Go to Forum Home Building Services "Zero carbon" house

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    • #31888

      Hello all,
      This is my first posting on this forum.
      I'm not a building professionsl, just an individual who dreams of building his own Passivhaus.

      I would like to minimise energy usage and generate our own energy (possibly using PVT panels ).
      But, of course, coping with peak loading is the challenge.
      And we want a comfortable house with all the features (and gadgets!) of modern life.

      As far as I can see the common approach is to sell surplus energy to the grid and buy energy from the grid to cover peak demand, with a net consumption of zero over the year.
      Effectively using the grid as a storage battery.
      Which is fine if only a “privileged few” are doing it.
      But if I try to imagine a worrld where this became the norm – how would the grid cope?
      Day and night happens at the same time throughout the UK, so we'll all be pumping energy into the grid at the same time and needing extra energy at the same time.
      (The classic “kettle on” during half time of Cup Finals for example.)
      So the grid would need to run geneators to cope with this peak demand, which are going to be surplus to requirements much of the time.

      So what happens in this future world?
      Do the energy companies develop some sort of giant storage devices?
      Or, should we all look to running off-grid, storing our own surplus and managing our own peaks and thoughs?
      With the rapid development of lithium based batteries this is probably feasible, if not very economic, today.

      I'd be really interested in everyone's thoughts.
      Have I missed something?


    • #39170

      You haven't mentioned that the UK grid is part of the European grid, which itself is growing. In the future I can imagine the European grid being connected to North African generators. It's a constantly changing situation. I am building my own PH and will have PVs but I think it will be a long time before a UK government will create a situation where home electricity generation causes a problem for the grid.

    • #39171

      Grids are fairly wasteful of energy, and the further the electricity has to travel the greater the loss.
      Though assuming the grid has infinite supply may not be something we can always do with confidence.
      In past winters the USA has suffered local “brown-outs” and this winter in the UK could be interesting if the following is to be believed:


      And, of course the Europeans will also be generating energy during the day and consuming it at night and they are only one hour ahead of us.
      I dont see power from North Africa helping us unless someone can develop ambient temperature superconducting cables.
      Anyone elese in the AECB have any views on this???

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