We have just had our solar hot water system installed. This is a significant milestone because it took 14 months from the request to the contractor for the work to the actual install. This also importantly means that all aspects of running our home are now self-sufficient. With gas prices still increasing moving the hot water away from gas on demand heating is also a great cost saving.
We can switch between solar and gas by closing and opening valves to re-direct the water. Our view is that keeping it simple and not adding an automation means there is less to go wrong in the future.
In addition we will gain extra solar power to our overall system as any excess will be re-directed to charge our batteries.
We will wait to see if we can gain a warm/airing cupboard by boxing in the the hot water tank. We have already worked on that part of the garage to make it more insulated and overall more hospitable to be in and will be tiling the floor and creating shelves and space for storage. As we experience the new system we may the box in the tank.
This now means that all key utilities are self sufficient and sustainable:
1. Electricity: Solar panels
2. Water: Rain water collection
3. Heating: Wood burning stove with back bolier for radiators
4. Hot water: Solar panels heating a large water tank
5. Cooking: Wood fired stove
6. Sewage: Compost toilets & grey water recycling
7. Communications: Community groups, CB Radio, CD Music, DVD films
All backed up by at least one other source, respectively:
1. Petrol generator and mobile battery packs
2. Mountain water and water storage tanks
3. Gas heaters
4. Gas water heater
5. Gas cookers
6. Other natural forms of use but with good maintenance no back up is needed
7. Mobile phone & internet
Frances and Barry Copping bought Xalet Pigall in 2015. They are working towards resilience and self-sufficiency.