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05-03-2010, 17:48   #1
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PV solar panel in ireland

How many KWh a year can one expect from a 100w solar panel for example in a year in ireland? excluding inverter losses and that sort of thing. Solar panels seem to have gone down in price a bit, I seen them for 200GBP now and not much interest in them these days with the recession & somewhat reasonable oil price.

but of course global warming + increasing oil prices will make it more viable to install them. unless you believe the theory that global warming will just make ireland permanently overcast
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05-03-2010, 18:28   #2
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This link should give you a few details, although it's UK not IE:

http://www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk...hotovoltaic-PV

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Prices for PV systems vary, depending on the size of the system to be installed, type of PV cell used and the nature of the actual building on which the PV is mounted. The size of the system is dictated by the amount of electricity required.

For the average domestic system, costs can be around £5,000- £7,500 per kWp installed, with most domestic systems usually between 1.5 and 3 kWp. Solar tiles cost more than conventional panels, and panels that are integrated into a roof are more expensive than those that sit on top.

A 2.5kWp array can provide enough electricity to meet around half a households electricity needs, this means a saving of around £250 a year.

If you intend to have major roof repairs carried out it may be worth exploring PV tiles as they can offset the cost of roof tiles.

Grid connected systems require very little maintenance, generally limited to ensuring that the panels are kept relatively clean and that shade from trees has not become a problem. The wiring and components of the system should however be checked regularly by a qualified technician.

Stand-alone systems, i.e. those not connected to the grid, need maintenance on other system components, such as batteries.
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05-03-2010, 19:21   #3
 
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For the average domestic system, costs can be around £5,000- £7,500 per kWp installed, with most domestic systems usually between 1.5 and 3 kWp. Solar tiles cost more than conventional panels, and panels that are integrated into a roof are more expensive than those that sit on top.

A 2.5kWp array can provide enough electricity to meet around half a households electricity needs, this means a saving of around £250 a year.
£12,500 to £18,750 capital outlay to save £250 a year? Ouch!
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05-03-2010, 19:38   #4
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£12,500 to £18,750 capital outlay to save £250 a year? Ouch!
those prices seem unusually high and probably include paying people to install it for you, which is probably not a good idea if you want the system to pay off in your lifetime.

installing PV solar panels still has a much lower yield than getting rid of frequently used incandescent blubs or solar water heating but apparently grid-parity is being reached in some of the sunnier european countries now and it should be our turn soon.

was also thinking of getting a 20-30W panel just to run my server + modem during the day and use the normal transformer by night (no inverter, just a small controller circuit)
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05-03-2010, 20:04   #5
 
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those prices seem unusually high and probably include paying people to install it for you, which is probably not a good idea if you want the system to pay off in your lifetime.
A lot of people, including me, would be nervous of doing DIY electrical installations - I'd be afraid of shortening my lifetime!

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installing PV solar panels still has a much lower yield than getting rid of frequently used incandescent blubs or solar water heating but apparently grid-parity is being reached in some of the sunnier european countries now and it should be our turn soon.
Could be - think I'll just wait for our turn to come round though. It's not an area in which it will pay to be an early adopter. Realistically, for the moment, PV only makes sense where for one reason or another you're offgrid.

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was also thinking of getting a 20-30W panel just to run my server + modem during the day and use the normal transformer by night (no inverter, just a small controller circuit)
Well, the likes of Maplins have plenty of panels in that sort of size at prices that wouldn't break the bank. Still can't see how you'd recover the cost, though.
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06-03-2010, 00:23   #6
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A lot of people, including me, would be nervous of doing DIY electrical installations - I'd be afraid of shortening my lifetime!



Could be - think I'll just wait for our turn to come round though. It's not an area in which it will pay to be an early adopter. Realistically, for the moment, PV only makes sense where for one reason or another you're offgrid.



Well, the likes of Maplins have plenty of panels in that sort of size at prices that wouldn't break the bank. Still can't see how you'd recover the cost, though.
the smaller grid tie inverters just plug into an ordinary socket so its not a big deal to install. the hardest part would be to fix them to the roof and making sure they stay there.

maplin sells the most overpriced solar panels going. a 100w panel there costs around 1k. i know someone who got an 18 watt one there for well over 100e. if i could get a decent 30w panel for about 40e as I have seen them for on ebay and run the server off it during the day it would pay off in a few years if it pumped out anywhere near the 30w on a good day but those panels could well have been crap. i wouldn't trust any of the ones from chinese sellers anyway
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06-03-2010, 00:28   #7
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To answer the OPs question, you can download free simulation software from Retscreen in Canada - its an excel worksheet with different locations. There is quite a difference between Wexford and Donegal, but in broad terms you can expect up to about 1kwHr per year per watt installed. If you want to send your location I can run the model on Retscreen, but the software is interesting in itself.

The UK has just introduced fantastic feed in tariffs for solar PV - over 40p per KwHr for electricity produced. They did that in Spain a couple of years back to build the industry, but I am not convinced that this is a good move for countries where solar will always be at a disadvantage to wind where electricity generation is concerned.

There are a few of us in Ireland who have qualified as City & Guilds PV installers and then never did a single installation (you can do the training at North West Regional College in Derry). Solar PVs in Spain made sense at a feed in tariff of 45c per KwHr. The building programme sort of stalled when the price fell to 31c. For our sunshine that would require about 60c in Ireland for the same return on investment. I agree .... OUCH!

But money isn't everything, and some folks spend a lot of money on their cars, others spend a lot of money wanting to know that their electricity came from the light and not from the dark.

Suppliers need to move with the times. Module prices ex-factory have halved in the last two years. Installations haven't.
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06-03-2010, 00:42   #8
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To answer the OPs question, you can download free simulation software from Retscreen in Canada - its an excel worksheet with different locations. There is quite a difference between Wexford and Donegal, but in broad terms you can expect up to about 1kwHr per year per watt installed. If you want to send your location I can run the model on Retscreen, but the software is interesting in itself.

