Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Sunday 13 June 2010

Photovoltaics going up at Compost Mansions.

Well I think I have mentioned it in the past as something we have long wanted to do, but we have finally bitten the bullet and ordered the Pv's.

We are going to have 14, 185 w panels, Sharp NU 185 single crystal photovoltaic panels , each one consists of 48 monocrystalline cells, open circuit voltage 24 volts, with an SMA Sunny Boy 2500 inverter to tie it in to the mains electricity system. There will then be a total generation metre, to record what gets generated.

These will go on the back of the garage and workshop roof. Which rather conveniently faces 165 degrees, so SSE and will be a great site for them. We would reasonable expect to get around 850 KWhrs per Kw installed, so will be getting about 2200 KWHr a year of our own generated electricity.

Some of the tree felling I talked about on here in the winter was to clear shading trees, only a problem in the winter when the sun is low, but it all will help ( and provided lots of lovely wood for the logburner!).

The system will be grid tied (off grid proved to be a bit problematical, with the batteries and the added complication)

So yesterday we did the first part of the install which was to lay armoured cable in a trench from the garage to the house. This involved Ken the Dig and his JCB, and a lot of shoveling and poking of Cat 5 cable inside a sheath to protect it in the trench.

We are doing the gravel drive completely in a few weeks as well, so the mess left behind after the trench was re filled in, doesn't matter for a few weeks and then Ken the Dig will come back and make it all lovely and level and weed free and beautiful ( after we have gone and bought a load of stone, geotextile and gravel)

So , it is all very exciting and I will chronicle the events on here, as they unfold....


  1. Huzzah, glad to hear things are well albeit very busy!

  2. hi there. I am very interested in how you do with your solar panels etc. and look forward to hearing houw much they generate. we are purchasing a new home, and I would like to get some installed.

    great to see you back

  3. I look forward to hearing more and how you get on with it once it's installed. We're not sure how much longer we'll stay in this house, but I'd like to get PV panels one day, if hubby can be persuaded it's a good idea.


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.