I agree with Graham on this. If your aim is to reduce your electricity bill
or save the environment then make your house more efficient/less power
hungry first. If your aim is to experiment and learn then go for your life
and have fun with it. Financially you will be better off with the former,
educationally you will be aiming for the latter.
While there are many many questions, I feel I am in a position to make
a start. It will be small(ish) and only power the lights and some
As for energy saving, I'm fresh out of ideas. I have 62 50W (GU10)
spot lights in my house including 6 in the shower (Not bathroom,
I have, at great cost replaced 12 of them with 1W LED spots (Dim but
workable for the passage), 22 with 7W CF spots, 9 with 11W CF spots.
The remainder are in the process of replacement. For some areas, I
will be ripping out the spots and putting up normal lamps. Previous
owners had a spotlight fetish.
House is fully insulated, walls and ceiling / roof and I use wood
fires for winter. So, as far as savings go, I am pretty much there.
Solar heating is also in the pipeline (pun intended)
The solar project? Part want for free electricity, part cool project,
part first person in the street / neighbourhood / county to run
Mostly, Part "I can do it".
As for the environment? Could not care less. Sort out industry,
nuclear etc etc before forcing me to spend money. Spend money on R&D
for better cars before waging war in Iraq etc etc. Oh, penalise
Americans for driving 5L gas guzzlers to the local shops. (Crispin
puts soap box away)
As for my initial purchase,
is what I will get.
Two 200W 24v panels. Not the cheapest supplier out but not the worst.
When I have working model, I will look at getting a pallet load. :)
You've all been helpful - thanks.