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Renewable Energy – Solar Power (PV)

Whether you believe the catastrophic predictions being made by some scientists, or prefer the lower key approach of others, there’s no doubt the world is heading for uncertain times, thanks to our misuse of resources, primarily over-consumption of ‘fossil’ fuels. But we can ALL do something about it.   Reducing or eliminating car use Motor […]

Solar Economics – Letter 3

There is quite a lot of confused thinking regarding the savings from keeping computers and TVs etc. on standby and using low energy light bulbs.All the energy from these devices ends up as heat within the room. If you turn them off, but leave the room heated on thermostatic control, then more heat will be […]

Solar Economics – Letter 2

Regarding the economics of solar power,most readers will have to add the £15,000 cost of installations to their mortgage – a fair assessment of the viability of the investment is therefore to work out whether the savings will pay off a £15,000 mortgage over 30 years. (You use £7,500 as the cost,but today’s readers need […]

Solar Economics – Letter

Your economics of solar power are very optimistic. Your system cost £15,000,of which you paid £7,500.Since then costs have fallen by 14%,but grants are capped at £2,500.So your system would now cost £12,900,but you would have to pay £10,400.Dividing that by 30 years gives a capital cost of £345,which is only £58 less than your […]

Home solar PV schemes – Letter

My mum has recently seen details of a company called ‘Homesun’ who offer to install solar power on your roof for free, you get any electricity you use for free, but they get the feed-in tariff. My mother is both very environmental, and not very well off, so this seems like a potentially good deal […]

Solar Powered Bicycle – The Results

Solar Power Results Readers may recall the launch of my solar vehicle experiments in the last issue. At the time – having made a number of purely theoretical calculations – I concluded that a 20 watt solar panel might just be viable on an electric bicycle. In the event, for reasons of panel size and […]

Solar Powered Transport

“I’ve always been interested in the idea of solar-powered transport, but no-one seems to have built anything practical yet. Is a solar vehicle a practical proposition in the UK?” Jonathon Crouch King’s Lynn Professor Pivot replies: Clean inexhaustible solar power has been a transport dream since photovoltaic cells first began converting light directly into electricity, […]