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  • Property-a-holics

    Renewable Energy and Smart Homes

    I'm just scratching the surface of the technologies for Renewable Energy and Smart Homes. As a live in landlord I can see potential in both.

    It appears that the technology is approaching the point where solar power combined with a lithium battery can provide a self sustained electrical system. I'm not convinced there is a viable system yet for heating.

    Combining the above with a smart home system that monitors and controls usage around the home appears to offer even greater efficiency but I can't find any examples of this combination being implemented.

    Is there anyone with experience of these systems who can provide a few pointers?

    I'm aware that the Feed In Tariff is no longer available and that the payback of the system may be 10 years or more, neither of which is a concern as this would be a long term investment.

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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer

    Hi Gary,

    I think I am correct in saying that if you visit the Self Build and Renovation Centre near Swindon, they have a lot of renewable energy/smart home options on display there.



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    Sometimes the solution is right in front of you! I hadn't even considered going there and I'm still living in Swindon...


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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer

    I like the idea but can not justify a ten year+ payback. Be interested to hear more about this journey.

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    I'll update with anything useful I find.

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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer

    I used an online calculator recently to calculate the ROI for Solar Panels and it came out to be 27 years.......

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    What was it calculating???

    I'm guessing it was earnings from the Feed In Tariff and not savings in electricity costs.

    The average payback for a standard PV system is around 9 years in the UK currently.

    I haven't found data for a self sufficient system but would expect similar, using some very crude figures of a 50% saving in electricity cost from a standard system and double the cost of installing a self sufficient system.

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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer


    The technology is expensive and payback periods are long, things like inverters don’t last forever , batteries need looking after and understanding to make them last and get best out of them. No doubt things will improve on all fronts, for now its the preserve of those that do it for ideological reasons and or are technology/eco  geeks, nothing wrong with that at all and without them progress would be much slower.

    Innthe meantime, a decent boiler, heating controls , led lighting and most importantly insulation and ventilation control will all be more reliable, easier to understand and pay for themselves much faster. Insulation especially gives instant results , gives lasting improvement and well understood.

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    All valid points but at some point this will become a viable alternative, as will electric cars. It seems that we may have already reached that point, but then it may just be good sales patter.

    I'm about to rewire and install a new boiler. I'm questioning whether to invest in what's best today or take an educated gamble on what's best for the next decade.

    Either way, efficiency and waste reduction will be significant factors.

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    A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

    Martin H. Fischer

    Most certainly at some point there will be a cross over, but most of the pv and battery technologies are best suited to modern well insulated properties where they are expected to help with heating.

    Some excellent threads on here from people for whom efficiency and self generation is pretty much a way of life, 

    https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/



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