Sunday, 26 January 2014

Solar Power OR Water Turbines?

Sometimes you have to count your blessings. 

Here in the East Midlands we're about as far from the coastal flooding as its possible to get. We're not on a river flood plain so despite the continual rain we're doing OK.
We're singing in the rain, just singing in the rain.

My heart goes out to those householders in Somerset who have endured weeks of flooding and each days weather forecast brings bad news.

The weird thing about our current local weather pattern is it seems to be copying the tropics! Every day at approximately 16:00 it starts to rain and continues over night. January has seen bright cloudless skies with output generated from the roof likely to be the best I've had since installation.

Our installer predicted (some what conservatively) that our system would generate 2185 kWh a year. They were so confident of that figure that they "guaranteed" to pay me the difference if it wasn't achieved. What's not to like? Well as some of you may be aware when my roof started leaking and the panels needed to be removed I discovered the company had ceased trading and all deals and guarantees were useless...

I realise now that what I actually needed wasn't "paperwork" promises, but a water turbine installed in the down-pipe from the guttering. That's got to be a winner hasn't it? A small micro turbine capable of turning deluges into kW's of electricity every time it rains. Those of you who haven't had a water meter installed could augment your output by turning on the garden hose during dry periods.

We had a great Summer and despite my system being shut down for a week in September it's looking like a "good year."
It's far to early to "count my chickens", but 2013-2014 will probably be the best annual figures in the three years since our June 2011 investment. 

The target of 2,185 kWh was achieved on January 20th which leaves a further 10 weeks of output to be added. 
In the same period in 2011-2012 I managed 402 kWh and in 2012-2013 it was 301 kWh. Realistically, my output and earnings since the FiT increase on April 1st 2013 should be around 2,500 kWh which gives an income of £1,225.

14.5% better than predicted... Unfortunately, I have to introduce a caveat here. Some of you may be aware that the official MCS formula for predicting a systems output was amended in May 2013. I wrote a piece about it at the time. 

MCS now say that my system should produce 2,468 kWh annually. They're probably right. Instead of an astonishing 14.5% increase in reality it's a much more realistic 1.3% improvement.

Easy come, easy go! Anyway, I'm still pleased with my system, it's looking like the best investment I ever made.

How about you?

Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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