Monday, 1 February 2016

Final Stages and Battery Back Up


The solar installation electricians are here again this week making the final adjustments to our new solar electricity system, hooking up the battery back-up so that when the sun goes down and the daylight fades we are still using our own generated electricity and not switching straight back to the National Grid.


Cables and wires that they know exactly what to do with but to me could be anything at all.  It's all very colourful in the control room and very technical.


The bank of batteries that all fill with power for us to use.

A very boring post, sorry ... but one that needs to be recorded for posterity.  


Thank you for all the lovely comments on the weekends blog post that celebrated our seventh anniversary of blogging about our change of lifestyle.  It's hard to believe that this blog has been going for a full seven years, and what's even harder to believe is that we are already in the second month of the year.  Hello February ... any chance of you being a little bit drier that January was I'm fed up with all this rain!!

Sue xx

29 comments:

  1. How interesting. For some reason, I expected the batteries to look more like car batteries!

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  2. Fascinating. My partner's parents have solar roof tiles and say they provide lots of energy, so I hope they do for you too :)

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    1. We should have plenty, we have 45 solar panels on the garage and workshop roof ;-)

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  3. Not boring at all really. So high tech and yet one of the oldest forms of energy available! It's a very exciting project :)

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  4. I would love to have solar panels but we don't know if we will stay in this house for ever and therefore we wouldn't get our money back. You must be set to make huge savings if my memory serves me right your Aga is electric.

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  5. This is not boring at all, it is great that you are going green and using the power of the sun. I also thought the batteries will look more like car batteries
    Btw I just loved reading the weekend post and to see all the progress.
    All the best from Cape Town

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  6. Not boring, educational. It's interesting to see what this system looks like. When we installed a wood pellet biomass boiler years ago, lots of people wanted to come round to see what it looked like and how it worked. They were shocked at how much space the boiler and pellet storage took up; it put some people off installing a similar system x

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  7. ohh I find this fascinating. as we hope to have solar panels also. Will you be tracking the production and usage. I would find this enormously interesting to follow and read about. <<>>

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  8. I would love to have solar panels too but living in a park home makes it impossible. Perhaps later if we find our 'forever' home...

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  9. How interesting to see, well done on all your achievements.
    I love following along on your journey.
    Pam in TX.x

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  10. That is the cleanest, most efficient looking solar system I've ever seen. Your people really not only knew what they were doing, but have a wonderful esthetic. This will serve you well for a good long time and easy to access when repairs/upgrades are necessary. Congrats!

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  11. Bet you can't wait to get it all up and running.

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    1. It will be nice to get it complete.

      We have been running on daytime solar power for the last couple of months, but now the batteries are being connected it will be 24/7 which will obviously save us a fortune AND earn us some money as well come the lighter longer days of Spring and Summer when we can get ahead.

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  12. So cool. I would love to do the same. I'm sure you don't like people to be too nosy but I was just wondering what your break even date will be? For me, that was the deciding factor. I couldn't justify putting solar panels on my roof that would take 10 years plus to pay back before the equipment paid for itself. I probably wont even be living in this house in 10 years time. How did you justify your break even point?

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    1. Our break even point will be in around 8 years, and that is having paid for an extensive 45 panel system with the battery back-up. We have a guaranteed 20 years of being able to sell back the power to the National Grid which means that obviously if we stay longer than eight years we will very quickly get into a large profit margin.

      The beauty of the system and the guaranteed purchasing of the unused power is that it adds it's own value to the property and can be transferred very simply to any new owners. Which, if we did decide to sell up through ill health or any other reason would make our smallholding a very attractive proposition for anyone else wanting to live a similar lifestyle.

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    2. Thank you for replying. Your situation sounds very good. Being nosy, I'm wondering how much excess power your system will generate daily and how much the utility company will pay you for that power.

      Here, in the US, my other dilemmas (when it came to solar power yes/no) was that my utility company only pays cents on the excess power that households generate (I would have to ask a friend for the actual numbers. She says the amount that the utility company pays her for excess power is negligible and she doesn't even factor it in to her monthly income. Had I planned to lease the panels, I would ultimately have to find a home buyer willing to make the lease payments should I wish to sell the house. A lease is a contract and no, the solar company won't come and take the panels away. I would be responsible for making the lease payments for the duration of the lease if finding a home buyer willing to take over the lease proved unsuccessful.

      My house would need about 18 panels (at least) so that's roughly $18,000 to buy (rather than lease) .... it would actually take me about 25-30 years to break even give or take. I would love solar generated power but at that cost it does not make any sense.

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  13. I will have to show Hubby this picture....or maybe tell him about it and not show him mwahh ha ha ah. We've been on about battery storage for a while. I wonder if I can blackmail him into cooking tea first ;)

    It's beautiful and not a boring post at all x

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  14. The farmer was greatly admiring of your set-up. We have solar panels and they have brought our quarterly bill down quite a lot, but this is so much more impressive.

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  15. Come the zombie apocalypse im moving in with you

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  16. Ooh serious gadget envy! Brilliant stuff.

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  17. Very interesting and good pictures

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  18. Certainly not boring! Brilliant Eco tech

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  19. This is a very interesting post ! We would love to have a set-up like yours ! We have the maximum 16kW array on the roof, how did you manage to get a deal for 45 panels ? Is that available to domestic homes or only for businesses ? Sorry to be so nosy but would love to know !

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  20. An important moment in your self sufficiency journey - to be running on your own power! congratulations.

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  21. Very interesting to see your battery back up. We're planning on doing this as soon as the technology becomes more affordable here in Australia. New things coming onto the market almost weekly so we'll wait a bit longer. At the moment we're being paid lots more for our excess going into the grid than it costs to buy it back because we bought the panels early while the Govt had a good scheme going. Now that the market is saturated with rooftop solar the feed-in tariffs have reduced to almost nothing for those starting up now, so it makes great sense for them to save their own power to use when the sun goes down. We are guaranteed our feed-in price until 2026, but the way our Govt is going, that could change at any time. :(

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