Photovoltaic Electricity for and against please

Hello Everyone

We have just had a nice man round to persuade us to install photovoltaic panels on our south facing roof. We would love to be greener and we would love to get funds from selling our electricity to the EDF, at present we pay around 100€ a month for our electricity, we really can't afford to get into a situation that costs us more, can anyone who has had experience of these panels and the deals from Bleu Ciel give their experiences?

Hi Theo,

Your comment ....."The only efficient solution is to be fully self-supplying, means energy storage (batteries) generating with a mix of wind (because of less sun during the winter) and solar".

Renewable energy creation equipment has never been cheaper at this time, but to be honest, having any sustainability/energy creation installed by so called professionals, is a no brainer as the figures do not add up. It is possible for a professional company 'to make a living' but in my experience they are generally OTT when it comes to profit margins.

Have a look at our creations in Normandy, (not for profit)

It is possible to store energy and we have 65kW (1300ah at 50vdc) of battery storage, but ours are GEL type and they are recycled from UPS system's in Banks etc, but I have to select each 40kg battery very carefully. Even so I loose about 1/3rd of my power generated when charging the batteries, inverter etc.

A good friend came up with these up todate real prices for a self install PV 10kW system. see,21925.0.html

PV 10 kw "SunClass - SC 100-AS " 2700 Euro
INVERSOR/CARGADOR VICTRON 48/5000-70-50 1800 Euro
Chargecontroler and Gridtie inverter 1300 Euro
40 kwh PzS Battery ca 3000 cycles at 50 % DOD 2600 Euro (or refurbished 1600 Euro ) both minus 600 Euro lead value
Mounting frame ?? up to you ! mine under 1000 Euro
Cable , connection etc .............................. 1000 Euro ?

Planning is key. We convert our buildings to a passive huase standard, and we insulate, insulate, insulate and more insulate. This means are energy use is minimal.

We have 3off 3.7m diameter Hugh Piggott design Wind Turbines that are Home built, they are very efficient, simple, cost effective and robust. We also have Our own design of PV trackers, (New book, so you can make your own) which eventually will take us to 10kW of panels.

It is possible to be energy independent but its no FREE LUNCH, and to get the costs down so it all makes financial sense, means a fast learning curve and plenty of that PLANNING.

For Realistic sustainability information in Europe.....

Its a mathematical not a environmental decision: 12X100X10=12000...

How can you get more funds for a Kw selling your electricity to the EDF then you pay for a Kw you receive from EDF? Does this not make you curious? Its a project of the EC and the EC is busy to save banks not people. Its simply this: you are the one who is paying for the hardware, but you don''t really own it. You even don't have electricity when there is a power cut / failure...

A friend with a gite has such funny contract and now he has to cover all the bills for all services for everything that goes wrong (wind, branches falling on the panels and other incidents...) If he does not do it, he does not produce energy, - so he does not make the profit and has hassle to pay his cash for the credit he took out hoping to save cash. Yes, sure you can insure all this. Bon courage with the insurance then...

The only efficient solution is to be fully self-suppling, means energy storage (batteries) generating with a mix of wind (because of less sun during the winter) and solar. Such system exist for smal unit like a family-house. It has ca +/- 10 Kw. We use the same batteries in our electric buses. But just the solar & battery unit comes on ca 25.000 (20 years guarantee); plus wind generator, plus its huge concrete base, plus all the paperwork (house-insurance). This actually only is making sense if you start from the scratch when building a new house in the middle of no-where.

Our neighbours have 32 panels but are fuming because the return they were promised and what they are getting are so different they would like to pull back out BUT the contracts with companies and EDF have you by the throats and also you still have to pay for the panels and installations costs because you have signed on the dotted line which is a lot of money. We decided against on hearing their dissatisfaction and these are French folk who are optimistic and do not usually moan and groan about everything.

You click on someone's name then click send message & if you're not already friends it says send a friend request.

I've just done it. We can always stop being friends once I've told you the name! Just don't like to share it widely..

Thanks David, but clueless how to add you as a friend!

Think double glazing salesman! There are lots of dodgy companies and faulty kit doing the rounds. And the buy back will be phased out - just not viable economically. You will be producing most power when it is least needed by the grid and as yet there are no real options for bulk storage. Also consider all those extra taxes you are paying on the electricity bill which are to cover the 'green' options - basically subsidising the buy back and installation grants. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. There are lots of feeds on here regarding the subject but rule of thumb is 'buyer beware'.

It would depend on the company Rebecca. We're still trying to get ours connected up 2 years after installation. If you want to add me as a friend I'll send you a private message with the name of the company we used (or who used us). Whether or not it's the same lot I'd suggest you get all the references you can - follow them up - check up front that all tradesmen are qualified etc etc etc.