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About Me


Found 14 results

  1. Hey Folks, Getting quite close to finally pulling the trigger on this build and of course there the many questions popping up in my head every day, especially after browsing this forum each day! The latest niggle in my head is should we have planned to have solar panels along with our ASHP?! Our 290m2 house will have UFH on the ground floor with rads upstairs. Plumber has quoted a 16kw ASHP with a 300 tank (50 litre buffer tank). Bit of a basic question however what would the PV’s (if we had them) be best utilised for exactly? To simply power the heat pump? Given the plumber has quoted a 16kw pump is it asking a lot for PV’s to power such a pump and therefore would it be cost effective? I have also heard people using solar panels for the hot water only? Whatever the outcome we 100% do not want masses of PV’s on the roof, a couple would be acceptable on the integral garage I think. I will admit I am a little clueless with solar panels and their associated cost to install - any figures would be greatly appreciated. thanks again for your help guys
  2. When installing PV the local distribution network operator (DNO) needs to be told if the installation is more than 3.9Kw (ish). For those in the know the G59 form, which was the route for this communication, is now defunct and the new G99 process is order of the day for grid connected PV schemes above 3.9Kw, ours will be around 7.5Kw so we need to go through the G99 process, via form A1-1 (simplified). Before I ring UK Power Networks I was wondering if anybody has been through G99 and can give me a heads up on how it was for you. I want to avoid using more than one phase because of the extant cabling and the dangers of having using more than one phase across what it otherwise a domestic site. So I am going to try that approach first. One thing I have not provisioned for is the G99 relay I suspect I need in here somewhere, I guess it goes just after (on the way in) the incomer breaker? Although relays seem a lot less 'talked about' nowadays! Our schematic of 2017 is attached and I am also wondering how I might control this so I don't end up exporting the battery output or, more importantly, using it to charge the EV (our next car will be an EV) and then have nothing to get us through the night. I wonder if the various inverters are / some are able to cope with this complexity without active control? Any observations gratefully accepted - perhaps I have more than 2 problems?
  3. I'm struggling to find a way to get a ~4KWp system on our south facing roof - we have a partial dormer cutting in to the roof and a projection for our master bedroom. I can fiddle around and squeeze in a couple extra panels to either side of the dormer or on either the east or west facing roofs on the bedroom projection. But even then it's barely 4KWp and its far from optimal with partial shading on some of the panels. From my understanding it can be problematic if you have an array with some panels in shade at different times of the day? Plus I want to use an in-roof system and doing anything other than a simple rectangle seems more difficult and expensive. Planning have also expressed concerns about visibility of panels on the Eastern roof and may stipulate that we dont have any panels here (still waiting on decision - we're in a conservation area) So, considering that, I think it's best to just have 8 panels on the main roof - should be unshaded all day except early morning. And then I can have at least 10 panels on the garage roof. Would need to rotate the roof ridge on the design but I can't see that being an issue with planning. Can I still use the one inverter setup or does this type of array require more gizmos?
  4. The government seem to have given a boost to small scale battery storage, as they've announced that not only are they scrapping the FIT subsidy next year, but they are also not going to allow microgenerators to be paid anything for any electricity they export to the grid. So, if looking to fit PV, then several things become paramount. The first is to maximise self use, which may lead to the adoption of East/West arrays, or even flat arrays, more useful than South facing arrays. Secondly, not fitting a PV diverter system to heat hot water with excess generation would be daft; it becomes essential to try and use as much electricity you generate as possible, as there is no merit in giving the power companies a free subsidy with energy they don't have to pay for. Finally, with the price of battery systems dropping, this move may well swing the balance to make home storage more attractive. Losing e few pence for every unit exported to the grid effectively increases the return on any battery system. That could make all the difference in terms of cost effectiveness.
  5. hi all, starting to consider pv panels, wasn't going to bother but now starting to think about it. i had thought that monocrystalline was the best due to % efficiency but am finding that amorphous is better in low light. these are also cheaper and the returns don't seem much different when compared to the purchase costs. i'm not bothered about getting them fitted to get the FiT and would try to use as much as possible of the generation. i did search for monocrystalline but only got two results, therefore could those with more knowledge please advise? i would like to go for 8KW if i'm allowed as looking at sunamp and future proofing with car charging point.
