Solar panels and battery - any real world reccomendations?

Soldato
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25 Feb 2004
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Our latest quote, waiting to hear back from the two before we book

VpB1np1.png
Ouch, this is what i'm paying for 2x batteries and 18 panels. Also only 2 years on workmanship is short! I would be looking for 5 or even 10!
I'm getting my panels done before the garden renovation gets handled for this reason, current patio can be ruined a bit and it doesn't matter!
Yeah, luckily all gone down the side of the house that wasn't done! Didn't have much choice with timings for everything at the moment.
 
Man of Honour
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Ouch, this is what i'm paying for 2x batteries and 18 panels. Also only 2 years on workmanship is short! I would be looking for 5 or even 10!

Yeah, luckily all gone down the side of the house that wasn't done! Didn't have much choice with timings for everything at the moment.
I know, its defiantly on the steep side! They are supposed to be some of the better panels output wise & agree on the workmanship.
Damn. You need to save a lot on energy bills to make that worth the outlay.

Break even isn't too bad, but we do use a fare wack of electricity during the day.
 
Soldato
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I think something @Journey has said a numerous times is that the tech for panels is moving so quickly that this is an area that you could sacrifice on and save a chunk of money as the 400+w panels are significantly more money than the slightly lower 360-390w panels.
 
Soldato
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SEG doesn't have
I think something @Journey has said a numerous times is that the tech for panels is moving so quickly that this is an area that you could sacrifice on and save a chunk of money as the 400+w panels are significantly more money than the slightly lower 360-390w panels.

Prices are on the up now on everything though sadly. Although prices are still OK on some of the better wattage panels £136 + VAT will get you a 390w panel, vs £122 for a 360w, long gone are the 305-320w panels at £80 though, they are now either OOS or £120+ which is daft. I certainly don't see the value in buying £200+ 400w panels regardless of the guarantee on output, when that could be an extra £1k on 16 panels for an extra 640w of potential generation, you'd need to get 3 hours at full 640w output every day for 5 years to pay that extra £1k off at 30ppkWh pricing. Which is not going to happen and unlikely to happen even over 10 years.

My long term plan was, and still is to swap out my 16x 385w panels for much better panels in 8-10 years time, when we should hopefully see an uplift to 500w+ I'd like to go from my ~6.2kW to 8kW+. If they cost the same then it'll be £2k + a secondary inverter, or I may even replace the original one depending on my load, and what V2H or V2G is doing for me by then.
 
Associate
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Got my first bill through since having the solar panels installed. Compared to the bill from the same period 12 months ago it's £50 less.

However, 12 months ago my unit rate was a lot less:

electricity unit rate was 14.881p now 27.838p
electricity standing charge was 18.83p now 49.64p

gas unit rate was 2.504p now 7.335p
gas standing charge was 13.77p now 27.22p

According to the inverter I've generated 645kWh since it was installed (exactly 1 month ago).

Happy with that. Still waiting on my SEG getting processed which will put a little bit more on the savings as well. No battery in my setup, might go for them in a few years.

ETA I was supposed to be getting 12 x 390W panels on my install but when they went to pick them up from their warehouse they didn't have any so gave me a free upgrade to 410W panels.
 
Soldato
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Just spoke to the guy doing my install, saying he's been ordering 700-800 panels at a go since the VAT drop and they're all already assigned to jobs just waiting to be done once the DNOs come through. Saying my batteries are from an order he made last November such is the stock levels, so getting the 8.2 Givenergy ones.
 
Soldato
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I think something @Journey has said a numerous times is that the tech for panels is moving so quickly that this is an area that you could sacrifice on and save a chunk of money as the 400+w panels are significantly more money than the slightly lower 360-390w panels.

They're not though, you can get 410W panels for not much more than some of these 375W things.

Most the cost is in the initial install, scaffolding etc, put the most amount of good quality and good value high Wattage panels up there.

It's also important for those with limited space who can gain a good 4-500W extra by choosing higher Wattage panels across a whole array.
 
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Soldato
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We were supposed to get the install done today but the installer is not well, I didnt see him, but apparently he turned up on our drive this morning then went home.

