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Convincing someone that PV is the way to go

  • 28-10-2020 9:29am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 983 ✭✭✭ wrestlemaniac


    Long-time lurker here,
    I have spent the last while reading up on the many threads etc here and trying to educate myself on the area of PV panels in general.
    Before I start engaging with companies, I'm looking for any insight/advice around my particulars .


    Roof is a North East-South west orientation
    4 bed bungalow, no obstructions of light
    Site is raised a little so can be quite windy
    Approx yearly electric bill is 1200-1400
    Dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, dehumidifier running daily
    No EV currently

    Basically, is there an optimum number of panels i should be looking to get? And at what KW/H
    How much realistically would I save on electricity per year? How long is a piece of string in know 🀔
    Is wind a factor?
    Battery or not?
    Does brand type matter?

    Obviously I will be looking for best price possible and am aware of the grant but wondering, where is the sweet spot between cost of PV panels and long term savings?

    To summarise, how best to convince the OH to spend the money now as it benefits long term!

    Thanks for taking time to respond


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,574 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly


    Just to add to your thought process. We have come across a company offering solar as a service.
    With grant, 7 panels works out at 20 a month for 10 years. There are other add ons which increase the cost.

    At least 1 here is going for it. I'm considering it based on my current ber. I need to check would the panels qualify me for the grant.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,787 ✭✭✭ irishchris


    Just to add to your thought process. We have come across a company offering solar as a service.
    With grant, 7 panels works out at 20 a month for 10 years. There are other add ons which increase the cost.

    At least 1 here is going for it. I'm considering it based on my current ber. I need to check would the panels qualify me for the grant.

    Just to add to that I got this in about a month ago and extremely impressed by it. Even the last few days there have been continued long peaks of 2kw and the install is super neat and tidy. You will definitely qualify for 1800 grant and am currently awaiting mine with the only caveat being you need to have at least a Ber rating of at least a C post works. I jumped up to a b2 Ber post install so delighted with that too


  • Registered Users Posts: 983 ✭✭✭ wrestlemaniac


    irishchris wrote: »
    Just to add to that I got this in about a month ago and extremely impressed by it. Even the last few days there have been continued long peaks of 2kw and the install is super neat and tidy. You will definitely qualify for 1800 grant and am currently awaiting mine with the only caveat being you need to have at least a Ber rating of at least a C post works. I jumped up to a b2 Ber post install so delighted with that too

    Are there any upfront costs?
    If anything goes wrong over the course 10 years are you covered?
    Seems quite reasonable overall so just wondering what the downside is, if any


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,574 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly


    Are there any upfront costs?
    If anything goes wrong over the course 10 years are you covered?
    Seems quite reasonable overall so just wondering what the downside is, if any

    I can't see any downsides. Everything is covered as long as you pay monthly. Clear your bill and contract is finished.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,574 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly


    irishchris wrote: »
    Just to add to that I got this in about a month ago and extremely impressed by it. Even the last few days there have been continued long peaks of 2kw and the install is super neat and tidy. You will definitely qualify for 1800 grant and am currently awaiting mine with the only caveat being you need to have at least a Ber rating of at least a C post works. I jumped up to a b2 Ber post install so delighted with that too


    What inverter did they supply. Was their wriggle room to get a higher spec? How many panels did he give you?
    My last ber(d2) was 2014 with the previous owner. I want to get a bit of work done and will get it reassessed before getting the panels.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,787 ✭✭✭ irishchris


    What inverter did they supply. Was their wriggle room to get a higher spec? How many panels did he give you?
    My last ber(d2) was 2014 with the previous owner. I want to get a bit of work done and will get it reassessed before getting the panels.

