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Going solar without grant

  • 16-04-2019 10:39am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭ thos


    Hi all,
    I've a new build house in 2014 and looking to retro fit solar now, so unfortunately not eligible for the grant, but it's something we want to do anyway. Is there any other benefit of not going the grant route - ie; less paperwork, different kit or suppliers that can help make this more cost effective?
    I'm not in a position to do a full DIY. I'm going to check in with my old builder to see if he's interested in taking it on, seeing as they know the place.
    Any other tips or advice for a non-grant solar installation?

    Thanks,
    Tom


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Hi,

    If not capable of doing in DIY, forget it.
    It will make your hair grey as the "know-how" is a major lack.
    Going on third party hands, that knows nothing, it will just increase costs, reduce or minimise satisfaction and / or system performance.

    Approach few suppliers and installers and get quote.
    Very important is the location and the consumption , of your house and their inhabitants…

    Have fun


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,929 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


    thos wrote: »
    Hi all,
    I've a new build house in 2014 and looking to retro fit solar now, so unfortunately not eligible for the grant, but it's something we want to do anyway. Is there any other benefit of not going the grant route - ie; less paperwork, different kit or suppliers that can help make this more cost effective?
    I'm not in a position to do a full DIY. I'm going to check in with my old builder to see if he's interested in taking it on, seeing as they know the place.
    Any other tips or advice for a non-grant solar installation?

    Thanks,
    Tom

    Which solar?
    Whats the rationale?


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


    People were installing solar before there ever was a grant. There are savings. The grant requires a BER cert to be done, as well as a firefighter safety switch fitted (which may not be necessary if the inverter is going in the loft area). Also, yes, there is a lot of paperwork to be completed.

    A good roofer should be quite capable of mounting the hooks and flashings and putting up the panels, and the rest is within the ability of many electricians.

    It will, perhaps, cost a bit more than a grant aided system, but if you want to reduce your carbon emissions, return on investment may not be as important.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    A roofer putting up 10 panels in a straight forward configuration should cost you no more than €250 in labour. An electrician mounting your inverter and connecting it to the grid should cost no more than €200 in labour. Get all the parts needed at good prices and you are up and running for less money than a subsidised (grant) system with overinflated prices, BER certs, other unnecessary bits, etc.

    If you are going to stay in your home for the next 15+ years, you will save money with this. Possibly quite a lot of money if prices of electricity go up, if we will get a feed in tariff, if prices of batteries that you might add will come down, etc. All these ifs are quite likely to happen. And then there is of course the feeling good about having zero emissions renewables. The opposite of having a cancer causing diesel car.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭ thos


    Ok thanks folks, time to start making some calls.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 57 ✭✭ midship


    unkel wrote: »
    A roofer putting up 10 panels in a straight forward configuration should cost you no more than €250 in labour. An electrician mounting your inverter and connecting it to the grid should cost no more than €200 in labour. Get all the parts needed at good prices and you are up and running for less money than a subsidised (grant) system with overinflated prices, BER certs, other unnecessary bits, etc.

    If you are going to stay in your home for the next 15+ years, you will save money with this. Possibly quite a lot of money if prices of electricity go up, if we will get a feed in tariff, if prices of batteries that you might add will come down, etc. All these ifs are quite likely to happen. And then there is of course the feeling good about having zero emissions renewables. The opposite of having a cancer causing diesel car.

    Sorry to hijack the thread but is it possible to get the grant going the Self project manage route, 1, source & purchase equipment, 2, roofer install panels, 3, electrician connects up and certifies, 4, Get BER assessment done.. am I missing anything?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,381 ✭✭✭ Evd-Burner


    midship wrote: »
    unkel wrote: »
    A roofer putting up 10 panels in a straight forward configuration should cost you no more than €250 in labour. An electrician mounting your inverter and connecting it to the grid should cost no more than €200 in labour. Get all the parts needed at good prices and you are up and running for less money than a subsidised (grant) system with overinflated prices, BER certs, other unnecessary bits, etc.

