[tog] UPS for my House / Off Grid System

Sonia Murphy soniatm at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 12:15:35 CEST 2015

We looked briefly into wind generation a couple of years ago, and it seemed
that the cost and the lifetime meant there wouldn't be any money saving at
all for normal household use.

My parents are very happy with solar for heating water, rather than
electricity generation. It's saving them oil, rather than electricity, but
still saving money, and a non-renewable energy source.

We're using a ground source heat pump, which is working well for us in
combination with plumbed underfloor heating. If you're building, and have
land for the pipes, I'd recommend that. Adding electrical underfloor
heating to an existing house isn't the same at all.

Another thing to watch out for with generating your own electricity is that
you cannot generate and be connected to the grid when there's a powercut -
it's for the safety of people fixing things.

If you have one thing in particular that uses a decent amount of power, it
could be worth looking into powering just that thing. I can't remember what
their power source is, probably wind, but my in-laws use something for the
milking parlour, with a tractor powered backup.


On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 9:31 AM, Daniel Cussen <dan at post.com> wrote:

> I have worked with wind, solar and diesel generation systems.
> You have not really stated your aims or objectives. Also a budget
> would be helpful.
> If you aim is to save money insulation and energy reduction is
> probably a much better value proposition.
> One key metric is how many years until it breaks even, and what is the
> life of the system. If you cannot calculate that then you are not
> basing your decisions on facts but marketing bull.
> In my opinion most home scale wind is not great quality, can be noisy,
> and as said would have safety/insurance problems. Any wind system I
> have seen has broken and been fixed a few times. If it is high up that
> means cranes or a tilt over system.
> Batteries are very expensive and not a good idea when mains
> electricity is available. The numbers just do not stack up.
> Solar Electric (PV) panels are very low maintenance but they are very
> expensive initially and don't give out much energy to power anything
> substantial. they would be fine for say LED lighting, TV, but they
> won't ever power water heating, washing machine, kettle. A 50W panel
> would give out something like 10W during daytime on an average Irish
> day. That said is there anyone home during daytime, and what is your
> energy draw during the middle of the day?
> One system I saw installed, was a small wind turbine that connected
> directly to a the electricity wiring in the home. This used no
> batteries and had it's own inverter. Basically while the wind blew it
> helped reduce you electricity bill. It needed no batteries and was
> fairly self contained. However putting up a pole, turbine and
> connecting it to your fuse board is still a big job.
> The SEAI is the independent government body that gives advice, and
> real world numbers for these systems, but for a start what is the
> energy rating of your home?
> http://www.seai.ie/Renewables/Renewable_Energy_for_the_Homeowner/
> Grants, subsidy and hype are a big part of the industry.
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