I have always thought it would be great to be able to generate our own electricity using solar or wind power and not have to rely on the utility companies, but, for a long time such systems have
seemed unreliable, complicated and very expensive.
However, solar hot water has become easy and effective, and my research told me that Solar electric (photovoltaic – PV) has made similar strides. Time to look again, I thought, I would tryto assemble a good basic system that would allow us some scope for future upgrade. We were going to go ‘off grid.’
After calculating our approximate
power usage and thinking of ways to maybe reducethis, such as:
• gas hob instead of electric
• gas stove top kettle, instead of electric
• Lose the toaster – make toast on a griddle pan
on the hob
• low energy light bulbs (saves you 75%)
• better still LED lightbulbs (saves 90%)
• if you have solar hot water, connect your dishwasher to fill from the hot water instead of
cold (why heat your dishwasher water by electric when you already have a free supply!)
Next, a lot of research into current solar PV equipment – our ideal prospective system was
coming into being – on paper at least!
‘Biting the bullet’ and purchasing the equipment (and enlisting the help of my friend and neighbour
– an electrician!) the dream became a reality. Solar panels, Charge controller, Solar batteries,
It actually worked, and better than expected! From day one we have had enough power to run
everything electrical we have: Fridge/freezer, washing machine, dishwasher, electric oven, swimming pool, water pump, well pump, internet, TV, Computer, lights etc.
The equipment is sophisticated and clever, you can’t overcharge your batteries, nor deplete them
below a safe level. If you have a mains connection it can even automatically switch over to mains
electric if you do run low, and back again when re-charged. Interested? Solar Sundays can now supply and
install similar individually tailored systems. Why not pay us a visit – see our advert on the opposite
Now, where did I put that wind turbine