We have just had our solar hot water system installed. This is a significant milestone because it to 14 months from request to contractor to install and also because this means all aspects of running our home are now self sufficient. With gas prices still increasing and already at a crazy high the moving the hot water away from gas fed is also a great cost saving as well.
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. Wood fires for heating and cooking
4. Hot water: Solar panels
5. Sewage: Compost toilets & grey water recycling
6. Communications: 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 and cookers
4. Gas water heater
5. Other natural forms of use but with good maintenance no back needed
6. Mobile phone & internet
Frances and Barry Copping bought Xalet Pigall in 2015. They are working towards resilience and self-sufficiency.