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Mike Crumpler
Never stop learning and improving; for those that stand still will go backwards.
Never stop learning and improving; for those that stand still will go backwards.

Mike's posts

Are solar panels and battery storage worth the investment, financially?

I'd love to hear the views of people that have these installed, especially in the UK, as currently I just can't seem to get them to make financial sense (as much as I love the principle of micro generation and self sustainability).

Here's what I know from my research (to the best of my knowledge):

1) I currently use on average 18kWh of electricity each day. (This doesn't include heating as this is currently provided by gas. And I don't have electric vehicles.)
2) I have a suitable roof to install a 4kWp system
3) The above system will cost around £6,800 to install
4) To add a 14kWh battery storage system will cost around another £5,000 (and that's not enough for my 18kWh/day)
5) Total install cost around £12,000
6) In the UK summer we average around 5hours of sunlight per day. So in theory the system should produce 5x4kWp ~ 20kWh of generated/stored electricity (barely enough to keep the battery topped up, and definitely not on a less sunny day considering our 18kWh/day use)
7) Estimated savings including the government feed in tariff is £450/year
8) It would take around 15 years to pay back the solar panels (manufacturer guarantee is 20 years for the panels, not sure about the inverter.)
9) It would take a further 11 years to pay back the battery storage (life span is 10 years).
10) Total repayment period would be around 26 years by which time the battery would have needed replacing once, maybe the inverter, and the solar panels approaching the end our their lifespan. I can't see any financial gain there?
11) If I changed from Gas Central heating to electric heating so everything came from solar, I would need an even larger solar panel array and battery storage system (more initial expense)
12) If I changed to electric vehicles, I would need an even larger system still (even more £££s)

My conclusion:

Solar panels and battery storage are a wonderful​ idealistic approach to microgeneration and off grid sustainability. But to run an average home including electric heating and electric vehicles, it will cost you a lot of money to install and maintain an adequate system in the long run. And that's if you even have a big enough roof for all the solar panels required.

Until the efficiency of solar panels doubles from around 25% to converting over 50% of the sun's energy, I just can't see the logic, financially​ that is, or even the possibility of going "off grid" for many years to come yet. Please somebody correct me if I've calculated things wrong, as I really want solar to be viable for my home.

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Will Topics enhance your Google+ experience?

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+Robert Llewellyn​, the moment I read that there was a possibility of the UK going a whole day without burning any coal, I instantly thought about the +fullychargedshow​ (a great show btw so please keep it up).

I'm sure that you are well aware that it actually happened yesterday, but just in case not, see the article below. 👍

I feel a +fullychargedshow​ news flash coming on 😀

+Lewis Hamilton​ announces his shock retirement from +Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport​ and #formula1 after just one race (should he win the championship this year that is)

Following in the footsteps of +Nico Rosberg​, Lewis has decided it's time to put his personal life first after so many years dedicated to racing.

So who do you think will fill his vacant shoes next year?

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Finally, location sharing ends up where it belonged from the beginning. Not Latitude, not Google+ but right within Google Maps.

This should now bring it to the masses. And being able to share your location for a limited time periods, ie 1 hour, is a tremendous feature.

I look forward to playing with this.

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Do I need this in my life???

Enlighten me US folks who own one already. Is Google Home just a gimmick, or is it something you couldn't live without once you've had one?
We're in the Home stretch; Google Home is coming to the UK soon, stay tuned for more

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Well that's the wife's next phone sorted! Moto G5 Plus

I've nothing bad to say about Motorola's phones and this is in my price range for what I'm willing to pay for a nexus/pixel like experience.

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Up next in the collection is the orange +McLaren​ in all its glory fresh from yesterday uncovering.
Introducing our all-new dnamic orange and black livery.
The change reflects team’s glorious 50-plus-year history, and heralds new era, featuring an established world champion and an exciting future star.

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Google you are killing me. Bye bye Spaces

Google Spaces will be shut down in just over a month's time. Shame as I found it useful for planning birthdays. I don't use it every day/week, but I thought it was a great product.

Via +Derek Ross​
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