    It is a goodwe inverter and futura sun panels. In fairness working to near full capacity the last few weeks bar the couple of wet days which surprised me for October. The standard is 7 but paid extra for two extra but these are 320w panels and think the offer is different now with less and bigger capacity panels from what I read on here in the deleted thread


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,574 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly


    irishchris wrote: »
    It is a goodwe inverter and futura sun panels. In fairness working to near full capacity the last few weeks bar the couple of wet days which surprised me for October. The standard is 7 but paid extra for two extra but these are 320w panels and think the offer is different now with less and bigger capacity panels from what I read on here in the deleted thread

    What did it cost you for the extra panels? Its currently 6x360 futura sun.

    I heard back from them that it's the gw2500 inverter. Which one did you get?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,787 ✭✭✭ irishchris


    What did it cost you for the extra panels? Its currently 6x360 futura sun.

    I heard back from them that it's the gw2500 inverter. Which one did you get?

    Yes the gw2500, however these can take up to 3.3kw input from panels


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,834 ✭✭✭ garo


    @wrestlemaniac: How much up front are you wlling to spend. You will get your money back eventually unless you go mad and go with a very expensive supplier. Payback vary from 8-15 years based on individual circustance, size of install and whether you get a battery or not. In your position, I was somewhat similar I would go for a 4-6kW install depending on where you get the most bang for buck. A battery qualifies you for an extra 1200 in grant but ask for quotes both with and without a battery.
    Wind should not be an issue with a reputed installer and a proper install as panels are fairly close to the roof and the lift should be countered by the mountings.
    Realistically, you would save around 400-500 a year with a 5kW install with a single battery.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,847 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    garo wrote: »
    You will get your money back eventually unless you go mad and go with a very expensive supplier. Payback vary from 8-15 years

    8 years would be extremely optimistic. You'd only get that with a small system, fully DIY install and using parts bought way below retail prices

    Far more typical for an SEAI grant system is the higher end of your range, and only if you got a good deal

    Also a realistic saving of €500 would be very optimistic. The average Irish household only has a €800 or so bill per year (using the cheapest deal) and a substantial part of that is standing charge. You'd only get a saving like that if you are a very high consumer of electricity and / or if you micromanage the bejaysus out of your electricity use

    Agree with the spirit of your post though!

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



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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    unkel wrote: »
    8 years would be extremely optimistic. You'd only get that with a small system, fully DIY install and using parts bought way below retail prices


    Mine averages €1p/d and I'm €1k in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 983 ✭✭✭ wrestlemaniac


    garo wrote: »
    @wrestlemaniac: How much up front are you wlling to spend. You will get your money back eventually unless you go mad and go with a very expensive supplier. Payback vary from 8-15 years based on individual circustance, size of install and whether you get a battery or not. In your position, I was somewhat similar I would go for a 4-6kW install depending on where you get the most bang for buck. A battery qualifies you for an extra 1200 in grant but ask for quotes both with and without a battery.
    Wind should not be an issue with a reputed installer and a proper install as panels are fairly close to the roof and the lift should be countered by the mountings.
    Realistically, you would save around 400-500 a year with a 5kW install with a single battery.

    Cheers for getting back garo.
    Ideally no more than 3k out-of my own pocket, plus whatever the grant gives.
    Still undecided on the benefit vs cost of a battery.


  • Registered Users Posts: 983 ✭✭✭ wrestlemaniac


    unkel wrote: »
    8 years would be extremely optimistic. You'd only get that with a small system, fully DIY install and using parts bought way below retail prices

    Far more typical for an SEAI grant system is the higher end of your range, and only if you got a good deal

    Also a realistic saving of €500 would be very optimistic. The average Irish household only has a €800 or so bill per year (using the cheapest deal) and a substantial part of that is standing charge. You'd only get a saving like that if you are a very high consumer of electricity and / or if you micromanage the bejaysus out of your electricity use

    Agree with the spirit of your post though!

