• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

65 Good

About billt

  • Rank
    Regular Member

Personal Information

  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. billt

    LED bulbs

    You might be thinking of CFLs. The unusual form factor ones were expensive and very slow to start (and dim anyway). Slow start isn't a natural feature of LEDs. Most of our lights are LED now and we've had a fair number of failures; mainly early ones and mainly ones with unsuitable forms like GU10. Can't think of a failure with externally powered ones. I'd say G9 is an unsuitable form for LED conversion, very likely to overheat.
  2. I like this bit at the end of the BBC story. " The chair of the Committee, Lord Deben, is being investigated by the Lords Standards Committee to see if he has breached rules by not declaring income from firms that benefit from pro-active climate policies."
  3. A bit OTT, but the Iotawatt ( sold in the UK by is a very versatile multichannel monitoring device. It's ready built, uses clip on CTs and is fairly simple to set up. Stores data locally with its own web server but can export data to the Open Energy Monitor server (or a lcoal version), or InfluxDB. It's a bit expensive, but much more useful than the commonly available simple versions while still being fairly easy to install.
  4. The dew is due to condense at the dew point.
  5. billt

    being off grid

    But would you want to pay £20,000+ for a battery based system to produce that? (About 90 years worth of electricity at 4kWh a day, 15p per unit.) 4kWh a day is exceptionally low. AIUI the average household electricity consumption is about 12kWh per day. We're profligate and use about 18-20kWh a day, mainly computer stuff that's on continuously.
  6. billt

    being off grid

    You simply can't do it in the UK with PV. I have a total of about 16kW of panels and the average daily output for December was 10.8kWhr and for January about 11.5kWhr with many days producing less than 3kWhr. With enough batteries you could be independent of the grid for 9 months of the year with my grossly oversized array. No chance with a typical 3-6kW array and normal levels of consumption.
  7. billt

    Is our winter generation amount about right?

    That's to be expected on a cloudy day. The light is very diffuse so the power falling on the panels will be pretty much the same regardless of the direction they face. The meter reader is a meter reader, he will only be interested in the meter reading and I can't imagine that he will know anything about your installation apart from the address (and sometimes they can't even find that!)
  8. billt

    Is our winter generation amount about right?

    The shading and cloud will account for the energy lost. We had a good day yesterday with the 3.8kW system generating 8.7kWh and total generation of 42kWh. Looking at the output graph shows shading of the 3.8kW system in the morning which probably lost 2kWh and cloud in the afternoon which lost another kWh. Without the shading and cloud the generation would be similar to that of JSHarris. If you get clear sunshine in the winter the power is pretty much the same as in the summer, it just doesn't last long and is easily reduced by cloud.
  9. billt

    Is our winter generation amount about right?

    I wouldn't expect much from WNW facing panels at this time of year; the sun isn't over the horizon from that direction and what sun there is will be at a very oblique angle. I'd also point out that this winter has been pretty cloudy round here so the generation has been much lower than expected or that PVGIS (which is based on averages) would predict. Although looking at Decembers figures, PVGIS classic prediction is 75kWh, PVGIS climate modelling prediction 106kWhr. Average actual production over 8 years 86kWhr, best month 123 kWh, last December 71kWh, worst December 57kWh. This is for a 3.8kW array facing SSW. Winter production has much greater variability than summer production as daylight hours are very short and if you get thick cloud during those hours you'll get very little production. With the longer days of summer you're much less likely to get several days with total cloud cover during the generation period. This month is looking pretty bad with generation so far of 29 kwh against a PVGIS classic prediction of 110kWh, but if we get 15 days of unbroken sunshine it might should get closer to the average!
  10. Pollution. If you have an accessible mains drain there should be better control of effluent release to the environment.
  11. Why not, if you have the land for an adequate leach field/ They don't use power, they don't make any noise, the effluent is arguably better treated than any packaged plant. Running costs are very low if the system is designed and installed properly. Ours was rebuilt 10 years ago and was emptied for the first time last year and was less than 2/3 full, so would have lasted a few more years before emptying. £190 over 10 years isn't much. (The system is over sized for 2 people.) And, yes it is working properly and not bypassed.
  12. billt

    DIY ground mount solar PV install

    PVGIS will give you average daily amounts by month, as well as total annual yield. You can play with slope and orientation to give you a good idea of the best angles to use. In fact it looks as if the new PVGIS 5 will give hourly outputs, but I haven't tried it. I'm not convinced by east/west splits because in the winter there just isn't any sun from those directions and in the summer you'll probably be generating too much anyway. I choose about 45 degrees slope and SSW orientation ('cause that's the way the bank faces). I made a frame of scaffold poles, as the commercial systems were too expensive, and I wasn't convinced of the longevity of wooden posts. Used U-bolts to attach the panels to the scaffold poles, drilled holes in the frame for them.
  13. Open fires don't have to be inefficient. The Rumford fireplace is pretty efficient, maybe not as good as the best closed stoves but not at all bad, and it doesn't have the loss of radiant heat that glass fronted stoves have. Not that I would recommend a fire of any sort, especially as you seem to have natural gas available, but it's always possible to do something like this if you're prepared to spend lots of money (and you're not in a smoke controlled zone).
  14. billt


    You can't have hard water then! Ours scales things just as well with cold water.
  15. It's not the conveyancing process that's stuck in the dark ages, it's the people who administrate the system, i.e. conveyancers; those minions employed by solicitors, generally and inaccurately referred to as solicitors. For instance, we've just completed the sale of my late mother-in-laws house. The conveyancing took less than 5 hours. Lynne went to her "solicitors" office to sign the contract, contracts were exchanged by phone and the money was in her account later that afternoon. All the fannying around has nothing to do with the conveyancing process, but everything to do with third parties being incompetent and wishing to cover their backs for every possible or impossible contingency. Of course all the obscurities that are possible with this system can be used to the advantage of one or other party. When I bought my first property I wasn't in a particular hurry and asked if the solicitor (he was actually a solicitor in this case) could delay the transaction. He was happy to delay it as much as I wanted - a few weeks in the end.