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Solar Parts from China

  • 09-08-2022 11:43pm
    Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭

    Mods, please move if in the wrong place. Looking to get started with solar in a small way. Just messing around on the shed roof etc at home and following some online tutorials and books I have purchased.

    I don't want a big outlay and was tempted to get one of the kits from AliExpress etc. I see the VAT is included on the prices etc. I am just wondering what the story with customs duty is? I was n touch with a vendor on there and he ships from the czech republic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,215 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Depends on what you mean by "get started with solar in a small way" :-)

    Two 400 watt panels will cost you approx €400. Add a 2x panel micro-inverter (€200) and your effectively up and running for €600. Cables and mounting not withstanding which you can do out of 2x4 and brackets if needed (€100?).

    So maybe €700 and you'd be up and running?

    What are the aliexpress deals you looking at?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,999 ✭✭✭Padre_Pio

    Remember you'll get stung for VAT and import taxes with any big Ali purchase.

    Keep an eye on shipping costs too for large items.

  • Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭Kerry_2008

    Hi Guys, Thanks for the advice. Just was going to put a panel on the shed roof and a leisure battery etc for charging tools and running odds and ends in the shed.

    Mainly LED lighting and a tv / radio when I am working out there. Anything heavy duty like table saw etc will still run of the grid. Was more curious to get a grounding in it to be honest. Was thinking about getting solar for the house and have got quotes etc. But would rather understand how it all works before I plough 10 - 15K into it.

    I was going to order the 450W kit from as it ships from Germany.

    I already have a leisure battery that a friend got rid of as he scrapped is camper for a mobile home. So will need an inverter.

    I might be better off just buying locally.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 17,886 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    If you want to hobby it I would look to used parts, especially if you have large roof space for older ~220w panels. I'd also get a used inverter and if lucky used mounting or even knock some up yourself if capable.

    Shop around, I got 455w panels earlier this year for €160 each as "clearance" as two of those would give you mighty PV.

    Watch out though, PV and PV expansion is addictive!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,215 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Not a bad deal that Kerry. Also have a look a Will Prowse over on Youtube

    (549) DIY Solar Power with Will Prowse - YouTube

    He has a good few "Getting started with Solar for beginners" type videos which talks you through a lot of the things to watch out for in getting a small system up and running. Great source of info that lad is.....

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  • Registered Users Posts: 531 ✭✭✭TheWonderLlama

    watch for where the items are shipping from.

    If they are shipping from China or anywhere else outside Europe (Including the UK now), you will have to pay VAT and Customs duty at the point of entry.

    If the items are shipping from inside the EU, the vendor will charge VAT and there will be no customs duty. (in your example above a vendor in the czech republic will apply Irish VAT to the sale price but no customs duty as the goods are already in the EU)/

  • Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭Kerry_2008

    Thanks for all the advice. I have been watching the Will Prowse videos. (Well constantly rewatching them). Havent really looked at circuits etc since computing in college.