Thursday 31 January 2013

Jan 2013 - Our Worst Month for Solar Panel Output

January 2013 has been our worst month ever for solar electricity generated by our Solar Panels. The total output for the month was 89kWh, way below Jan 2012 at 112kWh and even lower than the 92kWh for Dec 2012.

The month seemed to be continually cloudy either with snow which lost a couple of days to zero output or with rain which just reduced the generation down to under 1kWh for the day. The stats below don't tell the full story as the number of days below 5kWh was virtually identical between Jan 2012 and Jan 2013. Maybe days below 2kWh would show more of a difference.

Fortunately from our experience last year poor output over the winter makes very little difference to annual solar panel generation. 25% lower in January isn't the end of the world - 25% lower in the summer would be a disaster and be equivalent to losing the whole of January's output!

Edit - just seen the stats released by the Met Office. The South East had only 72% of the long term average sun for the month of Jan 2013 which ties in with our solar generation being 25% below last year.

Jan 2013 - Our Worst Month for Solar Panel Output
Jan 2013 - Our Worst Month for Solar Panel Output

Tuesday 15 January 2013

What is the New 2013 FiT Rate (Feed In Tariff Rate) Solar Panels

The RPI figure for December has just been announced at 3.1% which means that the Feed in Tariff rates (FIT) will go up by this amount on 1st April 2013.

new rate Feed in Tariff rates (FIT) from 1st April 2013
new rate Feed in Tariff rates (FIT) from 1st April 2013

Last year the rate increased from 43.3p to 45.4p per kWh of electricity generated and to 3.2p for exported electricity (deemed at 50%)

The new rate Feed in Tariff rates (FIT) from 1st April 2013 will be 46.8p and the export rate will be 3.3p.

2011   43.3p
2012   45.4p
2013   46.8p

With the 50% deemed export this means the main FIT rate is equivalent to 48.5p per kWh of solar PV electricity generated.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Solar Panel Electricity Generated in 2012 - South East UK Solar PV Output

After a very poor end to Dec 2012 the sun is shining brightly today so hopefully 2013 will be a better year for solar panel electricity generation than the very wet and cloudy 2012.

With the wet & cloudy end to the year December disappointed with a lower generation than Dec 2011 producing 92kWh compared to 105kWh last year. This is the first month that we have year on year comparisons as our panels were installed towards the end of November 2011.

Despite the wettest year in England since records began over 100 years ago the actual electricity generated by our solar panels was very respectable and well above the estimates at the time of purchase. It does make you wonder how  good a sunny year would be in comparison if we can achieve such good solar generation in wet & cloudy conditions.

The total electricity generated by our 3kWp solar panels in 2012 was 3068 kWh although this includes the inverter crash during August which reduced the total by around 150kWh so the annual total should have been over 3200kWh for 2012.

The estimated total of 3200 kWh for our 3kWp panels compares very favourably with another local installation of 3.3kWp that has generated 3254kWh for 2012.

You can view the full solar electricity generation by month and breakdown by various data sets on the link below.

Solar Panel Electricity Generated 2012
Solar Panel Electricity Generated 2012