Solar Panels

Started by: peter g (3111) 

Are they worth investing in, Bear in mind I have a fairly new gas combi boiler and radiators

Started: 8th Apr 2022 at 12:49

Posted by: tomplum (9330) 

I would say NO, Have a look at air source heating and ground source heating pumps , I would say they're a better investment,

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 12:59

Posted by: First Mate (779)

Solar panels save on your electricity peterg

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 13:08

Posted by: tomplum (9330) 

I would say from Peters post, the heating part is more important and leccy heating is very expensive and solar panels are useless for heat energy,

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 13:40

Posted by: peter g (3111) 

Tom are they useless with the new storage heaters or are they not powerful enough for it And what about charging an electric car (I've not got one btw yet)

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 14:00
Last edited by peter g: 8th Apr 2022 at 14:14:39

Posted by: lectriclegs (4883)

If only we had an expert on here!

No doubt one will turn up later.

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 14:22

Posted by: peter g (3111) 


Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 14:26

Posted by: tomplum (9330) 

I can't see what the above has said and you seem happy with the advice so I'll just say this

During the recent gales/storms ,Many housed had no power for days and weeks in some places, Even the houses with solar panel had no electricity, When you go to order the panels, Ask the salesperson why did they have no electricity

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 14:55

Posted by: gaffer (7155) 

First step Peter is an EPC certificate . It will show how efficient your house is from an energy perspective. It will also advise how to improve the energy performance of the property.


Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 15:30
Last edited by gaffer: 8th Apr 2022 at 16:42:05

Posted by: dougie (4848) 

I have my tried and tested way of running my Gas and will stick to it, I have seven radiators in a three bed semi 6 rooms have thermostat control plus one without which you must have, most put this in the bathroom, Why I ask when it's only worming one room I put mine in the hall at the bottom of the stairs so the heat rises up to the bedrooms and bathroom as you spend very little time in these rooms, so my thermostats up stairs are set at 1.5 in each room the rest of the heat comes from the hall

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 16:35

Posted by: cheshirecat (320) 

"Ask the salesperson why did they have no electricity"

Power cut or the cause of stormy weather?
I have a gas combi boiler and the electricity went off a couple of weeks ago so I had no heating or hot water due to the power cut / storm damage affecting the electricity supply.
So if you have a gas boiler you are still relying on electricity to run it!

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 16:45

Posted by: PeterP (9470)

I would have though there are WW members who had them fitted via Wigan Council who know 1st hand what electricity is generated by the solar panels If you have a spare shed or garage then a bank of batteries charged by the panels would not go amiss. You have to weigh up the installation costs up against electric costs for the future. Once read it can be 15-20 years to recoup the cost involved for installation.

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 17:39

Posted by: cheshirecat (320) 

"Once read it can be 15-20 years to recoup the cost involved for installation."

With the price of energy at the moment, it could be 15-20 minutes

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 18:16

Posted by: JR (334)

Work out how long it will take to recoup the cost and balance it against how many years you think you have left before pushing up the daisies!!!

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 18:19

Posted by: sonlyme (3174)

You would think it would be compulsary in this day and age to install solar panels on all new builds.The cost because of bulk buying would be minimal on a 25 year mortgage.

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 18:57

Posted by: tonker (25468) 

Arses and elbows come to mind!

Gaffer advised, " First step Peter is an EPC certificate", which, of course, is absolute rubbish in relation to solar panels.
Scenario ...... Woman driver, "Hello, is that the R.A.C.?, I've broke down in a country lane, it's getting dark, my engine is blowing steam out and it won't start, I've been a member for many years, can you come out as soon as possible"?

R.A.C. man, " First step, love, is an M.o.T. certificate"

Just as if!

Tomplum is a plumber. He knows about water.
I know about solar power and I've fitted solar systems. In fact, I fitted one last week.

So, don't ask me, I haven't a clue!

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 19:05

Posted by: tomplum (9330) 

Tonks for your information, I do have a solar panel, it charges a battery in my greenhouse, the voltage from the panel is so low you need a millivolt tester get a reading ( yes I do have one) and, I know , I know I know, the panels on a house roof are a lot bigger and better and that, they are working as a team, many, many panels helping to feed the grid,
BUT , Paying for the panels ( multi thousands) is less efficient to the Householder than the householder spending that money on a air pump which, will benefit him only on his heating costs and, act as air conditioning on the rare hot days we get,

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 21:15

Posted by: gaffer (7155) 

If you read my post I was suggesting to Peter that an EPC will point him in the direction of making his house more .energy efficient. It may well be that if he follows that route solar panels will be less of a priority.

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 22:07

Posted by: First Mate (779)

Thank you gaffer. The voice of reason

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 22:22

Posted by: tomplum (9330) 

and thank you FM for confirming what I already knew,
now Why not advice the opening poster by sharing some of your electrical Engineering knowledge that you gained in the Micky mouse course in Sent Hellins,,

Replied: 8th Apr 2022 at 22:43

Posted by: Pewfall (275) 

I've been looking into it for years. so many different answers depending yr own circumstances e.g. direction of roof, amount leccy you use, on grid or off grid with batteries, are u likely to move?, the old govt feed-in tariff now stopped, do you own the house?, the size of your roof, how long you going to live, types and cost of inverter ; sizes of them, where to put em, how long do they last , do you wanna risk it on a sly £90 ebay Chinese grid tie inverter? I'm very keen on a solar set-up but still only remain with a cracking couple of AA/AAA solar battery chargers i bought 20 years ago - giving me free telly remote control / wallclock electric ever since

Replied: 9th Apr 2022 at 00:34
Last edited by Pewfall: 9th Apr 2022 at 00:37:23

Posted by: tonker (25468) 

Tom, the 4 x 250W / 30V panels I fitted last week cost me £110 each. They go, in series, to a 40A charger (£140) which charges a 24V fork-lift battery of 460Ah (£180). The 24V fork-lift battery runs a 240V 3kW pure sine wave inverter (£225).

I have another set-up on my caravan, using 1x 80W panel at 17V and charger (£80 for the two), which charges a 220Ah 12V leisure battery (£170 for 2) running a 240V 300W square wave inverter (£17.99 + vat from Stax!) which runs l.e.d. lighting.

This is electricity for the use of, rather than grid-feed connected. And that's your reason why "the houses with solar panels had no electricity".

Here's a panel I have left over in my garage at home. Unfortunately, it's shattered
- But works perfectly well.
£40 if anybody wants it!

It's the Future !

Replied: 9th Apr 2022 at 01:05
Last edited by tonker: 9th Apr 2022 at 01:09:12

Posted by: tomplum (9330) 

out of interest Tonker, that reading of 32 volts, Is that off one panel or several linked up panels, also is it connected to the battery ?

Replied: 9th Apr 2022 at 12:32

Posted by: tonker (25468) 

That's the open circuit voltage from that one panel, Tom, using the daylight available outside the front of my house. In direct sun it should give 37 volts.
The four I put up last week, in Spain, gave 128 volts in series.

Replied: 9th Apr 2022 at 16:23

Posted by: tomplum (9330) 

Thats good then, The one I have on my shed is a 12 volt one but It would take forever to charge a car battery, Its only a trickle charge,

Replied: 9th Apr 2022 at 19:23


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