Solar Grin 1

I don’t think I’ve ever been actually glad to see a year come to an end before. Still, has to be a first time eh? Onward to 2014.

So, the news everyone is panting for… you are panting, aren’t you? How munificent has Sol Invictii been? It’s been a stormy end to the year. Cold clear skies would offer more actual sunlight than the dull overcast weather we’ve had; although in truth I don’t think the panels generate much if they’re coated in snow either, so perhaps it’s just the natural nadir in terms of photovoltaic generation.

Throughout the month of December 2013ce we generated 67 kWh (units) of electricity! (Whoohoo…)

Putting that into context we consumed 533 kWh from the local grid making for an overall consumption of 600 units! 2012-2013 averaged 535 units but you would expect the winter months to be higher. We generated just over eleven percent of our consumption. And we even exported some… 6 kWh went out onto the local grid network!

Have to do something about that export; the regulations currently mean we get paid for half of what we generate whether it gets used or exported, so it makes sense to use as much of it as we can. There’s even something I’ve found called a solar diverter, which detects an imminent export and diverts it to the hot water tank immersion heater (assuming you have one).

We do have an immersion but it’s never actually been used in the twelve plus years we’ve been here – it’s moot whether it would simply go bang if we used now. And the diverter is £250, so I would need to know how much we are exporting before making such an investment. However, it would make at least a small dent on our not inconsiderable gas consumption, which is all used for central and water heating.

sackfull2Finally, that Feed in tariff and export payment…

Feed-In Generation Tariff @ 14.90p/kWh = 67 x £0.149 = £9.98
Export Payment @ 4.64p/kWh/2 = 67/2 X £0.0464 = £1.55

Not to mention the saving on not consuming…

67 units of mains electricity @ 12.45p/kWh = 67 x £0.1245 = £8.34

Giving a grand total “income” of £19.87, at which rate these panels will be paid for in only twenty three years!!! One can only hope the summer is long, marvellously sunny and, um,  profitable.

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  1. Just checked our figures for the last year, including the 4 months before I got our panels up and running, our monthly average electrical useage was 215 Kw/Hrs after solar generation and I expect this to go down this year. Word of advice regarding the solar divertor, change your immersion heater but be aware, I’ve seen old hot water cylinders split when trying to remove an old immersion heater so get the condition of the cylinder and immersion heater checked before embarking down this route.

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