Scaffolding is up and we have all the solar panels, inverter and other bits here now.

Little frustraiting but nothing anyone could have done I guess, they are going to re-arrange it, hopefully for next week. At the end of the day we only paid a deposit and the gear we have here now is worth way more than that, so not like they are going to do a runner.
 
Soldato
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They're not though, you can get 410W panels for not much more than some of these 375W things.

Most the cost is in the initial install, scaffolding etc, out the most amount of good quality and good value high Wattage labels up there.

It's also important for those with limited space who can gain a good 4-500W extra by choosing higher Wattage panels across a whole array.

You are probably confusing number of panels with W/m2 measurements here, so efficiency per square meter of useable roof space. The cheap 410w panels are in the order of 2m2+ each for those 410w, where as the better quality/more efficient panels are 1.8-1.87m2. Doesn't sound like a lot but optimising roof space (and getting the colour you want) is important.
If I opted for cheaper large panels, so more wattage per panel, I could have only had 6 per side and not 8 and have paid more per W for very little difference, and they would be black with white backing not all black and blend with the roof.

Everyone has different requirements, sized roofs, useable space, budget etc. so obviously there is no one size fits all, however cost per W for the panels can be quantified easily, but yes if you are paying a huge sum for an install then spending £500 extra to get 600w extra generation might help on a £15k+ system.
 
Soldato
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You are probably confusing number of panels with W/m2 measurements here, so efficiency per square meter of useable roof space. The cheap 410w panels are in the order of 2m2+ each for those 410w, where as the better quality/more efficient panels are 1.8-1.87m2. Doesn't sound like a lot but optimising roof space (and getting the colour you want) is important.
If I opted for cheaper large panels, so more wattage per panel, I could have only had 6 per side and not 8 and have paid more per W for very little difference, and they would be black with white backing not all black and blend with the roof.

Everyone has different requirements, sized roofs, useable space, budget etc. so obviously there is no one size fits all, however cost per W for the panels can be quantified easily, but yes if you are paying a huge sum for an install then spending £500 extra to get 600w extra generation might help on a £15k+ system.
Not confusing anything ;)

But like you say, optimising for roof space is important and everyone should do their own research to fit the most amount of panels on there that they can to produce the most possible. People also need to figure out what their usage is and how to best utilise the PV and battery charging and/or water tank heating, definitely double check compared to what a company has proposed. Salesmen are not to be trusted in this industry!

People also need to be wary of some recommendations as some solar installs will liekly just try to sell you whatever they can get or have stock of, just so they can get the install done, get paid and move onto the next FOMO sucker ;)
 
Soldato
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I understand what he is pointing out. Some makes you can have the same sized panel (or 30cm longer if you do spot size spec differences) but more wattage. Due to stock the installers may offer less panels than before because they are 420w rather than 350w models. This is what changed on my order due to supply conditions so a couple of less panels overall but going from 340w to 410w per panel.
 
Associate
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30 May 2022
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Edinburgh
Morning,
Looking for some advice, total newbie when it comes to Solar & batteries etc, with prices for electricity and solar/batteries going up I feel like i need to jump in now. Plus got a bit of cash unexpectedly so before i go out and buy a new bike i don’t need, best do something fairly sensible..

In a 4 bed house, in East Scotland, 4 people, 2 kids, no EV (yet) and not moving house. From the EST calculator a 9kWp will produce 5,875 kWh per year. Our current yearly electricity usage is 8,300 kWh.

Had a quote last month but decided to increase the system so got a new one today

8.5kw Solar (supply, install, certified) & DNO
22x Trina 390w panels
Schletter mounts
Bird guards
£9,520

Sun sync 8kW Hybrid inverter &
Sun sync 5.2 kWh battery £ 3,790 or
Sun sync 10.4 kWh battery £ 5,310

Current Electricity bills on a fixed rate till September 2023 Daily charge 24p & 24p Electricity so just over £2k per year.

