Efficiency and sustainabilitySolar Power

Three Months with a 13kw Solar System: A Tale from North Europe

The Solar Decision: Financial, Environmental, and the Quest for Independence

Early 2022. As electricity tariffs surged, the prospect of solar energy became more appealing. After thorough research, I discerned several compelling reasons:

Financial Considerations: Delving into the numbers, the maths was rather straightforward. Given the energy tariffs at the time and a generous 30% state grant, the investment would break even in just 6.5 years. This wasn’t just about saving money; it was a strategic shield against future price surges.

The Independence Lure: Beyond the finances, there was a deeper yearning. Producing my own electricity, breaking free from the grid’s shackles. This stride towards self-sustainability meant autonomy, a sentiment that’s rather invigorating.

Eco-conscious Commitment: We’re in an era where every choice we make echoes in the environment. By embracing solar, I was reducing my carbon footprint, championing a cleaner, greener tomorrow. The Fusionsolar app’s stats, indicating a reduction of 2.41 tons of CO2, were a nod to this commitment.


Installation and Integration: Navigating Challenges and Embracing Tech

The journey was a mixed bag. While the physical fitting of the 13kw system, tailored for my south-facing roof, was wrapped up in two days, the bureaucratic dance was a longer waltz. Securing permits and sifting through paperwork took its sweet time – total of getting first quotes, which was the requirement for government grant.
The entire timeline:

  • August-September ’22: Obtained quotes from three companies and submitted the grant application.
  • Mid-October ’22: Received grant approval.
  • October ’22 – March ’23: Worked diligently to get all projects approved by local government, a process fraught with red tape.
  • March-May ’23: Addressed local government’s queries, secured approvals from neighbors, fire department, grid company, and finally received the solar installation building permit.
  • May ’23: With all permissions in place, installation was scheduled for late July ’23.

But once up and running, the system’s marriage with contemporary tech was a revelation. The Fusionsolar app, in tandem with my Home Assistant, dished out real-time performance insights. This not only facilitated efficient oversight but also automated certain home devices, aligning them with solar output. This tech harmony transformed my dwelling into a smart, energy-savvy space.


Performance Metrics: Weather’s Whims and Consumption Rhythms

In these three months since the installation, I’ve closely monitored the system’s performance. August, a month with varied weather conditions, presented interesting data:

  • Cloudy days yielded outputs as low as 8.97kwh.
  • The daily average for August was an impressive 56.21kwh.
  • Highest yield a day was 95.1kwh.
  • Monthly generation totaled 1742.58kwh.

My energy habits also saw a shift. The transition to an air-to-water heat pump, coupled with other savvy home solutions, ensured optimal use of every kilowatt generated. The harmony between generation and consumption was a testament to the system’s prowess. Our own consumption in August was 266kwh.

Reflections and Gazing Ahead: The Solar Verdict

Retrospectively, the journey has been a blend of enlightenment and surprises. The perks, both tangible and intangible, have been manifold. Monetary savings, eco-contributions, and a newfound sense of freedom have made this endeavour a smashing success.

What’s on the horizon? While I’m keen on potential enhancements, like a battery solution, the current dynamics suggest a bit of patience. But one thing’s for certain: solar’s future in Estonia, and in my abode, is luminous.

In wrapping up, these past three months have been a medley of learnings, hiccups, and triumphs. As the globe tilts towards renewable energy, personal tales like these shine a light on the journey, guiding many more to embark on their own solar sagas.