September 2022



The boys have been enjoying the sun when it’s been out, as we have the last warm and dry days before autumn descends into winter.

Milo has been particularly enjoying the windfalls from the apple tree:

Solar diary

This might be a regular feature here, at least for a little while (until the novelty wears off).

As I noted last month, I got a 16 panel array installed on my roof, but the data logger wasn’t working so I didn’t have a clear idea about what it was doing. A replacement data logger arrived on 6 Sep, and so I can now take a look at the app each day to see how the system is performing:

Here’s a view of the month so far:

NB the app just divided the production before the logger was installed over the days since the system install, hence things are flat at 14kWh/day for the first few days.

Here’s a zoom in to that best day so far, on the sunny 17th with 17.3 kWh:

and the worst day, on the very dark and wet 13th with 4.2 kWh (NB different y axis scale):

Looking at my meter readings a couple of days ago it seems that I’m saving almost 40% on my electricity bill, and 26% on my gas bill (by the iBoost diverting excess generation that would go [cheaply] to the grid into an immersion heater). Though the latter is for a summer month with gas just being used for cooking and hot water, that will be a drop in the bucket against winter gas use when the central heating is on.

I’ve not yet got the paperwork to sign up for Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), so I’m presently getting nothing for generation that does go to the grid.

I spent a bit of time trying to find a supplier for a whole house battery capable of doing backup during power cuts (like a Tesla Powerwall), but it seems nobody wants to take on new customers at the moment due to huge wait lists for the batteries (~1y) and lots of busyness with solar installs etc.

I now look at every empty roof as a missed opportunity (especially on new builds), and I wish the UK government was doing more to incentivise renewables (to the extent that’s even necessary given present prices); but clearly there’s a need to train more electricians, and roofers etc.

Update 30 Sep 22 the paperwork for SEG came through, and I figured out how to read the export number from my (not so smart) meter. It seems that 222kWh of the 482kWh generated so far have gone to the grid (~46%), so it will be nice to get some pennies for future exports.

Good Apple

When the iPhone SE 2020 launched I ordered 3 (one of each colour): one for me, one for $wife and one for $daughter0. The latter didn’t survive the rough and tumble of teenage life, and she found herself having to trade it in for a replacement at the start of this year. So it was a huge disappointment when the new one decided it wasn’t going to connect to cell towers anymore.

Thankfully Apple were very accommodating. They could see that the replacement was still in immaculate condition, and hadn’t suffered the abuse of its predecessor, and though it was technically past the warranty period for a replacement they switched it for another new phone :)


Moving in day came, and Bath did a really good job of the logistics. A quick drive around an emptied car park to collect an envelope with ID card and key (with the photo on the ID card providing an easy way to verify the correct recipient). Then roll cages provided to cart possessions from the car to the room in a single trip. Much more pleasant than the sweaty experience of lugging stuff backwards and forwards when moving $son0 into his room(s).

The move provided a handy excuse to explore Bath, and have a delightful dinner at Raphael, which I look forward to returning to.

$daughter0 seems to be enjoying freshers’ week :)

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