Advice required -
Is this system the best for my situation? My basic thoughts are if i produce 5,875 per year in the summer that will cover nearly all electricity usage, in the winter will use batteries more but signing up to Octopus Go, charge when cheap and drain in during the day/night, with the rest coming from the grid.

Thanks in advance
 
Associate
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Sun sync 8kW Hybrid inverter &
Sun sync 5.2 kWh battery £ 3,790 or
Sun sync 10.4 kWh battery £ 5,310

Current Electricity bills on a fixed rate till September 2023 Daily charge 24p & 24p Electricity so just over £2k per year.

Advice required -
Is this system the best for my situation? My basic thoughts are if i produce 5,875 per year in the summer that will cover nearly all electricity usage, in the winter will use batteries more but signing up to Octopus Go, charge when cheap and drain in during the day/night, with the rest coming from the grid.

Thanks in advance
SunSynk 5.2 battery sustained drain is only 2.4Kw so in all likely hood if you are going to want to winter charge cheap and run high consumers from battery you will need that second battery.
 
Soldato
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25 Feb 2004
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Portsmouth
Been busy all day, but installation seems to be going well, they had to drop one of the panels due to the soil vent pipe, so only getting 17 panels, but batteries are pretty much in under the stairs with wiring going down the same route the AC pipework makes by the drain, so can't notice it and then udner the floor, so looks to be a proper tidy install.
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
4,519
Location
Nottingham
Morning,
Looking for some advice, total newbie when it comes to Solar & batteries etc, with prices for electricity and solar/batteries going up I feel like i need to jump in now. Plus got a bit of cash unexpectedly so before i go out and buy a new bike i don’t need, best do something fairly sensible..

In a 4 bed house, in East Scotland, 4 people, 2 kids, no EV (yet) and not moving house. From the EST calculator a 9kWp will produce 5,875 kWh per year. Our current yearly electricity usage is 8,300 kWh.

Had a quote last month but decided to increase the system so got a new one today

8.5kw Solar (supply, install, certified) & DNO
22x Trina 390w panels
Schletter mounts
Bird guards
£9,520

Sun sync 8kW Hybrid inverter &
Sun sync 5.2 kWh battery £ 3,790 or
Sun sync 10.4 kWh battery £ 5,310

Current Electricity bills on a fixed rate till September 2023 Daily charge 24p & 24p Electricity so just over £2k per year.

Advice required -
Is this system the best for my situation? My basic thoughts are if i produce 5,875 per year in the summer that will cover nearly all electricity usage, in the winter will use batteries more but signing up to Octopus Go, charge when cheap and drain in during the day/night, with the rest coming from the grid.

Thanks in advance

My only build is I'm still not convinced battery stacks up but you'll need to run the numbers for your situation.

Given your annual usage it looks like you use about 23Kw/day, which will be weighted higher in winter so I'll assume a conservative 25Kw in winter. If you go for a 10.4Kw battery It'll save you about £2 per day in the winter, but this assumes you aren't paying a premium on your day tariff in order to get the cheap night tariff. Then in the summer you can obviously use the battery to store solar, but I'm finding I'm only drawing between 1 and 5 Kw from the grid each day (excluding car) which if I had a battery and assume it's a pessimistic 4Kw average would be saving me about £1 a day once you deduct the earnings from export and efficiency loss of storing the electricity.

I'm also finding my spare solar isn't that huge. I've got a 6.7Kw system that initially runs the house, then any spare is used to heat the hot water, after that it's used to charge the car. My main excess tends to be when the car isn't at home.

So all in I reckon it'd save me £1-2 per day having a battery, assuming an average £1.50 that's £547/year saving against a £5,310 cost for a piece of kit that has a useful economic life of 10 years so it just about breaks even. I can get a far better return on that £5,310 by investing it.
 
Associate
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9 Mar 2022
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Location
Notts
Been busy all day, but installation seems to be going well, they had to drop one of the panels due to the soil vent pipe, so only getting 17 panels, but batteries are pretty much in under the stairs with wiring going down the same route the AC pipework makes by the drain, so can't notice it and then udner the floor, so looks to be a proper tidy install.
Make sure you post some photos!
 
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