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Solar Power

Having gradually watched the price of electricity increase over the last six months, I've decided that the best way to offset the price increase is simple - I shall generate my own. No, I don't plan on getting on a bike attached to a generator, but I'll generate solar power instead. Where I live I get a reasonable degree of sunlight. My house is also facing in pretty much the right direction. This should allow me to capture sunlight for a good chunk of the day.

The intention is to run a test with a small solar cell (~60cm) on my porch roof. This should allow me to generate ~30 watts, which I can store in a leisure battery, attached to an inverter that'll give me mains voltage. The inverter is a cheap one, but will enable me to run devices that run at up to 300 watts from the battery. This means my laptop (at 45 watts) is a distinct possibility, plus the mains lighting in my living room (which totals 27 watts) is also a potential candidate. I use low energy bulbs in all my lights, so that will minimise current drain. Of course, Mickey Mouse devices such as mobile phone chargers and radios could also be hooked up.

I figure that taking into account my current electricity usage (plus the fact that prices are only likely to go up), I should be able to make my money back in about four to five years - although this would require me to put up a larger solar cell than I would initially start with. All jolly exciting stuff though.

Even if it only works on a small scale, it'll help towards minimising my carbon emissions, which is nice.
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