    If you are going to stay in your home for the next 15+ years, you will save money with this. Possibly quite a lot of money if prices of electricity go up, if we will get a feed in tariff, if prices of batteries that you might add will come down, etc. All these ifs are quite likely to happen. And then there is of course the feeling good about having zero emissions renewables. The opposite of having a cancer causing diesel car.

    Sorry to hijack the thread but is it possible to get the grant going the Self project manage route, 1, source & purchase equipment, 2, roofer install panels, 3, electrician connects up and certifies, 4, Get BER assessment done.. am I missing anything?

    No it's not. It has to be a registered installer and because they are registered they put the price up!


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    +1

    You won't get the grant, but it is likely to still be a lot cheaper than with the grant using an official SEAI approved installer (provided you buy your parts well)

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,312 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Evd-Burner wrote: »
    No it's not. It has to be a registered installer and because they are registered they put the price up!

    To cover costs, install, warranty, overheads, insurances etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,719 ✭✭✭ SteM


    Haven't looked into this for years, is the direction the panels are facing still very important? Our back garden faces north west so I'm guessing there'd be little point in installing solar panels?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    kceire wrote: »
    To cover costs, install, warranty, overheads, insurances etc

    Very much agree with you in that aspect, a business is there to make a profit,a living, at someone else's expense.

    Let's try a challenge: how much was a "complete system" before the grant and AFTER the grant being introduced !? ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,381 ✭✭✭ Evd-Burner


    kceire wrote: »
    Evd-Burner wrote: »
    No it's not. It has to be a registered installer and because they are registered they put the price up!

    To cover costs, install, warranty, overheads, insurances etc

    Yeah sure they have to cover costs and make a profit but that imo still doesn't justify just how high a price some are charging to install.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,277 ✭✭✭✭ Angelina Better Motorboat


    unkel wrote: »
    +1

    You won't get the grant, but it is likely to still be a lot cheaper than with the grant using an official SEAI approved installer (provided you buy your parts well)

    Has anyone any links to relaible parts suppliers at reasonable prices?

    Can those who've gone DIY start naming some suppliers please?


  • Registered Users Posts: 411 ✭✭ phester28


    https://solartricity.ie
    https://www.cclcomponents.com/
    http://www.rexelenergysolutions.ie

    The first is the best one stop shop.

    I should qualify that I have not yet purchased gear from any of the above

    Uncle or some of the other frequent posters might be able to steer you better


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    SteM wrote: »
    Haven't looked into this for years, is the direction the panels are facing still very important? Our back garden faces north west so I'm guessing there'd be little point in installing solar panels?

    It depends. If your roof is steep, I wouldn't bother. But to give you an idea, on a not so steep (about 30 degree angle) pure north facing roof, the solar production is still about half of what it would be on a perfect angle pure south facing roof.

    Solar panels are very cheap these days. If I was allowed (from a planning permission and from a maximum production point of view), I would plaster my street facing (north facing) roof with about 5-6kwp of solar :cool:

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 832 ✭✭✭ Jakey Rolling


    In a similar position wrt grant. Would do the electrics between myself and neighbour (qualified electrician).

    Have a 35degree south facing garage roof, usable area around 10m x 3.5m. The top third is fully illuminated year round, the bottom 2/3rds are in shadow for part of the day from October to March.

    Trying to get my head round what max kWp it is worthwhile to install, especially without feed in tariff. Presumably battery storage pushes cost up considerably, though would hope to have electric car(s) to dump to soon enough. Also, are there controllers to deal with low output from some panels due to shading.

    Will check out those suppliers suggested to get some ball park figures, thanks for the info.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    In a similar position wrt grant. Would do the electrics between myself and neighbour (qualified electrician).

    Have a 35degree south facing garage roof, usable area around 10m x 3.5m. The top third is fully illuminated year round, the bottom 2/3rds are in shadow for part of the day from October to March.