  6. I'm probably a bit late, I am in the middle of a self build and am looking for advice. I have 240 m2 of floor space and have opted for UFH for the ground floor which I have purchased from NuHeat with Neostats. Upstairs I have aluminium Rads with a neostat on the landing and a 300 UV cylinder again with a Neostat all of which are hard wired. I have natural gas and am looking at a modulating Worcester 34kw system boiler. I have a 4kw pv system (SW facing and hopefully will fit an immersun) with single panel optimisers and a Beam c130 MVHR system. I have installed the first fix myself and am looking for any suggestions/advice on things I may have missed. I think I am down to about 0.17 on the external walls with 140mm batts and superfoil, osb before plaster board and also used the foil breather membrane on the external timber frame. A Scan 58 log burner has also been purchased as I am looking at cutting down on bills the closer to retirement I get ? . Dare I venture into the AV/networking!! I am dreaming cables at the moment!!! Thanks in advance C
  7. My PV array(s) is(are) finally commissioned, they have been on the roof since November last year! Two reasons for the delay: Mains power required in the house (Available Feb), also final second fit electrical, no extensions! Internet required!!! The installers tried setting it up at the end of March but failed! They returned last week when I was there and basically I did the commissioning work!!! (Following the instructions). I have 37 x 280W Monocrystalline panels JAM6(K)-60-280-4BB (Chinese from the supplier) each coupled to an enphase micro-inverter. These are wired via 3-phase cable (house is 3-phase) into their own breaker board, then onto the main board via an import meter. Teh array is split up 10 panels SE and 27 SW, each array has it's own breaker and there is a noise suppressor in the box also. An enphase envoy is wired in next to the breaker box and communicates with micro-inverters via powerline and the world by my Wi-Fi (on an isolated subnet). The problem was that the envoy (brains) could not communicate with the micro-inverters so the system was not coming online. The installers commissioning the system were stumped so after about an hour I went up into the attic to help, First of all connecting the system to my Wi-Fi (not the temporary BT Hub from build), then I downloaded the installer app (iPhone), they logged me on, and following the instruction on my laptop set up the array details (all micro-inverters were serial numbered) and set it to work. Remarkably all micro-inverters were detected but only 2/3 communicating (powerline problems), by this time it was past support hours so they planned to come back the next day. In the meantime my electrician came in to do some odd jobs, I explained the issue to him and he suggested that they take a power feed directly off their breaker board (behind their noise suppressor) for the envoy rather than use the socket that is on the attic ring. When the installers returned the next day, I passed on the advice which they confirmed with the enphase support people and fitted the dedicated socket, unsurprisingly all bar one reported in and that one has since done so. My array is now up and running: It can be viewed here: I have managed over 8kW in the current garbage weather and over 40kWh on one day! As an aside I had to have an interim EPC produced before the array was commissioned to enable full FIT rate claim, the EPC will be subsequently re-assessed (with Solar) to give a final realistic figure. It is a quirk of the system (designed for retrofit not new-build) that if you commission a system without a lodged EPC, you get a FIT rate of about 10% of the current puny rate, but you cannot include Solar in your EPC until it is commissioned, so you end up doing it twice!!
  8. Anyone have experience of buying Solar Pv in kit form, for in-roof installation?
  9. It has taken me a long while to be convinced that PV was economically worthwhile, but now that we have the energy model near complete for our house it's become a no brainer. So I thought I'd share my findings. This assumes a FIT installation with Generated and Exported rates of 3.93 and 5.03 p/kWh for a 9kW system. I've not yet tried the cheaper installation of a non-FIT version which is often quoted as a better alternative. Perhaps I'll have a go at modelling and comparing that too in the near future. I've made my Energy Model available for anyone interested; get it here. The following charts show the quickest return to payoff of the PV system and lowest annual outgoings. Had to use Mains Gas for Heating and DHW, through these can be toggled to electricity in the model.
  10. As we have had a few sunny days recently and pretty close to the longest hours of daylight, has anyone suffered increased overheating? Decent temperature data is always welcome, but a general response is also useful.
