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We are looking to get solar panels installed. We drive MGZS EV and looking to purchase a Nissan Leaf.

Presently averaging 1100 kW electricity usage per month. We are out during the day so there is only 'tick over' electricity usage during working hours.
One initial question. Speaking recently to a retired surveyor, he was negative about panels that are an 'after fit' on a roof sitting above the roof rather than in it. His concerns were bird nests, debris building up under the panels and also impacting the 'water tightness' of the roof after been fitted. Anyone have thoughts, comments on this?

On the quotes we have three so far.

Panels quoted were JA Solar and TrinaSolar (370 - 385W)

Inverter Growatt and Solis (5G and Hybrid - may be the same)

Battery Pylon and Growatt. Targeting 6.5kW

Anyone have comments / thoughts / experience on the brands / makes?

Thanks in advance of replies.
https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6268899/solar-panel-quote/p1?new=1#
 

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I have had Solar Panels since early 2012.

No issues with them fitted above the roof tiles, never even heard of those kind of comments before.

I get the full Feed in Tariff. New installs do get these benefits.

So unless you can consume your generated electricity, car charging, battery storage, washing machines etc, you may not get the full benefit of your expenditure.

I have Sanyo Hybrid Panels, I'm not familiar with the products you mentioned.
 

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Vast majority of solar panels are retro fit, without issue.

google solar panels and pigeons, there are solutions on the market, wire/mesh/reflective tape. Depending on chosen bracket the panels can sit close enough to roof for it not to be an issue.

You may want to research solaredge optimisers, which is like an individual inverter per panel.
Solaredge also offer an inverter with built in ev charger in one unit.
 

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I have had Solar Panels since early 2012.
Similar experience here (summer 2013). I'm retired so around during the day and have a diverter to put surplus into my hot water tank. I've also been doing a bit of EV charging with the granny charger and controlling manually. Without the FIT ("New installs do NOT get these benefits" typo there) and being out you may find the economics don't work or require a battery.
 

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We are looking to get solar panels installed. We drive MGZS EV and looking to purchase a Nissan Leaf.

Presently averaging 1100 kW electricity usage per month. We are out during the day so there is only 'tick over' electricity usage during working hours.
One initial question. Speaking recently to a retired surveyor, he was negative about panels that are an 'after fit' on a roof sitting above the roof rather than in it. His concerns were bird nests, debris building up under the panels and also impacting the 'water tightness' of the roof after been fitted. Anyone have thoughts, comments on this?

On the quotes we have three so far.

Panels quoted were JA Solar and TrinaSolar (370 - 385W)

Inverter Growatt and Solis (5G and Hybrid - may be the same)

Battery Pylon and Growatt. Targeting 6.5kW

Anyone have comments / thoughts / experience on the brands / makes?

Thanks in advance of replies.
https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6268899/solar-panel-quote/p1?new=1#
Check with surveyor if the concerns are based on local specific circumstances.
 

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If your intending to charge the cars from solar you will need a seriously big battery and stacks of panels, You are unlikely to get better than 85% on the round trip from roof to battery to car. For car charging a good overnight tariff is better I think and a lot cheaper than a battery.
I am retired so we can charge the car in daytime from the roof and use a battery to supply the house (Not charge the car!) overnight. There is a diverter to heat water on surplus power and then any excess is sold as SEG (smart export guarantee ) for a few pence - this is not FIT as the units are too recent.
In winter the battery charges at 5p unit on octopus go and that more or less does for the day with some solar assistance.

You need bird mesh, we have it and I recommend its done. Our neighbour has an older system and did not have it fitted, it recently cost a fair amount to remove the pigeon nests, dead birds and then fit mesh!:(
Ours (and the neighbours) have never cause roof leaks as it happens.
 
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Really happy with our set up. Initial 4.2 kWp solar install in 2019. Only got slight feed in tariff. South facing roof. Really large electricity generation. Decided to fit more panels mid 2020 after DNO approval. What has made it fantastic is the fitting of a storage battery to save a huge amount of what we generate during the day to use of an evening or top up one of our EVs.
Last month (sunny but cold April 2021) we used just 14 kWh of electricity! Before the solar panels and battery and with 2 EVs would have been several hundred kWh or over 1000 kWh.
Panels +/- battery represent a far better investment than putting your money in an ISA with terrible returns at present.
Electricity prices will only ever increase over time. Plus it is generally green energy and those power stations are having to emit that bit less CO2 etc.
Should have done the install in 2011/12 when we first moved in to our house as would have been laughing all the way to the bank with the much larger feed in tariff in those days.
 

