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Flore -> Weedon Bec

Flore -> Weedon Bec

Moving up past the waterpoint and sewage farm.

More into the center of the village.

Solar

Since putting the solar panels and buying a new PWM controller for the portable panels, I’ve only been having to start the engine to move the boat.

Solar PWM controller
Solar PWM controller

What I used to have to do every morning for 2 hours. I now do only every other week for about 1 hour.

What’s left is free energy.

By 6pm at night, there is a lot more left, meaning I can watch TV and do those other things I want to.

By 9am the next morning, the batteries are full again.

Who can say this isn’t good value?

Government increases tax rate on domestic solar panels to 20%

The government is trying to discourage people from using these by increasing the VAT on them to full rate, whilst a VAT reduction remains for other fossil fuels energy items such as gas, diesel and coal.

Goods or servicesVAT rate
Electricity for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity5%
Gas for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity5%
Heating oil for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity5%
Solar panels for domestic and residential use or for non-business use by a charity20%

Just shows how serious our government is about renewables and climate change.

Thankfully, I’ve got my panels now and I won’t be paying this charge.

The charge comes in in October, so it’s time to getting fitting your panels now.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-solar-panels-vat-government-fossil-fuels-sian-berry-a8906361.html

https://www.michaeltyler.co.uk/fitting-solar-panels-narrowboat/

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Fitting flexible solar panels to a narrowboat

Fitting flexible solar panels to a narrowboat

This is a short guide to installing flexible solar panels to a narrowboat.

Background

I’ve lived on my boat for 2 years. When I first started, I was located in a Marina. Everything was laid on, showers, water, electrical hook-up.

It reminded me of a high-rise flat for boats. After my boat was painted, I took it up on a journey to the most Northern and Southern reaches of the UK canal system.

It was called Bonnie Journey, in the name of the boat. You can read about it here.

It included some cycling, which I had to postpone due to injury. Whilst I was waiting for my injuries to recover, I stationed myself on the Kennet and Avon.

Kennet and Avon

Burbage wharf
Near Burbage

As visitors to this waterway will know. Kennet and Avon Marinas are few and far between.

I decided to try continuous cruising. When you’re continuous cruising, all your energy has to be self generated.

You’re entirely ‘off grid’. In winter, generating power was a case of starting the engine.

As the sun began to shine, in the run up to spring, I began to think of the advantages of solar.

After my boat was fully painted, I decided that the next job to be done, was to fit some solar panels, and take advantage of the free energy!

I’m now in a position to do that.

Researching

Most people are going to find that this is the most lengthy part of the process.

Before you shell out large sums of money, you want to ensure you’re getting something which is fully compatible with your needs.

The first question you need to ask yourself before fitting solar is –

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