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Guest redwine

Solar Panels

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Guest redwine

A mate at work has just bought some Solar Panels he has put them on the roof of his house

They are very expensive and will take 10 years before he gets his money back

I tryed to point out to him that we don't get that much sun here

His reply was simple they will add value to the price of his house and he will have free electricity

He told me "solar panels" work even though there is no sun ?

Which means that anywhere in the world you can use solar panels ?

I thought that it was only in California or Spain etc that you could use solar panels

Any thoughts

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A mate at work has just bought some Solar Panels he has put them on the roof of his house

They are very expensive and will take 10 years before he gets his money back

I tryed to point out to him that we don't get that much sun here

His reply was simple they will add value to the price of his house and he will have free electricity

He told me "solar panels" work even though there is no sun ?

Which means that anywhere in the world you can use solar panels ?

I thought that it was only in California or Spain etc that you could use solar panels

Any thoughts

We had a battery of these things fitted to our school roof, so I can answer this.

They take a very long time to make the money back. We only have them becuase we were essentialy given them. We would rather of had the money.

We also have a large display in reception that gives realtime values. They do work when the sun is not out, just to a much lesser extent. Along the lines of:

cloudy - 800W

mega Sunny - 3200W

Hope that helps

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i used to work for a photovoltaic company in their design/R&D dept,

what make are they?

how has he fitted them?

has he made sure the roof wont leak?

what direction are they pointing?

who fitted them?

does he have an inverter (will have to) what size/capacity and made by whom?

how many panels and how big?

How much did he pay?

how much per Kwh does he pay his electricity company?

how much on average elec' does he use (in Kwh's) per week/month/year?

does he have any from of storage? (batteries/capicitors)

will he be selling back to the grid?

i'll then tell you how long it will take to pay back, how much he will gain and if he has wasted his money.

if he has bought a small array (about 10m2) then its a waste of time, and again depending on the manufacturer also depends on how efficient they are.

after heat loss, conversion to AC loss, loss in the cables etc, he'll probably get 20-30% efficiency if he is lucky, that could only add up to 5-10% of his anual usage.

solar panels are a gimmick at the mo, the technology for small arrays are not good enough for generating decent ammounts of electricity to make it proffitable. you ideally need 2-3 hectares (20,000 to 30,000m2) of usable land then we are talking.

but spain has a good one with their mirror aray, alot more efficient, and with time/money/technology could also heat water as well as provide electricity

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The first adopters pay for the R&D so that's a positive.

he is far from being part of the first wave, more like 3 wave IMO, 5-10 year ago was wave 1.5 to 2.

prices of panels will have fallen, but i highly doubt enough to bring down repayment to 10 years, and they havnt got that efficient since i left the company. to only factor is electricity price, if he is paying alot then maybe he is correct

at best i would say probably 15-20 years, if his electricity prices doesnt drop, but less if it goes up significantly.

manufacturers, normally give an operational live (with out breakages, faluts with inverter, wear and tear, weather issues) of 25 years maximum

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he is far from being part of the first wave, more like 3 wave IMO, 5-10 year ago was wave 1.5 to 2.

prices of panels will have fallen, but i highly doubt enough to bring down repayment to 10 years, and they havnt got that efficient since i left the company. to only factor is electricity price, if he is paying alot then maybe he is correct

at best i would say probably 15-20 years, if his electricity prices doesnt drop, but less if it goes up significantly.

manufacturers, normally give an operational live (with out breakages, faluts with inverter, wear and tear, weather issues) of 25 years maximum

I know on a European basis were lagging behind in the take up, I presume that is due to our available sunshine. Apparently Germany has 5 or 6 times as many as we have and primarily used for water heating.

Don't know a lot of about it but am interested to hear how much your friend paid for his system , size etc as there are plenty of people on here who have knowledge about such things.

People worrying about their cash and what it will buy in 5 years time, that may also have an impact on payback

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Current solar panels at current prices will never pay back.

He would have done a lot better just to insulate the home well and install a solar water heater. They work very well in hot countries like Spain and work ok in the uk.

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Guest redwine

He told me that he had put some new low-cost photovotaic cells made out of plastic on his roof "new generation"

I am already a looser because i rent and now i am a double looser because if i owned a house i could have free electricity

Thanks Monkey now i have some questions to ask ;)

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Any thoughts

They are huge in German where the left lap them up.

It pushes the price of silicone and makes them too expensive for countries that would actually get a lot of benefit from them.

They all end up getting fitted to rich northern European homes with great cloud cover.

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The first adopters pay for the R&D so that's a positive.

Yes they did twenty or thirty years ago when technology was invented. The cost today is down to manufacturing costs and the very high demand. Sales have been increasing 100% per year for several years.Prices are coming down and several manufacturers are claiming costs are less than $1/watt (purchasing cost is still around $4, so there is a lot to reduce I would have though).

A 10 year payback is the sweet spot, the UK will soon be introducing a feed-in tariff to subsidise solar down to this level. The panels have a 25Year guarantee so it makes great sense, never mind if there is future electricity price hikes. 15 years, at least, of free electricity.

Spain and Germany have just removed subsidises, so there is a bit of a glut in panels and prices are coming down. Check out here for prices charts

http://www.solarbuzz.com/Moduleprices.htm

At $1/per watt Solar power is cheaper than coal - we are very near to that point. Nanosolar are one company claim sub $1 using an inkjet printing process. http://www.nanosolar.com/

They have raised over $500Million in funding and have built a a factory. 1Gigawat annual production at least, its shot out at the speed of a printing press onto a thin film

Qatar have also investing a few billion in Solar power, one of the many big expansions going on.

