Photovoltaics: Solar PV installation, Kent
A 2.6 Kwh installation for a domestic residence.
Simon Mallett is a long term user and advocate of alternative energy having had solar water heating panels since 2003 and experimented with wind turbines over the last few years. With the introduction of Feed in Tariffs he decided that now was the time to install even more solar panels, this time as a sound financial decision to both save the planet, save money and this time make money with a clear view on a return of about 7% to 8%.
For SolarUK, of course we were keen to add to Simon's solar roof, but we had to consider that although from the outside it looked a fairly straightforward slate roof, in fact it wasn't just any old roof being a super insulated warm roof made up of jablite panels, one of the few in the UK, though Jablite warm roofs are more common in the Scandinavian countries.
Being a self builder Mr Mallett had a very clear idea of the challenges faced and SolarUK was able to work with him in developing a fixing system that would stand the test of time and preserve the roof in the best condition, something that we as solar panel installers have been doing for many years.
The 2.6kW system was decided on as being of a size that allowed for a single run of panels preserving an attractive look to the roof and avoiding a mish mash of panels every where they might just about fit.
Also, being a larger property we had to consider cable runs, the cables being run through the floor within plastic trunking, in this case prepared by Simon ready for our electrician to complete all connections.
The system is now up and running, feeding electricity into the grid and earning the Mallet family a regular Feed in Tariff income.
Our customer, Simon Mallett said:
I had already done my homework on FITs and panels so knew what I was after, next step was a supplier who could advise on cost and what precisely could be fitted and connected up to the mains.
I chose SolarUK for a number of reasons, they had been in the business for many years so didn't look like one of the many companies who had just got on the solar PV FIT band wagon. They had sample prices on their website and were happy to explain costs even before visiting the house, I had spoken to other installers and all they seemed to want to do was get a salesman "adviser" in my house.With solaruk, no pushy salesman and no promise of a sign outside!
What I was most impressed with was the patience shown by their installers when dealing with me as a previous self builder perhaps being over protective of my roof.
I think the inverter that came with the system is great what with it showing the amount generated and money earned!
I must admit to being tempted to change my old flat plate panels to SolarUK's vacuum tube system both to upgrade and benefit from the RHI.
The image shows the generation meter set at units generated per month and FITs showing that over a week or so at the end of October the system made almost £40 in tariffs.
SolarUK installs its systems with the AKO Platinum inverter which is specifically designed for solar PV arrays. The inverter is very quiet and the one installed in this setup is able to cope with a system up to 3.1kWh allowing for some expansion in the future. The front panel is configurable and able to display power generated on a daily and monthly basis over a number of years. The inverter is attached to an additional generation meter which is used when reporting for claiming FITs
On the matter of FITs, we spoke to Simon about his experience of registering for FITs, he said.
" I was surprised at how easy it was. I went on to E.on, my energy suppliers website, downloaded the form, filled it in with the details provided by SolarUK along with the start number on the generation meter, sent it back with a copy of the installation certificate and that was it! A week later I got a letter from E.on confirming my registration. All I have to remember is that mid January 2011 I need to send an update of the reading to my supplier, role on remote metering!"
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