over the odds for, in order to prop up inefficient EU industries?

    I did see a report that said finished food goods imported into the EU had a 100% tariff and that Germany makes more money out of Coffee production than Africa does. Wouldn't it be much better to have coffee produced in factories in Africa than in the EU - providing Africans with higher grade jobs in manufacturing than just in agriculture, reducing their dependence on foreign aid and also reducing the carbon footprint in moving all these raw materials around the planet?
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    You have said something against the EU. That makes you a racist bigot....
    Cool heads and compromise
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 4th Sep 18, 2:23 PM
    • 2,846 Posts
    • 2,429 Thanks
    GreatApe
    Wow, I didn't realise that the EU put such a high tariff on solar panels. It makes you wonder what other products that we consumers are paying over the odds for, in order to prop up inefficient EU industries?
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    Those tariffs are taxes that go to your government it isn't like they dig a big hole throw the money in it and set it on fire.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 4th Sep 18, 2:32 PM
    • 2,846 Posts
    • 2,429 Thanks
    GreatApe
    With the help of carbon pricing (burning FF's has real external costs (externalities)), we now see PV is cheaper in Europe.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981

    It is funny how the same websites and people both cry look solar is now cheaper than xyz and then also cry look solar will die when the FIT / other subs are removed.

    The truth is solar is not and can not be competitive with existing fossil fuel infrastructure for a very long time for two simple reasons.

    1 is that fossil fuel infrastructure can get much more efficient and capital values written down towards zero and thus prices can fall lots yet the industry still continue going. Just as was the case with fracking in the USA or even traditional oil and gas it did not disappear when prices fell below $40 like all the cheerleaders were saying oil under $100 was unviable etc etc.

    and 2 the energy infrastructure is so big that PV (& batteries) can not expand fast enough so its price wont go below fossil fuels. How can solar go to say 20% below existing fossil fuels? People and companies would buy them up well before they go that low the only possible way for solar to go notably below existing fossil fuels would be if the ability to build solar factories was extremely rapid and if said builders were willing to write down their solar module factories in 10 years rather than 30-50

    None of this means the world shouldn't do solar or wind it probably should but it means be honest and accept that it will require state/consumer support for a long time else you risk a game of chicken with governments and regulators always promoting the idea that solar will be too cheap to meter in just a couple of years and then a couple of years down the line that doesn't come to pass
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 4th Sep 18, 2:35 PM
    • 2,846 Posts
    • 2,429 Thanks
    GreatApe
    Just some thoughts (thoughts as I'm not sure I can even guess at the final results), but the reduction on module prices will take some time to feed through(?) since stocks will need to be used up and new cheaper priced panels introduced to the supply system.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981

    Only if the solar market in the EU is rigged else anyone can just start importing in September directly, the consumer doesn't care about company x who has inventory to shift at older higher prices. If anything the prices should come down within days of the announcement
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