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Posts posted by Confounded

  1. 3 Years on, not sure things have panned out as expected. My post was highlighting the headline throughout the previous crash where speculation in the press predicted rises but the reality of market data ground lower. History did not repeat itself this time, we had about 7 months of the fastest crash in history and it was nipped in the bud. The world seems extremely weird, it feels like we are right back in the bubble without the cleansing or clearing of the previous bubble.

    Interesting times....

  2. I have the following simple thesis.

    AIM stocks are only just starting to climb out of the hole created in the wake of the financial crisis. The first stocks to recover were the big cap dividend paying safety play, the FTSE 500 has also enjoyed a trebling over the last few years. I believe the mid to large cap stocks are likely to stagnate at best of over the next few years as the fight taper talk, fiscal scuffles and for earning to catch up with valuations.

    The recent acceptance of AIM stocks into ISA gives people a vehicle to speculate in the these high risk stocks were all capital gains can be kept. I believe this bubble could be pretty quick one with perhaps a top as early as late 2015 but given the pace these stocks can move it could lead to some fantastic gains. I heavily use charts to pick stocks and there are more stocks i pick based on the charts than I have money to invest in atm.

    I know many of the AIM stock have management that are parasites and use the company to draw disproportionate salaries, but in the world we live in with central banks doing what they do and bubbles now becoming part of the economic cycle this is looking to me like a situation were a rising tide will lift all, reducing the risk. Of course there will be the 100 baggers but even the worst may enjoy periods of share price rises of 2-300%.

    Any views from fellow investors out there?

  3. Remember that Wayalat is thinking as an investor, albeit in a very illiquid asset class. He stocked up on property at least 12 months ago, and if indeed we hit 10% annual HPI he has been forecasting, then he's made a pretty tidy profit out of it. But he isn't in it for the long term, and by the time you see his newsletter turning bearish on property, he will have been back out of it for some time.

    His opinions are based on the short term direction of the housing market, despite what he might say.

    Yes, it is very sad to say but even as a huge opposer of the housing market ponsi, if the UK market was a stock with the announcements we have had over the last few years and the data coming out of the market I would be going long.

    It wont be long before house are earning more than their owners again, what a sad economy we have......

  4. Don't know if anyone realises, was going to post on main forum but thought better of it, the market bull run is 4 years old today with Dow Jones low of 666! on March 6th 2009. Happy birthday and how much longer will she run for?

    It was the S&P 500 that hit 666, can't remember what the DOW hit but it probably was 6666 ( I know it got below 7k) given the control they have over the markets now.

  5. Yep, this will be devastating for the UK if it plays out like it has in Germany! Their renewable program is bringing down the cost of energy during the period of most industrial activity. I have even heard of the grid paying companies to take free power to help stabilize the grid during periods of intense renewable production, an amazing opportunity for anyone who can capitalise on it.

    Everyone on this thread seem to be up in arms about a single politician (in this case) being paid an insignificant sum by some renewable lobbyist perhaps it might be worth focusing on the countless lobbyist for the businesses that want to keep their current hold on the energy market.




  6. Sorry, but they haven't achieved what they set out to do. They're trying to re-inflate the credit markets with an excess of printed money. In effect, treat a debt deflation as if it were a liquidity trap.

    It isn't, the problem is insufficient demand not insuffcient liquidity. That's why, despite the unprecedented scale and duration of these interventions, core inflation is soaring, GDP growth is non-existent and the velocity of money has fallen to a 60 yr low.


    Great chart, you should put it on the Chart thread in the pined section.

  7. Put a solar thermal on a frame on the ground...you'll get about 6x as much energy out of it as a PV solution. PV is only the right answer to this problem if you have an interest in selling PV panels....

    Didn't know you could get an immersion element that can run at 200 - 400V DC, IMO DC at that voltage is a liability in the house.

    If your only interest is to heat water I would always recommend solar thermal and as you suggest go for ground mount. If your primary goal is to reduce your electricity bill (most peoples hot water only cost £100-200) then PV is a solution that will do that and also heat water very effectively with the spare capacity. Everyone knocks solar PV for producing energy that can't be stored, this is a way of cheaply storing that energy.

