Solar Panel Installation for a New Build Home

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by Stuart Munro

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May 3, 2024

THE BRIEF

When Pat and Ian Michie finalised the plans to build their new home in rural Aberdeenshire, it was established that the cost of taking power to the site would be prohibitive, so they decided instead to invest in an off-grid system to provide heat and light.

The house build began in August 2022, and was complete eight months later in April 2023.

Freezing weather in December meant that the site was inaccessible for a while, causing a long delay.

THE SOLUTION

An off-grid system is largely the same as a normal grid-tied system but needs to be larger to supply all the house power needs, as well as having a back-up generator for the shorter, duller days in winter.

As such, a Sunsynk 16kW inverter with 40 Canadian Solar 405W panels were installed in the grounds of the plot, along with 20kWh of batteries and a 10kVA auto start generator.

Two wood burning stoves were also fitted to provide additional warmth in the colder months.

THE RESULT

Coming through their first winter in the new house, Pat and Ian experienced some minor teething problems. The main issue was not realising that the batteries needed to be kept warm, and that their output was impaired at-10°c. This was resolved by placing a heater next to the batteries, and encasing them with Kingspan, a high-performance insulation. The door to the garage, where the batteries are located, is also kept closed.

Pat said: “Our previous house, which was a similar size with electric heating and a wood burner was costing about £3,500 annually for electricity in 2022 at the height of electricity prices.  With this new system, we expect to use, at most, approximately 1,000 litres of diesel a year at a cost of around 70p/litre.

“I would thoroughly recommend installing a solar panel and battery system, even in the North of Scotland, as you’re no longer dependent on the grid and can quickly work out how to make the best use of the solar power.  We may have to build a swimming pool to use excess power in summer!  Even in winter, on a bright day it’s amazing how much power is produced.”

 

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About Stuart Munro

About Stuart Munro

Stuart Munro, Director of i-Protech Technology and i-Protech Renewables Ltd, has almost a decade of expertise with renewable energy. Stuart has solidified i-Protech’s stature as a leader in solar energy and battery storage solutions. His commitment to renewable technologies has not only advanced the company’s portfolio in electrical and security systems but also underscored his dedication to environmental stewardship. 

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