Thursday 27 August 2015

DECC confirm Solar PV tariffs to be slashed

Today DECC the Climate Change Government department have released a 'consultation' the review of Feed in Tariff rates for solar and other renewable technologies. SEE IT HERE

The lengthy document rambles on about providing better value for money to all energy payers, obviously without a thought to future climate issues. Reading through makes it quite clear that this Government are dropping renewable power technologies like a hot potato!

To take the proposed feed in tariff chart that will start on January 1st 2016 as the prime example, the typical option that any viable house in the UK is able to install, giving them much more control over their power destiny will have the FiT rate dropped from 12.67p to 1.63p for every Kw generated. Its pretty much the same across the board, including Wind and Hydro too.

Just as there will be an explosion in power storage devices that are cost effective, thus enabling businesses and homeowners to use that daytime generated power overnight and stabilising the grid, DECC announce these measures to just about stop people being able to engage in their own future.

We know for certain that the Government are 'backing' companies like EDF to build Nuclear Power Stations, which incidentally are far more expensive than ANY renewables incentive to both build and maintain, plus as we have seen again and again is dangerous when broken.
The other Government candidate for 'funding' will be fracking in the short term future as they have seen the massive success in the USA of that technology. This tiny island will obviously not stand up to the high pressure plundering of resources for all that long, with our water and other resources eventually poisoned with fracking chemicals.

Its all about money and short term futures, usually around 5 years, the term of Government.

Over the next few weeks, watch social media for everyones opinion on the UK's about turn on what most of civilised Europe have embraced .. Renewables for the future of the planet.. From 2016, it will all decline from the high ground we stood on to a cauldron of chemical gloop.

Friday 7 August 2015

Running an AGA on Solar electricity

We have had many queries over the years asking if we can arrange a system that will use the Solar PV electricity to run an AGA cooker. As any AGA owner will know, this device is the one big consumer of electricity/gas or oil in any household. They are beautiful cooking and heating devices, but boy, they do eat the utility bills! Eco they are not!

I've recently met up with Malcolm Stickler who runs a company specifically to install electronic free electric heaters to AGA's . These are compatible with Immersun's and most other add on PV power diversion devices.

People who already have a PV power diversion device for their hot water will know the massive savings they can make simply by using that spare power that would have been exported to the grid sent to the immersion heater. This exact technology can now be safely used on an AGA.

You will need to have the conversion carried out by Malcolms crew, who cover the whole of the UK. The cost is £1950 + VAT and entails replacing the existing oil/ gas or electric heater with a complete custom new module.

However, for maximum effectiveness, you'll need a 4kwp south facing solar PV system, possibly even bigger to cope with the low winter light levels. As well as getting Government Feed in Tariff payments, you'll be running your AGA for far less cost than you could believe possible previously!

This is just one way you can use more of your generated solar PV power thus getting great value for money out your investment.

For a solar PV quote in the South West UK, call Rudge Energy on 01392 368724

For the AGA conversion, call: 01278 769802

Friday 24 July 2015

Not much time left for the Solar Feed in Tariff?

Small commercial Solar
After new money saving measures announced by Amber Rudd on behalf of the Government over the past few days, renewables have been hit quite hard and are calculated to end solar PV funding as soon as possible. This will rid the Government of what
is now considered a funding headache. With the Green Deal, and other green funding knocked on the head, will small scale solar PV systems be next on the chopping block?...

If the Government can knock Solar FiT on the head, then most of this money will simply be flipped over to subsidise Nuclear power. More power for the National Grid needs to be found somewhere! Some years ago I noticed that in Gov press releases, Nuclear became renamed as a 'low carbon' power source. It can be seen as such, with a high health risk and a very hard to dispose of end product.. When operating correctly, in that squeakily fine balance between high efficiency and disaster, nuclear will provide a lot of power on a small geographic footprint, 24 hours a day... With a very low operational carbon footprint and extremely high operational cost. All to be funded by diverting our money from elsewhere.