    Trying to get my head round what max kWp it is worthwhile to install, especially without feed in tariff. Presumably battery storage pushes cost up considerably, though would hope to have electric car(s) to dump to soon enough. Also, are there controllers to deal with low output from some panels due to shading.

    Will check out those suppliers suggested to get some ball park figures, thanks for the info.


    That part in there is going to limit your options !
    The shadow on the panels array will massively reduce the output deteriorating overall performance !


  • Registered Users Posts: 832 ✭✭✭ Jakey Rolling


    In which case I have about 10m2 if fully illuminated area I can use. Presumably still worthwhile.

    Also note on the lower sections, shade is only for part of the day during winter months.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,226 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    In a similar position wrt grant. Would do the electrics between myself and neighbour (qualified electrician).

    Have a 35degree south facing garage roof, usable area around 10m x 3.5m. The top third is fully illuminated year round, the bottom 2/3rds are in shadow for part of the day from October to March.

    Trying to get my head round what max kWp it is worthwhile to install, especially without feed in tariff. Presumably battery storage pushes cost up considerably, though would hope to have electric car(s) to dump to soon enough. Also, are there controllers to deal with low output from some panels due to shading.

    Will check out those suppliers suggested to get some ball park figures, thanks for the info.

    Assuming you're not installing a battery (because yes it does push up cost alot) you should consider splitting your panels across multiple orientations.

    If you put the whole lot south facing you will have huge excess at the times you dont need it.

    Put some of it west facing (if you can) and then you will have power when you get home and can consume it. Without a battery its all about self consumption, not about getting the max kWp from your panels.

    i.e. If you have, say 6kWp of panels... its better to split that across two orientations... say 3kWp south and 3kWp west and then consume as much of that as you can than to have 6kW being generated at noon when you are at work!... its a balancing act and it depends very much on your lifestyle and circumstances and what appliances etc you plan to use to consume the energy


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    In which case I have about 10m2 if fully illuminated area I can use. Presumably still worthwhile.

    Also note on the lower sections, shade is only for part of the day during winter months.

    I suggest do some homework before comitting.
    More H E R E

    Nice pictures and refrences H E R E

    Out of the total installed power AND due to shading AND in winter months when Sun is lower in the sky... you could be disappointed.
    Don't shoot the messenger...


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    unkel wrote: »
    It depends. If your roof is steep, I wouldn't bother. But to give you an idea, on a not so steep (about 30 degree angle) pure north facing roof, the solar production is still about half of what it would be on a perfect angle pure south facing roof.

    Solar panels are very cheap these days. If I was allowed (from a planning permission and from a maximum production point of view), I would plaster my street facing (north facing) roof with about 5-6kwp of solar :cool:

    Tought that myself,north facing is my back of the house.
    It just didnt passed the maths test figures,very long return and needs a dedicated inverter so that my existing two arrays will work efficient.
    With a single inverter and two arrays (South good and North bad) i can assume that MPPT work will be hard and results not so good (for your pocket).

    Planning permission, let's be serios,who is going to lodge an appeal for solar panels size or coverage !? Unless you stretch to your lovely neighbour roof boundary,i see no issues here.

    Any figures,toughts ,i can be wrong ?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    It doesn't pass the maths test if you can't use enough of the production. Same as with any solar PV install. Things would change if you have access to a very large battery (like an EV or the grid with a FIT). I'd happily install another 5kwp north facing if my roof wasn't so steep and if I got a FIT of 9c/kWh - revenue €225 per year, cost of materials of the install about €2,500
    rolion wrote: »
    Planning permission, let's be serios,who is going to lodge an appeal for solar panels size or coverage !? Unless you stretch to your lovely neighbour roof boundary,i see no issues here.

    You would be wrong there. Did you not follow the case last year when a lady who had (neatly) plastered the full road facing side of her roof with PV? She was forced to take it down (after appeal)

    Linky

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,400 ✭✭✭ Alkers


    KCross wrote:
    Assuming you're not installing a battery (because yes it does push up cost alot) you should consider splitting your panels across multiple orientations.

