Stuart Lovatt

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Any idea about costs? #25890

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    [UPDATE]

    As per the war in Ukraine, solar installation prices are now in flux. Prices change on a monthly basis at this point.

    in reply to: What type of cable from an inverter? #25853

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster
    in reply to: Help with a small off-grid installation #25407

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi

    Sorry for the late reply, been on holiday.

    These guys will be able to sort you out with what you need:

    Sunshine Solar for smaller solar applications.

    in reply to: Thermodynamic water heater #25083

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi

    Try Energie, I’d be surprised if they didn’t fit your system originally:

    https://energie.co.uk/

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Thermodynamic panels and the Green Homes Grant #24249

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Alex

    Thermodynamic panels do not qualify as they are not MCS-accredited technology.

    This situation has been the case since the MCS began in 2009, and thus they have not been eligible for any government assistance since they first became available on the UK market.

    Hope this helps.


    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Maureen

    Different inverter brands may vary, but this video may help:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez1x0iKjYCs

    Also, check your documentation, (if you haven’t already) as your inverter instructions may be provided, or contact details for your inverter manufacturer’s helpline may be provided.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Remove & reinstall solar panel cost #23851

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Dave

    Sun Systems UK went pop around 2011. They were a rebranded system from a German manufacturer, but I cannot for the life of me remember the original manufacturer’s name.

    We’ve not sold any flat-plate panels since 2012 as PV is now our recommendation, but a good UK flat-plate manufacturer is:

    http://solaruk.com/manufacturing.asp

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Solar water heating with evacuated tubes #23808

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Jon

    Happy to hear you happy with your purchase.

    (not surprised though 😉

    A lot has happened in the solar industry since your purchase, and we no longer promote evacuated tubes as PV does water heating too.

    Saying that solar tubes are still a fantastic technology and so the market leaders are Kingspan.

    Enjoy the sunshine.

    in reply to: Thermodynamic panels #23740

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Carl

    These guys have been around for many years:

    https://www.energie.pt/en/thermodynamic-solar-system

    in reply to: PV & water heating. #23500

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Luc

    The PV-converter has a management system built in, so will only divert the necessary power as and when available/required.

    The specs you specified are maximum’s (like the maximum revs on a car).

    Prices range from £350-500 depending on installer/availability/geography etc.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Evaporated tubes with a PV-powered pump #22872

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Neil

    No, sorry that wouldn’t work.

    A fantastic way of powering a solar heating system without using mains electricity is a PV-powered pump.

    This has been used to great effect, and with the added benefit of the pump only engaging when enough sunshine to heat the solar tubes is hitting the PV panel too.

    I’ve seen this used to great effect with a flat-plate system and will work with tubes too. However, I haven’t seen how they fix the PV to the tube system, so you’ll have to engineer a solution. Here is an example:

    http://www.discreteheat.com/thermatwin/products-and-information/what-is-thermatwin.aspx

    in reply to: PV cable type & length #22401

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi John

    This website will help with your PV cable sizing:

    http://www.solar-wind.co.uk/cable-sizing-DC-cables.html

    in reply to: PV solar panels on separate roofs #22363

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi John

    Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been away.

    What you’re basically talking about here is similar to an East/West split installation.

    Different orientations should be separate or a multi-string, but you’d get a much better yield from two inverters.

    That said, with PV you’ll get more by putting it all on the West side of the property and without the cost of two inverters. The afternoon sun is generally brighter than the morning sun, so West works better than East.

    Regarding the other questions, I must declare, I’m not a technical installer, just an enthusiast, so you can find good technical advice here:

    https://www.electriciansforums.co.uk/threads/east-west-split-how-many-invertors.30833/


    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Fiona

    I have written an article about this very subject here:

    Solar buyback schemes want your feed-in tariff contract!

    in reply to: The best inverter, solaredge or micro-inverter? #20372

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Sorry Clare, I cannot talk about pricing as retro-fitting has so many variables. Needless to say, any decent installer will be able to confidently give you a breakdown of the costs involved and data on expected performance.