    Cheers Unkel,
    So hypothetically, if we halved the optimistic 500 euro to a 250 saving and pushed out the years by a couple, I wonder if the earlier mentioned pay monthly for 10 years deal representing decent value for money?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,834 ✭✭✭ garo


    For 3k forget about a battery then. Concentrate on getting the largest system you can. You’ll get an 1800 grant so you have about 5k gross to play with. Your annual savings should be in the 250 range.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,847 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Cheers Unkel,
    So hypothetically, if we halved the optimistic 500 euro to a 250 saving and pushed out the years by a couple, I wonder if the earlier mentioned pay monthly for 10 years deal representing decent value for money?

    Well if you have money on a savings account giving you a net 1% return, then investing in a PV system with a 15 year pay pack will give you a near 7% return (provided the system lasts that long without maintenance), so that's much better isn't it? :)

    Also we all need to do a lot more for the environment than we are currently doing. It's not all about the money, but it's good that we are aware of the costs and not just invest willy nilly

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



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,574 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly


    unkel wrote: »
    Well if you have money on a savings account giving you a net 1% return, then investing in a PV system with a 15 year pay pack will give you a near 7% return (provided the system lasts that long without maintenance), so that's much better isn't it? :)

    Also we all need to do a lot more for the environment than we are currently doing. It's not all about the money, but it's good that we are aware of the costs and not just invest willy nilly

    The bottom line is its all about money. Just read the numerous threads.
    As you said, a better investment if nothing goes wrong.
    The 10 year offer takes all the risk away and let's you use your money elsewhere.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,024 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    garo wrote: »
    For 3k forget about a battery then. Concentrate on getting the largest system you can. You’ll get an 1800 grant so you have about 5k gross to play with. Your annual savings should be in the 250 range.

    I just don't get batteries in a PV setup, I've been looking at it from various angles over the last few days and it boils down to a typical Pylontech US2000 2.4kWh battery.
    With 80% DOD it's basically 2kWh usable, that's 2 units of electricity.

    If I charged a single battery to full and used throughout the day then I'd be saving a maximum of 14.22c (current Energia day cost) X 2 = €0.2844 a day or €104 per annum.
    If I had two batteries then I'd save a maximum of €208 per annum.

    I just can't see how a battery is ever worthwhile (and I've been given some low battery prices) given the increased cost of a hybrid inverter and of course a finite life on the batteries?

    I've chatted to a few folk over PM and I just can't see any financial benefit.

    I also think the battery grant will disappear the moment a FIT is introduced and that will destroy the financial benefit of a battery setup.

    What have I got wrong here or what am I missing?
    Seems the grants have forced people into an incorrect battery purchase


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,847 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    slave1 wrote: »
    What have I got wrong here or what am I missing?

    Well it all depends on how much extra a battery costs, we haven't seen much in terms of direct comparison here about quotes with or without battery

    And you have taken into account only one cycle per day. With a decent system you could look at 1-2 cycles average on a big enough PV system with just a small battery PLUS a night rate cycle every day.

    But yeah, the subsidy system was all wrong. Some retard thought it was a good idea to use tax payers money to help people buy batteries. FIT is the most environmentally friendly and most cost effective measure. Nothing else and certainly not a subsidy on installs - basically giving tax payers money away for free to approved installers - a nice cosy Irish solution :rolleyes:

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



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,698 ✭✭✭ graememk


    slave1 wrote: »
    Seems the grants have forced people into an incorrect battery purchase

    I came to the same conclusion. For them to be viable they need to be cheaper.


    Maybe feasible if you can get the batteries cheap and build your own.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,195 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    slave1 wrote: »
    I just don't get batteries in a PV setup, I've been looking at it from various angles over the last few days and it boils down to a typical Pylontech US2000 2.4kWh battery.
    With 80% DOD it's basically 2kWh usable, that's 2 units of electricity.

    If I charged a single battery to full and used throughout the day then I'd be saving a maximum of 14.22c (current Energia day cost) X 2 = €0.2844 a day or €104 per annum.
    If I had two batteries then I'd save a maximum of €208 per annum.

