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General Chat Thread, Solar Panels in General; Originally Posted by witch We have solar panels at school as well. It is over a year since my original ...
  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    We have solar panels at school as well.

    It is over a year since my original post and he STILL hasn't done anything with the panels...

    I want solar powered lights for the garden - what sort of battery would I need please?
    Give us an idea of the size and type of panels and we might come up with something,

    Unless they're a fair size the it's unlikely you'd get much benfit from wiring to a UPS, partly as the UPS will use mains to charge the batteries if plugged in anyway so would have to be in offgrid mode, and often they're configed as a number of batteries for 24V or 48V feeds.
    You might find a small one that's 12V though.

    I use my 15w PV panel to charge a 12V battery, then branch that off to power a bunch of 12V appliances, I like to keep all my "vampire " devices off of it, mobile phone, GPS etc on a 12V to USB adapter, but also have a 12V to AA+AAA battery charger.

    I've always thought they should stick small solar panel and small verticle axis wind generators ontop of lamposts, ( and pylons ) as the infrastucture is essentially already in place.

  2. #32
    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    ditto...I have 2 12v/5w (or is it 3w)panels charging (right now) a 5ah 12v SLA battery, with 3 ex-vehicle cigarette lighter sockets attached.

    To this go:

    Phone chargers
    fast-charge 12v AA/AAA charger
    other 12v in car type stuff.

    One socket has a 12v-usb adapter in it for powering USB stuff.

    Then I'm eyeing up a 120w 12v-240v inverter for emergency power, that I'll fit to the box.

    I want the box inside, the panels out. So far, it's worked very well indeed..the battery is continually at 13.5v+. I will expand it at some point with a cheapo scrapyard car battery (£10).

    I found a dead garden light in a bucket of water yesterday..10 minutes later I'd stripped it for the circuit and panel. Panel is 3v-4v tops. That's going to be attached to my 2xAA AM/FM radio and hopefully give me a near as damnit perpetual powered radio.

    I'd like a small turbine as well, TBQH..heh.

  3. #33

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    ....rather than start a new post - I thought I'd recycle this one, in keeping with the subject...

    Things have moved on since the posts above - with feed in tarifs and more more expensive electricity/gas etc.

    Does anyone have any direct experience of solar power, it "looks" on the surface to be feasible now -

    Has anyone taken up these "free" PV solar systems where the installer gets the FIT tarif and you just get the free power ?

    I suppose if you sequentially run your dish washer, washing machine, immersion heaters this is pretty effective in summer - but in winter ?

    All the sales spiel says PV still generate power on cloudy days, but not so forward saying how much, anyone know how much power you can
    expect from a short, dark, cloudy English winter's day....

    Any info from actual users would be very interesting...

    (Am considering this for home use, not work/school)

  4. #34
    Butuz's Avatar
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    With the new feed in tariffs (FITs) solar power is defiantly worth while. It may infect be an extremely good investment depending on your circumstances. You could achieve payback within 10 years, and then you have a further 15 years worth of profit, profit in yr’s 10 to 25 could be up to as much as £1k a year. You won’t earn £1k a year from £20k investment any other (legal) way. This does depend on a few key points though.

    1) You need to be intending to stay in your newly solarised house for the long term, I/e for the next 25 years. If your going to move every 5 years and spend £1k taking your PV system with you – you will not achieve payback.

    2) You have to have a south facing roof. Anything else is going to increase your pay back period significantly.

    3) It has to be professionally installed and certified by a qualified electrician / renewables company using British standard / CE marked parts in order to qualify for the FITs. No buying some bits off ebay and having at it with a screwdriver and soldering iron.

    4) If taking advantage of one of these "free PV systems" be careful as you need to consider the fact that unless you work from home, you will be using most of your energy in the early mornings or evenings i.e when the PV system is not generating any power. While you are out at work most of the power your PV system generates will go back to the grid and thus into the pockets of the "free PV company". You need to make 100% sure that you are able to claim the cash value of the FITs back rather than that money going to the “free pv company” If all the money goes to the “free PV company” and you don’t work from home you will see little or no benefit apart from having some rather expensive tiles that you don’t own. However if you do work from home or are retired and will be using significant sums of electricity during the day - these "free" schemes could be very worthwhile!

    I am a big fan of PV , solar heating and also Wind Power. Unfortunatly my current abode is a listed building with a west/east facing roof I thus and cant have any of the above installed.


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