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.