    I just can't see how a battery is ever worthwhile (and I've been given some low battery prices) given the increased cost of a hybrid inverter and of course a finite life on the batteries?

    I've chatted to a few folk over PM and I just can't see any financial benefit.

    I also think the battery grant will disappear the moment a FIT is introduced and that will destroy the financial benefit of a battery setup.

    What have I got wrong here or what am I missing?
    Seems the grants have forced people into an incorrect battery purchase

    You're absolutely correct. You've missed nothing.
    Welcome to the lonely side of the argument as most people seem hell bent on getting battery systems even when all of the above is pointed out! :)

    The grant was changed this year to make it less attractive to get a battery system. When FiT arrives it will be less attractive again.

    And the elephant in the room... when you do break even on your battery system (15 years +) what will the state of the battery be at that point.... if its significantly degraded (quite likely) it will be struggling to "make" you any money in the years following it and if it does it will only be a few hundred quid (after maybe 20 years!!!) before it gives up the ghost and you have to replace battery and/or hybrid inverter.

    My advice (along with a few other vocal folks on this forum) is to put up as many panels as you can with a standard inverter, no battery. When FiT arrives that will be the icing on the cake rather than a must have to make it pay.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,195 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    slave1 wrote: »
    If I charged a single battery to full and used throughout the day then I'd be saving a maximum of 14.22c (current Energia day cost) X 2 = €0.2844 a day or €104 per annum.


    What have I got wrong here or what am I missing?
    Seems the grants have forced people into an incorrect battery purchase

    One thing you did miss is that you wont be able to charge/discharge that battery everyday as you wont have enough excess in the winter months. So the €104 is actually over optimistic by quite a bit.

    And its not economical to charge the battery on night rate as you are only saving the difference between day and night rate and there are losses in charging and discharging the battery so you are not actually getting the full difference between day/night rate and you are of course reducing the lifespan of the battery while doing it... TL;DR... dont charge the battery on night rate. Its fools gold.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,847 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    KCross wrote: »
    My advice (along with a few other vocal folks on this forum) is to put up as many panels as you can with a standard inverter, no battery. When FiT arrives that will be the icing on the cake rather than a must have to make it pay.

    This really isn't logical advice unless you have two quotes side by side, one with and one without the battery :p

    But I agree we haven't seen any of those really...

    And I'd say I have been more vocal than most calling the battery subsidy system retarded :D But you can't blame folks for taking full advantage of subsidies that are available. Even if that means a skeptical approach of having the battery installed, but then selling it and the expensive subsidised hybrid inverter and replacing it with a basic one, just to minimise net cost to them. I know several people who have done this. And for the record, not me. I have not received a cent in PV subsidies.

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



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,195 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    unkel wrote: »
    This really isn't logical advice unless you have two quotes side by side, one with and one without the battery :p

    Whats not logical about it?

    I've given those quotes several times on the forum.


    unkel wrote: »
    And I'd say I have been more vocal than most calling the battery subsidy system retarded :D

    Not really. You were constantly pushing battery systems and talking about "free batteries" because of the grant system. To be fair you have recently changed your tune.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,847 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Nope. I haven't changed my tune and neither you nor anybody else has given two comparable and competitive quotes of systems with and without battery.

    I have always maintained that it can be a good option to get a battery system, if and only if it makes financial sense. Some regulars in this forum have done exactly that. Got a battery system and sold on the parts. This was cheaper than a non-battery system. Because subsidy. You can understand why some of those people do not advertise that they did this on an open forum :p

    Personally I do have a battery, but I generally buy things so cheap that after playing with them for a while I am able to sell them on for more than I paid. All without subsidy. And it's a bit of a hobby too at this stage :o:D

    And anyway, did you finally get a PV system yourself or is your personal hobby procrastinating and fence sitting? ;)

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



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,195 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    unkel wrote: »
    Nope. I haven't changed my tune and neither you nor anybody else has given two comparable and competitive quotes of systems with and without battery.

