EnergyWe 'use' a huge amount of energy and it has long been my goal to be energy independent; this is no mean task when we also take into account vehicle transport, but ultimately I believe it is possible. Here are some of my recent projects connected with energy; mainly to do electricity production, but later I'll be looking at other energy sources.
With the failure of my Bergey wind turbine (the corrupt government scheme continues to promote this turbine!), we are still a fair way off total energy independence. However, our grid electricity consumption is now low (a few hundred units a year), mainly due to the battery storage system which allows almost full utilisation of our solar production. A bonus of the battery system is that we do not purchase any expensive daytime electricity since whenever we don't have enough (winter) I recharge using the lower cost night rate.
Photovoltaic Array: My ground mounted electrical solar panel array, using a low impact wooden truss structure secured with ground anchors.
Wind Turbine: Construction of a 10kW Government certified (MCS) turbine, which was built successfully but turned out not to meet its acoustic performance by a very significant margin. This write-up describes the Bergey Excel turbine problems, the incompetent actions of Bergey's agent and the hopeless reaction of the UK Government. This saga continues, but it looks more and more as if the Government scheme is corrupt - and I don't say that lightly.
Battery Storage: In order to make use of your own power there has to be a storage mechanism, as there will always be times when the renewable source is not generating. Here is my current battery storage system, which should store just about enough to be energy independent (eventually).
Interseasonal Storage: The holy grail of renewable energy - a thought experiment.
A simple guide to electricity: I have been asked a few times for this so here is a simple guide, starting with what electricity actually is, quickly moving on to the aspects which are important for 'mains' AC electricity.