Contractor to relocate solar panels

rusty

Member
I have a 50KW solar array on a cattle shed roof that is woefully under performing. A company has fitted a monitoring system and done some investigation and think the cable insulation from the inverters to the panels is eroding causing shut downs on some strings. Our other issue is the roof gets very dirty from the sawdust we use to bed the cubicles. Since the panels will have to be lifted to replace the cables I am looking to move the panels to another shed roof which is much cleaner.
The company who do the monitoring have got an electrical contractor in to price the job but the quote back is over 20k!
This seems to be taking the Pee and I am still awaiting a breakdown of how they have come to their figure.
Can anyone recommend an electrical contractor to try who is capable of this work?
Location N. Derbyshire
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Sounds a crazy price unless it is an old asbestos roof in which case I would not touch it with the proverbial.
Have you considered how they are going to fill the holes? that would be a big concern to me
What sort of annual out put are you getting? is there shading and do you know the angle south and the pitch?
Insulation of the cables , should not really be a big issue , because it is DC erosion in the connections is another matter
 

rusty

Member
The roof we want to transfer to is a 70's Atcost shed so is probably Asbestos. The roof we want to take off is a shed built in 2005. The monitoring company have, had a look under some of the panels and believe there is a possible issue with the insulation degrading on the cables.
 

Coo man

Member
The roof we want to transfer to is a 70's Atcost shed so is probably Asbestos. The roof we want to take off is a shed built in 2005. The monitoring company have, had a look under some of the panels and believe there is a possible issue with the insulation degrading on the cables.
How many kw per year do they produce ? I’m in Scotland and get 39000-40,000 kw per year
 

f0ster

Member
the cable to the panels do not usually suffer but the mc4 connectors can get water in especially if the mc4 connectors have been left lying in the trough of the roof sheets, the mc4 are supposed to be water proof but they cannot stand continuous water,
 

rusty

Member
How many kw per year do they produce ? I’m in Scotland and get 39000-40,000 kw per year
See previous thread
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
Check with your insurers that they'll insure them on the atcost, I couldn't find a surveyor to say they could safely go on a concrete framed building.
Apparently it's impossible to do the sums to say the shed is safe on its own, let alone adding extra weight to it.
 

Sharpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Assuming you are getting a good feed in tariff or subsidy per unit produced will you still get this if you move the panels, as I think they may be treated as a new installation? Might be wrong though.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
The roof we want to transfer to is a 70's Atcost shed so is probably Asbestos. The roof we want to take off is a shed built in 2005. The monitoring company have, had a look under some of the panels and believe there is a possible issue with the insulation degrading on the cables.
I think in this situation , if you are going to move the panels, I would probably look very closely at ground mounting, rather than putting them on an old asbestos roof. i appreciate that this may have some issues If you are in a park
 

rusty

Member
I think in this situation , if you are going to move the panels, I would probably look very closely at ground mounting, rather than putting them on an old asbestos roof. i appreciate that this may have some issues If you are in a park
They quoted me £36,000 to do a ground mount!
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I have just had another look at the figures, forgot we have looked at this before.
There is something seriously wrong with this set up.
I cannot see any justification spending 20K to put them on another East facing roof, as I know all yours are.
I have a horrible suspicion something was not right from the start.
There were plenty of Cowboys in the game and certainly some panels floating about which were old technology and available cheaply for unscrupulous suppliers.
I would be tempted to get them tested, but I suspect the supplier has disappeared so there is zero chance of comeback.
 

Fogg

Member
Livestock Farmer
£20k is what? £100 to shift each panel?

Doesn't seem like good value to me.

I'd get a second opinion. It has to be cheaper to address whatever problem there is where they are, and clean them Feb & May. It'll be a cheaper to keep them clean on a steel roof than an asbestos one.

FWIW, I've 3x 50kw systems. I'm averaging 48,000kW per annun from each over 5yrs.
 

rusty

Member
£20k is what? £100 to shift each panel?

Doesn't seem like good value to me.

I'd get a second opinion. It has to be cheaper to address whatever problem there is where they are, and clean them Feb & May. It'll be a cheaper to keep them clean on a steel roof than an asbestos one.

FWIW, I've 3x 50kw systems. I'm averaging 48,000kW per annun from each over 5yrs.
I am coming around to the same opinion as you about leaving them where they are and trying to address the issues and getting them cleaned twice a year. Trouble is it has taken me 18 months just to get one quote on sorting them out. The firm who do the monitoring got these electricians to quote. They were working with another firm previously but binned them due to lack of action from them. I spoke to a firm last year who Exfarmer suggested through a contact of his but they never came to look despite sounding interested on the phone.
The guy I had to clean the panels last spring I asked at the time to come back every 6 months but have not seen him again. Not sure what I have to do to get people to come and do a job. I do also pay in full and on time for work!
 

grainboy

Member
Location
Bedfordshire
Have discussed this with mate, who has installed similar to yours,
Firstly the Cabling is probably sub standard and / or poor installation and jointing.
To remove a system and reinstall is not that easy, main problem being going from Steel framed Building to Concrete framed building, the mounting systems probably not compatible, so effectively a new install required.

Would question the original Installation company, but no doubt that’s no longer possible.
 

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