Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bring me sunshine

About 5 years ago, DH installed a solar water heating system for us.  A plumber friend helped to connect it all up, but DH did the rest himself.  It's been fantastic,  a huge saving overall, and we encouraged our friends (especially those doing renovations) to think about doing this.

We wanted to do solar PV at the same time, but could not justify the cost of getting it installed. Self installation was a possibility, but still expensive, and we wouldn't get the grid tie in.

DH played around with some smaller 80w panels.   This worked OK, but wasn't particularly efficient.   We kept putting off the decision to go ahead with full solar PV.  Installation was too expensive, and the thechnology was still improving.

Two years ago we decided we would do it.  Component prices were coming down, electricity prices were going up.  DH was busy working, and couldn't free up the time needed to do it.

This year, we decided to bite the bullet and get it in installed by someone else.  When we got the three quotes we were surprised to see that the total cost, including fitting, was less than the component costs had been just a couple of years ago.  (In fact the total cost  was only about 2.5 times as much as our original test 80w panels cost!).   

It was difficult  deciding which of the dozens and dozens of fairly local installers to get to come and quote.   We looked at the websites of the first 30 or so, and got a long list of about 12, and we then got this down to 3.

All 3 were great.  They were all different.  It was tough to choose.  We dropped one because he was so busy, we could see that it would be some time before we could get done. He was a lovely chap.

In the end,  the decision was almost made for us.  One of the two had provided a comparative quotations for a single inverter and for micro inverters.    We researched micro inverters in more detail and decided that's what we wanted.  We asked the other chap about them, and he wasn't keen on them.  Fair enough, lots of people don't like them.    We talked about it, did a bit more research, and concluded that we definitely wanted to go with micro inverters.  So we went ahead with the chap who had quoted for them.

Installation is this week!

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