Solar Thermal


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Assembly Guide

Installation Guide



Other Parts

Installation Guide

LED Lighting

Heat Pumps

Rainwater Harvesting

Solar Overview












Justin installed a photovoltaic system for John Howard in August 2009.  Justin writes:

"John Howard from Stratford-On-Avon contacted me after a lengthy discussion with Simon from Eco-Nomical. Simon basically indicated that I may be able to install John's PV system at a very competitive price.  John had a number of quotes and the cheapest came in at 16,000 and with the grant the system would cost 13,500. The actual cost of his 2.88KW system installed by me was 12,000 including VAT, without the grant assistance. The system consisted of the following;

16 x Sharp NU 180Wp E1 Panels

1 x SMA SunnyBoy SB3000 Grid Tie Inverter

1 x PV Light Mounting System

1 x DC Isolator

 1 x AC Isolator

28 Metres of 4mm PV Cable

 The PV mounting system was assembled over the first 2 days with the use of a Massey Ferguson loader which was used to access the roof area. This was deemed more suitable than cat ladders etc due to the roof tiles being fragile. The mounting system made it easy to install the array and is very adjustable. If time is taken to maintain an even line at the bottom of the array you should end up with a nice straight appearance.

The Sharp panels were then installed on the mounting system and the MC3 plugs and sockets were connected in series increasing the voltage every time a panel was added. Once all panels were installed the polarity was checked to make sure the cables were connected correctly.

The SMA SunnyBoy Inverter was mounted in the utility area of the building next to the consumer unit,  They are very easy to fit using the hanger frame provided. The SMA Inverters have  a DC isolator built in but another one was fitted to allow complete isolation of the unit.  Given the low cost of Eco-nomical DC isolators, this is a sensible precaution.  The 2 x 4mm cables leading from the array were connected to the DC Isolator (please note that at this stage they are not connected to the pv array on the roof to ensure safe connection as the output was close to 400 volts). Once installed the last MC3 plugs were connected on the roof and the polarity checked at the isolator.  MC4 plugs were then plugged into the inverter and the system switched on. Observations were conducted over the next 2 hours to make sure the system functioned correctly. The system peaked at 2.0KW on a moderately sunny afternoon.

All paperwork was completed within a week of the install and submitted to Central Networks. You do not need permission to have a PV system but must inform them that you want to run your array in parallel with the power network. John informed me 2 weeks after install that he received his confirmation in writing.

With grants in mind Eco-Nomical and JWSolarsolutions  will team up to offer customers PV installations with grant assistance in the next few months.  Assuming the new FIT Scheme is to be implemented in April 2010, the system will give John the following each year:

         It will produce a minimum of 2300KWH saving him 322.00 for electricity he would have bought.

         Allow him to access the new FIT Scheme of 36.5p for every unit produced, a total of 839.50

         If John exports any of his electricity he may receive an extra 5p for every unit exported.

         Reduce his Carbon footprint by approx 1610KG.

The FIT Scheme is yet to be finalised but it is planned provide assistance for new installations from July 15th, 2009 which means there will be a substantial income to be gained from these system over the next 20 to 25 years, which will be guaranteed by the Government. The scheme is currently in consultation process with the closing date this month. We will keep you informed as the scheme becomes clearer.

John intends to add a Sunny Design (Bluetooth) display once they become available. This will allow him to constantly monitor performance of the array and is wireless so can be placed anywhere in the property. John will also be able to use the display to download data to the SMA Sunny Portal site so that it can be displayed and stored on the internet. This service is free of charge."

After his installation was complete, John wrote the following email to Eco-nomical:

"Hello Simon & Viv,
A line to say how pleased I am with the PV array and controls that Justin installed in just 3 days. Justin did a fantastic and professional job and we were highly impressed with his high standard of workmanship, punctuality, accuracy, knowledge and general work ethic - rare commodities these days. 
For the last two full days of operation the array has produced a steady 16.2 Kwh each day, peaking at 2.45 Kw around midday in the bright sun we have been having.
If you want to send potential customers to have a look you are very welcome.
I am looking forward to receiving the Bluetooth Sunny Beam which will reduce the number of trips I am currently making up a ladder to look at the inverter !
Thanks  again and best regards.

John Howard"


Thanks to John and Justin for this information.


Send mail to SW@eco-nomical.co.uk with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 05-06-09