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Photovoltaic panels

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  • 10-08-2010 4:38pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 32


    Hi
    Has anyone any experience with these ? Interested to know

    approx costs of installation and in practice how many kw do they generate on average for selling back to the esb .

    Thanks


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 573 ✭✭✭chprt


    would also be interested in this info thanks


    paddy

    www.onlinemathsgrinds.ie



  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭Mike2006


    Folks,

    I looked into these when building as I have a large garage roof which points direct south so I seriously considered them as an option.

    I wanted to get 2kW and just use them to power an electric immersion heater on my 1000L Thermal Store. No tie-grid to the ESB. I wanted a stand alone system.

    I googled all the suppliers I could find in Ireland.
    Got a list of about 5 and started emailing to get quotations.

    Gave them all the same spec requirements so that I could compare like for like.
    This was March 2010 so I assumed that they would be very keen to talk.

    Of the 5, I got 3 quotes. 1 crowd wanted €50 to give me a quotatino so I told them where to go.
    The 3 quotes took about a month to get. It would have been easier to get a quotation for a unicorn...

    Anyway, here are the 3 prices I eventually got for 2kW.

    1. €13,000 for supply, install, commission.
    2. €8,900 for supply, install and commission.
    3. £6,000 for supply only.


    So then I looked at what 2kW would cost me from the ESB.
    I assumed best ever case of getting 2kW for 12 hrs from the panels every day... (which would never happen)...

    Take the middle price of €8,900....

    ESB - 2kw @ €0.15 per kW = break even after 13.5 years....
    Maybe that would be ok for some people, but not for me so I decided against it...

    Mike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 Vipermax55


    Mike2006 wrote: »
    Folks,

    I looked into these when building as I have a large garage roof which points direct south so I seriously considered them as an option.

    I wanted to get 2kW and just use them to power an electric immersion heater on my 1000L Thermal Store. No tie-grid to the ESB. I wanted a stand alone system.

    I googled all the suppliers I could find in Ireland.
    Got a list of about 5 and started emailing to get quotations.

    Gave them all the same spec requirements so that I could compare like for like.
    This was March 2010 so I assumed that they would be very keen to talk.

    Of the 5, I got 3 quotes. 1 crowd wanted €50 to give me a quotatino so I told them where to go.
    The 3 quotes took about a month to get. It would have been easier to get a quotation for a unicorn...

    Anyway, here are the 3 prices I eventually got for 2kW.

    1. €13,000 for supply, install, commission.
    2. €8,900 for supply, install and commission.
    3. £6,000 for supply only.


    So then I looked at what 2kW would cost me from the ESB.
    I assumed best ever case of getting 2kW for 12 hrs from the panels every day... (which would never happen)...

    Take the middle price of €8,900....

    ESB - 2kw @ €0.15 per kW = break even after 13.5 years....
    Maybe that would be ok for some people, but not for me so I decided against it...

    Mike.

    Hi Mike2006 .
    Thanks , Good information there . My plan ( in theory ) was to use the PV panels on the roof of an apartment I am building . The apartment would not be occupied full time so my plan was that the PV panels would be building up credit from the ESB while the apartment was
    unoccupied and then while it was occupied I would run an electric central heating system using the credit built up .
    I think it would be unlikely that you would get 2kw for 12 hours a day ( not in this country anyway ) so your payback would be much longer . These PV cells also have a definitive life which hasn’t been mentioned by any of the manufactures .
    I have to use some form of renewable energy to comply with planning so looking at the feasibility of each one of them .

    Regards


  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭Mike2006


    Agreed. I was taking it as best possible scenario, thats why I gave an over generous 12hrs...
    The payback just isn't there at the moment. They would have to reduce by 50% to be worthwhile imo...

    I went for solar in the end to satisfy the Part L requirement.
    Only thing is, if you go with solar, if it is going to be unoccupied for long periods of time, then you will defo need a heat dump on your solar system.

    I rigged mine to a 1000L thermal store and put in lots of controls on the priority of heating etc.. so I do not need a heat dump..

