Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Solar update

Phew, it's been a stressful three weeks since the solar panels were installed. From the off they produced disappointing output and after 10 days and one perfect day of sunshine I fired off an email and left a phone message with the solar company stating my concerns. Within the week a new inverter had been fitted in the loft, but it had no effect and performance remained poor. Within a couple of days I was back in contact with the company saying that nothing had changed. At first they were reluctant, asking me to be patient, but I fired a load of figures and statistics I'd been collecting at them and they realised quite quickly that something was amiss.

Long story short, yesterday the first set of panels were all removed, and another 12 - different manufacturer - were installed in their place. From the moment they were switched on just after 3pm it was obvious things were better: the output was close to the best ever recorded under the old panels, and it dropped off a lot slower as the afternoon wore on and the effects of shading from our chimney kicked in.

This morning it was clear things were going to improve further, but even I couldn't have predicted how much. By 10am the panels will have generated 3kWh of electricity, despite some cloud, and produced a peak output of 2.2kWh (the old panels peaked briefly at 1.75kWh, then never exceeded 1.5-1.6kWh) by 9.45am. Seeing as the peak hours are 11-3, I'm confident we'll soon be close to doubling the output of the old panels, and achieving figures that more closely match those given when purchasing the panels in the first place.

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