Archives for posts with tag: Solar

E.ON has put its prices up by an average of £170 a year. But you could reduce that price rise to just £40! Here’s how solar panels can help you to make up the difference and keep your household bills down.

Free solar panels – save £130

  • Cut your electricity bills by £130* to offset the cost of the price rises. What’s the catch? There isn’t one really, just that the company who gives you the free solar panels will benefit from the Feed-in Tariff scheme – but the savings on your bills are all yours! And just think – the more energy bills rise, the more savings you’ll make.

Buy solar panels and save £130 AND earn £900!

  • If you buy your solar panels outright and cut your electricity bill by £130 AND earn up to £900 a year with the Feed-in Tariff (FiT)*. Haven’t heard of the Feed-in Tariff? It’s a government backed scheme where you get paid for the electricity your solar panels generate. Find out more with our Feed-in Tariff guide. Not only will this help you to negate the E.ON price rise, but  it is also a great investment – you can earn around £25,000 over the 25 year lifetime of your solar panels, which is a higher rate than most savings accounts! Sign up before April to get the best FiT rate (rates will be lower after April 2012 – sign up now to lock in on the higher rates).

Check out the new solar panels section of our site to find out more about getting solar panels for your home. You can compare deals and see guides, infographics and diagrams to help you pick the best way to cut back on your gas and electricity bills and make your home more energy-efficient.

* This is based on an average household using 4,500kWh of electricity a year, at a cost of £585. If the solar panels generate 2,000 kWh of electricity, which is paid at a rate of paid 43.3p a unit under a Feed-in Tariff, the household will earn a total of £866. Assuming they use half (1,000 kWh) of the electricity (remember that the time they need to use the most electricity might not be the time when they are generating the most, so they would still have to buy electricity), this will cut £130 off their electricity bill. They sell the other 1,000 kWh of electricity they generate at 3.1p a unit and make £31. The household will cut their electricity bill by £130 and make £896 from their energy (£866 plus £31), meaning a total combined income and saving of £1027 in one year.
H. Monaghan is a touch screen phones expert and writes iPhone solar charger reviews for the weblog – a non profit blog about the latest technology stories about solar rechargers for small devices and mobiles.

It is no secret that mobile phones, while indispensable inside modern life, have a trouble with battery longevity. I’ve found that in most cases, my Android mobile phone and new iPhone 4 will use up all my power at the same time they’ve fallen into sleep function while unplugged from the wall for approximately 24 hours.

This can be a bit frustrating, particularly if I need the phone to operate without energy for a set period of time, for example on the road trip when I forgot to pack a car 12v charger and won’t have access to a power source for several days.

Wysips, small startup company in France desires to find a solution to extend Smartphone battery while dodging the possibility of making them any more cumbersome.

Expanding the size of the battery pack would probably sure help, but a touch screen phone should be able to fit without difficulty in a pocket or inner compartment without taking up a lot of space. Because of this, the idea would not be viable.

Wysips wants to compete with top European Smartphone innovators like HTC by entering their unique and revolutionary phones in to the market. Wysips capitalizes on the battery of their third generation model phones, which runs on the solar cell at the top half of the mobile phone’s display to increase battery life.

The coolest part of the whole thing is that the solar cell is nearly completely transparent, making energy while letting the cellular phone’s user stare directly through it.

What’s interesting is that the tech used to make the nearly-transparent solar strips resembles screen technology employed to make the Nintendo 3DS and several of Samsung’s brand-new “Naked Eye 3D” panels.

Essentially, the top side of the screen is overlaid with very small strips of solar panels that draw in the sun’s energy to give extra energy to the cell phone.

While the solar cells can’t keep the phone completely functional, they can greatly extend the battery life of the Smartphone  – something that everyone has been begging for. Although Wysips does not yet have any fully-functional prototypes demoing at trade events, but they have shown some standard, case-free presentations of the technology.

The great thing is the solar panels don’t obstruct touch screen performance at all. The solar cell film is truly a part of the screen, so pushing a finger on the screen generates a perfect response.

Wysips claims the next models will be even better, and the  solar cell panels will be nearly totally transparent when the technology is ready to be displayed in all its glory.

Wysips is in talks with a variety of mobile providers and phone producers, however the company has notgiven any clues as to which company might purchase the rights to the patent. Nevertheless, the technique has truly taken off, and it’s got tech fans and the general public alike very enthusiastic.

The firm anticipates that they will be creating other few prototypes before things really get up along in sales. There aren’t any official estimates on when the cellular phone will be retail-ready, but I’m really very excited to listen to more details.

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Blog: Anyone for free solar power?

Get free solar panels for your home...yes, really

Get free solar panels for your home...yes, really

A while back, Emma Hughes, editor of Solar Power Portal, wrote a guest post for us on free solar panels.

It was one our most popular posts of the year so far, so we’ve teamed up with HomeSun to offer a free solar power offer.

