Poll

Do you keep records of your solar production

No I dont have solar
21 (55.3%)
No I don't care
3 (7.9%)
I look at the GTI LCD occasionally
5 (13.2%)
I look at the GTI display often
3 (7.9%)
I look at the GTI display even after dark
4 (10.5%)
I have solar, no GTI and I keep records (like Mike)
2 (5.3%)

Total Members Voted: 38

Author Topic: UK solar doldrums  (Read 10089 times)

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Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #225 on: May 01, 2018, 07:55:45 pm »
Spring 2018 in NL. Yesterday I made 0.879 kWh. In a day. With 7kWP on the roof. The day before that 1.05 kWh. The entire month of April was 86kWh behind April 2017.

On the up side, the rain just stopped, the sun shines a bit and forecasts for the next week are not bad. And the boat floats again after spending the winter on the shore  8)
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #226 on: May 02, 2018, 02:53:15 am »
Just plotted mine till the end of April, spring came, the plums and damsons all flowered and immediatly we were hit by a cold washout! 1C last night :( Apples are just starting now so I hope the weather improves for the bees in time!

Y axis is weekly average Kwh/day, X axis is hours.

House was in danger of floating away a while ago, who needs a boat  :-DD
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #227 on: May 02, 2018, 06:27:35 pm »
I am looking at getting solar, but I think wind might be better here in Norfolk so am looking at that as well. I built a wind system for my father twenty years ago and although he no longer is there last time I went past the turbine was still up.
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #228 on: May 02, 2018, 09:05:15 pm »
I am looking at getting solar, but I think wind might be better here in Norfolk so am looking at that as well. I built a wind system for my father twenty years ago and although he no longer is there last time I went past the turbine was still up.
I live in Norfolk too :) I have also tried wind but if you only have a small plot it's very very fussy and the planning regs get in the way hence I gave that up and moved to solar. There are still problems with the planning regs (not enough room to fit tracking gear on a roof) but I am getting a lot more output than I ever managed from wind. Depends entirely upon your circumstances and I guess you already know about the problems with turbulent flow and obstacles to close!
 

Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #229 on: May 04, 2018, 03:34:58 am »
I just GOT to replace that inverter to get this to 40k...

Scratch that. Today, not too hot and very very sunny, we made 40.920 kWh / 5683kWh/kW. That is an all time high for this installation.  8)
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #230 on: May 04, 2018, 05:29:25 pm »
My mini 50W system has been running with full battery now for a week.  With a few blue sky days I got all my batteries charged and the broken sunshine since is just enough to keep up with demand of my phone, electronics PSU and USB devices.

I bought a 22400mAh power bank to try and capture some more of the energy for when it becomes miserable and dark again.  So that came at 70% charge so didn't really dent the solar battery that much charging it. 13.1V down to 12.6V.  Today will probably put that back to 13V

If only it was this easy in winter.

"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 
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Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #231 on: May 24, 2018, 04:49:22 pm »
Got the yearly settlement from my power company yesterday. Used 3753 kWh from the grid and put back in 4193 kWh. That leaves me with 440 kWh * €0,11 * 1.21 (VAT) = €58,56 in cash.

Total electricity use over the last year (including the energy generated by the panels and directly used) was 5367 kWh. Up 1.9% from the year before. Which fuels my pet peeve that LED lamps do not save energy  >:D

Oh, and May 2018 is looking to be a very good month for solar over here  8)
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #232 on: May 25, 2018, 03:19:04 am »
Woww Woody good figures indeed :) So adding your saved electric bill to your rebate have you worked out how many years the system will take to break even on present performance ?

Last week was great here averaging over 3Kwh/day/Kw but as usual I lost quite a bit through not having completely converted the household to not using electricity unless the sun is shining and the water is hot already  ;D

IMOP the CCFL's are/were far more efficient till someone discovered they had a drop of mercury in them and outlawed them, I wonder what poison they will decide exists in LEDs meaning the get the same treatment in years to come!!
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #233 on: May 25, 2018, 03:38:48 am »
I've been very happy with all my LED lights, and the W numbers printed in them are much lower than the CCFL's they replaced.

In two rooms, however, there are remote 4-pin CCFL supplies where I used compatible LED bulbs - so I am sure some efficiency is lost.

My lowly panel just keeps my battery topped up. It would be much better if I set up my aquariums to run off solar, and just during sun time too. That's only 12W.  :-\
 

Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #234 on: May 25, 2018, 05:52:56 pm »
So adding your saved electric bill to your rebate have you worked out how many years the system will take to break even on present performance?
I find that a very difficult discussion. If you look at it from the sunny side break even is maybe 7 years. But I could argue for 15 years as well. It is the same with my car; I never managed to work out the break-even for that.

My take is that since 2013 we produced 25,8MWh of clean energy and thereby avoided between 5 and 12 tons of CO2 (depending on the fuel mix used in the power plant). That at a cost that is cheaper than getting it out of the grid. How much cheaper? I don't know. Time will tell. But cheaper, that is for sure.