  11. Hi All Here in N.I. we can currently only connect a maximum of 4kW of PV to the grid. I don't want to go fully off-grid but I do want more than this. Has anyone here heard of or installed a mix of circuits, some supplied only by a PB/battery and some directly by the mains? Thanks
  12. We are currently in the detailed planning stages for the re-build next year, Planning Permission Granted. I will, when I can work out how to create one, move the blog I started in ebuild and continue it. Mine is not so much a self-build as it will be built by a contractor, but a custom build which is why I am putting so much effort into the planning.
  13. This post appeared on ebuild, and since it is the work of many people, I reproduce it here. It's a shadow of its former self because I can no longer make the links to the comments to which the bullet points refer. Some you win , others you lose. So, because the text without the link is useless, I have deleted some references to the authors. I have not deleted the names of the original authors who registered with us in the hope that they can provide us with a link to relevant material The checklist is not definitive. Over time I will link this checklist to comments on (buildhub and elsewhere) which substantiate the point made. Your comment on this list is particularly valuable because any work done here improves the validity of the list. And so is likely to save you time and, hopefully, money. Heating Checklist Background reading and considerations Fundamentals Get a feel for what you already use Consider applying PHPP to the design to derive a heating requirement Use J S Harris spreadsheet{J, got a link to that for us?, Ian} Play with PeterW's FingerInTheAir MVHR Checker (PeterW#5) { Peter, got a link to that for us?} Heat Calculations Passiv? Do you need heating at all? Look for Thermal Bridges in your design How are you going to manage cooling? Consider Phase Change Material Storage. Stitching ASHP and UFH together On mains gas? No brainer - it's cheapest Cost benefit analysis. KISS Separate out DHW. Use instant water heaters Selling your house on? Higher temperatures needed? We are all getting older Higher lower occupancy rates in the future? Which thermostats to fit? Smart? Analogue? Radiator? It's not easy. But KISS - off the shelf. (jsharris Blog whole entry and discussion ) Underfloor Heating (UFH) DIY or not? End of lay (Nickfromwales#7) Plot the loops out on graph paper (TerryE#12) Best layout (NickfromWales#15) Useful summary (Alphonsox#17, and Nickfromwales commentary on that #27) ) How to deal with the pipes to the manifold before second fix Testing for leaks (declan52 #25) Avoid piping under toilet and sink traps (nickfromwales#29) MVHR By definition, MVHR = air tightness Forget a traditional fireplace, therefore. MVHR wishlist Where to put the vents? (jsharris#10 et seq) Keep pipe runs to a minimum (PeterStark #10) Minimise 90degree bends (PeterStark #1) Insulate all SUPPLY ducting (PeterStark #10) External Vents at least 2m apart (PeterStark #10) External vents slope downward (PeterStark #10) Fitting metal joists? Fit rigid ducting first (PeterStark #10) Supply to living and bedrooms (PeterStark #10) Extract from wet(ish) rooms (PeterStark #10) Mind yer bonfires ( jsharris#3) Location of MVHR unit Noise concerns: fit attenuation boxes (jsharris#11, jsharris#2) Type of ducting Radial design explained (jsharris#6, whole thread worth a read) While you are at it, try this (jsharris#6) Think through the cooling issue (jsharrisblog 38, 03:48, 1andR whole thread, jsharriswhole thread, TerryE, whole thread, hazymat, whole thread ) Bio Mass / Wood burners A cautionary tale (Steamy#1) The British Medical Journal on the subject (Steamy #1) Heat Pumps (ASHP GSHP) What's your heat load going to be? (Steamy#2, DeeJunFan#3) Are they worth it? (jsharris #4) Caution (jsharris as above) ASHP and DWH (jsharris #7) No need for DHW feeds to all rooms (jsharris#13) jsharris blog post(s) (jsharris) but see recent entries (part 41 and elsewhere) in relation to DWH Controls, how? (jsharris blog 38) Run slab from room stat? (jsharrisblog 38, 03:48) How to cool the house? (jsharrisblog 38, 03:48) Solar: Thermal or PV? FIT considerations RHI considerations Which Solar or PV? (Declan52 #1) PV for Hot water (recommended by jsharris, Ed Davies Blog, accessed Jan 2016) *But* consider separating out DHW. Use instant water heaters (jsharris#5) It's (PV) a no-brainer (Nickfromwales#6, jsharris#8)
  14. Hi, I'm Jeremy, just finishing a passive house build on the West Wiltshire/Dorset border. I'll have our build blog up on this forum shortly.