The UK has just introduced fantastic feed in tariffs for solar PV - over 40p per KwHr for electricity produced. They did that in Spain a couple of years back to build the industry, but I am not convinced that this is a good move for countries where solar will always be at a disadvantage to wind where electricity generation is concerned.

There are a few of us in Ireland who have qualified as City & Guilds PV installers and then never did a single installation (you can do the training at North West Regional College in Derry). Solar PVs in Spain made sense at a feed in tariff of 45c per KwHr. The building programme sort of stalled when the price fell to 31c. For our sunshine that would require about 60c in Ireland for the same return on investment. I agree .... OUCH!

But money isn't everything, and some folks spend a lot of money on their cars, others spend a lot of money wanting to know that their electricity came from the light and not from the dark.

Suppliers need to move with the times. Module prices ex-factory have halved in the last two years. Installations haven't.
1kwh is still not bad, does that include any transmission loss? would mean less than 10 years to pay back unless the price of electricity goes down but that seems unlikely. i'll try downloading the thing later
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06-03-2010, 10:49   #9
 
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But money isn't everything, and some folks spend a lot of money on their cars, others spend a lot of money wanting to know that their electricity came from the light and not from the dark.
That's a fair enough point, Quentin. It's rare though, to see any accounting for the embodied energy and CO2 in solar systems, whether PV or hot water, when analysing their nett environmental benefit. Does Retscreen account for this or are there any other reasonable figures publicly available which one could use?
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06-03-2010, 13:17   #10
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Originally Posted by gizmo555 View Post
It's rare though, to see any accounting for the embodied energy and CO2 in solar systems, whether PV or hot water, when analysing their nett environmental benefit. Does Retscreen account for this or are there any other reasonable figures publicly available which one could use?
I have often heard it said (and blithely repeated it myself without checking) that it took more energy to produce solar PVs than they give back in their lifteime. In Ireland, it may take more money, but that's a different matter.

Of course, a PV will produce about half the energy in Ireland that it would in parts of Spain, so the energy payback may double. On the flip side, our electricity production is a lot more carbon intensive than it is in other countries. We are at 620g/Kwhr compared to 430g in the UK.

In 2004, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the USA produced this document, suggesting at the time that solar PVs had an energy payback time of just 2 years. In Ireland you could maybe double that, but then again, solar panel production has become a lot more efficient in the meantime.

According to wiki, the energy payback time was estimated at 8 - 11 years in 2000, but more recent studies reduced this to between 1.5 and 3.5 years, with thin film even lower. I guess you could double all that for Ireland.

I did do a "back of an envelope" estimate for solar water heating some time ago, measuring CO2 production for steel, aluminium, glass, processing etc., and came to the conclusion that it was less than two years. I've seen documents claiming less than 1 year, but again that depends on local climate.

Also, that would depend on whether the system is displacing electricity, or a modern gas-fired condensing boiler, or even a "zero carbon" wood chips / pellets, but of course unless you cut your firewood with your teeth, nothing is zero carbon.
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06-03-2010, 21:21   #11
 
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Originally Posted by quentingargan View Post

Of course, a PV will produce about half the energy in Ireland that it would in parts of Spain, so the energy payback may double. On the flip side, our electricity production is a lot more carbon intensive than it is in other countries. We are at 620g/Kwhr compared to 430g in the UK.
By way of perspective:

Carbon intensity g CO2 per kWh:

Norway 5g (98% renewable)
Sweden 17g (47% renewable, 45% nuclear)
Brazil 50g (83% renewable)
France 88g
Argentina 307g
Japan 365g
Italy 429g
Spain 485g
US 611g
Czechia 742g
India 805g
China 868g
Australia 891g
ZA 920g
Poland - weighing in at over 1kg (1005g) - at least they don't have any nuclear in the mix - which is unusual for an ex Soviet empire country.
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06-03-2010, 22:45   #12
 
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I use this, though I've not bothered to find out it's provenance....

http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/apps/pvest.php

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22-12-2012, 13:40   #13
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Folks, came to this thread through google. Does anyone know what the situation with PV panels these days? Everywhere online only seems to be selling solar heating in Ireland.

Thanks.

Last edited by Skr4wny; 22-12-2012 at 13:46.
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22-12-2012, 16:55   #14
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Originally Posted by Skr4wny View Post
Folks, came to this thread through google. Does anyone know what the situation with PV panels these days? Everywhere online only seems to be selling solar heating in Ireland.

Thanks.
Main reason is that the feed in tariff in Ireland for exporting unused electricity is abysmal compared to other countries. (9c per KwHr here).

You can store hot water, but batteries are an expensive way to store electricity.
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23-12-2012, 17:55   #15
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The greatest problem is not feed-in tariffs or other kinds of subsidies. The problem in Ireland is the weather, that makes most PV installations in Ireland financially suicide and/on of little practical use. The very short days during winter and the very dull days , with lots of clouds all year round,makes for PV not effective or economically sound here (check http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/ for estimates on how much production you may get).

Although PV panels are now extremely cheap compared to only some years ago (you may be able to buy retail quantities by 1€/Wp or close), inverters and specially batteries for storage are as expensive as they used to be, but the big issue is KWh production, which unfortunately here can't be very good.

I guess companies stock whatever they feel they can sell, and selling PV in Ireland, is a hard task. For the same reason there are not (many, any?) outdoor pools here, and other countries in the southern part of Europe have thousands of them. However, Ireland could have a great potential for wind power (already been exploited) and biomass coming from the vasts extensions of pastures, meadows, forests and the like.
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