As a senior with a horrendous power bill, I've been thinking solar roof panels for years, but there always seems to be a good reason why not.
When the electric storage hot water unit died, a solar hot water system replaced it. Along with that came a whole heap of headaches, mostly related to the fact that the sun is most obliging on the north side and the household plumbing is located on the south side. It didn't change the power bill much either, so it was a bit of a disappointment.
Has anyone here installed a rooftop solar system? I'd like to hear about your experiences.
@Kewpie Hi Kewpie,
I do not have personal experience with solar, but thought I would take a look at youtube to see what might be on there that would be helpful. This guy seems to be sincere and honest, so maybe it will steer you to someone who could offer some insight, or give advice. Here's the link:
There are numerous other video's about solar power on youtube.
Over the years, I have been amazed with finding answers to a wide variety of questions just by searching around on youtube. There has usually been an answer there, and it wasn't too hard to find!
Here's another one that may be more informative. It presents much more information!
I've had a rooftop system since 2016, living on the Yorkshire coast in the north of England. Our roof has a south facing aspect - opposite to you of course - facing the sun. Under the domestic installation rules here at the time we were limited to a system that could only produce up to 4 kilowatts per hour although that has since changed, but so have the various incentive schemes and will be different for you anyway. That amounts to 16 PhotoVoltaic panels on the roof which have generated just over 4000 kWh per year since installation. We usually consume less than 2000 kWh per year which leaves us as a net generator of electricity. However our heating system is Gas so it doesn't really help there. We were told we can reduce our electricity bills if things like the washing machine are used on sunny days, using the generated electricity before it goes to the grid but on the odd occasion there is a power cut we still get switched off, none the less the bills do show a reduction in the sunnier months. In the winter the panels generate less than we use so we would need a fair amount of battery capacity if we wanted to avoid drawing from the grid and as yet that would cost more than we would gain but is to be reconsidered nearer the 20 year mark when the grid will stop paying the feed in tariff that we receive on what we generate. We are probably nearing the break even point on the installation cost after 8-10 years if you include what we may have saved on reduced bills though that is difficult to quantify precisely.
What I can say is that those I have spoken to who have the panels that heat the water you mention in your OP have always had various problems whereas the PV panels seem to be pretty much plug in and play.