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Advice for someone new to renewable energy

  • 22-12-2019 11:17pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 33 Gringro


    Hi All,

    I am currently looking into a way of supplying my own energy and hope to reduce my electric bill or preferably eliminate them.

    I am thinking of a combination of Solar PV, Wind energy and battery storage, but I need to gain a lot more knowledge before I can even begin to figure this out.

    I may do some/all of the work myself or use an installer/SEAI grant, either is possible.

    I am not looking for advice on what solution is best .

    As I am starting out, I would appreciate it if anyone can point me towards good independent sources of information (web sites/videos/books) that will help me to understand what is available and how they work.

    I'm sure other people have gone down the same route and will have found some good sources of information that have been a great help to give them the information they need.

    If you have found certain books/web sites useful, please let me know as it would be a great place to start.

    Many thanks in advance :)


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,072 ✭✭✭ antoinolachtnai


    This is certainly not a how-to guide but it gives a clear idea of the macro level issues involved.

    https://withouthotair.com/


  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Gringro


    Thank you antoinolachtnai, that book gets good reviews and I will read that. Appreciate this tip!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Hi gringro

    So basically you want to get off the grid.
    Any idea on what kind of budget you have to spend on the project !?
    Are you forced to do it due to location or want to do it as fun / just to be able to do it

    I am working on something similar but my electricity pole is at 400m away from the corner of the land.
    So I am forced financially and common sense to run my own systems and solutions .
    If I would have had around €20k I would got the electricity wires ran all the way to my shed.

    So, my top budget is €20k
    That will give me :

    free Sun generated electricity, using 2 x 16 PVs mounted on tracker
    free Sun heated hot water, using 60 solar tubes and cylinder plus puffer
    free wind powered background electricity to top up batteries, im in a good windy sub mountain position
    a Leaf and / or Outlander power system to keep the house life critical / essential systems independent and working fine as defined by a power generator.

    What to you have in mind !??


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,942 ✭✭✭ blackbox


    Plant trees for renewable fuel.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    blackbox wrote: »
    Plant trees for renewable fuel.

    I've tried.
    But either the animals managed in the spring to eat the greenery/leaves and therefore young trees died or, the ones that grew a bit bigger were destroyed by not being able to take care of them.
    Yes, it will work in the long term as a source for heat but I planed all to be nature friendly, with minimum impact on environment.

    As I said, i am forced to live completely off grid /off system.
    That changes the algorithms and makes maths really complicated with respect to living conditions versus financial data.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,146 ✭✭✭ victor8600


    rolion wrote: »
    I've tried.
    But either the animals managed in the spring to eat the greenery/leaves and therefore young trees died or,....

    Plant conifers, they grow fast and deer/rabbits don't like them as much as the tasty birch or rowan trees.
    rolion wrote: »
    If I would have had around €20k I would got the electricity wires ran all the way to my shed.

    Why so much? ESB charges ~€2600 for the connection. €17K for a few poles and a roll of wire?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    victor8600 wrote: »
    Plant conifers, they grow fast and deer/rabbits don't like them as much as the tasty birch or rowan trees.



    Why so much? ESB charges ~€2600 for the connection. €17K for a few poles and a roll of wire?

    The location is on a natural reservation / park where all construction is very limited, controlled and permissions required. I see no issues for a "country house" in relation to techie stuff but very restricted to zoning/houses/industrial premises.
    Not sure about trees yet as even if I want to cut for personal usage I think I will need some sort of permission. Dunno, i will review it later in couple of months.

    The electrical high lines are at 400m from nearest corner, I will need not only the cables ran underground but a new downlow transformer and the distance of 400m will kill the voltage from 240 down to maybe 200ish due to length of the cable. Alternatively, ran high voltage and then near local transformer. BUT, in any outcomes I do not own the infrastructure...any neighbour could come after I paid for the work and just pay a fraction of the cost supported by me. AND on top of that, i have to pay monthly bills which I am trying to bring down to zero.

    Sorry for going off topic from OP initial request.



    498386.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,146 ✭✭✭ victor8600


    Gringro wrote: »
    As I am starting out, I would appreciate it if anyone can point me towards good independent sources of information (web sites/videos/books) that will help me to understand what is available and how they work.

    I have not made any large scale PV myself, only watched/read a few things. These video series seem interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5wv4HcRNKw&list=PLHACLo2Ax7LHJ8dvM0ALbXOcbQlwfuEn6

    The guy there, among other things, describes his battery setup. This is the first thing I would worry about. If I just want to run a fridge and a 100W of other load, how many batteries I need for 1 day? If I need 2-3 KW (washing machine, electric kettle, iron), how many more batteries are needed? From that you can determine how many PV panels, type of controllers and inverters you would require and how much it will all cost.

    498969.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,612 ✭✭✭ Dardania


    rolion wrote: »
    The location is on a natural reservation / park where all construction is very limited, controlled and permissions required. I see no issues for a "country house" in relation to techie stuff but very restricted to zoning/houses/industrial premises.
    Not sure about trees yet as even if I want to cut for personal usage I think I will need some sort of permission. Dunno, i will review it later in couple of months.

    The electrical high lines are at 400m from nearest corner, I will need not only the cables ran underground but a new downlow transformer and the distance of 400m will kill the voltage from 240 down to maybe 200ish due to length of the cable. Alternatively, ran high voltage and then near local transformer. BUT, in any outcomes I do not own the infrastructure...any neighbour could come after I paid for the work and just pay a fraction of the cost supported by me. AND on top of that, i have to pay monthly bills which I am trying to bring down to zero.

    Sorry for going off topic from OP initial request.



    498386.jpg

    Just on that topic, my understanding from dealing with ESB Networks about 10 years ago was that if a neighbour was to come, you would be partially reimbursed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,072 ✭✭✭ antoinolachtnai


    Dardania wrote: »
    Just on that topic, my understanding from dealing with ESB Networks about 10 years ago was that if a neighbour was to come, you would be partially reimbursed.

    Yes, there is something in the tariff sheet about it.

    Re ‘owning’ the infrastructure, the whole benefit is really that you don’t own the infrastructure. You pay a low monthly fee and someone else takes care of the depreciation and maintenance/repairs. In practice this is is subsidised by other electricity customers if you have a long run.

    The electricity connection adds to the long term value of the property. It makes the property easier to finance or sell.


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