Our Journey towards Energy Independence
The orientation of our bungalow’s main roof faces West to East and is overshadowed by trees. So, we considered ‘Killing two birds with one stone’, by considering a veranda on the East side, with a Solar panel roof.
It soon became apparent that we would need a purpose-built outline, which didn’t compromise the solid guarantee for their ‘Polysolar’ Glass panels. To which end, Newframe’s Director Duncan Wietscher, offered a bespoke, seasoned Oak frame to satisfy the companies stringent load bearing rules. We have ended up with a strong and beautiful structure, which supports six Polysolar Glass panels and although facing east, the output has been solidly impactful on our electric usage from the Grid.
Before the installation our estimated usage was 4,371 kWh per year. A 6.2 Kw Battery storage was included as part of the installation of 10.2m square of Polysolar glass, with its 10% transparency,. Our Pricing Model with Octopus Energy allows us to charge the batteries when energy is cheap and there have been a few occasions that we have already been paid to take energy from the grid. We’ve not changed our usage habits, but we do make sure that the batteries have stored power to cover the peak periods of usage when the tariff is more expensive.
For the month of March 2023 for example, we paid an average of 22.4p per kWh rather than 35p. We have only been collecting data for 2-3 months and we can already see that we’ve purchased 17% less energy and the days are getting lighter. There have been several days in April for example where we’ve only had to draw on 1-2 kWh of energy when the sun wasn’t shining. The Outgoing Octopus energy will allow us to be paid for surplus energy but only when the batteries have been charged up. Its too early to calculate the payback period but the Polysolar Glass is efficient. Our system output is estimated to produce a maximum of 2.1 Kwh peak but in April I’ve seen it producing 1.8 Kwh peak so far. Enough to power the house and charge the batteries.
I’ve even seen Polysolar panels produce energy on a clear, moonlit night -albeit 1-2 watts and not enough to power an electric blanket.
Jon, Thank you to all of the team who were excellent in their explanations and work throughout.
Jon & Jennie Grainger