  8. One of the more interesting things about solar and wind is that in maybe a few days that field could be returned to pristine condition.

    You try doing the same with a nuclear power plant.

    This is my point, if we are wrong about all this then 8 bolts and a little push and down they go :-)

  9. 4k?

    My brother fitted his himself in a day, I think the most recent one cost 750 quid, it works so well he's thinking of adding another panel so it will add more to the heat sink and bring bills close to zero, the one on the previous house is still going strong 20 years on. This is in Wales, not exactly the sunniest and hottest place.

    Price was just a guide to what a professorially installed system would cost. Our first system cost us £3850 which was the cost price with no profit, his previous system only lasted 2 years. It included a new thermal store which is a hefty part of that price tag.

    Solar thermal is an excellent technology if you can install it yourself, if you can keep it on the ground for ease of maintenance, it is far better than a PV imersion set up, the main thing is most people go for PV first. To save the maintenance issues with roof mounted solar thermal system the immersion controllers are a practical solution for the end user even if there are genuine arguments for the physics/poor use of high grade energy.

    We were at a new customers house yesterday and she had had a Solar thermal system for just over 10 years, it has been leaking for at least 4 of those years and has caused problem with rotting various bits of her house. In order to repair it scaffolding and most likely new solar thermal panels will be needed. There will be a cost to repairing the damage to the house also, it has probably put the payback of that system well into negative technology. If she constantly tops it up in the summer it still belts out hot water though!

  10. Of course it would. Heating hot water with solar PV is just silly from a physics point of view. You put a hugely expensive bit of silicon on the roof, generate electricity at 10% efficiency, convert it to 240 AC at 95% efficiency, then turn it into low grade heat. Barking....

    We install panels up to 20% efficiency (panel not cell), we then use inverters with 98% efficiency. If you want Solar PV to support your electrical consumption the spare capacity to heat water is not that crazy when you have spoken to anyone who has installed Solar Thermal. Not heard of one lasting more than 10 years without leaking, the crunch point for many of the systems we have repaired replaced seems to be 2 years! We are accredited to install them but much prefer solar PV with the simple addition of an intelligent immersion controller.

    At £4k for a solar thermal system using spare capacity from your solar PV system is far from crazy, especially is you are burning oil or LPG.

  11. The point is to maximise the free electricity.

    Because of the thread and I have done some research and unfortunately - all these schemes are not economical - might save some £100 per year on the hot water bill but with upfront cost and over drawing from the grids etc, it is hardly worthwhile.

    The only system that does it properly is the EMMA system and that cost £2000 and detects the amount of available excess power and divert that to the hot water system. Another £600-£800 system kind of work as well (it turns the immersion on if power exported exceed certain preset threshold) - but hardly worthwhile for max £100 saving pa.

    EMMA was the first of it's kind, far too expensive but now there are many competitors to it. Our preferred option is the Immersun, it is intelligent power management and will only use SPARE PV capacity. We are installing them for £495 + 5%VAT, 5 year payback by your calculations, can be less than 3 years if on OIL or LPG.


  12. Thanks confounded.

    Your other use case is very interesting. Do you know what is the current council stance on installing lots of panels in the garden (like the solar farm picture the other winkie (linked to below) in this thread has posted ?) Can people install the PV on top of shed/summerhouses? Thanks.

    We have installed ground mount systems up to 10kWp domestically, the council has so far been very supportive of all the projects that we have done.

  13. Just designing the extention on my house and have made provisions with the architect for Solar panels. Where are you based Confounded?... Where can I get a guide to solar for idiots? I need to start getting my nut around it all.

    I have the opportunity to design a really energy efficient house and really want to get it right.

    Some good info on here.


    You are very likely to have a local installer within a few miles of where you live, you can search by post code on the official MCS database


  14. well if we follow your advice and put these panels on every house, there will be almost no demand for the normal electricity (from the grid) so the power stations will close down

    what then if there is a cloudy week?

    Is every house suitable for solar PV?

