Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Beating the system, parts 1 and 2

SOLAR PANELS cont. There are of course no guarantees that the surplus electricity generated will match the supplier’s (Three Energies) estimate. However, the database for this estimate relates to sunlight levels in Herefordshire over the last forty years. And the estimate is “worst case”.

The system takes two days to install and the panels (eight in my case) are guaranteed for 25 years. However the inverter, which converts the panels’ DC power into AC, is guaranteed only for five years. I can if I wish visit a satisfied panel user somewhere in the county but I have decided I don’t want to speak to a thinly disguised employee of Three Energies.

There are restrictions on the number of panels (and therefore the surplus energy potential) for domestic users. Business users were previously unrestricted but this apparently allowed a chicken farmer to turn a modest £50,000 turnover into £250,000 a year from electricity generation alone.

PARKING PERSIFLAGE Leaving my Skoda in a Ledbury car park recently I was accosted by another driver who handed over her parking ticket with lots of free time left on it. People do that here in the sticks. When I got back I had incurred a parking fine. I had been so grateful that I had carelessly left the ticket upside down on the dashboard. Elsewhere I used a system which specifically prevents this good-neighbour activity; one is required to type in part of the car’s registration number which is then printed on the ticket, making it unique to that car. Since the ticket machines are, as a result, now much more complex (and therefore expensive) one can’t help seeing this as slightly mean-minded.


Rouchswalwe said...

I'm trying to wrap my brain around the electric panel thingie. I've noticed a neighbor who sets out a square panel on his fire escape. It's plugged in to the wall. But we've had nothing but rain here, and I don't think the panel is supposed to get wet. Which leaves me wondering how the ones on the roof react to water!

Barrett Bonden said...

Are you sure you've got this right? What's the panel supposed to do? You say "plugged into" which is surprising; there are waterproof plugs but it would be more logical simply to run the cable through the wall into the dry. Waterproofing a solar panel is no great shakes but chances are there won't be much electricity generated. Solar panels absorb light and turn it into electricity; flowers do the same, it's called photosynthesis and it makes them grow.

christopher said...

I love the idea of "Works Well" powered independently. Is it possible that you will make enough ac flow to break even on your ongoing power? That is the first goal, I surmise.

christopher said...
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Barrett Bonden said...

Christopher: I love your poetical fancy about Works Well but reality lags inevitably some way behind. All this devotion to technology and expenditure will simply end up as an act of accountancy between the BBs and the power supplier. There remains the challenge of writing a villanelle about accountants.