Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Solar PV Data View on Phone

Since we got our panels in 2011 I've been looking for a way to be able to monitor them easily using a mobile phone. Initially I had an iPhone which appeared to be very limited in the way that it could use Bluetooth to communicate.

I now have a Google Nexus Android phone and finally have found an app that allows me to view Solar PV data on my phone. The Oxley Solar app is a great way to be able to view your solar panel performance data on your phone and check how they are generating. The only thing the app can't do is to export data but that's not a major problem.

If you have a solar panel inverter with Bluetooth such as the Sunny Boy range then give the app a go if you want to view the data more easily than using a PC.


Monday, 30 November 2015

Poor November for Solar Power UK

November 2015 has been the worst month for solar power generation since we got our panels installed in 2011 with a paltry total of under 90kWh.

However the year as a whole is still going well with over 3100kWh generated from January to November 2015. With a reasonable December we should still hit over 3200 kWh for the year.

Fortunately we don't have the shading issues experienced by the solar panels below which probably generated virtually nothing over the month.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Replace Drive Belt Electric Plane Motor Runs Blade Not Turning

A common fault with electric planes is that the drive belt can snap meaning that the motor runs yet the cutting blade doesn't rotate or turn. The part is very cheap and is very easy to replace as this video shows. The cost was under £5 and the replacement took a few minutes, in fact it took longer to video than to actually do the belt replacement
How to replace Drive Belt on Electric Plane when Motor Runs Blade Not Turning
How to replace Drive Belt on Electric Plane when Motor Runs Blade Not Turning

How to fit new drive belt to Black & Decker electric plane

Electric planer drive belt replacement
Electric planer drive belt replacement

The electric plane model in these photos and video is the Black & Decker KW713 but the instructions should apply to any electric planer

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

August 2015 Worst Solar Month

After recording the numbers for August 2015 it's clear that it has been the worst summer month for our solar panel electricity generation since we had our solar PV panels installed in 2011.

The total electricity generated was only 307kWh compared to 366kWh last year and 405kWh in 2013. I think the combination of both cloudy days and rain has caused this but on the flip side July and June 2015 were very good months for electricity generation.

August 2015 Worst Solar Month
August 2015 Worst Solar Month

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

May 2015 Solar output

The data for May 2015 has now been loaded to the site. Another good month and 2015 has so far been very good for solar PV electricity generation.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Tesla Batteries for Home Electricity Storage

It looks like the dream of being able to store solar electricity to use overnight might be coming a step closer to reality.

Tesla have announced new battery technology that may start to make it viable.

Add caption

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Perfect Day for Maximum Solar Power Generation

Today has been one of those spring or summer days that is ideal for getting the maximum power from your solar panels but not for being outside.

Perfect Day for Maximum Solar Power Generation
Perfect Day for Maximum Solar Power Generation
The sun has been out all day with pure blue skies but the temperature has been fairly low with a cool breeze too. These are perfect conditions for getting the maximum power generated from solar panels as it keeps their temperature down which improves electricity generation.

When solar panels get hot their efficiency drops so they produce less electricity. On a day like today with a cooler breeze and lower temperatures we can get over 21kWh of electricity produced which equates to over 7kWh per kWp of solar panels.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Solar Data for Feb & March 2015

I've now loaded the data for Feb and March 2015. Both fairly average months


No snow this year so no loss of production from panels being covered


Friday, 27 February 2015

Solar Data January 2015

Sorry folks for the delayed service but the solar panel data for January 2015 has now been loaded.


We've not had any snow this year but January 2015 has only just matched January 2012 when we did have snow settled on the panels.

We generated 112kWh of electricity in January, just below the 120kWh we got last year.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

FIT Rates - New Feed in Tariff Rates from April 2015

The Feed In Tariff Rates (FIT) are uprated every year in line with inflation (Retail Price Index, RPI measure) and the increase is based on the RPI figure for the previous December and applied in the April the following year.

In December 2014 the RPI inflation rate was 1.6%, dropping from 2% the previous month.

This means that the FIT Feed in Tariff payments will be increased by 1.6% as of April 2015. 

The current FIT rate is 48.07p per kWh generated so the new rate in April 2015 will be 48.84p per kWh. The existing export rate is 3.39p per kWh so the new rate from April 2015 will rise to 3.44p per kWh.

Other FIT rates apply to solar panels installed from March 2012. The Feed in tariff rates above apply to those solar panels installed prior to March 2012.

Main FIT rate from April 2015 will be 48.84p per kWh

Export FIT rate in April 2015 will be 3.44p per kWh

FIT Rates April 2015 Feed in tariff new rates
FIT Rates from April 2015

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014 Best Solar Output Electricty from Our PV Solar Panels

2014 has proved to be our best year so far for solar electricity generated from our PV solar panels.

The total generated for the whole year was 3382kWh which substantially beats previous years. Even December came in at 124kWh compared to a previous maximum of 103kWh in 2011.

You can view the full breakdown of the stats at the link below.

Kent UK Solar Power generation

2014 Best Solar Output Year
2014 Best Solar Output Year