OT possibly--question about researching solar panels

We are thinking about getting solar photovoltaic panels to run off the feed-in tariff. Our roof is south-facing and not shaded, so that's all right. And it's big enough for almost 4 kw's worth of panels. We're getting in quotes from mcs-certified companies, and already there's big cost variation. Leaving aside the solar efficiency of the more expensive Sanyo panels, I wonder about build quality in the cheaper Sharp and Romag panels. Those panels have to be up there in the wind and hail for a long time. There are different mounting bracket systems. And then, the inverter is an expensive item that tends to come with a 5 yr guarantee. (And you want your system to last for 25 years). Looking around the web, I see Fronius and Sunnyboy mentioned as good makes. Is there some source of unbiased information about all this stuff? Does anyone on the list have experience with solar pv panels?
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blod wrote:

Why not do something less anti- social like robbing a bank, if making money out of other poeple and their stupidity is what you want?
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I seem to be missing something here. Covering a roof in Bangor with expensive delicate glass tiles and hoping to make a long term return on the investment may be risky, even foolhardy, but anti-social? How so?
--
Graham.

%Profound_observation%
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because the return is subsidised by the tax payer.
However comparing taking advantage of this subsidy with a criminal act is not on
tim
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tim.... wrote:

By the electricity price rises rather.

Why not?
Just because its legal doesn't make it moral.How much money do YOU have in offshore accounts for tax avoidance purposes?

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Graham. wrote:

because we have to pay for it.
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Given that we're all paying for it anyway, it could be considered foolish *not* to get some of your taxes back.
Tim
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wrote:

It would help if you gave more tech data and quoted costs for more meaningful advice
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And I'd be interested in seeing the quotes to compare with my sister's
tim
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Well, the kind of thing I *am* worried about is making holes in a slate roof in west Wales. 3 installers I have talked to seem to have 3 systems of fastening brackets to roof.. Has anyone had a roof leak with solar panels? The construction of the panels varies a bit. I want to get the strongest. All the manufacturers say theirs are very strong of course, made with toughened glass that will withstand 25mm hailstones. I'm almost as sceptical as you guys.
Solar thermal panels have been around a while. Does anyone have any experience of them blowing off the roof?
I appreciate the detail in the solar case study website from Harry. How did you make the decision for Sharp panels?
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I wouldn't trust any solar power company called "sunnyboy".
MBQ
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember "Man at B&Q"
When there are grey skies...
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Man at B&Q wrote:

Good job you are not considering the related wind generator product from the same company - "Windy Boy" !!
Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@YOURHATntlworld.com says...

Tidal power from Surging Wetness Boy!
--
Skipweasel - never knowingly understood.

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Skipweasel wrote:

Buoy shirley?
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On Feb 10, 7:33pm, Bob Minchin

A 15kW wind turbine has been installed not far from me. Its only run for about 20% of the days since it went live. Most of those were at the lower end of the working wind speed range.
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Independent source for comparison of performance
http://www.uksolarcasestudy.co.uk /
I have recently joined the club and took a keen interest in the whole procedure with photos of the interesting stages of the job. I used a local firm after negotiating price and comparing competitors. Looked at other jobs they had done and spoke to customers. Regarding the remark about damage to the roof - The house was scaffolded, two electricians and two roofing guys came on the appointed day. Four rows of tiles slid up, long 5" x 1" timber bearers screwed to the rafters to spread the load across the roof. Heavy gauge galvanised cranked brackets screwed to the bearers which lay onto the row of tiles below the bearers, a groove cut into the underside of the tile above so it would slide back into position without being lifted by the bracket and all the tiles slid back into place. This left four rows of upstanding irons to which long profile strips were bolted and the panels clamped to the profile strips. the installation consists of two strings so two tiles had holes cut into them and a lead sheet with a gland overlays them to ensure waterproofing. The pairs of dc wires from the strings pass through the felt overlaps and into the loft where the inverter is mounted. If I ever did want to remove the panels the total remedial work would be four tiles to replace the ones with holes in them and strip out the brackets etc. I don't consider that to be a problem but have no intention of stripping out anyway. Details of installation 3.96 kw installed as 18 x 220 watt Sharp panels, SMA inverter, Krauss and Naimer isolators, Landis & Gyr total generation meter, EDF my Electric Supplier. Total cost 15k, 10 year guarantee, Tariff guaranteed for 25 years, expected payback in 9 to 10 years but as electricity prices rise this will be shortened.
I couldnt see the point of not going ahead and others getting the payment while I did not but paid for them. A no-brainer really
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I had to write to the planning dept for a letter confirming that the project would fall under permiited development. the contractor dealt with building regs, obtained and completed the FIT application form and certificates which I had to sign and send off recorded delivery with proof of identity (photostat of driving licence) and proof of address (recent phone bill) attached to my suppliers. The price was including VAT held from November but I don't think the 5% VAT rate altered anyway did it? EDF are still processing my application but have confirmed that it is in their system so start date is ok
The contractor I used always offers Sharp panels and saw no reason to ask for different make.
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For anyone interested I have put some stage photos of the tile roof install on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/50537870@N04 /
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In message

Wouldn't it have been better to out them on the barn roof?
--
geoff

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