Wednesday, 20 November 2013

500 watt Solar PV System

Here is a re post of a blog I deleted by mistake.  the system has been in a year now and produced 440kWh in that time.


This system consists of two Suntech 250 watt mono panels and a single Enecsys Duo 480 inverter.
Fitting has been done using bolts for the K2 frame and a Solar Flash for the cable entry.
The system is south east facing and suffers from some shadding on the bottom panel for most of the day from cables in front of the house.  About three months each side of the longest day, the shaddow should not have an affect.

DC is bought off the roof through the loft to the back of the house in the downstairs kitchen, inverter is located in a cold corner for a bit of free heat.

I belive the system will do about 300kWh a year.  I am on the £0.21 fit rate.

I am happy with this system and using my Current Cost meter I can keep a good idea on what is being used.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Insulating a Cornish Granite House - Part 2

This is part 2 of my insulating efforts of my house.  This is the second of the two bedrooms and backs onto the first room in part 1 below.

This room is being done in a slightly less agressive mannor, I did not remove any plastering from the wall as they where sound, I did remove the old wood chip paper back to the wall to stop this going mouldy over time.

I installed 25mm Kingspan 1200mm x 600mm sheets.  This will reduce the U-value from ~3.0 to 0.7 so a five fold reduction in heat loss, the other room done in part one had 65mm insulation and the U-value went from ~3.0 to ~ 0.3, a ten fold reduction, better but I am happy with a five fold reduction for this room.

What follows are pictures of the different stages looking back towards the partition wall between the two rooms

The partition wall between the two bedrooms.  The start.

Stripping back the old plaster

Wall stripped back and Accostic Partition Roll (APR) installed.

Wall boarded out, this wall was tapped and filled but I papered over it as I had to cut a diagonal in the right hand board and this could not be filled.

Linning paper installed and cutting in for paint started.


Looking towards the outside wall

  Work starting - partner removing wood chip paper.

Metal frame and 25m Kingspan/Celotex and Xertherm insulation

Insulating for sound on the left of the picture to next door.  Yellow insulation in the cornor of the room is acostic partition roll (APR)

Room boarded out, including the ceiling, tapped and dry lined with easy fill plaster.  Much cheaper than a plaster and looks good too.

Around the window frame and surround

Painting begins!

Room painted out and skirting board installed.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Insulating a Cornish Granite House - Part 1

The aim of this blog is to show the way I went around insulating my Cornish house using internal insulation methods.  I have tried using low cost materials that should stand the test of time.

Let’s have a look and see where I started from.

The following are some pictures of the first of two bedrooms during the removal of the original plaster work.  I removed what was on the walls as the quality of the several layers of aged plaster was not good and not holding up.  Further to this, the plaster was thick, very thick 70mm in places.  With internal insulation you want to avoid losing as much space as possible and so removal was a logical idea.


Here is a picture of one of the three walls back to the stone, this wall is the end gable wall, and the house is an end of terrace.   This wall has the chimney in it and as can be seen from the picture, there is a small original fire place there.

The wall was then primed with PVA render bond using an air compressor.  I did this as the house is of a cob construction and produces a lot of dust as the cob dries and loosens.

The following pictures show the partition wall between my house and next doors.  The old lath and plaster was removed and the polystyrene that was installed by next door was also removed.  Polystyrene is the wrong material to put in the wall to reduce noise and I installed some noise reducing, high density Rock Wall insulation and used Sound Block plaster board to help reduce noise further.

I also installed 35mm Celotex type insulation to help reduce heat loss to next door but also to produce a flat surface that the plaster board could be fitted to.  The original partition wall was all over the place.


Now that all the prep work has been done its time to put up some steel partition stud work.  I chose metal partition stud work as it is cheaper and will not twist or warp over time if, for what ever reason, the house has a  penetrating damp issue in the future.

The stud work consists of a track and stud, the track was screwed up into the ceiling timbers and into the floorboards.  The stud partition simply clips into the track and is screwed into the track using dry wall screws. 

Where the stud sits away from the wall packers are needed to support the stud work from bending into the wall when lent on.  This can be done using off cuts of stud work or by bending plumbing strapping to the necessary shape.

Insulation time.

Now the point of all this work is to get some insulation into the walls.  I have done this using 65mm King Span seconds from Seconds and Co sized at just over 600mm x 1200mm these insulation panels are easy to handle and fit.

Fitting the insulation was done by cutting slits into the insulation using a small circular saw.  This allowed the insulation to be slotted into the stud work adding strength and removing the thermal bridge that the metal stud work would otherwise offer.

This work progressed until the whole wall was insulated.

The wall was then covered in plastic to make a barrier to air movement and to stop as much as possible of any moisture that may make its way through over time if again there is an issue with penetrating damp in the future.

Once the boarding out was done, joint tape was installed and the room and stairwell was plastered.

Bit of paint, wall paper and carpet and the room is almost done, door frame, light, sockets, window seat and stairwell lid all need to be completed but happy.