Monday, 3 September 2018

Solar Data to June 2018

I've now loaded the first six months of 2018 data to 30 June. Some interesting data that shows the "Beast from the East" cold weather event in March 2018 and how fantastically sunny June and May 2018 were with record solar generation during those months.

In the UK as a whole solar has made a much bigger contribution this year too.

Solar Data to June 2018
Solar Data to June 2018

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

2018-19 Feed in Tariff FIT Rate Level for UK Solar PV

The inflation rate for December 2017 has just been released today which means that the level of Feed in Tariff for 2018/2019 is now known.

The Feed in Tariff (FIT) rate for April onwards is based on RPI inflation rate for the previous December so the 2017 figure will determine the FIT tariff payment level from April 2018.

The FIT tariff level for 2017-2018 was 50.67p per kWh for generation and 3.57p per kWh for export which is deemed as 50% of the electricity generated.

The headline figure of CPI inflation for December 2017 was 3.0% but this isn't the number used to calculate the Feed in Tariff FIT level, the value needed is for RPI inflation which is much harder to find as it's no longer considered an "official" national statistic.

2018-19 Feed in Tariff FIT Rate Level for UK Solar PV
Solar PV generation meter - FIT rates 2018/19

Delving into the ONS statistics page it's eventually possible to locate the RPI number which is 4.1% for December 2017.

So to calculate the new FIT rate we need to multiply the old value of 50.67p by 4.1% which gives a new value of 52.75p for the Feed in Tariff rate as of April 2018-2019. The level for export will increase to 3.72p

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

2017 Solar Panel Data UK

I've been a bit slow to update the data on my website over the past 12 months as it was becoming more tedious to do every month so I decided to batch it up. Unfortunately I subsequently discovered that the Sunny Boy inverter only holds 2 months of detailed daily data but full copies of the monthly summaries which means that a couple of months are lacking details.

With another year added to the totals it's interesting to see how the months may vary by year but often a bad month will be balanced out by a better month the same year so the overall totals are much closer that you might expect. For example 2015 and 2017 were only 6kWh different at 3207kWh and 3213kWh respectively. What does seem clear is that the maximum days are dropping which might be expected as the solar panels age so in 2017 we only had 1 day with over 20kWh of electricity produced.

Monday, 20 November 2017

UK Solar Panels 6 Years On

Our solar panels were installed on 19th November 2011 so we've now had them just over 6 years. In that time they've generated 19261 kWh of electricity which equates to 3210 kWh per year which is pretty good for 3 kWp panels. Our solar panels do face almost due South and have minimal shading so we are in optimum conditions for the best generation.

In that time our panels have also earned £9124 in FIT (UK feed in tariff) payments which have more than covered the installation cost of £8999. The FIT payment actually runs to August 2017 so we still have nearly 1000 kWh of generation to receive FIT payments on.

Is there anything we'd do differently? 

Not really. As per the image above it wouldn't have really been worth the panels on the lower roof which would have dragged the overall generation down due to shading unless we had multiple strings or an inverter optimised for shading.
The one thing we would do if we had panels fitted again would be to install pigeon deterrent grills underneath the panels. It seems that they're a perfect home for pigeons who like to use the shelter of the panels to build their nests. It's not just our panels, we've noticed them on many in the area.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

New FIT Rates from April 2017 - Increased Solar Feed in Tariffs

The FIT rate from April each year is determined by the RPI inflation rate for the previous December. This was announced today as 2.5% so FIT rates will rise by that amount from April 2017.

Currently we get 49.43p per kWh that we generate as our solar PV panels were installed in November 2011. This will increase to 50.67p per kWh from April 2017.
The export rate will increase from 3.48p per kWH to 3.57p per kWh at the same time

(Rates for 2016/17 are 49.43p for generation and 3.48p for export. Numbers calculated based on 2.5% RPI on existing 2016/17 FIT rates for 2011 installations)

New FIT Rates from April 2017 - Increased Solar Feed in Tariffs
New FIT Rates from April 2017 - Increased Solar Feed in Tariffs

Rates for more recent installations can be found here

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Long Term Solar Panel Generation Review - 5 Year Output Data

We've now had our solar panels for over 5 years and have collected 5 complete years worth of data from them.

It's interesting to see how years and months compared and how similar some months are every year. Overall the annual generation has been consistently over 3000 kWh which is pretty impressive for 3kWp panels. We are fortunate that our panels face almost directly due South and have minimal shading so are probably about as good as you're likely to get for a location in the south of the UK (We're based in Kent)

Friday, 6 January 2017

Ideal Logic + Plus Combi Boiler Review & Installation Costs

We needed a new boiler for our rental property and most plumbers seemed to be recommending the Ideal Logic Plus Combi Boiler as it has a 7 year warranty on it as long as the service is carried out every year. Being a rental property the boiler needs a gas safety certificate annually so servicing at the same time to ensure the warranty remains valid makes sense.

It was quite a hard decision as all the information online about Ideal boilers was quite negative but it seems that the Logic Plus combi boiler is a very different design and far more reliable than older ones that have some serious problems and issues.

The old boiler was a Vokera Compact HE that had been exceptionally unreliable over the last 5 years and was very costly to repair with parts taking days to arrive. I'm hoping that the Ideal Logic Plus boiler will have much better parts availability should any faults arise as it's a UK company.

So far the installation went smoothly and was completed within a day by 2 gas safe plumbers. The Ideal Logic Plus has the option for a wireless thermostat controller which I chose and so far it seems to warm the house much more effectively as well as giving better water pressure than the old boiler.

I'll try to update this with more details as the time goes on and record any issues with the Logic Plus boiler that we experience but fingers crossed that won't be for a few years yet!

The Ideal Logic boiler comes with a service pack to record details of the services carried out alongside the instruction and installation manuals.

The cost of the boiler installation in January 2017 was £2000 which included the boiler, fitting as well as Powerflush and fitting a new magnaclean unit.