And when I take into account the foot-between-the-door effect that decentralized solar systems like mine have on how the grid is run by those big power companies, for me break even is already reached  ;D
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #235 on: May 26, 2018, 12:32:37 am »
Since asking the question I have tried to calculate mine, given its upgrading, early failures and weather changes from year to year it's hard to grab the figures as most of the output is converted into oil fuel savings. My initial small 500W system would have had an estimated payback of 6 years but that was before the oil price shot up recently. The extended 1kw system with a gti but no subsidy has a calculated payback of 4 years, this is in part due to the rising oil price but also because the incremental cost of extending a system is not as high as the initial. My costs are much reduced as a lot of the electronics came from my junkbox (recycling at it's best), the only things directly purchased were the panels themselves and there mounting hardware.

I am also concerned for the environment and this is one way I can contribute, in my case directly by burning less oil for heating :) The contribution via the gti to reduced grid consumption is minimal as unless it's a hot day in summer water heating takes most if not all of the available energy.

I will continue to monitor the results to see if a further extension is worthwile but presently it is large enough to provide all the summer hot water so a larger system would simply spend more time idle! Of course the real nut to crack is energy in the winter, already tried wind and that was no good, I have a small stream but no fall (3 inches on my land at most) and hydro has it's own problems in winter (freezing) leaving heat pumps. I was fortunate enough to experience air source HP's at someone else's expense and they were completely hopeless in freezing weather (spent all there time going into reverse to de-ice the external unit). My trusty woodburner helps out but they are now under threat from PC! I still say the best solution is for mankind to copy the sensible part of the animal kingdom and hibernate for the duration  :-DD
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 12:48:56 am by fourtytwo42 »
 

Offline fourtytwo42

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #236 on: June 01, 2018, 01:48:54 am »
End of this month weekly averages, definetly getting out of the doldrums :) Vertical scale is Kwh/day horizontal is hours so the droop in the middle is Dec/Jan/Feb
 

Offline woody

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #237 on: June 01, 2018, 11:07:08 pm »
Nice figures!

For our panels it turns out that May 2018 was the best ever; May always is the top month of the year. The previous record was May 2015 with 761 kWh. May 2018 broke that easily: 905 kWh. +19%, with one inverter still broken.

Now what am I going to do with all that power  :-//
 

Offline ahbushnell

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #238 on: June 23, 2018, 10:30:57 pm »
Updates on energy generation?
 

Offline paulca

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #239 on: July 08, 2018, 07:53:38 pm »
Updates on energy generation?

It's been unseasonally sunny here in Northern Ireland.  We are into our third or forth week of actual summer weather.  25*C+ blue skies all day.

My 50W panel, in a window has been generating much more than my original demands, so I have taken to charging large LiPos and using them via a laptop car charger to run my laptop in the evenings.

I expect those with large systems will be doing rather well in the UK this last month.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: UK solar doldrums
« Reply #240 on: July 16, 2018, 01:26:41 pm »
I live in sunny Tucson, Arizona.
A solar power paradise, payback very fast I should imagine...
Yeah, but you use a lot of that power just running the air cons.  :)
Like I said, we were running the swamp cooler through May. (OK, I realize that the whole concept of an evaporative cooler makes no sense in the UK.) We turned it on in late May because, well, why not, it was hot.

We were sending back to the grid between 400 and 500 kWh for the months up to May. For the May bill we sent back 216 kWh. The bill ending June 25 we used 422 kWh in excess of what we generated; that is, that month was the first month since the panels were installed (started up beginning of last September) that our use exceeded our generation. We used about the same amount of power this June as last June, about 1600 kWh, which cost almost $250 last year.

Even though May and June are hotter than July (June has many days over 110 degrees F), July is typically the month with the most energy usage here. That's because the humidity becomes unbearably high, as our monsoon season starts. We don't get monsoons in the tropical sense; the native word for the storms is "chubasca," but basically every day starts out hot and dry and as the day progresses, moisture in the air builds up and in the late afternoon we get thunderstorms and a lot of rain, and an hour later both the temperature and the humidity drop significantly. But during the day, before the storms, it's hot and sticky so we run the A/C, and that's our energy use.

Monsoon "season" lasts from July to the middle of September, and its start is defined as when the dew point exceeds 54 degrees F for three consecutive days.

Of course, today it was rainy and the temperature never got above 80 degrees and we opened the windows.

ANYWAY, we have nearly 1300 kWh in credit (what we've generated in excess of what we've used) and my guess is that even with another month of high-ish humidity and temperature, we will end up not paying anything to the utility for our electricity usage.

I really think that in the desert southwest, not having solar panel installations for both residences and businesses is a mistake. The problem is that the incumbent utilities are wholly against residential solar power and probably don't want businesses to have solar power, either.  But rather than invest in solar farms and even installing the panels for customers, they'd rather continue to push the natural-gas-fired turbines as the only source for electricity.
 


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