    Mike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 Vipermax55


    Mike2006 wrote: »
    Agreed. I was taking it as best possible scenario, thats why I gave an over generous 12hrs...
    The payback just isn't there at the moment. They would have to reduce by 50% to be worthwhile imo...

    I went for solar in the end to satisfy the Part L requirement.
    Only thing is, if you go with solar, if it is going to be unoccupied for long periods of time, then you will defo need a heat dump on your solar system.

    I rigged mine to a 1000L thermal store and put in lots of controls on the priority of heating etc.. so I do not need a heat dump..

    Mike.

    Hi Mike2006

    I havn't researched solar to any great degree but I was thinking that during the unoccupied times if it was possible to switch the solar heating to radiaters instead of hot water then at least it would be keeping the place warm and dry . By a heat dump do you mean something to prevent the hot water cylinder from over heating ?.

    Thanks


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  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭Mike2006


    The heat dump is on the solar circuit.

    Basically it is a stainless steel radiator which sits on the outside eaves of the house and the heat is circulated to the rad once the system gets up to a pre determined hi-temp....

    Mike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 182 ✭✭saibhne


    Mike2006 wrote: »
    Agreed. I was taking it as best possible scenario, thats why I gave an over generous 12hrs...
    The payback just isn't there at the moment. They would have to reduce by 50% to be worthwhile imo...



    Mike.
    hi Mike,

    You're being very generous indeed - if installed around Dublin a 2kW system will give you maybe 1700 kwh a year according to here There are microgeneration feed in tarrifs that are at 19 c per kWh giving about 28 years payback on Euro 8900 installation if the tarriffs continue at that price.

    Bottom line is we need substantial subsidy to make PV financially attractive on a domestic scale in Ireland.. Solar thermal works well though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 423 ✭✭ccsolar


    Vipermax55 wrote: »
    Hi Mike2006

    I havn't researched solar to any great degree but I was thinking that during the unoccupied times if it was possible to switch the solar heating to radiaters instead of hot water then at least it would be keeping the place warm and dry . By a heat dump do you mean something to prevent the hot water cylinder from over heating ?.

    Thanks
    Hi Vipermax55
    You could use your solar to heat your radiators, this would be done indirectly through the central heating coil in your cylinder.
    The solar controller would be connected to the circulating pump on your heating system.
    When your cylinder reaches a certain temp the circulating pump would be switched on thus cooling your cylinder indirectly.
    The problem is connecting the controller to the circulating pump, normally in the garage.

    Great Info Mike 2006

    Cc


  • Registered Users Posts: 182 ✭✭saibhne


    ccsolar wrote: »
    Hi Vipermax55
    You could use your solar to heat your radiators, this would be done indirectly through the central heating coil in your cylinder.
    The solar controller would be connected to the circulating pump on your heating system.
    When your cylinder reaches a certain temp the circulating pump would be switched on thus cooling your cylinder indirectly.
    The problem is connecting the controller to the circulating pump, normally in the garage.

    Great Info Mike 2006

    Cc

    Hi CC,
    This method is used as a workaround alright but it has a few issues related to it to look out for:
    1. It typically only cools the area of the cylinder from the top of the boiler coil down which means the top of the cylinder remains at the highest temperature. On some systems if the max temp of the system is being read by a sensor at the top of the cylinder above the boiler coil then it will continue to dump heat until someone turns on the taps and uses the hot water at the top of the cylinder. Not a huge issue but can cause the dump pump to run for long periods of time if the sun is shining and you can lose the benefit of any solar energy collection whilst this is happening..

    2. Need to make sure the central heating system rads are always available in summer so if there are TRVs installed on the rads they must be open. As dumping mostly occurs in summer they can sometimes be closed..

    personally I perfer the heat dump rad option to this, if it is correctly sized it is fairly hassle free..


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,397 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    Mike2006 wrote: »
    So then I looked at what 2kW would cost me from the ESB.
    I assumed best ever case of getting 2kW for 12 hrs from the panels every day... (which would never happen)...

