Monday, November 1, 2010

PV Panels

I am looking into the possibilities of fitting PV panels on my house. It is a swift learning curve and I have to decipher the jargon and marketing speak as I go along.
I list a few of the things I have learnt so far.
· Every installer says their panels are the best.
· If you have an east/west roof you can have panels and the disadvantage is only about 15% less performance. There are various websites that work this out for you. Two I have used are and
· Each installer uses different size panels which each have different performance. Ie 10 panels can give very different performance depending on size.
· Non of the installers know what might happen to VAT on January 1st.
· Installers are not all doing what they should as members of the Micro-generation Certification Scheme. They should ensure that you have adequate insulation etc. Not all have asked.
· Prices vary for the same output by as much as 30%.
· They do not understand why a customer wants to be able to see the performance of the panels on a day to day basis. The display on most inverters is to be hidden away in the loft!
· It will take 12 months before I know what performance I am really getting. The winter months will give less than a quarter of the energy from summer months.
· Any shadow on any part of an array can lower the overall performance considerably.

Many thanks to John Newson for showing some of us his panels and explaining the process. It always helps to talk to others. If you have recently any experince in this field please post a comment.