Solar experiences



I had 16 solar panels installed on the roof of my bungalow in November 2022, followed by 4 more in January 2023. My roof is oriented East-West, and there are 10 panels facing each way .

I have a system that includes a diverter and a 5Kw battery and a Zappi outdoor charger for my electric car, which I bought in April 2023 ( having ordered it in November 2022). The diverter manages the input generated , aiming it towards the needs ones appliances or heating the water or storing it in the battery or sending surplus to the grid, using very sophisticated computer technology. The diverter is a small box situated in my hot press. The battery is attached to the wall in my outhouse where the central heating boiler is.

What I noticed during the winter months is that the power stored in the battery during the short daylight hours was used for cooking in the evening, and for showering. What was a surprise to me was how much electricity even a short shower uses.

During the winter I made a point of running my dishwasher and washing-machine between the hours of 11pm and 8 am, when the cost of electricity is less.

Come the month of May and long sunny days it was a revelation how much the output of the 20 panels shot up: over 50 Kw a day at most. From then on until now ( mid-July ) I am no longer careful about using appliances as night, as I have enough spare electricity to not only run the household, but also to charge my car, with enough left over to sell to the Grid.

I changed provider from Airtricity to Electric Ireland in May , because 1) the latter has an extra-cheap rate between 2 and 4 am ( good for charging the car in the winter ) and also,unlike Airtricity, they do not have an extra dear rate between 5 and 7pm.

Because I am 75yrs old I will not see back in my lifetime the original capital investment. I knew this when I made the decision to invest. 

As a rule of thumb, anyone up to 60 years of age will gain financially from putting in solar panels, the younger the more so.

The technology is evolving all the time. In particular, batteries need further research and development. However, now is the time to take the plunge, even if its only for the sake of our imperilled planet.

Calculate your Carbon emmisions reduction using solar panels:

The carbon footprint of the solar panel is zero after about 2 years use. Then all electrecity generated has a negative carbon emission figure which can be easily worked out:

solar panels in garden
solar panels in garden

Solar experiences

From Colin in Bree Co Wexford

I opted for a ground mounted Solar PV Installation in June 2023.

With willing family members, I did not employ a company to do the install or avail of the grant.

My Brother-in-Law sourced the steel, built the frames, galvanised it, and with further help (wife's uncle) we mounted the 22 panels (390 KWh bifacials in the corner of our lawn).

I decided against installing them on the roof due to the pitch of the roof.... not enough south facing room.


I used an app to help me decide the best location, to maximise the value of the changing sun throughout the year.

The mounting of the panels requires precision, and the ground mounted system catered for my wish that they are angled at 33 degrees. They also needed to be perfectly level, and free of shade as much as possible... my photos suggest they are not level, but that's just an illusion due to the slope of the lawn.


So far so good, having generated 4.3 MWh since the June 10th, 2023, installation.

The highest generation in any day was about 55kWh in June... but I have seen some days of 18-20 KWh in November.

I had a budget, and I maximised this on installation and panels rather than buying a battery.

A battery may be an option in the future, but for my situation I feel using power generated and the 21c FIT payments per unit from Electric Ireland gives me greater value. Also, a more expensive inverter is required to utilise battery... a hybrid inverted. They prob cost €800-1100 more than the Solis inverter I purchased.

I don't have oil but rely solely on electricity. My system won'tgenerate more than I use, but it should allow me to buildcredit during the summer months.

EG, if I generate 4MHw between May and September, but only use 1.5MHw, I can use the remaining 2.5MWh credit (2500 x 21c = €525) to ease my winter bills. Also, my summer bills should be negative.

I'm hoping my system will generate about 7.5MWh in any calendar year.

With a historic annual bill of €3,200 (remember I have no oil), I hope to pay back the system within 6.5 years (by saving about €1,500 per year).

My main mistake was not being prepared with the smart meter... I didn't get a fair reading of units generated until this was installed in October. For the previous four months I was getting a lowly figure of approx. 5 units per day credit.

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