Transition Derry

Tackling Peak Oil, Climate Change and Economic Breakdown

Hi there,

I have been kicking around an idea for a NI solar co-operative aimed at supporting DIY installation of solar thermal (domestic water heating). Here's how it might work: A few experienced solar people A & B (founding/initial members) help out person C with their DIY solar install. In recompense, person C commits to provide xxx hours assistance on the next collective install. On the next few installations, say for persons D & E, founders A & B need to put in less time because person C is now helping D & E out, with only the difficult bits being done by A & B. Eventually the collective grows into a group of people well versed in the easiest and least expensive way to install solar thermal.

If participants such as C, D, or E don't have any DIY capability, say because of age or disability, & can't therefore help out on solar installations, they could always trade time or other skills with the collective instead.

Now what about the hardware and the financial cost? Well, a collective member having their own system installed would have to source their own hardware - the collective would be there primarily to help with installation and to advise on the various hardware & procurement options, and not to otherwise subsidise. At the bottom end of the scale, I know of solar panels made from old domestic radiators and other DIY flat panel variations which, whilst entailing minimal outlay, are rather labour intensive and not always very efficient. Systems using professional ready-made solar panels can however be DIY installed with a capital outlay of as little as perhaps £700? depending on the house, its existing plumbing, and one's hot water usage.

Anyway, end result is a group of collective members all with their own (assisted) DIY installs who are collectively able to assist the next person with their DIY install. A few years ago there was a London Solar Collective where their DIY-supervised installations even attracted grants - we may eventually be able to talk DETI and/or Action Renewables into assisting with the capital costs in a similar way?

Having recently DIY installed a solar evacuated tube setup at my house, and shortly going on one of the carbonzero courses covering the other main solar thermal technologies, if there's any interest out there in this proposal, I am happy to get the ball rolling as person A (or B). Any other interested parties?

All comments/suggestions gratefully received

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Hello there
this sounds great and I'd love to talk more. Could you send me a text on 07788790845 and we could arrange a time to meet.

happy new year

Marian
Hello,
I think it is a great, simple and practical idea,
i've passed it on to a local architect, he thinks it is a very good idea too.
please keep in touch

marie
Dear Cy,
I'm Bev from Transition Inishowen and live outside Carndonagh. We heard from Marian that you might be prepared to come to Carn to give a talk on the Solar Collective idea, which would be great. I realise that the 13th March pm is convenient for you as you will be giving a workshop in the morning at Creggan Coultry Park. However a couple of us are tied up that day and we wondered if you might consider another date. If so would the 27th March be any good or the 3rd April? My email address is bevfreespirit@yahoo.co.uk. We're looking forward to hearing back from you.
Best wishes,
Bev
Bev - Either of those 2 Saturdays is OK with me. Just let me know which.

Rgds

cye

Bev Doherty said:
Dear Cy,
I'm Bev from Transition Inishowen and live outside Carndonagh. We heard from Marian that you might be prepared to come to Carn to give a talk on the Solar Collective idea, which would be great. I realise that the 13th March pm is convenient for you as you will be giving a workshop in the morning at Creggan Coultry Park. However a couple of us are tied up that day and we wondered if you might consider another date. If so would the 27th March be any good or the 3rd April? My email address is bevfreespirit@yahoo.co.uk. We're looking forward to hearing back from you.
Best wishes,
Bev
Hi, This sounds like a great idea and something I wouldnt mind being involved in. Have you any pics or info from the installation you have already done?

Thanks, Mark Houston
Mark,

Yes, I have pics of my own installation plus details of lots of other DIY installations using off-the-shelf solar panels. I also have a few guides for homemade solar panels. I'm including a selection of this info in the presentation I'm drafting for the 13th. I can email you a few pics in the meantime if you wish, alternatively, you could check out Wookey's website:

http://wookware.org/pics/solar/

( Wookey is a fellow DIY installer who gave me some useful advice when I was designing my own installation. I have e.g., used broadly similar evacuated tube collector panels to his. He's however much more of an experimentalist than I!)


P.S. I have a nice warm tank of water this evening thanks to a fairly clear day in Belfast today, and we're still in winter!

Best regards

cye

Mark Houston said:
Hi, This sounds like a great idea and something I wouldnt mind being involved in. Have you any pics or info from the installation you have already done?

Thanks, Mark Houston
Mark - I've now attached a pic (to the original discussion posting) of my two panels installed on a south/SW facing garage roof.

Mark Houston said:
Hi, This sounds like a great idea and something I wouldnt mind being involved in. Have you any pics or info from the installation you have already done?

Thanks, Mark Houston

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