Audren Van Zalk’s self-built solar power plant on the lot / Twitter @ObjectifZero
In just a few days, this individual has deployed a solar power plant of his own that will cover more than half of his electricity needs. If the operation requires some knowledge, building your own photovoltaic installation is a formidable cost-effective solution. A testimony.
Who said installing a solar plant at home was a long and tedious process? In a small town in the department of Lot, Audren Van Zalk built his small photovoltaic farm in a handful of days.
“It took me a long weekend for the wood structure and a weekend to install the panels”explains this individual, who has worked in the construction sector for twenty years.
He makes his own battery-powered solar power plant for €4,000
Producing electricity to face rising prices
In his garden in the open field, he installed a photovoltaic plant with a power of 3.2 kWp (limited by the inverter to 3 kWp “to fulfill the Enedis agreement”) self-consumption with free injection. The 8 panels of 400 Wc are based on a thick wooden structure, which he also designed and built himself. An approach he details in his accounts twitter and the baptized YouTube “Goal Zero Carbon”.
“Since I was 15 I wanted to get into renewable energy at home, but I lived in the city” explains the one who describes himself as a ” do-it-yourself enthusiast ». Faced with rising energy prices and in order to avoid “tariff ceiling [qui] will jump in 2024”he decided to take on the technical challenge.
See you !
Don’t forget to turn off the wifi huh pic.twitter.com/adzuZOkThv
— ObjectifZeroCarbone (or almost…) (@ObjectifZero) July 22, 2022
Installing your own power plant costs half
“I had a basic knowledge of electricity, but I had to review all the specific regulations for photovoltaic energy”, he explains. These previous technical readings, Audren then orders to €2,200 of equipment (panels, 5 kW inverter and AC/DC boxes, delivery included), to which €250 of wood for the structure, €150 of ground wire and one hundred euros of hardware are added, i.e. €2,700 in total.
A rather small amount in view of the potency of the plant. At €844/kWp for his turnkey photovoltaic installation, the handyman made considerable savings, while a plant installed by a professional costs between €1,500 and €3,000/kWp.
An electric car instead of a domestic battery
If he doesn’t consume it instantly, the solar electricity produced by Audren is injected into the public grid for free. A choice that allows youavoid sometimes lengthy administrative procedures. In order to be paid for your surpluses, it is in fact mandatory to have your installation approved by Consuel and to comply with certain very strict technical conditions.
The installation, featured on the @ObjectifZero Twitter account
To optimize the profitability of its plant, Lotois could have opted for a domestic battery. The latter allows you to store energy for use on demand, day and night and regardless of the weather.
The solution was not chosen for a good reason. “I didn’t put the battery in because my electric car [une Renault Zoé 22 kWh, NDLR] absorbs a lot of production” he justifies. ” A battery would have doubled the price installation, which would have greatly increased the return on investment” he explains on Twitter.
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Manual load disposal while waiting for automation
“I also have an electric water heater and am in the process of installing an air-to-air heat pump” adds Audrey. The distribution of loads from the solar plant to these devices is currently carried out manually, through connected sockets.
“When I know that the weather is going to be good, that I see a spike or that the inverter is sending too much to the grid, I trigger it manually” he explains. However, he plansinstall load sinks in the future, which will allow these operations to be performed automatically.
The Solar Power Plant Management Interface / Twitter @ObjectifZero
Go southwest to adapt production to needs
Unlike most solar power plants, Audren’s does not face south. “I made the choice to drive a little further west because I need more energy at night. I have optimized for use », he says. This positioning makes it possible to promote production at the end of the day, by granting an extension of the increase in power in the morning.
It expects to generate around 3,200 kWh of photovoltaic electricity each year. A production that will mainly be consumed by your Renault Zoé, which consumes 2,000 kWh per year. The balance, i.e. 1,200 kWh, could allow Audren and her small family cover at least half of your needs into electricity.
Your electricity and heating bill is paltry thanks to your bioclimatic home
A profitable plant in just over 2 years
200 years old, its stone house with 90 m² of floor space and its three occupants are heated by a wood stove and a heat pump reversible, which recently replaced the radiators “toaster”. “Everything is electric at home, I hardly use hydrocarbons anymore”, he boasts.
Your electricity bill currently averages €200 per month. Satisfying 50% of its consumption, Audren could therefore save €1,200 per year. Your solar plant should therefore be amortized in just… 2 years and 3 months.
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