    Yea, I have. Extensively explained my case (inlcuding quotes) against batteries over a year ago on the forum and have been doing so since along with a few others.

    And you have changed your tune as you were regularly encouraging people to buy battery systems and claiming the battery was effectively free. It never was as you were not comparing quotes with and without battery. Your arguments were always based on wholesale prices and the like. It was all nonsense.

    As I said, your more recent posts are more realistic and explaining that the payback is in alot of cases not there.... so I welcome your about turn.

    unkel wrote: »
    I have always maintained that it can be a good option to get a battery system, if and only if it makes financial sense. Some regulars in this forum have done exactly that. Got a battery system and sold on the parts. This was cheaper than a non-battery system. Because subsidy.

    I'm even seen you mention that as an option to people (effectively encouraging it) while at the same time complaining about the misue of your taxpayers money on other threads! :rolleyes:


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,847 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Nope again you are completely wrong, misquoting and falsely accusing me, like you have done several times before. I always encourage people to make use of whatever subsidies there are. Have done so myself too on various occasions (EV, car charger, efficient boiler, solar thermal, etc.)

    I only blame the authorities for setting up ridiculous subsidy systems like this battery SEAI install

    And yes it can be cheaper to get a system with battery than without battery, demonstrably so if you sell the parts straight after install. You're making a fool of yourself by claiming it isn't. Maybe some on here can be so brave to come and show us their figures from doing so.

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



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,834 ✭✭✭ garo


    A couple of data points.

    1) I got the battery because in the old scheme it was a 2400 additional grant so it was a no-brainer. It covered the cost of the battery and the hybrid inverter.
    2) My battery gave me 1000kWh discharged in the last 24 12 months. So unkel is correct you get more than 1 cycle a day. Dec/Jan of course you get nothing. I think I got 10 full cycles or 20kWh across the two months. slave1 may get more because of his larger system and SW orientation.

    And posed the battery vs FiT question to SEAI through my TD last year when he was minister for environment. Their response was that this is a pilot scheme and they want to gauge impact of battery systems before deciding whether to extend subsidy.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,024 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    I had a with/without quote for my currently underway install, I went from a 5.8kW Inverter to a 5kW Hybrid inverter and 2.4kWh Pylontech battery and the cost difference to me after grants was €40 extra for the battery system.
    Granted that between the first quote and the second quote there was more interaction between myself and the installer and the battery quote was the "final" quote so he may have dropped some part of his quote to get the business.

    In Garo's case above it made perfect sense, for me I've gone with the battery for the sake of the €40.
    Once my final system is up and running I'll post the final costs in the Domestic Solar PV Quotes thread...


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,195 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    unkel wrote: »
    Nope again you are completely wrong, misquoting and falsely accusing me, like you have done several times before. I always encourage people to make use of whatever subsidies there are. Have done so myself too on various occasions (EV, car charger, efficient boiler, solar thermal, etc.)

    Im sticking to my point... You were encouraging batteries and claiming they were effectively free. I can go drag up some old posts but you and me have been over it too many times before so I dont think it will help the Op at this stage.

    unkel wrote: »
    I only blame the authorities for setting up ridiculous subsidy systems like this battery SEAI install

    Thats true
    unkel wrote: »
    And yes it can be cheaper to get a system with battery than without battery, demonstrably so if you sell the parts straight after install. You're making a fool of yourself by claiming it isn't. Maybe some on here can be so brave to come and show us their figures from doing so.

    Of course its cheaper if you do that. Not saying otherwise. Thats not what most people looking to install systems and getting quotes on the quotes thread are interested in doing though, so Im not sure why thats even relevant even if some people have done it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,834 ✭✭✭ garo


    They were effectively free when unkel was making those posts because you got a 2400 grant. I got quotes from 5 installers and for 3 of them a system without battery was costing more net for me than one with a battery. This was after negotiating a bit and not list price because on list price a battery system was usually always a bit dearer but not by much.


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