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Have You Installed Or Considered Installing Solar PV Panels - Help With Survey

Postby F_Herman » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:14 pm

Hi all,

I am a third year student at the University of East Anglia researching the decision process behind why people choose to install or not install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their homes in the UK for my dissertation.

If you have ever considered installing, are going to install or have installed solar PV panels on your home, please could you take 5 minutes to complete the linked survey below. Any responses would be greatly appreciated to assist in my third year project .

Survey link: ... 8/viewform

If you also know of anyone else who has decided to install or not install solar PV panels could you please share this survey with them as this would be a great help.

Thank you very much for your time,

F Herman
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Postby ericmark » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:40 am

I have read this request on other forums and the problem is we don't see the results. Personally I think most go for solar panels because it's a better return for ones money than interest paid in other investments rather than anything to do with being green.

If you really want to study solar panel use then there are two groups to look at. Caravan users and narrow boat users both do not get the government money so fit and use them on their own merit.

I use a small one to maintain the battery while in storage but not to replenish the battery when using the caravan.

I am also considering fitting them on my house but that is a financial thing and nothing to do with being green it's purely to get government money. The problem is until we buy we have no idea of how good they are and bitter experience with an inverter failure makes me ask how long before it requires some replacement? All electrolytic capacitors will fail and any inverter be it to supply a PC or transfer power from a solar panel array will have electrolytic capacitors and so a point where it will fail.

As to survey the RSBG has produced guide lines on how to ask questions and to conduct an effective survey one has to be very careful as to how a question is asked. Door to door even the inflection in the voice of the interviewer can change the answers and although I answer honestly and it is purely money others will want to appear to be green and give answers to make them look good rather than being frank.

My wife did an experiment and without breaking rules tried to see how much she could influence answers. By reading out the options in reverse order she could change the result. So the random order each time the questions are asked is important.

However please publish your results here so we can see how it all went.
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Postby F_Herman » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:15 pm

Thank you Ericmark more you interesting feedback. I have tried to include a wide range of people including a 'houseboat' and 'other' options, as I have read up on their diverse use and the merits of using them in the two groups you stated.

The issues you brought up about your own concerns over solar panels are something I hope to explore further in interviews after my survey data is collected, due to the limiting nature of surveys. I recognise that there will always be problems within the data collection of surveys down to design and human nature but I have done a lot to try and minimise this and get reliable results.

Thank you again Ericmark for your time and interest in my project, it is really appreciated. And thank you to everyone else who has taken the time to complete my survey so far, it is a huge help.
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