    What's the situation in terms of distance between the two arrays?
    I.e. I have a South facing house roof which I could fit about ten panels on but then I have a (slightly sloped - almost flat) north facing garage roof which might be able to mount some panels in easterly or westerly (or both) orientations. Would this be viable? The garage is maybe 15m from the back of the house


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Yes perfectly viable. You will need an inverter that can take dual strings. This is far more efficient than connecting the lot of in one big string. You need to carefully look at the data sheet before you buy an inverter though, there will be a minimum voltage per string, under which the inverter simply won't work (for that string)

    I.e. the very popular Solis dual MPPT have a minimum voltage of 90V for every string. If you connect just 2 (36V) panels in a string, that string will not produce anything. But with 3 panels you'll be fine. How many panels can you fit on your garage?

    The distance isn't that important within reason. 15m-20m from the panels to the inverter is fine.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,400 ✭✭✭ Alkers


    unkel wrote:
    How many panels can you fit on your garage?


    Could definitely fit three anyway. I'd say I'd fit 8 if they faced north but it would make more sense to face them east and west if that's possible on a slightly sloped roof.


  • Registered Users Posts: 411 ✭✭ phester28


    I think from looking at the data sheet for solis the smaller inverters (up to 1kw) have a startup of 60 volts. In which case it might be better for Simona to get one string up and running and get a second string at a later date with its own inverter too?

    I am still trying to find out if a panel micro inverter is a cheaper way to go. As I think it needs less cabling and Isolators, Firemans switch etc.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Micro inverters are more expensive and when one dies, you need to get onto the roof to replace it. Also I wouldn't recommend two inverters for two strings. Far cheaper and more efficient to go with a dual MPPT inverter like the Solis range. According to the spec sheet, you need a minimum 100V per string, but in practice this threshold is a lot lower. My second string is 3 west facing panels. And nominally they would be a bit over 100V, but in practice this regularly dips below 90V and the panels are still producing (there are amps showing)

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 411 ✭✭ phester28


    my reasearch to date says otherwise.

    BPE-MI-1300-EU-IR BPE 4 Port Microinverter €234.00 is a 1300w inverter. for a flat roof install it handles 4 panels so its not exactly a micro inverter but is panel mounted.


    the solis 1kw string inverter is 288+vat. now you will at least be able to get some production data from the display and the wifi is not alot. I have not got a price for the comms mod for the BPE above but I have seen elsewhere that it is a silly cost.

    from the datasheet:
    https://static.solartricity.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Solis-Mini-1000W-4G.pdf

    satartup voltage for the smaller ranges is 60V and then it can fall to 50V. Above 1.5Kwh the startup voltage goes to 90V and can drop to 80V

    I am going to see if the panel inverter (supplier says no need) actually can do without the fireman isolation switch and then see if a DC isolator is necessary, using 4 panels 2 x 2 in parallel to keep voltages to an "almost" safe DC level.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,916 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    phester28 wrote: »
    my reasearch to date says otherwise.

    BPE-MI-1300-EU-IR BPE 4 Port Microinverter €234.00 is a 1300w inverter. for a flat roof install it handles 4 panels

    That's €59 per panel

    I paid €250 for my brand new Solis dual MPPT 3.6kW including VAT and shipping. Using it with two strings, total of 13 panels

    That's €19 per panel...

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



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  • Registered Users Posts: 411 ✭✭ phester28


    OK Can you tell me where you purchase for that price as online solartricity.ie is the cheapest retailer stocking the solis range.

    Its a little different if your compaing a large install to a small install as obviously things scale different.

    I'm trying to spec a 1kw (most I can fit on my flat roof)SE facing for a self install. I will loose production at 3.30pm as the house overshadows the roof. UNless I face East. At some point in the future I can then justify going for the grant for my main roof east west and getting a professional install done.


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