    Take the middle price of €8,900....

    ESB - 2kw @ €0.15 per kW = break even after 13.5 years....

    Hi Mike

    Both your assumptions and your calculations suck :)

    Take the latter. 2kw (far too optimistic ;)) for 12 hrs a day (far too optimistic ;)) at €0.15 per KwH is worth 2*12*0.15=€3.60 per day or €1314 per year. Not taking into account interest, your investment of €8900 would imply break even after 6.7 years. Now replace your 2kw assumption by 0.3kw average and replace 12 hours a day by 4 hours a day and break even would drop to 135 years :p


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 MR. POWER


    Vipermax55 wrote: »
    Hi
    Has anyone any experience with these ? Interested to know

    approx costs of installation and in practice how many kw do they generate on average for selling back to the esb .

    Thanks


    Where in Ireland do you live? I ask because PV is best suited to the southern half of the country if you want to maximise the return.

    To give an idea a top quality array could produce up to 1,000 kWh per kW installed per year.

    With renewable energy you really get what you pay for so always make sure you buy a good quality product because they are a long term investment and you want to them to last.

    As a guide, prices start at around €8,000 plus VAT supplied and fitted, but again always make sure the array is good quality and buy from a reputable supplier.


    Hope that helps.

    MR. POWER


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭quentingargan


    MR. POWER wrote: »
    As a guide, prices start at around €8,000 plus VAT supplied and fitted, but again always make sure the array is good quality and buy from a reputable supplier.


    Hope that helps.

    MR. POWER

    I think it is high time solar PV prices in Ireland dropped a peg or two. Ex factory prices for solar PVs have almost halved in the last two years.

    The price for PVs bought in bulk is less than €2 per watt. That's €2,000 for 1kw peak of panels, TUV certified etc. Add €1,000 for an inverter. That leaves €5,000 for wire, MCBs, connectors and installation. Yes please:)

    The payback time on PVs is still measured in decades rather than years, but for holiday homes they can be a cost effective way of achieving part L compliance. That's a side of the construction industry that should start picking up sometime in the next century.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 MR. POWER


    I think it is high time solar PV prices in Ireland dropped a peg or two. Ex factory prices for solar PVs have almost halved in the last two years.

    The price for PVs bought in bulk is less than €2 per watt. That's €2,000 for 1kw peak of panels, TUV certified etc. Add €1,000 for an inverter. That leaves €5,000 for wire, MCBs, connectors and installation. Yes please:)

    Quentin it doesn't exactly leave 5,000 for cable and breakers etc. You left out mounting frames, site survey and delivery :D

    Don't forget either, there's usually a main agent/distributor for the solar who sells to the installer and both must make a margin on their cost. So to be honest the margin on solar isn't great.

    That said, prices on everything in this country need to drop a peg or two. So lets start with food, petrol, beer and tax!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,907 ✭✭✭✭CJhaughey


    If Ireland adopted a similar system to the UK with PV installations and feed in Tariffs then the PV industry would probably kick off here as well.
    Chances of that happening are pretty small though, and much easier to just whack another 5% tax on.
    Good one Eamon Ryan.:rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭quentingargan


    CJhaughey wrote: »
    If Ireland adopted a similar system to the UK with PV installations and feed in Tariffs then the PV industry would probably kick off here as well.

    I'm not sure that subsidies should be applied in this way, or that the UK is doing the right thing by paying over 50c per KwHr for solar power. It is one thing to put 5% onto electricity to subsidise wind energy because there is an excellent prospect that Ireland will be able to develop this as an economical source of power. Also, in terms of job creating, Ireland could become a leader in at least some aspects of the technology.

    It makes little sense for Ireland to move gung-ho into solar technology - an area in which we will never lead the field. There just isn't the same return that you get in sunnier climates, and it will not be viable here until long after it has become viable in Spain and elsewhere in the EU.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 57 ✭✭handydandy


    Ireland is 25 years behind the Dutch and 15 years behind the Germans on photovoltaic systems. Last year the average price would be close to €15,000 for a standard size house in Ireland.

