I want to get solar power
One of the things that I've always been fascinated but entirely clueless about is generating my own electricity. It's cool, and anybody who tells you it isn't has lost all sense of delight and joy. But, despite finding it really interesting, I know almost nothing about it whatsoever. Moving home provided me with the perfect opportunity to learn more and maybe even get some panels, so I have decided to document my experience. A few things to know before we kick off:
- My house's roof is flat
- I have a heat pump, and decent (but not fantastic) insulation.
The first thing I set out to do was join the Irish Solar Owner's Facebook group. I find this to be a pretty decent resource, although right now I don't really understand a lot of what they are talking about. One thing that is particularly interesting is that they're really helpful when it comes to rating quotes. So I'll file that away for later.
Next up my obsessive nature kicked in and I created a Notion document. Right now it's a table of all of the providers that I planned on requesting a quote from (10 in total), along with a status associated with each. As I start to receive quotes I'll figure out how best to input data to track the quotes.
Next, I wrote up an email requesting a quote. It went something like this:
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to inquire about the cost of purchasing and installing solar panels for my house. I'd like panels installed on my flat roof, and I have attached a photograph of the roof [not included on this blog]. I would prefer an installation method that does not interfere too much with the roof, as I am required to have it inspected every few years by my insurance company.
The roof measures approximately [measurements removed for the blog] and has a heat pump unit in the middle. I have attached a photograph of the roof for your reference. You will notice that there is cabling going down from the external heat pump unit to a small utility room that contains the fuse board and has some wall space for mounting an inverter. I have also attached a photo of that area. I assume that it should be possible to feed the cable down along with the existing cabling. Ideally, any extra power generated would be sent to the heat pump before being sold into the grid.
What setup would you recommend in this case, providing a decent amount of wiggle room? For now, we are willing to forgo a battery, but we may add one later on. I would also like to know the models and warranties for each piece of equipment you suggest.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Cian Mac Mahon
Email written and sanity checked with an extremely knowledgeable friend (although all nonsense is my fault rather than his), I shot it off to all 10 of the companies, fully expecting to get an inbox filled with auto replies. An hour later, not a single auto reply has arrived. I don't know if this is worrying, or a promising look into the future of Irish businesses.
Anyway, I plan on keeping this blog up to date with all further developments, and hopefully we'll learn something about solar together!