Going back to Feed in Tariffs though.. When on April 1st 2016 the large scale ROC (renewable obligation certificate), scheme comes to an end, there will be a large bunch of investment funded companies kicking around with nothing to do, who have made a living from bleeding the the Government ROC scheme dry. Many of these companies are based offshore, thus UK money is going elsewhere. A scenario not considered by the Government all those years ago.

These companies on 1st April, will be determined not to be foolish enough to simply close up shop and go away.. I strongly expect that this Monday morning, after the usual moral boosting meeting,  sales guys will be moving over to finding large rooftops to populate with solar under the Feed in Tariff scheme. This will be disaster for Solar PV. Calculated by Government advisors, as if that gets played out, the smaller solar installers bread and butter will be killed off by the middle of the year when a massive degression is announced, reducing Feed in Tariff to such a small rate, it will not be worth installing... There goes the industry! Or maybe Amber Rudd will simply kill it all off before next year anyway?

Of course, people will still want solar to keep their power bills down, but realistically, the drive of the Feed in Tariff needs to keep the industry buoyant for a few more years until power bills take a few more price hikes and make people actually realise that simply making your own power is the way to go, even without FiT. By that time searching for someone to install PV properly will be difficult.

To my thinking, the easiest and best fix will be to limit FiT installations to sub 50kW systems, thus limit FiT payments and make it available for the people that actually need it .. Oh, and stop subsidising Nuclear and Fossil fuel production of course!!

Monday 13 July 2015

Off Grid in the middle of the city?

A recent installation we have completed is possibly the most curious and exciting, an Off Grid power system in the East End of London, not far from either docklands or the Olympic site at Stratford and smack in the middle of thousands of grid connected houses.

The reason is all for the sake of art!

Chisenhale Gallery were needing an off grid system to operate a specific set of equipment as part of an art installation. This installation operates 2 projectors and a sound system for 6-7 hours a day, and is the featured exhibition until the end of August 2015, see later.

Using our standard Off Grid calculator and also being re assured that the installation will only be run during the Summer months, we were able to use standard Victron Easy Solar, 6 @ 250Wp solar modules and a 600Ah battery set. This will run the system for 6 hours even on a cloudy day in August.

To complement the installation, it has been installed into a cage to provide an industrial aspect, plus of course keeping prying fingers away from the switches too!

If you are around in the area, go and see the installation at Chisenhale Gallery Nicholas Mangan's exhibition is running till the end of August.

At the end of the August, this complete installation is being sold on. The system generates enough power to run a small economic Off Grid house with ease. We will be storing and shipping it all from Devon. If you are looking for a ready to go Solar Based Off Grid system that has the provenance of being used at an esteemed art exhibition, email me for all the details. We can install if for you too!

Sunday 3 May 2015

Another Solar PV system for the RNLI

Our recent completion in time for the April FiT drop, of a 133kWp Solar PV system on the RNLI Lifeboat Support Centre in Poole will not only massively reduce their power bills, but will provide the Nations favourite charity with healthy Feed in Tariff payments for the next 20 years, not to mention a far lower carbon footprint in line with new legislation coming soon.

Using leading edge solar technology to get maximum efficiency for the RNLI, no matter what the weather conditions! We have used the new SMA Sunny Tripower 60kW inverters for efficient power conversion, negating the need for an array of smaller inverters where inefficiencies can cumulate to result in lower performance. See SMA Website for more information on these inverters. This RNLI project is the largest rooftop system so far to use the Tripower 60's .

For the rooftop, we chose JA Solar 285 Percium Monocrystalline modules that offer a really good output for the square meterage we had available on the Support Centre roof. Getting 133kWp onto the roof AND leaving the required service boundaries around roof lights and man safe systems made the JA 285's the only choice to use for staying within budget.

The RNLI's Lifeboat Support Centre is the national hub for all engineering and service warehousing, operating a 24 hour a day service to ensure the downtime of any lifeboat malfunctions kept at a minimum. The electrical standing load of the premises is pretty much the same as any larger office premises. Due to this, the payback period of this new PV system will be within 6 years, with another 14 years of lower power bills and FiT payments coming in. It's a brilliant long term investment for the RNLI to support their lifesaving operations.