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Found 12 results

  1. Hi all, We are early in our self build journey having just been granted planning in principle for our plot. We have an architect and have had first discussions with a broker, so the money side of things looks ok too. Cost and efficiency are big motivators as we currently live in an old house which haemorrhages both heat and money, Will also be our home for the next 30 odd years so running costs important. Have only now just started the bulk of our research as it took three years to sort the plot and didn't want to get ahead of ourselves. Will probably have questions on absolutely everything.Thanks!
  2. Hi - hoping for some thoughts / advice? I just had a solar pv system commissioned on my 22 year old house. Two storey semi detached. I've had a small amount of excess so far and my mind started wondering how best to use it....I was too late with the blue pills..!!! So, the PV system has an Eddi diverter keeping the upstairs hot tank at 60oC when there is excess. It makes me really want to use the hot tank more than I do currently. I'm also thinking about how to solve a problem I have in the kitchen. Current Hot water cylinder usage: Upstairs hot taps Ensuite Shower (1 adult user, hot flow is ok but not great) The odd bath Kitchen Sink There is an electric shower in the main bathroom that myself and one other adult uses, 3-5 minute short showers each. Flow is good enough from cold tank in attic. PV System: 4.2kw PV array, 6kwh battery, Eddie diverter to immersion Gas Heating - standard condensing boiler (not a combi) and radiators with Thermostatic valves Issue #1: The kitchen hot tap has a 30 second dead leg - 1/2 inch copper pipe feed Issue #2: Options for Triton electric shower in main bathroom - can I use the hot water tank instead? Issue #3: Best use of any additional Excess PV #1: Currently the electric shower and screen are mounted at the foot of the bath. The hot water tank is on the other side of the wall at the foot of the bath. The ensuite is 6 feet away. The existing bath shower hot head pressure isn't the best, it might just be the old hose though. I'd like to use the hot tank for showers but have a fallback like an in line Siebert Eltron system that only kicks in if the water isn't hot enough to give the 38oC shower needed. Maybe add a Digital shower but am concerned about the hot water pressure as I'm on the same level as the tank. #2: For the kitchen I've been looking at instant hot water taps, the Grohe model mixes with the dead leg water and provides hot water until the hot tank water arrives downstairs. I have capacity for some additional background load given I have a battery. Some type of insulated storage tank that buffers the dead leg and keeps itself at 60oC or so would be ideal. I'm trying to avoid paying for more filters though as I've a 6 stage filtration system at the kitchen sink with its own tap already, unless I can integrate that. Instant boiling water would be nice though! I can't see how I'd be able to add a re circulation circuit into an existing house but is that an easy or difficult option? I've no return pipe for it.... #3: One more option I'm considering is adding a second output to the Eddi and connecting it to an LHZ electric heater in the living room - it's the coldest room in the house, 3 outside walls. Undersized Radiator. I'll be doing triple glazed windows and external wall insulation at some point but thought having a second use for excess useful - we have no FiT currently. Might not be enough excess in winter when it's most needed though..... It's great to see the house doing something it's never done before.
  3. So, the PV installers have done their thing but in the attic there's now a new hole where they poked through their DC cables (2 x strings = 4 cables). I did ask them about this and they seemed to think that the tiles take care of the water. I thought the felt was a second line of defense....? Anyway, the inverter etc isn't hooked up yet so I was wondering is this a risk? What are my options? I could create a bend with a water trap / alarm under it from the wires? I'm not sure I'd be able to pass them back outside and back in the felt overlap shown though. I could call out the installers, they were very nice otherwise but technically, on reflection, I think this approach let them down. Thoughts?
  4. Has anyone used/got experience of thin film solar cells? I am getting resistance form HWMBO that PV panels are ugly "I'm not having those on my nice new house!" The plan, at the moment, is for raised seam metal roofing and I understand this works well with TFSP and I might get it past the design guru!! TIA
  5. A sort of sister thread to the one here: This blog entry details the installation of my wall mounted Solar PV system:
  6. Linked to the discussion here: and following a joint purchase of panels with @ProDave I'm planning to install a small, 6 panel array. For simplicity and neatness, I've decided to mount the array on my garage wall. Whilst it is true that this will not maximise generation, it should result in my being able to use almost all of what is generated, and should save some of the expense and work involved in creating a ground mounting system. My plan is to mount the panels, orientated in portrait format, so the top is the same height as the house windows (should look better visually). The question really is how best to mount them. In the linked topic, @Miek provided a link to a supplier of mounting rails, clamps etc. Whilst I could fix the panels directly to timber battens onto which the garage cladding is fixed (using Z brackets) my gut feeling is that it would be better and probably easier to use a rail and clamp system. I've emailed the company to ask, but anyone have a view why I shouldn't use a roof mounting rail system for this job? Any other suggestions welcome.
