Getting rooftop solar panels and battery storage for the first time - what questions do we have?

Getting rooftop solar panels and battery storage for the first time - what questions do we have?
  • Community Manager
  • 7636 replies

Hi everyone

Do you have any questions about rooftop solar PV panels and battery storage? Such as what happens before, during and after installation, how they work, what you need to know, and how much energy they produce?

Or perhaps you’re interested in finding out how the energy they generate is monitored, and how much is saved in £ and CO2 by taking less from the grid? Or how it can be exported back to energy suppliers?

Following our announcement that Pure Planet has launched a solar PV and battery pilot with bp Lightsource Labs, we’ll be getting underway next week.

Phase one of the pilot involves five of the Pure Planet team - including myself - getting PV panels, batteries and all the associated kit. 

In a few months’ time we’ll be expanding the pilot to more homes, and we’ll be offering Pure Planet Members the chance to take part, too. By then we’ll have a better understanding of the install process, set up process, how much CO2 is offset, and savings available. 

Of course I’m planning to report on everything that happens with my panels and battery installs right here in the Pure Planet Community. And the other four participants are up for doing lots of blogs and videos and social media posts. We’ll be talking about the install process, the tech and how it works, and so on.

Before I kick off here, I thought it would be great to hear from Community Members about what kind of info you’d like me to share? 

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23 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Looking forward to hearing everything, from how to install them, if someone can install them themselves, the connections etc, to how to manage them and your account 👍

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

A few things I am curious about,

Are the panels and kit only available to homes that are pointing the right way? I was turned down years ago, at the time the scheme allowed free installation, but the installers to be paid for any energy exported, as my house was so many degrees out, even though the roof had sunlight all/most of the day, the application was refused.

What is the expected cost of a standard installation,( I know no two are the same )

What is the expected output of the panels and storage.

How long are the panels and storage expected to last before replacement

Is there any ongoing maintenance required

 

There is another thread with this subject/concern. Much depends on where you live as to whether solar panels or thermal are better. Solar not so good in the North. Then there is the cost, deterioration, for their output reduces in time,  and life expectancy. From what I have read no money is saved as they need replacing before the capital cost is recovered.

What about damage to long-term roof weatherproofing and issues with changes to home insurance?

Depending on the price spread between import and export, perhaps in exceptional times it might be more beneficial to avoid using your solar energy yourself, i.e. sell more to the grid and buy it back later when needed. A sunny 7pm perhaps when the grid is under high demand… Or is the export price always too low for consumers to get into trading like that?

I know people installing 99 MW (198 MWh) battery hook-ups to the grid to do energy trading, just wondered if consumers could do the same...

I have a solar/battery installation up and running - any chance of being included in any customer pilot?

I have a solar/battery installation up and running - any chance of being included in any customer pilot?

Hi @quarkrad Pop a reply to this thread over here :thumbsup:

What about damage to long-term roof weatherproofing and issues with changes to home insurance?

Depending on the price spread between import and export, perhaps in exceptional times it might be more beneficial to avoid using your solar energy yourself, i.e. sell more to the grid and buy it back later when needed. A sunny 7pm perhaps when the grid is under high demand… Or is the export price always too low for consumers to get into trading like that?

I know people installing 99 MW (198 MWh) battery hook-ups to the grid to do energy trading, just wondered if consumers could do the same...

Good questions @25 quid :relaxed:

Is this scheme one where the homeowner can utilise the electricity produced but any payments for export to the grid are taken by bp (I.e. bp rent the roof space), or does the home owner procure the panels and take any potential financial gain from export to the grid?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

We want to know everything @Marc !

I don't know much about how it all works, I.e. the costs to install, how the set works, what you put I to it and what do you get out?  Tell us everything.........

Is this scheme one where the homeowner can utilise the electricity produced but any payments for export to the grid are taken by bp (I.e. bp rent the roof space), or does the home owner procure the panels and take any potential financial gain from export to the grid?