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You need a Smart meter to get SEG, arrange before progressing. SEG is at 5p/u with So Energy. I would not borrow to buy, but great if you have the cash. Philosophically, I have generated more solar PV than my Ioniq has used, not at the same time or place, but still more than used. Now a second roof with more, we just need a lot more solar when the wind is low and during the summer.
 

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The incentive to fit solar panels isn't really there any more. The generous feed in tariff which basically kick-started a domestic solar installation industry including more than a few cowboys got pulled so early adopters were the ones who benefited.

So let's dispel the myths. Panels on a roof is fine. No issues with birds nest, but keeping them clear of bird **** is a problem. I live in Scotland so four seasons in one day keeps them clean. This is on a house with Marley roof tiles. Speaking of debris, as my wife feeds the blighters (the birds not the installers), then clearing gutters is a routine chore!

Ideally your house sits south facing to maximise sunlight. Now for us, it wasn't about how much electricity we'd make or dreams of 'going off-grid'. Invest in battery storage. We fitted a 4 kW system (16 panels) and 5kWh battery bank. My wife comes home after work and plugs in her i3 decimating the energy it accumulated and stored, but hey that's life!

Don't get hung up on figures and end up like a parody of the Good Life. What is the bank or building society giving you for your hard earned cash, nowt! It is interesting as we get into summer to see the batteries full and everything else electrically powered is for free!
 

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We have 14 panels fitted on two elevations (South and West facing) since 2012. They are fitted on top of pantiles and sure enough we experienced birds nesting (Jackdaws) and associated debris. Fairly shortly after that we had the area under the panels cleared which required scaffolding but not panel removal and at the same time had wire mesh fitted as a bird guard. A fairly expensive rectification.
Since then the Jackdaws have remained persistent trying to remove the fixings usually early morning but have not gained access. Our fairly modest array averages a yield if 2600kW per year but we enjoy a fairly decent FIT rate. Although we are home most days it is only over the last 2 or 3 years with a PHEV and Zappi that we have been able to more effectively minimise export during spring and summer. Now with the Octopus Go tariff we plan a full EV that can charge at night on the cheaper tariff and eco + charge during the day, summer days anyway such as you get in the North East
 

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To continue this.
4Kw of Solar on a south facing roof - I just couldn't fit anymore
I also get the nice lucrative FIT payments - the panels etc owe me nothing now
I am a high electricity user on Smart Meters
I have 28kWh of batteries on two inverters as a storage bank. This just about covers my usual daily usage. If I do a lot of cooking then I hope for some sun to top up (generally makes 25th Dec a poor day from an electrical PoV)
I also have an EV - eNiro 64kWh and a 7kW EVSE (Zappi)

"My wife comes home after work and plugs in her i3 decimating the energy it accumulated and stored, but hey that's life! "
You really want to stop that from happening. You get a loss when putting the power into the house batteries, a loss taking it out and another loss putting it into the car.

I use Octopus Go - charge the car AND the house batteries. 00:30-04:30 at 5p / unit. My average is 5.5p/unit over the month.
I prevent the car from charging at any time other than the 5p time - but the zappi will also charge if there is a surplus AND the batteries are full - which doesn't happen that often

On the bird front when I had the panels I did not have any preventative measures in place. It took a few years but the blighters moved in. I think there was a hotel, a funeral parlour (there was a dead bird under the panels) and a nightclub up there. I now have a protective strip all around the panels and get peace and quiet again. My suggestion is that if you get panels, get the installer to put bird prevention measures in place at the same time. Its a lot cheaper when the scaffolding is already up there
 

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I have had PV for 10yrs without problems.

You do not say why you consider fitting PV. To save money or just be green?

The problem you have is that you have no means of sensibly consuming the power during the day. Batts would help but they in themselves dont make economic sense at the moment. What would help would be if your house used a HP as this could absorb the power during the day.

Economically by far the best idea is to use TOU tariff Octopus Go and charge cars at night, heat HW if you have a tank, washing etc and even storage heaters can be used.

Otherwise being green is just that but just remember that you get very little power in winter.
 

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One initial question. Speaking recently to a retired surveyor, he was negative about panels that are an 'after fit' on a roof sitting above the roof rather than in it. His concerns were bird nests, debris building up under the panels and also impacting the 'water tightness' of the roof after been fitted. Anyone have thoughts, comments on this?
Agree, my concern is that the water tightness depends on the tiles under the panels so if you get a leak from a cracked tile or through the mountings then it needs to panels removing go repair and could get expensive.