    PV would only compliment other energy sources (looks like the current government is going for gas that can be ramped up very quickly to cover demand) and is far from our energy solution. From a purely selfish point of view PV has a lot to offer individuals in the right circumstances.

  15. Fully off grid would be overkill under the circumtances, so on-grid most likely. Have 16th edition and I&T but not registered, have somebody that could sign off. Interesting link for the battery backup - just need a rush of battery manufacturers knocking the hell of out battery pricing ;-)

    Then the electric car! Actually use that as the dump.

    Sounds like you are well placed to get the project going.

    I love the idea of the electric car becoming the home storage device, Nissan already has a car in Japan that you can power the house with should the grid go down. Charging the car in the day with PV and using some of the power at night is really appealing, only a matter of time.

  16. Thanks for tips on better Chinese cells. Renesola OK?

    Also given the choice which inverter manufacturer would you go for?

    Sorry for picking your brain/skills/business on this one ;-).

    I have not used Renesola but there are one of the panels stocked by the UK's largest wholesaler and they claim to vet the products they sell, not heard anything negative about them.

    For a single string system we favor the Steca Grid 3600 http://www.steca.com/index.php?StecaGrid_3000_3600_en. It is German made is very efficient and well priced. If you are splitting the strings we are using the Power One atm due to performance and pricing. Two years ago SMA were the most regularly quoted inverted but they are pricey in the current environment but the build quality is great. These are all grid connect inverters and given you are self installing I suspect you are not going to connect to the grid (will require electrical qualifications and notification to the DNO)

    You could look at Nedap http://www.nedap.com/technology-that-matters/for-energy/ which allows off grid use and can also divert spare power to batteries for use at night. With the savings made by self install it may be worth looking at adding batteries.

    If you are not a qualified electrician you will need to work with one if you do go ahead.

  17. £6k for 4kwp (full system?) seemd pretty good price but without FIT, it only pays back if there is heavy electricity usage in the house (electrical cooker, people in most days). The return is normally about £200 worth of electricity, so that is still forever without FIT as excess electricity cannot be economically stored at the moment.

    With FIT, this seemed sensible though, £6k, annual payback around £900, around 7 years payback, which is actually better than those system installed just before the FIT cut in % term (although this only last for 20 rather than 25 years now)

    So, can't really see how this will be economical without subsidy in UK (will obviously work well in countries with plenty of sun like Spain.

    I agree the storage side of things is the big inhibitor to solar PV achieving 8 year payback without a FIT for many domestic situations. A local potato store I know of with a 366kWp system on the roof has consumed all power on site, there are some excellent applications in the commercial environment, and given we still have the FIT the payback can be nearer 5 years when you take into account no VAT and capital allowances.

    Typically a home will only use 30-40% of the energy generated by a 4kWp PV system if no effort is made, but install a smaller system and that figure increases. A 2kWp system could see 50-60% consumed on site with no effort.

    For our customers with a 4kWp system we are using an intelligent Immersion controller to allow people to intelligently divert all spare PV power to the hot water tank, it can divert as little as 50 watts and for 9 months of the year this can provide virtually all the hot water requirements. For someone off the Nat gas grid this can make a huge difference to Oil or LPG consumption. Also more and more devises are coming online that will allow a greater use of the power through intelligent power management systems that controls devises around the home making better use of the PV power generated.

  18. Looking at it at the moment.

    Think you could be right about a sweet spot in the timing, looking at it myself, probably self install. 16x245 MCS approved (but cheapo chinese) panels £2.5K, £600 odd for the Grid tie inverter plus bits. Something like a 5 year payback all in roughly (without FITS)

    Good on you for looking at self install, remove the installation element and as you point out PV performance is being seriously under appreciated atm, it is almost as if our utility companies have seen the success in Germany and decided that they do not want to relinquish their profits without a fight.

    Like many things you get what you pay for in terms of build quality but the cells are largely the same and we are currently finding the performance of Chinese vs other panels is that they are performing equally as well. This may not last but if you stick with the better quality tier one Chinese panels such as Yingli or Trina for example then I see no reason why you would not get good long life performance.

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