Tuesday 13 December 2011

1.7 ton picture (Paul)

After the 'very' easy clues yesterday, I'm sure eveyone (except Jayne) knows what Barnacre Alpacas latest venture is?  To be fair, Jayne is more used to wind, rain and snow - so guessing that we now have a solar photovoltaic (solar pv) system was probably a little tough!

Debbie and I had many 'debates' about this, although it was something I really wanted us to do.  We are not green nuts or anything, it should give us energy security, avoid crazy oil and heating bills and (unsurprisingly) should be a great investment.  All was going well until the Government kindly made changes to the Feed in Tariff part way through our project - requiring me to spend the last month pushing and organising about 6 different companies to do their bit (including installing new power lines!) as it happens we got everything done with a couple of days to spare - good job as the new Feed in Tariffs are some 60% lower and they last for 25 years!

For anyone that doesn't know, there are a couple of types of solar installation.  There is solar thermal which is usually a couple of panels on the house roof - these warm up the water passing underneath to give you warm/hot water.  Solar pv, which we have invested in, is different.  Solar pv or solar photovoltaic is a number of panels - in our case 40 of them in two arrays 21 metres (70 feet) long and 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) high.  They sit on the south side of our new shed which stands nearly 5 metres high at the apex.  The solar pv cells on the panels capture sunlight and the silicon they are made of then create an electrical field which produces electricity.

The system should produce around 8,000 Kilowatts of electricity and we should only use around 3,000 so we will be putting lots of 'green' elecricity back into the grid.  We will also save over 4.5 tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) - very green!  On the financial side, we get paid by the electricity company for every kilowatt of electric we generate - we will be smiling when the sun is shining!

As a result we do not have any gas or even an oil tank on the farm and the only electric we will 'buy' will be some cheap rate night time electricity.  Combined with our new house build insulation, ground source heat pump, electric Aga and stove (maybe I'll save those for another day) even Debbie should be warm enough!

Anyway, enough words, here's the picture that reveals all:


Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Ahhh....Thanks for the photo !!....we don't get that shiney stuff....up these parts !!!...plenty blowy stuff....plenty wet stuff...and plenty white stuff !!!!!!.Jayne

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

Nice work - the evenings will just fly by, as you sit and watch the meter go around!

Cotswold Vale Alpacas said...

Wow well done, the barn looks great.

We had been considering panels for our barn, but looks like we have missed out now with the governments changes!!

I am sure you will enjoy the sun and the meter going around, with them pennies dropping into you money pot :-)

Unknown said...

Whats not to like about having toasty toes on the cheap Debbie!

Llama Karma said...

We had a PV system on our holiday cottages installed in September, now Steve spends his time monitoring the system from home via a blue tooth system. He has lots of graphs and thing which he keeps showing me!. Keeps him quiet anyway.
So hopefully we will have a very sunny year.

Andrew said...

8,000 Kilowatts ! Wow. Thats serious generation. Well done for getting the project complete in time.