    Additionally, make sure installers are certified by RECC and then you can be confident in their pricing structure.

    in reply to: Business offering to pay me for my solar tariff? #20370

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Adam

    I have written an article about these types of companies here:

    Solar buyback schemes want your feed-in tariff contract!

    in reply to: The best inverter, solaredge or micro-inverter? #20369

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hello Clare

    SolarEdge systems are brilliant and are considered the Mercedes of the solar industry, but the price you have been quoted is very high. Get a few more quotes quotes.

    in reply to: The best inverter, solaredge or micro-inverter? #19677

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Currently there are three ways of doing this:

    1.A string inverter which sits inside you house, usually in your attic or internal garage, and is about the size of wall mounted juke box
    2. Micro inverters which fit under each panel and do the conversion on your roof.
    3. Power Optimisers which replace the junction box on each panel and as the name suggest optimise the power generated by each panel individually. However there is also still an internal inverter with this system to finish off the conversion.

    All have +’s and -‘s.

    Its about horses for courses and trusting your installer to recommend the best solution given your circumstances.


    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris

    It’s amazing how many people say that they should have done it years ago and even more exciting now the new additional plugin technologies are available now like battery storage.

    Nothing wrong with east/west split roofs and yes micro-inverters are best for this type of set-up, such as split-roofs and shading issues that don’t have equal amounts of sunshine hitting all the panels at any given time.

    If you want install a basic PV system today, but intend to add further plugin technologies later, simply let your installers know your intentions. They can advise you from the start on optimal system types, sizes and may put the wiring in place for the battery system on install day, ready for when you’re ready.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: House purchase with free solar panels #19218

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    The phrase “no such thing as a free lunch” springs to mind here.

    From day one of these rent-a-roof and free solar panels offers springing up, we were warning people and encouraging people to own outright for exactly this reason.

    Mortgage lenders hate free PV solar panels

    Third party ownership comes with many pitfalls and the resale-ability of a home with third party technology attached is the biggest. Many people who took up these offers are still blissfully unaware of the consequences and because the feed-in tariff can last up to 25 years, that’s along time to be shackled to such a contract.

    Also people do buy and sell these feed-in tariff contracts from homeowners, but this will be very much to their financial advantage and not yours, but ultimately won’t solve the third party ownership problem unless you purchase the contract yourself.

    Solar buyback schemes want your feed-in tariff contract!

    It’s a minefield that most mortgage lenders do not want to get involved with.

    in reply to: Warranty query #18004

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Surinder

    I have not heard of the company Solar Air UK, so cannot comment, but there customer service skills does seem to lacking here.

    It is common for a 10 year warranty as standard on inverters, but this does depend on the manufacturer and I do believe extended warranties can be bought too.

    A RECC and MCS accredited installer has to give an Insurance Back Warranty for a period of ten year. So again, should the installer cease to trade, then you have the insurance backed warranty to fall back on.

    I’m happy to report that the MCS certificate will include from the 5th November 2015 the warranty information that is now required for domestic properties having solar PV installed. This will give you an extra level of security and peace of mind for your new inverter once its eventually installed.

    It’s all down to terms and conditions that you sign up to, but the manufacturers warranty doesn’t include installation costs, but as they seem to have failed on the ‘customer service’ aspect, I would recommend waivering such costs as a gesture of good will at this time.

    Keep us updated here and perhaps send them a link to this ongoing forum.

    in reply to: Using unused pv electric before being exported #17938

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi

    As you have already mentioned, the most popular is heating your hot water tank with an iBoost/Immersun type system.

    Battery back-up are a new way of ‘saving your electrons’ for evening use and will grow in popularity, especially as the Tesla Powerwall is available, but only at selected installers.

    An EV or electric car would be another way of using your PV’s generated electricity before your electrons export out, but nothing else springs to mind unless you use the power ‘in-house’ to power a heat pump system.

    in reply to: The best inverter, solaredge or micro-inverter? #17568

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Your welcome. Good luck.


    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Sounds like a case of an over enthusiast salesperson making extraordinary promises to boost that commission cheque to me.

    I doubt very much his boss knows anything about it, especially on a property that you haven’t even bought yet and so the ability to do such a thing is yet unknown.

    I have heard some BS from sales people, but this one has to be the best yet.

    If you do sell your house and take your panels with you then you cannot reapply for the Feed In Tariff as your system would be deemed to be a second hand system and therefore not eligible. The incentive can be transferred to the new owners, making it a great incentive to buy your property (maybe at a higher price than without the installation).

    in reply to: About my solar panel installation #13926

    Stuart Lovatt
    Keymaster

    Hi

    We cannot make any judgements on individual installation companies, however, this website does have a forum where people can share their experience’s of companies both bad and good.

    I recommend to do a search on this website search box and if their is anyone who has used our forum to complain, then you should find them easily.