Home Alternative Technology

Alternative Technology and Renewable Energy can be great fun and very rewarding, especially if done at home. On this blog I share my ideas and tips for mainly simple and inexpensive alternative technology projects.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Even more battery storage

I recently saw a batch of ten 70 AH sealed 12v batteries advertised on eBay. I just had to have them and made the seller an offer which he accepted. He shipped them to me on a pallet in only 2 working days. They are less than six months old and were part of a huge UPS back-up system for a large multi-national company which re-located.

I have wired them all in parallel, which gives me a capacity of 700 AH and added to my existing battery makes a total of over 1,000 AH. This should be enough storage for for several days of emergency lighting and computer use with my solar panels and wind generator providing the charging source.

See my home alternative technology exploits which are always changing and being improved, without spending a fortune.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

PV Panels with a Grant

I am seriously considering having some photo voltaic panels installed by a specialist company. This goes against my generally DIY tendencies but in fact it appears to be more cost effective if you pay a company to do it for you. The reason is that if you do it yourself, you cannot apply for a grant, but you can if an approved installer does it!

The grant can be up to 40-50% of the total installation cost paid by the Energy Saving Trust. This means that an installed 2kW solar panel system with grid-tie inverter costing around £12,000.00 can be obtained for under £7,000.00. This is still a lot of money, but works out much cheaper than if you obtain the parts and do the work yourself. Installers get the benefit of bulk buying and the VAT on a complete installed system is only 5%.

Of course the payback time is still very long, but if you apply a compounded increase in electricity costs each year, it starts to be more realistic. The main thing, of course, is that it saves quite a bit of greenhouse gases being produced, as I would be generating pollution free solar power, albeit on a small scale. For me, it would be a commitment to helping to protect the environment for the future.

I have had estimates from three specialist installers and they are all in the same ballpark as far as cost is concerned. I would like to visit a couple of nearby previous installations so that I can judge for myself the workmanship offered. I expect it will be a difficult decision.