  7. For anyone considering more than 4kW on their solar PV, I received this from my DNO today and it may be helpful. Note that their quoted maximum turnaround time for applications is 65 working days, i.e. around 3 months. To complete an application, and allow me to send the application to our Network Planner, we would require the following information; · Schematic – Please show all live phases, neutral, earth, lockable isolators, the name & size of inverters being used, a clear demarcation between the DNO and customer equipment and the generation itself. · Site Plan – Please provide a google earth image of the site, and mark the meter point · Completed G59 Application Please can you also provide your MPAN for the above application. We will retain your partial application for 10 days from todays date. If we receive no further correspondence from you by this date, we will cancel this application and delete your records. You are, of course, free to make a new application at any time. Microgen.pdf
  8. Well next week I will pop along to the local consultation event for UK's largest solar farm which will be just down the road from Whitstable in Graveney. It will have 350MW, 4 x the current largest, at peak output and spread over 890 acres. I know what I think - what do you think? Loads on the Web - neatly balanced description HERE from the Guardian.
  9. How are solar panels fixed to a roof? I ask because I'd like to buy and install our PV after we have built the roof. I'd like to build the clips / fixing system into the roof at the time we build the roof, rather than dig around in all that expensive insulation and waterproofing after it has been fitted. We are putting the rafters in in the next week or so, and that would be the time to install the anchor points for the panels I have searched YT and found the usual nutcases: Watching most of the videos makes me wince - simple 8mm roofing screws screwed right into the roof with no regard whatever for water ingress. And people carrying heavy weights merrily waltzing around on a steeply pitched roof with absolutely no regard for safety @Construction Channel (he isn't a nutcase) hasn't done his yet, so I can't watch what he's done. Hurry up Ed will you, please? Are there any guidelines for attaching solar panels, any regulations I need to know about ?
  10. Hi, I'm not entirely sure if this post belongs here but there are several components that I think I should consider as part of one solution: Heating and Hot Water. You may be familiar with my project from the introductions forum but I'll present you with my circumstances in any case. I currently have a Combi Boiler heating our traditionally constructed 2700sq.ft bungalow and providing hot water to 2 showers (right now we use 14000 kWh Electricity and 48907 kWh Gas per annum!). We will be updating the current building with thicker loft insulation and better windows, but will still use rads to heat this portion of the house when we complete the renovation. The new part of the house will add around 6000sq.ft and will be built to much better u values using ICF walls and SIPS roof. Here's where I'm confused, I don't know what the best system will be that can provide loads of hot water (7 showers), heat UFH in the new part and also heat the rads in the old part. I'm further confused by mhrv, I've heard this is a necessity in ICF homes, but then heard the speaker at the homebuilding show at NEC state that they're pointless for homes over a certain size. I'm open to installing an ASHP but I'm not sure whether it's necessary or even beneficial when I have the option of mains gas. Lastly, I've a good size roof pointing SE without any shading to speak of so we could potentially generate a considerable amount electricity, but I would have to consider the regulations of having a system over 4kWh and the costs associated, also factoring potential battery storage over and above Sunamp if this too makes sense to use. I don't have a clue where the feed in tariff comes in to all this! There will also be a detached annexe of around 800sq.ft and we will most likely go with UFH and 1 shower, I'm not sure how this should be incorporated in to the overall scheme or whether I should treat it separate. I know its probably a good idea to speak with an energy solutions firm and will most likely speak with Stratford Energy Solutions who have been recommended to me, however, I also know that they may have commercial interests that don't take in to account all of the factors we self builders consider.
  11. I'm getting a few quotes in on PV systems for the roof of my MBC build and I have a slightly tricky issue of how to route the DC cabling from the array, underneath the tiles on a south facing 35° inclination roof, over the ridge and down the north facing side, into the single storey flat-roof garage where the inverter will live. I'd like it all sealed and tucked away where it won't have anything nasty done to it by local rodents or birds, but it's whether there is enough clearance for the cabling and all its protection. Any suggestions, please?
  12. I know there was lots of discussion on the old site about Solar PV with the recent changes by the government on feed in tariffs. I'm still sitting on the fence but need to decide soon and wonder what the general consensus was? I already have planning permission for Solar PV so that's not and issue, but I originally had plans for a 4kw system to take advantage of the south facing roof and the feed in tariff. Now the FiT has been reduced my thoughts are reverting to just self install and free electricity diverted to the water tank via Immersion or such solutions. This is a long term home with slate roof and bedded in panels. At the moment plugin solar have Quote £3100 for a 2 kw system with panels paired with micro inverters as the roof will become part shaded in the evening. The local PV supplier has said it's still worthwhile to go down the MCS FiT route (obviously he would say that :)) and has finger in the air quoted £3.5k which would still create a few hundred pounds return per year. He's also suggesting going for the full 4kw and maybe chuck the other panels on a shed roof to get on the MCS FiT system as a full system. He doesn't have many good things to say about the GSE in roof system but personally i think these are just that (views) and not supported by any facts. He referred to the long term robustness of them having recently fitted some that broke during install. I think the self install vs MCS is a said for the 2kw system if his quote of £3.5k stands but just wondered on the views of 1) going for the full 4kw (future crystal ball gazing with the government's challenges at Hinkley point would the FiT rise and therefore add 2kw separate system later? 2) views on the in roof systems for robustness and heat issues?