    To break even and then start making money back was estimated at between 17 and 40 years. The Chinese are meant to flood the market in the coming years with cheaper priced systems and that should bring the cost down by a few thousand I reckon.

    But just remember Ireland + Sunshine don't go hand in hand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭✭galwaytt


    handydandy wrote: »
    Ireland is 25 years behind the Dutch and 15 years behind the Germans on photovoltaic systems. Last year the average price would be close to €15,000 for a standard size house in Ireland.

    To break even and then start making money back was estimated at between 17 and 40 years. The Chinese are meant to flood the market in the coming years with cheaper priced systems and that should bring the cost down by a few thousand I reckon.

    But just remember Ireland + Sunshine don't go hand in hand.

    Indeed. Ireland is also a further north than those countries........

    As for Chinese stuff: good luck with that. 1/2 the price, and 1/2 the quality. Replacing it after 10 yrs won't be much consolation. I have direct experience of importing machinery and equipment from China, and you absolutely do get what you pay for. Literally. I wouldn't put a chinese panel anywhere you'd expect more than 5 years out of it.

    Ode To The Motorist

    “And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, generates funds to the exchequer. You don't want to acknowledge that as truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at the Green Party, you want me on that road, you need me on that road. We use words like freedom, enjoyment, sport and community. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent instilling those values in our families and loved ones. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the tax revenue and the very freedom to spend it that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a bus pass and get the ********* ********* off the road” 



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,815 ✭✭✭imitation


    galwaytt wrote: »
    Indeed. Ireland is also a further north than those countries........

    As for Chinese stuff: good luck with that. 1/2 the price, and 1/2 the quality. Replacing it after 10 yrs won't be much consolation. I have direct experience of importing machinery and equipment from China, and you absolutely do get what you pay for. Literally. I wouldn't put a chinese panel anywhere you'd expect more than 5 years out of it.

    Don't forget almost every piece of electronics you might use is made in china, so the quality varies. I think we can expect a price drop in PV cells in the coming decades for a few reasons, one of the bigger ones being Obamas push for solar in the US and the fact they are made from semiconductors, which can be easily mass produced.

    In Ireland though solar seems a bit pointless, its feeding energy into the grid when its least required, the largest draw on the grid is between 6-10 in the evening when people get home from work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭✭galwaytt


    imitation wrote: »
    Don't forget almost every piece of electronics you might use is made in china, so the quality varies.

    I agree, it is. But that is consumer stuff, which has a life expectancy of 3 - 5 years, maybe. We are looking at a life expectancy here of, I'd wager, 50yrs +. Different kettle of fish completely.

    Ode To The Motorist

    “And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, generates funds to the exchequer. You don't want to acknowledge that as truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at the Green Party, you want me on that road, you need me on that road. We use words like freedom, enjoyment, sport and community. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent instilling those values in our families and loved ones. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the tax revenue and the very freedom to spend it that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a bus pass and get the ********* ********* off the road” 



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭quentingargan


    galwaytt wrote: »
    I agree, it is. But that is consumer stuff, which has a life expectancy of 3 - 5 years, maybe. We are looking at a life expectancy here of, I'd wager, 50yrs +. Different kettle of fish completely.
    In the renewables area there are Chinese wind turbines that have given the whole area a bad name. Chinese production for their home market is often poor quality, but production for export carrying TUV certification is a different matter.

    Nowadays, many commercial solar park operators are using Chinese modules, and while some people might regard this as an hilarious endorsement, the banks are supporting them, provided that the appropriate certification is available from TUV. For a while, banking a project with Chinese modules was difficult, but that has changed.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 33 skooby


    does anybody know where i could get a pv panel that could supply me with 500/600 watts. i want to try run a small immersion through my cold feed. i noticed a few sites in the Uk advertising 1" immersions with a kit to tap the cold feed in. i am interested in trying this. i do realise it would require the immersion to be on about 24/7 to heat the cylinder but if i could get any gains i would be happy. from what i see pv seems to be awful expensive. would a small wind turbine be any better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭freddyuk


