The set up

The set up
5.46mm jet delivering 0.68 l/s to the pelton which is rotating at 900 rpm and generating 135 watts into the grid.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Sun and water

The end of August sees the completion of the first full year of having both hydro and solar generation being harvested here where I live. In this brief post, I want to present the data.

The synergy of solar with hydro is well recognised: of benefiting from hydro in winter and solar in summer; so the pattern of yield for the two as seen in the graphs below comes as no surprise.

In the UK, the total amount of generation that can be contributed to the grid at one meter point is restricted, and although my Powerspout could never generate at its maximum at a time of the year when the solar panels were also generating at their maximum, the sizing of the solar array had to be limited to keep the sum of their peak outputs within the permitted total.

For this reason the array is less than the maximum normally allowed; it is a 3.42 kWp installation and its yield is reduced by being in a location which is not ideal, facing east-south-east (S60degE), on a roof pitch which is rather flat (30deg).

Nevertheless it does the job nicely of keeping the energy generated each month in summer up to the peaks the Powerspout reaches in winter.  Totalled over a full year the hydro generates more which, considering its design rating is just 0.75 kW vs the 3.42 kW of the PV, says much for how productive small hydros working 24/7 can be.

A finishing thought: the sun does it all ! - energy from the sun is the source of both solar and hydro generation; were it not for the sun taking water as vapour from sea level up to the sky so it can drop on the hilltops as rain, not a hydro installation in the world could work.

A post script to my last blog post: I have had much interaction with NRW since writing about my 'grievances', all of it good and positive.  Having been decidedly critical in that post, I just want to put on record my thanks and appreciation to all those, from the member of the board downwards, who tolerated with good grace what I wrote and are looking into some of the points I raised. Diolch yn fawr.

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