D-Day – The actual solar PV installation


The installation was carried out by Clear Sky Energy, which is run by Steve West (see also the Clear Sky Energy survey blog). A most professional team (Steve and Scotty), they arrived promptly on the Monday, and after introductions all round, then began work start away. Below are the photographs of how the work progressed, in chronological order. Continue reading D-Day – The actual solar PV installation

Solar Panels – Aurem


Contact Details

17 Merton Road
RG21 5UA, Basingstoke


0845 465 7988 / 01256 814666

I found these people on Compare My Solar – Compare 19 solar panel prices from 7 installers around Burgess-Hill. I phoned on a Saturday morning, I called and leave a voice mail. I didn’t hear anything back for a few days.

They got back to me on Monday. I informed them that I had already accepted a quote. The chap promised to send me a quote regardless, which I received that evening. £6725 including VAT, for 14 x LG Neo 285W Smart Modules and the usual SolarEdge optimisers and inverter. A very good price, however, no energy switching, and OWL type monitor was included. An optional iBoost was available for £300 including VAT.

Home PV Installations


I received a cold-calling door-to-door salesman, Tariq, on a Saturday morning in September 2015. He was canvassing for names, for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installations. He was from Apple Green Energy.  I agreed to be signed up… This led to a mad packed two weeks of surveys by different companies. Below is a list and the respective links to the various companies involved.

Continue reading Home PV Installations

Solar Panels – Sunniva


Contact Details

Sunniva – Arc One | Electrical Contractors


Cloth Hall Cottage, Water Ln, Smarden Kent TN27 8QB
0808 168 0108

I found these people on Compare My Solar – Compare 19 solar panel prices from 7 installers around Burgess-Hill

I phoned on Saturday morning, left a message, Douglas called me back almost immediately.

Two systems:

  • Basic – £5800 plus VAT
  • Battery Ready – 7500 – 7800 plus VAT

Uses Solar Edge Israeli (ig in Germany and US). Optimiser essential for E/w and S

Panels are Second generation Persium – low light capture

Good for UK 17.4% efficient

Standard panels are 14.4% efficient.

I use 4kWh per day 400kW over 92 days

Thinking of using an electric car?

– The panels system charge a domestic battery, but then there is also an optional 50kWh battery for rapid charging cars in 20 minutes.  You still get paid the feed-in tariff, but you use the electricity instead of dumping it to the grid.

Best to get the EPC done after the PV installation, as it will bring the rating down further. It takes about 7 days to get a EPC done.

The immersion heater is done by a Solic 200, from Earthwise, a UK based company.

A new separate Distribution panel would be put in, which would supplement my current ancient (1960’s ?) distribution panel.

Dougie promised to send me some quotes and proposals by the end of Sunday, and as good as his word, he did. However, they were for 1.9kW systems, even though I had expressly stated that I wanted the maximum 4kW. I got back to him, and then he send me proposals for a 9kW system! Odd behaviour. Anyway, finally I got the appropriate quote for a 4kW system through. It came to £7500 + VAT. Using SolarEdge optimisers and inverters.

Follow up

I turned down the proposal due to cost concerns. What happened next was quite strange. I got quite a few phone calls and emails, using what were , frankly, scare tactics. The system I was going for was:

  • Implemented with Inefficient Solar Panels;
  • Using the wrong Optimisers and Inverter;
  • Didn’t have lightening protection, and;
  • Didn’t include a free maintenance contract for 3 years.

Solar Panels – Clear Sky Energy

Clear Sky Energy: Renewable Energy Specialists & Solar …

Contact Details

4 The Pound
RH15 8PF, Burgess Hill

Burgess Hill
0845 805 2246

I found these people on Compare My Solar – Compare 19 solar panel prices from 7 installers around Burgess-Hill.
I phoned on a Saturday morning, a chap called Steve West answered the phone and a 4pm survey was arranged for that very day.

Steve came around and appeared to be the most knowledgable chap that I have seen to date. He had a range of Solar Panels on offer and provided the specification sheets. He also had an impressive array of tools and kit, including the obligatory compass, a Seaward Solar Survey 200 (which looked like a Fluke Multimeter), on eBay for £150, and a sun shade path measuring sextant.

We first inspected the roof and I mentioned when it was in shade, etc. Then we had a look at my distribution board. A separate new distribution board would be put in, although I also asked for a quote on a new one to replace my old board.

He mentioned that Emerson are the top notch power switching and invertoer hardware brand.

SolarEdge inverters have a standard warranty of XX years, but that can be extended:

£2xx for 20 years

£xxx for 25 years

There are two common SolarEdge inverters SE3500 and SE 3680. The SE3680 inverters are actually SE4000, but for home systems the 4kW systems can only produce 16A, to comply with the G83.2 (and there is also G59 – Free Approval) regulations, and so the SE4000 is capped at 3680W:

368W/230V gives an output of 16A

There is an add-on to the inverter for Wi-Fi, or ZigBee, and these are £30 extra, if required. There is an in-built RJ45 for ethernet, so not really necessary in my case, if it is installed in the garage.

The Panels

He offered an impressive range of Solar Panels, which differ in wattage, warranty, and of course price (all seem to offer a 25 year performance). They are listed below in order of cost:

  • SunSolar (UK) – 250W – with a 25 year warranty, efficiency is 15.1%;
  • SolarWorld – 250 – 280W- with a 10 year warranty;
  • LG cheap – 285 – 300W – with a 12 year warranty;
  • LG Black x2 – 300W – with a 10 year warranty, and;
  • Sunforth – 330W – with a 10 year warranty.
Extra Components

Thermal Storage – for central heating

Infra red Panels – thin efficient heating panels.

Additional Links

Company Check