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They are huge in German where the left lap them up.

It pushes the price of silicone and makes them too expensive for countries that would actually get a lot of benefit from them.

They all end up getting fitted to rich northern European homes with great cloud cover.

How very 1980's of you. Cheap solar cells are made out non-silicon material.

Poor countries with a lot of sun, a) don't use much electricity B) can't afford, and will never be able to afford silicon, not matter what, becuase its an very expensive material to manufacture and that won't change soon. C) there is no infrastructure to shift power from sunny deserts to where its needed.

Germans install them because they are subsidised, so the economics make a sense. The UK will probably have power cuts as it can't build power stations fast enough, or afford them.

Solar power is with a few years of being cheaper than coal power stations.

prices of panels will have fallen, but i highly doubt enough to bring down repayment to 10 years, and they havnt got that efficient since i left the company. to only factor is electricity price, if he is paying alot then maybe he is correct

Well, you are good example of why not keeping up with events makes your opinion so outdated as to be useless. UK will soon start a feed-tariff to grantee the 10 year payback. With that tariff, no battery storage will be required, cutting costs. Manufacturing costs of thin film have cut costs massively (and the improved efficiency of silicon cells will make them competitive. 40% has been achieved against the current norm of 19%)

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At $1/per watt Solar power is cheaper than coal

Eh? Are you sure? I'm pretty sure it costs a lot less than $100 to run a 100watt lightbulb for a second.....

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Eh? Are you sure? I'm pretty sure it costs a lot less than $100 to run a 100watt lightbulb for a second.....

No, calculate how much it would cost to run it for 10 years (payback time) or 25years lifetime of cells.

100watts x 24hours x 365 days x 10 years=8760Kw/hrs

At, say 8c per Kw/Hr for coal (production cost, not consumers price) that would be $700. As solar cells only operate part of the day, anything over 1/7 (13%) of the rated capacity per day would give a payback in 10years.

There is a a solar calculator on line which will give this %age of capacity you can expect to get from your cells at any point on the earth over a year (NASA web site I think)

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He told me that he had put some new low-cost photovotaic cells made out of plastic on his roof "new generation"

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

tell him that every penny he spent is well worth it.

all he'll get is a converstaion piece "ohh look im helping the environment whislt saving money" as apposed to doing anything to save money or help the environment.

he would have gotten better return in money and electricity from stapling badgers on his roof than those "toys"

i bet he bought them from B&Q

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Eh? Are you sure? I'm pretty sure it costs a lot less than $100 to run a 100watt lightbulb for a second.....

But you get 25 years out of your 1 watt solar panel, not 1 second.

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I like the idea of solar panels, but all these scientists keep saying that marvellous solar technology developments are 'just around the corner' with far more efficiency and reduced cost. I'll bet if i got some panels now this technology would appear the next week. Theyve been saying this for a while though.

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...he would have gotten better return in money and electricity from stapling badgers on his roof than those "toys"...

And that would have made a far better conversational piece as well.

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he would have gotten better return in money and electricity from stapling badgers on his roof than those "toys"

Only if he could devise a way of harvesting the methane from the decomposing badgers.

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The best way to save energy in the UK with solar is to use an array of evacuated solar tubes to heat domestic hot water.

With the right kind of combi boiler, you have a tank heated by the solar panels, that feeds into the combi boiler.

So even in winter, you get *some* benefit because the water going into the boiler is tepid not ice cold, so less gas needed to heat to temperature. In summer, you get virtually free hot water.

Photovoltaics are still too expensive and complex.

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The best way to save energy in the UK with solar is to use an array of evacuated solar tubes to heat domestic hot water.

With the right kind of combi boiler, you have a tank heated by the solar panels, that feeds into the combi boiler.

So even in winter, you get *some* benefit because the water going into the boiler is tepid not ice cold, so less gas needed to heat to temperature. In summer, you get virtually free hot water.

Photovoltaics are still too expensive and complex.

Agree. Evacuated tubes are best in UK.

Photovoltaics are few years off, current price of silicon is in decline, so might be feasible sooner than we think. I have 100W worth with my own electronics, more of a hobby really.

Photovoltaics are actually quite simple, the invertors are very expensive due to the regs, they are only a microcontroller + power electronics.

Also, if you want this route, you MUST first address energy efficiency in your home to get any return. All I can do on 100W is run a fridge and downstairs lights 9 months a year.

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To understand the attraction of solar panels, you need to:

i) refuse to discount future cashflows

ii) refuse to consider where government subsidies come from

iii) believe in fairy stories about humans having a control over the planet

and most importantly

iv) be a naive and gullible nutjob who doesn't own an ounce of analytical sense.

This thread is all you need as evidence. :lol:

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Guest redwine
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

tell him that every penny he spent is well worth it.

all he'll get is a converstaion piece "ohh look im helping the environment whislt saving money" as apposed to doing anything to save money or help the environment.

he would have gotten better return in money and electricity from stapling badgers on his roof than those "toys"

i bet he bought them from B&Q

Talked to my mate at work he paid in all 10000 to 15000 euros not a clear answer as people do not like talking about money

He does not give a f*ck about the planet he wants free electricity and is selling back to the electric company with big tax reductions

He has the sun from 11am until 6pm

I do not know where he bought them i live in France there are big tax reductions here for solar energy

Having said that they are not cheap and where i live there is not alot of sun

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Guest DisposableHeroes

I took a part a couple of solar light to make a batter charger (what a solar light is really). Simple diode to stop reverse charge.

Charges a couple of AA nicads.

Nice.

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