Author Archives: Nick Good
Solar panel installations have met Government targets for the last quarter, triggering another decrease to the Feed-in-Tariff rate – meaning a slight reduction to the financial rewards of solar.
The reduction takes the tariff down to 13.39p/kWh for installations smaller than 4kW.
The current rate is £13.88p/kWh. So this reduction amounts to £340 over twenty years excluding index linking, for a 4kW South facing system in Dorset.
Although the reduction isn’t a huge amount, it does mean that to receive the higher rate payments, your panels will need to be installed before April 1st.
However solar PV will still provide a return on investment of between 10-12% per year which is tax free and index linked. Solar PV pays for itself within seven years and the Feed In Tariff is a twenty year contract. Import energy costs double every seven years according to the Energy Savings Trust.
On the 14th January 2014 we fitted this 4 kW sixteen panel solar PV system for Mr R. in Weymouth.
We predicted it would generate 4052 kW hours per year.
It has produced 4610 kW hours due to the market leading Enphase individual inverters.
This is a 13% better return on investment than predicted.
This is despite some shading from the chimney on four of the panels.
(email from customer dated 27.12.2014) (system installed 2010)
I thought you’d be interested to know what a splendid year the solar panels have had. For the 52 weeks to 27th December they produced 3,243 units (very considerably better than your original estimate of 2,606 p.a.) Let’s hope we get an equally sunny year next year!
Incidentally the system has only once produced less than 3,000 units in the year, and that was in 2012 when we had a rotten summer. That year the output hit an all-time low of 2,993 units, but still 10% better than the original estimate on which we made the decision to install.
On the 18th December 2012 we installed a 4kW solar PV system for Mr and Mrs H. in Ferndown, Dorset. This system had 20% shading from a large tree so we advised using the market leading Enphase individual micro inverters with a 25 year warranty. With micro inverters any shading or system failure is reduced to one panel, therefore maximising generation.
We predicted an annual return of 3286 kW hours.
In year one the system produced 4026 kW hours and in year two it produced 4176 kW hours. Both years are 20% more generation hours than our original prediction.
This customer also has a solar iBoost which gives any over generation to the immersion heater providing free hot water. This has resulted in a 38% reduction of import energy costs in addition to the feed in tariff payments.
On the 25th January 2013 we fitted this South West facing solar PV system in Bridport, Dorset for Mr and Mrs B. It was predicted to generate 3200 kW hours per year with Enphase micro inverters.
As the 22nd December 2014 (23 months) the system has produced 6860 kW hours which is over ten percent ahead of our original prediction.
The stunning picture was sent in by Mrs B. and was one of the winners of our earlier newsletters photography competition.
In October 2014 we installed a 7.5 kW PV system mounted on pods on the flat roof. This installation included the Canadian ELPS modules with a cell efficiency of 21.1% and the market leading Enphase micro inverter system. All equipment comes with 25 year warranties. This single phase system has no dangerous high voltage DC cabling and is predicted to generate over 7000 kW hours of electricity and income and reduce the import energy costs. This medical centre now scores an impressive C on its energy performance certificate.
On the 6th July 2012 we completed the installation of fifty one Schott 195 Perform Mono modules onto the roof of the St. Helens Medical Centre near Ryde on the Isle of Wight. This was a single phase string inverter system with two German SMA inverters which was predicted to provide over 9000 kW hours per year.The system actually produced 9294 hours generating a FITS income of over £4600 in its first year and the electrical import costs have been reduced by 38% saving them a further £1200 a year.
On the 9th December 2013 we installed this 4kW Phono all black solar PV system with the market leading Enphase M215 micro inverters for Mr and Mrs B of Verwood, Dorset.
We predicted it would do 3890 hours a year, but after exactly one year it has done 4082 hours which is 105%.
Its best day was June the 17th when it did over 27 kilowatts.
This system provides a return on investment for this customer of over 12.6% annually. The feed in tariff is index linked and tax free and guaranteed for twenty years.
All the equipment is guaranteed for twenty five years.
The total return on this investment will be well over £25,000.
Mr and Mrs Allen had a 4kW all black Mono system with Enphase inverters fitted on 21st November 2013.
It was predicted to produce 4052 kW hours.
On the 20th November 2014, after exactly one year it had produced 4280 kW.
That is enough energy to run 416 homes for one day and offset 3.06 tons of carbon which is equivalent to 77 trees.
This home is now rated as a B 86 on its Energy Performance Certificate.
On Friday the 1st November 2013 we fitted this twelve panel PV system for Mr and Mrs D of Bognor Regis. This is a 3.12kW system with all black Phono modules and Enphase micro inverters. The installation was split over two roofs neither of which are perfect South facing. Using the SAP method we predicted an annual generation of 3118 kW hours and exactly one year later the system has produced 3430 kW hours.
This system is producing 10% more than our predicted returns. They also have an iBoost which resulted in the gas company querying the very low summer quarter`s meter reading.