A revolutionary new solar battery system could see homes across the UK being paid to use electricity as well as supplying the National Grid, according to a an electronic engineering expert.
Retired Bangor University lecturer David Last believes a network of micro-generator homes will revolutionise electricity production – and consumption – across the country.
His home overlooking the Menai Straits, near Llanfairfechan, has just been fitted with a solar pv system linked to a Tesla Powerwall solar battery in the garage by renewable energy experts Hafod Renewables.
The system of panels has been designed to blend into the roof and feed into the next generation Powerwall Two solar battery – it generates enough electricity for 10 homes and once Professor Last and his family have produced enough for their power, heating and hot water, the rest goes back into the grid.
Hafod Renewables Managing Director David Jones said, “The combination of the solar panels and the solar battery means that Professor Last is virtually off-grid and is actually generating a lot more power than he is using. What is happening is that an increasing number of homes will effectively become mini power stations, generating electricity for the country. It is already possible on warm, sunny days when power demand is very low that the electricity tariff will go negative – when that happens we will actually get paid to use electricity. It’s already taking place – it happened four times last year – and it will become more and more common.”
The 6 Kilowatt system on the south-facing roof of Professor Last’s home generates over 5000kwh annually and is hooked up to the latest Powerwall solar battery made by Tesla, the company owned by Elon Musk.
The 14 kilowatt hours solar battery is just 1.1m by 0.75m by 0.15m deep – it weighs in at a hefty 125 kilos though – comes with a 10-year guarantee and has the capacity of 2,500 AA batteries. It is produced at the world’s biggest factory, Tesla’s giant facility in Nevada,
Professor Last said: “I’m delighted with the system – this is the future right here and now. One of several viable solutions to the energy crisis is the combination of solar panels with solar batteries and they enable each home to become a micro-generator. I produce enough electricity for ten homes – I’m just waiting for my neighbours to thank me for it. The battery fits easily on a wall of the garage – the equivalent in old lead acid batteries would have taken up the entire double garage – and the whole system will pay for itself in ten years.”
Professor Last had looked at installing solar panels six years ago and he said: “Back then it was a case of installing solar panels top generate money rather than electricity but that has changed and although the tarifgf paid by the Government has dropped, the panels and batteries are both more advanced and less expensive. The key to our decision was the Tesla battery because we now are able to use over 80 per cent of what we can generate and the only other factor was the appearance of the panels and because they can blend in with the slater roof rather than look unsightly we went for it.”
David Jones, who founded Hafod Renewables in 2010 with his father Richard, said: “The way that systems have advanced and the increased capacity of the battery which has more than doubled in just the last year, makes solar attractive again. But we are specialists in a range of renewable systems and their increasing sophistication makes it increasingly likely that we could become energy self-sufficdient in the not too distant future.”
Hafod Renewables, which was recently crowned Wales’s Renewable Heating Installer (RHI) of the Year, now employs nine staff and has become a key player in the region in the installation of solar and non-solar systems such as air and ground-source heating and biomass.
Most of their clients have been domestic systems but as well as almost 100 farms, they have also installed solar power on the new Holywell ‘super’ school, businesses, including one of Wales’s biggest boatyards, and a rugby club as well as providing biomass boilers and air and ground-source heating systems.
For more on Hafod Renewables and Battery Storage go here: https://www.hafodrenewables.co.uk/technologies-we-install/battery-storage/
For more on Hafod Renewables and Solar PV go here: https://www.hafodrenewables.co.uk/technologies-we-install/domestic-solar-pv-technology/