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Are there any companies that will upgrade existing PV installs?

  • 23-06-2022 6:29pm
    Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭

    I am looking for a company that would be willing to install extra pannels and additional battery capacity.

    I have had a ~2kw solar system installed since 2018. When it was installed I got a 5kw inverter for future expansion.

    Original installer is "very busy" and another Mayo based company were not interested in modifying my current install.

    What I have;

    Growatt SPH 5000 Inverter, Growatt 5 KWh battery. Model GBLI 5001, Growatt Shine Link monitoring system which is very unreliable this year.

    8 Pcs Trina Smart 265 Watt panels with built in optomiser.

    I am based in west Mayo.

    Does anyone have any experience with having existing installs upgraded?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,529 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    I don't have any direct experience, but I have seen a few over the months on the forums request the same thing - with limited/no sucess.

    Thing is, I can sort of understand why. If an installer made a balls of your original installation and then another installer is just adding a few panels, then he gets "branded" with any of the original problems. I'm not saying they did a poor job, but you can see why a installer would be apprehensive to touch something that they didn't do themselves as they might have to "fix" problems that they didn't create or be branded as being "difficult".

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,357 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    The solar companies won't be interested.

    Selling all the bits is their game. Adding a few panels makes no money.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,082 ✭✭✭silver_sky

    Your best bet is probably to try book a place for your previous installer. Everyone is busy right now, so it could be months away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,465 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    Are those panels even available anymore? I recently enquired about adding to my system, but the original trina solar panels I have are not stocked anymore. So I'm probably going to end up having to get a new inverter that accepts a second string, and running any new panels through that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭Grayarea

    Fortunatly I did plan ahead so the invert has a second string input so additional panels can be completely different brand / rating.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭Grayarea

    While we are in a solar install boom, I expect you are right. But they will have to review their billing structure eventually as the boom will end and then only the adaptive will survive.

    I for one am happy to pay a reasonable installment fee for the new panels, so there is money to be made in the upgrade market.

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭Grayarea

    Not touching installs that other people did would kill the electrician trade, so I do not buy it even though I understand their twisted logic. I want someone to install new panels not take ownership of an installation they have nothing to do with.

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,475 ✭✭✭✭Bobeagleburger

    Yeah, I don't buy that argument either tbh. Imagine that logic being applied to other electric jobs!

    It's boom time for solar companies and new installs will make them much more money than an upgrade. That's the main reason it'll be hard to find one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,776 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    Came across a company on FB who will do installs for people who have the kit. They sub contract out to roofers, sparks etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,429 ✭✭✭con747

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,529 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    "6" and "Greyarea" - totally agree.

    Nevertheless, I stand by the historical evidence from reading the forums for the last year or two, where people time and time again have struggled to get installers to respond - let along come out and actually do work.

    Installers don't want you. Upgrade customers are not really money making for them. As you say, the money is in the full installations. Why take on a upgrade of 2-3 panels when they can get a full installation along with grant money elsewhere. Your best bet would be to get the installer who did the initial work to do it - they may have a sense of loyalty to you.

    As for not wanting to touch another persons work....well, this isn't just like a normal sparks job. Many sparks are unfamiliar with working with DC, so it's not like your adding a 2 gang socket onto a wall etc. If you break a existing setup while attempting to upgrade it.....who pays for that?

    Also suppliers may have a perferred make/model and not be familiar (or setup) to work with another company. If your a solis company, you might not be able to work on the back end with a Givenergy box (I don't know that for a fact, I'm just saying that it's not as simple as you might origianlly think - Yes, electricity is electricity, but again it's a little more involved than wiring in an oven :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,465 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    I think you do a disservice to electricians by comparing installing solar to wiring an oven or a socket.

    PV systems are fairly simple to install. Electricians often specialise in certain areas, but a lot of parts of a PV installation cover similar principles. And it's easy enough to find out the rules and guidelines and follow them. You might get the job done a little slower if you are unused to it, but that's about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,529 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Agreed. My 91 year old dad, who's thankfully still wrecking me head is (or I guess more correctly) was an electrician, so I grew up with a background of electrics. I'm in no way dissing electricians, and to your point.....I'm right in the middle of installing 6 panels myself as a self-install on my shed, so I 100% agree with you, it's not hard. I'm not a spark and I've a high confidence level that I'll get it to work just fine.

    That said, I'll stand by what i said above. Many sparks are slow to take on solar projects if they are unfamiliar with working with DC. Why.......I don't know for sure. It's not hard - but why take on something where you are unfamiliar with when your out the door with other work that you know and can horse through that.

    If i was a spark full time, I wouldn't fancy going up onto a roof neither. A flat roof 1 story shed , sure, but a 30-40 degree sloping roof lugging around 20Kg panel, nahh. So you have the electrics side of it and of course the roofing side.

    So your kinda suck with solar installers as a spark themselves rarely would do both..... and historically from what I've seen for people here, they've struggled to get installers. I wish it wasn't the case, or I wish I was wrong, but that's what I've seen.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,465 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    Yeah, I wouldn't be into the roof side of things myself. I've worked on two installs, on my own flat roof, and on a friends pitched roof, but he had a parapet wall and roof light access, which made it a lot easier.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,024 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    PV installers are flat out and heavily booked, you will be on long finger for them to take a day of more profitable business to come around and "hook" you up, that's if they ever get around to you. At the end of the day, they are a business and will rightly concentrate on more prof

    My stuff for sale on Adverts inc. EDDI, hot water cylinder, roof rails...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,465 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    But some tradespeople will quote on a job, based on what else they have to turn down.

    It might not be difficult, or take a long time, but they can still name a price that gives them a similar profit. And then it's up to the customer if they want to go with it.

    I also would have thought, for a smaller job, someone lower down in the company could take it on to do in their own time, on a weekend for example.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Lob1

    would they work in Wexford if yes please pm

  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭munsterfan2

    I'm in a similar situation,have 2.8kw and 3kw inverter as part of a new build. If I had done enough research before hand I would have had a larger inverter installed as now if I add a second string I will probably need to replace a less than 12month old inverter. Is there a market for 2nd hand inverters ? Is it feasible to DIY replace / add additional panels ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Lob1

  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Lob1

    would they work in Wexford if yes please pm Thank You

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Lob1

  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭munsterfan2

    Solis F4---3kW single phase Energy Storage Inverter

  • Registered Users Posts: 28 Lob1 have a look here you might be able to add a slave unit to extend your capacity. Probably cheaper than buying a new larger unit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭Grayarea


    Could not get any company to even talk to me.

    I went back to the original installer and though I had to wait, we got the original installer to upgrade our system.