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Solar Panel Eyesores?

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Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby Caz » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:15 pm

It's unbelievable the number of solar panels that have grown on roofs over the winter. Some of them are on what are otherwise quaint properties that look unsightly with the shiny panels on their roofs. I suppose when the sun's shining and there are no leaves on the trees is when they're most obvious but I think they look really ugly.

Does anyone else think the same or is it just me? I know they're suposed to be green, but they don't look green. Do they really pump out so much electricity that it's worth making a property look hideous? I wonder if I'll get used to seeing them, like I no longer notice TV aerials and satellite dishes.

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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby tightwadswife » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:45 pm

On the new estate here in Meden Vale they've appeared in clumps, half a dozen here, half a dozen there and they all seem to have 16 or 18 panels. Is there an optimum number required to generate your own power?
I like the idea of green energy and had considered renting out our south facing roof in return for some free leccy (one of those 'free' solar panel schemes) but I have to agree with Caz. They might take a bit of getting used to.
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby BigAl » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:00 pm

With that amount of panels on a roof they are probly getting enough power for all their needs and still selling soem to the grid, :D :D

The problem in the uk is the initial cost, Once they are in and working they are clean, very efficiant and pay for themselfs over a short period. The only thing that would worry me is how long will it be before the council bring in building regs and issue licences and permission for people to have them ( at a cost ) or make people remove them if they do not have their consent to have erected them. ;)
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby Caz » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:00 pm

.... And there lies a story TWW! There's a bit of a stink with mortgage companies not giving mortgages on properties that have rented out their roof space to solar panel companies, because the house owner doesn't have sole ownership of the property.

These roof renting schemes pose a lot of questions for me as well. They tend to be contracts for 20 or 25 years, which is the average lifespan of the panels. What happens when they've reached their life expectancy? Who replaces them and who disposes of the old panels? It seems to be those who do the free installations, or roof rental schemes that look the most unsightly, I think because they don't care what they look like as long as they get the maximum number of panels on your roof!
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby moanersRus » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:48 pm

I think it a visual ofus having to move forward but there are alot of questions about the free panels schemes, i know a guy at work that has panels and a turbine he also owns a full size somewhere. but his personal panels and mini turbine creates enough leccy that his fuel bill last qtr was £10
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby Caz » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:10 am

Buying them yourself is a different kettle of fish when it comes to selling your house because there's no contract on them. You actually own the panels and they'd be sold as part of the house or removed and taken with you. I also think those that are done privately are the better looking ones because more care is taken of the aesthetics. It's also more profitable to have solar panels if they were installed before 12th December 2011, when the feed in tariff was 43p per Kwh. The government halved the tariff for those installed after that date, so anyone buying them now will only get 21p per Kwh. Of course that doesn't apply to the householder for those installed free with rent a roof schemes because the companies renting the roof get the tariff, though I daresay the rent they pay out will go down.

I'm all for reducing our carbon footprint but I don't think these panels are that green when you consider the materials used, manufacturing, transport (most come from China) and then the disposal. I know we have an energy problem but we also have a waste disposal problem. In 25 years time when the millions of panels put up this year need scrapping, where are they going to put them all?
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby whitevanman » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:30 am

tightwadswife wrote:On the new estate here in Meden Vale they've appeared in clumps, half a dozen here, half a dozen there and they all seem to have 16 or 18 panels. Is there an optimum number required to generate your own power?
.


The companies offering free power obviously have to generate as much as possible to make it a commercial success, so they will fit as many as possible on your roof. The average size of a panel is 1.7sq m
The average of 16 panels generates upto 4.4kwh, which is quite viable for them.
The absolute minimum is 10 panels and this generates upto about 2.2kwh
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby BigAl » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:50 pm

Smells to me that some unsavoury characters are out to make a quick buck here and not too bothered about the outcome or the people who's roofs they are using.
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby Caz » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:20 pm

Yes Al. The way Rent a Roof schemes work is the companies pay you for them to use your roof to install solar panels, but they tie you into contracts for several years. Some schemes ask you to pay a discounted rate to have them installed and then they belong to you after the term of the contract. I think the longer the contract period, the less you pay initially for the installation and you can get them installed free if you agree to a long enough contract.

I suppose it's not a bad thing, but people need to read the small print and ask a lot of questions before they sign the contract.
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby BorisTechMark2 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:27 pm

There are alot down Meden vlae with solar roofs now
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby BigAl » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:54 am

I have nothing against solar panels, i firmly believe it is one of the ways forward and would love to see more of them. :D Its the rip off merchants trapping these people into roof renting ect ect that i am against. :x

If it was up to me wind turbines and solar panels would line all the motorways in the country and every river would have a hydro plant. All the coal and gas fired power stations would be closed and the land converted to "solar fields". :) :)
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby Caz » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:48 am

I agree with most of what you say Al. Except I wouldn't close the power stations. There's nothing wrong with coal or gas, other than it's running out.

I have nothing against solar panels either, provided they're not thrown up. There are some very stylish solar roof tiles on the market theses days and the technology is improving as well. I just think some of the ones that have been put up recently are not the best quality or the best installations, so I don't think we're making the best of harvesting energy from the sun.

I quite like wind turbines as well. I think they have a kind of grace.
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby johno » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:33 pm

I think they look ugly and spoil the look of some buildings.
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby moanersRus » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:21 am

maybe so but coal and oil is not here forever so we have to start somewhere, i cant wait to be able to have a property that i can fit solar panels to
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Re: Solar Panel Eyesores?

Postby johno » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:40 am

yep i agree we need to look at the energy problems, but could we make them look more appealing, i dont know . :)
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