He built his solar power plant without calling a professional

Audren Van Zalk’s self-built solar power plant on the Lot / Twitter @ObjectifZero

In a few days, this individual deployed a solar power plant on his own, which would cover more than half of his electricity needs. If the operation requires some knowledge, building your own photovoltaic installation is a terrific economic solution. Testimony.

Who said that installing a solar power plant at home is a long and tedious process? In a small town in the department of Lot, Audren Van Zalk built his small photovoltaic farm in a few days.

“I need a long weekend for the wooden structure and a weekend for the installation of the panels”explains this individual, who has worked in the construction sector for twenty years.

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Produce electricity to meet rising prices

In his garden in the open country, he installed a photovoltaic power plant with a power of 3.2 kWp (restricted by the inverter to 3 kWp. “in fulfillment of the Enedis agreement”) self consumption with free injection. The 8 panels of 400 Wc are located in a thick wooden structure, which he also designed and built alone. A method he details in his accounts Twitter and YouTube was baptized “ZeroCarbon Goal”.

“Since the age of 15 I wanted to enter renewable energy at home, but I live in the city” explains one who describes himself as a do-it-yourself enthusiast ». Faced with rising energy prices and restrictions “tariff ceiling [qui] jump to 2024”he decided to take on the technical challenge.

Installing your own power plant costs half as much

“I have a basic knowledge of electricity, but I need to check all the standards specific to photovoltaics”, he explained. These past technical readings, Audren then ordered for €2,200 equipment (panels, 5 kW inverter and AC/DC boxes, shipping included), to which is added €250 wood for the structure, €150 ground wire and one hundred euro hardware, ie €2,700 in total.

A small amount to see the power of the plant. At €844/kWp for his ready-to-use photovoltaic installation, the handyman has made considerable savings, while a plant sent to a professional costs between 1,500 and 3,000 €/kWp.

An electric car instead of a domestic battery

If he doesn’t consume it immediately, the solar electricity Audren produces will be injected into the public grid free of charge. A choice that allowed himsometimes avoid long management methods. To be compensated for its excesses, it is necessary that its installation be approved by Consuel and meet some very strict technical conditions.

The installation, presented by the Twitter account @ObjectifZero

To optimize the profitability of the power plant, Lotois could have opted for a domestic battery. The latter makes it possible to store energy to be used on demand, day and night and whatever the weather.

The solution was not chosen for a good reason. “I don’t put a battery because it’s an electric car [une Renault Zoé 22 kWh, NDLR] absorb a lot of production” he justified. A battery can cost twice as much to install that will greatly increase the return on investment” he explained on Twitter.

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Manual load shedding pending automation

“I also have an electric water heater and I am in the process of installing an air-to-air heat pump” added Audrey. The distribution of loads from the solar power station to these devices is now done manually, through connected sockets.

“When I know that the weather is good, that I see a peak or that the inverter sends too much to the network, I trigger manually” he explained. However, he had a planinstall load shedders in the future, which will allow these operations to be performed automatically.

Solar power plant management interface / Twitter @ObjectifZero

Go southwest to adjust production to needs

Unlike most solar power plants, Audren’s does not face south. “I chose to drive a little west, because I need more energy at night. I optimized for use », he said. This positioning makes it possible to improve production at the end of the day, by providing an extension to the increase in power in the morning.

He hopes to generate 3,200 kWh of photovoltaic electricity annually. A production mainly used by the Renault Zoé, which takes 2,000 kWh per year. The balance, ie 1,200 kWh, can accommodate Audren and her small family can cover at least half of their needs of electricity.

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A useful plant for more than 2 years

200 years old, its stone house with 90 m² of living space and its three occupants is heated by a wood stove and a heat pump reversible, with radiators recently replaced “toaster”. “Everything is electric at home, I hardly use any hydrocarbons”, he boasted.

His electricity bill currently averages €200 per month. By satisfying 50% of her consumption, Audren can save €1,200 per year. So its solar power plant should be amortized in just… 2 years and 3 months.

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