I liked the roof integrated panels, where the tiles are removed and panels become part of the roof, there's a few manufactures, some a dedicated roofing panels, others are mounting kits to turn the panel into a large tile. Wholesale prices for the components looks pretty affordable, not much over regular panels.

Be interested if anyone has had these fitted and how the got on.

Viridian Clearline

GSE Roof integrated mounting kits
 

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My system was installed last September so I don't get the government incentives that were available to early adopters. I have 4.4kW of LG panels, and I specified bird protection, which is wire mesh all around the perimeter of the array. I've seen how the panels are fixed to the roof and don't anticipate any problems with leaks. I haven't heard, either on forums such as this or elsewhere, that leaky roofs caused by solar arrays is a problem.

My inverter is a 4.2kW Growatt unit which works fine. It's a budget unit I believe, but it does its job. I don't need to interact with it, which is just as well: configuring it is a pain in the neck.

If your roof is unshaded all day, a budget inverter such as the Growatt should be fine. But if any of your panels will be shaded for any part of the day you'd be better off with a SolarEdge system or micro-inverters. With a simple string inverter, if one panel is generating, say, 70% of what it should because it's partially shaded, then you'll only get 70% output from the whole array. But with SolarEdge or micro-inverters, you'll get 70% out of the shaded panel, but the other panels will still deliver 100%.

With no government assistance (except that the VAT on the installation will be 5% not 20%) it's still possible to make an economic case for solar panels, with a payback time of 7-10 years. It's less economically viable to have battery storage, but it seemed to me that a battery is a key part of the system. So I have a Tesla Powerwall. It stores 13.5kWh and £/kWh it was competitive with other systems at the time. The Tesla system is an elegant solution, with limited options for manual control, but it does its thing very intelligently. And I use the app on my phone constantly to monitor the whole system - generation, consumption, storage. The Growatt inverter doesn't have a phone app, just a web interface, and I'm not interested in what little it can tell me. The Tesla app on the other hand tells me everything I need to know, simply and elegantly.

In summer I'm getting paid by my electricity provider (I'm selling them more than I'm buying from them). My panels are generating 4kW quite a lot of the time. On a cloudy day I only get about 1kw out of them, and in those horrid dark winter days I was getting 0.3kW or thereabouts.

I have a Zappi chargepoint, so I can charge my car with excess solar instead of selling it back to the grid. Or I can charge the car overnight on Octopus GO 5p tariff if I decide to switch from Agile. But Octopus won't let you have an export tariff together with GO. It's a bit disheartening charging the car 'normally' - a 13.5kWh full Powerwall charge soon disappears into the maw of my car's 58kWh battery. The Zappi has a good app like the Tesla, so if I didn't have a Tesla battery I could use the Zappi app for similar results.

I have future plans: I intend to replace our gas cooker with an electric one, and install a hot water tank, immersion heaters, and an Eddi solar diverter to use excess solar to heat our hot water. Then we should only be using gas in the winter months, for heating the house. Replacing our gas combi boiler with something greener looks like being more of a challenge...
 

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"he was negative about panels that are an 'after fit' on a roof sitting above the roof rather than in it ". Bear in mind that embedding the panels IN the roof is generally accepted that the panels get hotter because they are harder to cool. There is an impact on the efficiency but for aesthetics they are the way forward.
 

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So let's dispel the myths. Panels on a roof is fine. No issues with birds nest....
This is no myth. I've had my panels for 9 years now and no problems, until last year. The flying rats moved in.

Pigeons are very social creatures and they like panels they can get under because it is warmer in the winter. It cost several hundred pounds to get them evicted and the mesh put around the edge. Ensure that this is done from the start and is part of your quote.
 

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"he was negative about panels that are an 'after fit' on a roof sitting above the roof rather than in it ". Bear in mind that embedding the panels IN the roof is generally accepted that the panels get hotter because they are harder to cool. There is an impact on the efficiency but for aesthetics they are the way forward.
The slope of my roof is such that nobody under 8' tall is able to see them ! They've been in position for 10 years now and we've never had a leak in the tiles underneath them - nor indeed would I expect there to have been; arguably the panels are shielding the tiles from the (outside !) chance of large hailstones or bits falling off aircraft from causing damage.

As to 'aesthetics', words fail me ! How many people ever gaze up at their tiles and admire them ?
 
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