It can cost from £10,000 upwards to buy and install a solar PV system, but with HomeSun you could get it either for free or for just £500 + £5 per month, depending on where you live.

So if you want to start harnessing the power of the sun, cutting your electricity bills and your carbon footprint, then this could be the deal for you.

Book your free survey today to find out if your home is suitable and you could have your sytem installed in time to beat the worst of those winter energy bills.

To get free solar panels your roof must meet certain criteria:

  • Due south facing
  • The further south and west in the UK the better
  • Unshaded (just 3% shading reduces solar efficiency by 220)
  • More than 30m square of clear roof space

If your home doesn’t match this description, you could still get solar panels for just £500 + £5 per month, if you home meets the following criteria:

  • Southeast to southwest facing
  • The further south and west in the UK the better
  • Unshaded (just 3% of shading can reduce panel efficiency by 220)
  • Around 20m square of clear roof area

(Listed buildings and homes in conservation areas are trickier because of planning regulations.)

Free solar panels - too good to be true?We’re all a bit cautious when someone offers us something for nothing, especially if that something is money off our bills. “Where’s the catch?” we all ask in unison. Two companies in particular are hearing this question more often than any other at the moment: A Shade Greener and ISIS Solar. Both of these organizations are offering FREE solar power to residents of the UK.

A Shade Greener (ASG) announced at the end of June that it will offer an initial 2,000 free solar photovoltaics (PV) installations to select regions, with the aim of increasing this figure to 6,000 over three years. ISIS Solar later revealed at the end of July that it would be offering a similar deal – an initial 18,000 free solar systems, beginning in the south of the UK, and working northwards as the year progresses. Both of the offers include a free consultation (to discern whether your house is suitable), free solar panel and system installation, free monitoring of the system, free use of the electricity it generates and free system maintenance.

So how on earth are they able to do this? Well the answer is simple; both companies are benefitting from the UK’s recently introduced feed-in tariff (FiT), which pays out 41.3p per kilowatt hour of renewable energy produced for a period of 25 years (generation tariff), and a further 5p per kilowatt hour for any leftover energy (export tariff) that it fed back into the grid. The FiT is available to any solar PV electricity generator in the UK, and could earn the owner a profit of around £1,239 per annum.

Both ASG and ISIS have cottoned on to a real money-maker here, since, as the owner of the system, their profit is certain (as its payment is mandated by government). They’ve realized that not everyone is able to afford the upfront cost of a system for themselves (between £8-12,000), and so by effectively ‘renting’ people’s roof space, they are able to earn a profit while proving renewable electricity to the ‘host house’ free of charge. By going through one of these companies, you are able to save approximately £360 per year on your electricity bill, by using the renewable electricity generated by the system.

A Shade Greener

Each ASG system is typically comprised of 18 ET Solar mono-c-Si modules at 185 watts (ET-M572185) and an SMA inverter. ASG has begun its first wave of installations, aiming for a target of 6,000 systems in three years. Based on the fact that each install is typically 3.3kW, the company will have installed an approximate 19MW by the end of this period. The company suggests that the customer should take a look at their roof prior to contacting them, to see if it is big enough for 18 panels, and to work out of it is roughly south facing.

ISIS Solar

ISIS, who will be working initially in the region of Oxfordshire, will also install systems of 3.3kW. The company asks that the customer has an area of 24m2, on a roof which must be roughly south facing and relatively unshaded. An ISIS spokesperson named Leicestershire-based Mark Group as its installer, who will be using Mitsubishi 1.85kW modules and Fronius inverters for the installations.

Unsurprisingly, these free solar panel offers are extraordinarily popular, with ISIS telling us that they received 13,000 email enquiries in one day and ASG saying that it was getting five calls per second (they have now taken their phone number off the website). These are just two of an expected many companies who are going to offer this kind of deal. While it is really great to see that you really can get something for nothing in this life, it is important to remember that you can also earn your own profit by installing a system yourself.

Buying your own system

Obviously it’s difficult to gauge exactly how much you can save/earn by installing your own solar power system (since every house’s electricity usage/location/system will be slightly different) the following figures will be roughly what you can expect for a 3.3kW system.

You will firstly pay out approximately £8-12,000 for the initial installation of the system. Once up-and-running, you will then begin to save £1,239 per annum, which will amount to £30,975 over the 25 years that the FiT is paid for. During this period you will also save approximately £360 per year on your electricity bill (based on current electricity prices of 12p/kWh), which amounts to £9,000. Without forgetting the export tariff, which could earn you up to £500 over the 25 year period, in total you will gain somewhere in the region of £40,000. Taking away the initial £8-20,000, you still earn a considerable profit.

If you are interested in finding out if your home is suitable for FREE solar panels, you can contact ISIS Solar for systems in the South or visit here to contact ASG about a system further North.

This blog post was written by Emma Hughes, Editor of the Solar Power Portal.