Great question @ChrisH 

I believe one of the aims of the pilot is to explore these options. Some may want to buy the panels and have SEG. Others may not have the cash, so would be into a more ‘lease’ model, and yes that might mean PP retains excess energy.

Eventually, my feeling is that we’d probably end up offering both options, potentially. But we’d need to understand what it would look like, what would be attractive financially for Members and for PP.

 

 

We want to know everything @Marc !

I don't know much about how it all works, I.e. the costs to install, how the set works, what you put I to it and what do you get out?  Tell us everything.........

Hahahaha thanks @Scubaseahorse you got it. :slight_smile:

Will providers of panels guarantee the output of them will not reduce from what it is at installation? I would be looking for some sort of warranty like that if I ever was to consider their use.

Is this scheme one where the homeowner can utilise the electricity produced but any payments for export to the grid are taken by bp (I.e. bp rent the roof space), or does the home owner procure the panels and take any potential financial gain from export to the grid?

Great question @ChrisH 

I believe one of the aims of the pilot is to explore these options. Some may want to buy the panels and have SEG. Others may not have the cash, so would be into a more ‘lease’ model, and yes that might mean PP retains excess energy.

Eventually, my feeling is that we’d probably end up offering both options, potentially. But we’d need to understand what it would look like, what would be attractive financially for Members and for PP.

 

 

Thanks @Marc I’d be interested in how this all progresses.

Userlevel 1

Even in a pilot it makes sense to have a representative sample of the population that reflects the characteristics of the larger group.   It is unlikely that five staff members are representative of the PurePlanet membership.   There is the potential for the results in this type of study to be less than robust or even meaningless.  

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Even in a pilot it makes sense to have a representative sample of the population that reflects the characteristics of the larger group.   It is unlikely that five staff members are representative of the PurePlanet membership.   There is the potential for the results in this type of study to be less than robust or even meaningless.  

 

@Dr_Ford 

There aren’t 5 staff members posting in here (i’e. in this thread). None of us apart from @Marc  work for PP. (unless you meant something else in which case I’ve misunderstood your post).

Also I doubt this thread will end up being the only vade mecum for the project.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Even in a pilot it makes sense to have a representative sample of the population that reflects the characteristics of the larger group.   It is unlikely that five staff members are representative of the PurePlanet membership.   There is the potential for the results in this type of study to be less than robust or even meaningless.  

 

@Dr_Ford

There aren’t 5 staff members posting in here (i’e. in this thread). None of us apart from @Marc  work for PP. (unless you meant something else in which case I’ve misunderstood your post).

Also I doubt this thread will end up being the only vade mecum for the project.

 

👍

Hi @Dr_Ford Yep, I don’t think we’re thinking that a pilot of 5 is going to be completely repsentative. And in fact there’s no randoming sampling at all - lots of reasons why people will be ruled our are already becoming more clear. Such as having a roof which points the right way, at the right pitch, for example.

This is is just the first phase, too. In later phases of the pilot we’ll be looking to include non-PP staff, and other locations as well. I’m still not sure how representative it’ll be, as there’ll still be barriers depending on property types.

Here’s a link all about those of us taking part in the first phase, btw. :thumbsup:

Hi folks, thanks again for jumping in with the great replies.

I’ve just posted a new round-up of the surveys, questions and other assorted tidbits which came up pre-installation. I hope it’s useful! 

I have installed solar panels. How will I be credited with surplus generation

You could buy a battery for the best saving @Robin Jowit...

or to try to answer your question: 

 

You could buy a battery for the best saving @Robin Jowit...

or to try to answer your question: 

 

This is spot on @25 quid and I hope those links help you out @Robin Jowit 

I just submitted my first export reading to PP. :relaxed:

Is it not a smart reading @Marc 🤣

Is it not a smart reading @Marc 🤣

Not yet @25 quid When there’s enough people using SEG it’ll become more automated and, yes, smart. Super-smart. :wink:

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