    Can you explain what you are trying to achieve? Heating water with a PV panel is not going to work effectively. Using 500 watts to heat a tank is not going to work as that is why immersions are 2-3 kw.
    Heating a cold main with 500 watts is even less likely to make any difference. I am intrigued to know what you want to do then perhaps someone can help.
    Heating stored water with solar thermal does work so heat a solar store then use that to heat your water? If you are on mains then maybe a heat exchanger is a better option.
    Keep PV for running your appliances around the house all day.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 33 skooby


    i am aware this seems strange. i meant to say it was been attached to a cold feed into the cylinder. my brother wants hot want in the garage for washin hands when workin on the cars. tried electric undersink heaters but he wasnt happy with them. so just looking for a greener way to go about it. the best option i have found is an air source heat pump cylinder but at 2500 im trying to find a cheaper option.
    i do know that immersions are standard 3kw but to feed that with pv as above prices of 8000 is madness. i just thought that a smaller output panel would be cheaper but i can not find anywhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭freddyuk


    If this is a stand alone garage (is it commercial or domestic?) i doubt that solar is going to make any sense at all for your purpose.
    Handwashing uses very little power as the amounts of water are small.
    Have you thought about heat tape?? It will heat enough water in the pipe for a basin of water at a time. Properly installed it may answer your needs.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 33 skooby


    its just a garage at the back of his house where he works evenings and weekends.

    Heat tape????? can you direct me to any sites

    thanks for the advice so far


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭freddyuk


    The correct term is Heat Trace but the uses are much the same which include frost protection but also these cables can maintain a pipe full of water at a set temperature using a thermostat.
    Normally used in a house with a long "dead leg" hot supply where the time it takes for the hot water to get from the DHW tank to the outlet is too long.
    A length of 22mm pipe can hold a lot of water so this is used near the outlet and a heat trace cable is zip tied to the pipe and then covered in insulation. The thermostat controls the temperature and it can be timered to suit your needs. When you need a basin of water it is stored in the pipe - hey presto!!
    You will need to decide how long the pipe needs to be to store enough instant hot water.
    Your problem is you do not want to heat the incoming main so you may need to rig up a cold storage tank and run a supply down to the sink. As long as the feed pipe is a couple of metres you should have enough water. A small tank and ball valve will cost very little.
    Just an option.

    <SNIP>

    Mod edit: The following ia taken from the forum charter:
    Any threads naming specific companies/traders will be deleted.
    So if you want to provide details of specific companies, please PM them, and take a moment to read the charter, thank you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,027 ✭✭✭Lantus


    PV is till an expensive way to go green and you need an awful lot of installed kw to make a dent. If you have the money and are passionate then go for it. I'd do it because it would provide some energy independance and I believe in it. When it comes to pay back your not really going to make it stack up financially.

    With the new ESB meters what you could do is have a system and subject to the installation and size of your property it would offset your total elec bill over a year. Some people have done this in the UK to great affect resulting in a net return over the course of the year (but don't bet on it..) as you prvide power to the grid.

    Using PV to power a water heater isn't really viable. Solar thermal is the way to go. Much more efficient and much cheaper. 3-5k would get you a good system fully installed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭quentingargan


    Lantus wrote: »
    With the new ESB meters what you could do is have a system and subject to the installation and size of your property it would offset your total elec bill over a year. Some people have done this in the UK to great affect resulting in a net return over the course of the year (but don't bet on it..) as you prvide power to the grid.

    Using PV to power a water heater isn't really viable. Solar thermal is the way to go. Much more efficient and much cheaper. 3-5k would get you a good system fully installed.

    Agree about solar thermal. Mad to use electricity to heat water, whether from PV or the grid. Solar thermal panels are cheap and about 80% efficient, PVs are expensive and, at best, about 20%.

    In the UK there is a remarkably generous feed in tariff for selling electricity from renewables to the grid. Over 50c per Kw Hr in some cases. Our feed in tariff is 19c, which makes PV not a very attractive proposition.


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