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Discussion Starter #1
Am thinking of getting these. Although I haven't got a totally south facing roof, an installer says I can get 8 panels on front and 8 on back and should get payback in 7 years.

Are they worth it and do they manage to give a full charge? I will be getting an Ampera tomorrow.

Thanks
 

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Hi Brooktop.

Are they worth it? You need to make a value judgement. There are a number of solar installers on this forum who are "good" rather than "on the latest sell".

Personally I am delighted with my panels. Will they give you a full charge? Sometimes, but remember that if you are like me then you are out all day and home all night so unless you are a vampire you might not get a whole lot of benefit.

Even if you don't get a FULL charge you'll get something
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will have economy 7. I often work from home - about 2 or 3 days a week so will have plenty of opportunity for daytime charging. On days that I'm at work, I'll charge on economy 7. Seems to be the best of both worlds.
 

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... do they manage to give a full charge?
Is not really the right question if you don't mind me saying so.

There could be times when you are charging using all solar power but it is generally only on the sunnier days. By far more frequent are the partly sunny or cloudy days and then it is likely that you won't be generating enough to satisfy the 3kW for the car.

However, that is actually not that important because the biggest benefit in having a solar PV system is that you get the FIT. I know it isn't as much as it was but it is still a significant income and you get that whether you use the electricity or not.

I have a 2.4kWp array but I have Economy 7 from Ecotricity and so I always charge at night allowing any surplus power that I don't use in the day to go out to the grid. I find messing around starting and stopping the car charging in the day inconvenient and hard work and so I just charge at night. This is generally the best way to reduce CO2 and not a bad solution financially either.

I highly recommend it and if you can make the FIT financials work then I wouldn't hesitate... get it!

One word of caution... beware shadows on the panels. Even a very small part of a single panel that is shaded will reduce the output of the whole array. Get a good installer to do a proper shadow analysis if you are in doubt. We have shading on 2 of our 10 panels in the morning but only until about 9am so we accepted that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Will keep an eye on the shading issue and take pics next time I'm in all day. They are the new panels that just need daylight, not sunlight (or is that marketing gobbledeegook?). Happy to get a 2nd opinion. Are they a national company or just Leeds?

I take it you get FIT and money from the grid for your excess?
 

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Wish we could all afford them, PV with storage enough to give us our own power with 4 panels and 3-5 year payback then I could consider.
 

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All panels just need daylight but they work a lot better in direct sunlight but it isn't necessary. Even on a cloudy day I often generate 600W (about 1/3 my max) and that is plenty enough to power the house without high-power devices on such as kettle/washing machine etc.

Sounds like the person you spoke to is giving you a bit of a sales pitch.

3-5 year pay back is unlikely right now but a 7-10 year should be easily possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Paul -why a sales pitch? He has said sunlight is better but daylight still generates electricity. His payback estimate is 7.5 years. He has given me detailed calculations. This seems to tie in with what you're saying.
 
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Because Paul is being a little less optimistic. To give you rough figures for my installation (3.84 kw, south facing)

Cost - approx. £7k. Six months from Sept 2013 netted £178. 3 months after that £180. I expect £200 more this year.

I cannot give a clue on savings as we have introduced an EV into the mix
 

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Well, you said...
They are the new panels that just need daylight, not sunlight (or is that marketing gobbledeegook?).
In fact they may be new panels with new features, I cannot comment on that... but one thing is certain... all panels just need daylight. That has always been the case so for him to suggest that this is a new feature sounds a bit funny to me.

May be they need lower light than older style panels and so perhaps that is what he means.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
They are the latest design and are all black (not silver grid).
 

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I've just tried to upload a document (2Mb) which would help explain, but it wouldn't work. It states file to large but that the limit is 5Mb?

If someone could point me in the right direction I'm sure the information within would help.

Thanks,

Thomas
 

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If someone could point me in the right direction I'm sure the information within would help.
If you've got a google account then drive is an easy way to do this. Just upload the file, right click it, select share then it'll give you a link that you can post in here. If not, dropbox is another solution.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/twmvnbtac56oow5/The Phoenix Works - Photovoltaic Overview V2.0.pdf

We provide this document to help explain many of the common questions raised. If you read past the information which is specific to The Phoenix Works, there's an explanation of the technology and incentive mechanism.

Please note the FiT rate and RECC cooling off period have changed (slightly) since I last updated this document. I'm on a mobile device so can't easily do this now.

Hope this is useful.

Thomas.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Details of the proposed panels:

4.0 KW Ultimate Solar PV Systems
16 x Canadian Solar 250 All Black Mono Panels
1 x Power One Aurora 3.6 TL
Single/ Three Phase Gross Generation Meter (Ofgem Approved) Schletter Roof mounting system AC and DC Isolators, cabling, MCB Panel Installation
Scaffolding as appropriate
Final Commissioning and Handover
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if applicable.
 
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