Wednesday, 3 July 2013

If Only I Could SAVE My Solar Generated Electricity...

Have you ever daydreamed of being "self sufficient"? 
I'm not talking about turning my front garden into an allotment like Tom and Barbara Good in the mid 1970's BBC TV series "The Good Life." (Although sharing the house with Felicity Kendall would be VERY nice.)!!!!  
No. I'm imagining being able to run all my electrical domestic appliances using the power generated from my roof. They rejected the status quo by giving up their highly paid jobs in exchange for a simple life at home.
I just want to give up paying ever increasing bills to the big 6  monopolistic energy companies.

Is this going to remain a fantasy? I mean the home grown electricity usage, not cohabiting with Felicity Kendall...As the graph above shows, from Mid April to early October (that's 6 months of the year) I generate more electricity than I use.

It's not just a one off thing either. 

In 2011-2012, I used 2536 kWhs of electricity whilst generating 2503 kWhs.

In 2012-2013, I used 2331 kWhs of electricity whilst generating 2438 kWhs.

I can't explain why my usage dropped in 2012/13, the winter weather seemed to be just as cold and miserable as the year before and we certainly didn't alter our lifestyle to reduce electricity usage.
I can explain the drop in output generated by the terrible spring and summer in 2012. With the exception of a brief window of sunshine during the Olympic games the whole summer was a wash-out.

We all need some means of storing our excess production. If I lived in the wilds of Scotland next to a loch with a huge mountain at the side I'd use spare electricity to pump the water uphill, which would drive a turbine on its way down.
However, living on a high density housing estate in the East Midlands, that's NOT an option.
Bizarrely, a chemical found in everything from tennis court lines to low-fat milk could help store energy produced by renewable sources. Scientists in Australia are developing a capacitor storage device that could solve my need to use energy produced in daylight and used at night. Link to article. 

Could this next bit be a "wind-up?

Finally, I''ll give you a sneak preview of the giant clockwork device I'm developing. Excess electricity is used to wind up the clockwork mechanism of an old grandfather clock. The power is unleashed later to run all electrical appliances (and the house lighting.) Initial trials suggest there is some way to go...

I keep telling the wife.

"This time next year, we'll be millionaires"

Twitter: (@solaricarus)


  1. Inerestingly there's a report predicting that PV storage uptake will increase significantly in the UK next year:

  2. If the FiT rate in the UK was linked to storage capacity, it's going to accelerate the introduction of storage.
    I'd certainly consider it, but I suspect viable household systems are a decade away. Fingers crossed though...