In June 2021 I put my mini solar system into operation and since then I have been producing energy with the help of the sun, which I could use directly in my apartment and therefore did not have to buy. In this article I will tell you how much energy I have produced, used myself and thus really saved.
This article is part of the GIGA theme week “Sustainability” from 5.6. until 11.6.2022. In the overview article you can read what it is all about and find other pieces on the subject.
Mini solar system: 1 year balcony power plant
A plug-in mini solar system is an easy way to produce your own energy that you use directly. If you produce more, you will not be remunerated for this, as there is simplified approval for such systems. I have summarized what needs to be considered here. But how much energy did my 600-watt system actually produce and how much money did I save with it? Let’s look at the Yield from June 2021 up to and including May 2022 – exactly 12 months.
Since I have a FritzBox, I used the AVM FRITZ!DECT 210 smart outdoor socket (see Amazon) to measure the energy flow. It then looks like this:
The individual months at a glance
- June 2021: 45 kWh
- July 2021: 49 kWh
- August 2021: 42 kWh
- September 2021: 32 kWh
- October 2021: 22 kWh
- November 2021: 8.8 kWh
- December 2021: 3.1 kWh
- January 2022: 5.1 kWh
- February 2022: 15 kWh
- March 2022: 43 kWh
- April 2022: 62 kWh
- May 2022: 67 kWh
- In total: 394kWh
Of the 394 kWh that my balcony power plant produced, I have effectively consumed 339 kWh. I didn’t use 55 kWh and gave it to my grid operator. You can use the 2-way electricity meter to see how much energy you have fed into the grid. You don’t get any compensation for this with a mini solar system.
I really saved that much money
One kWh currently costs me around 30 cents. So I have 101.70 euros saved on electricity costs. My system cost 800 euros. After eight years, the system would have paid for itself and, with a service life of around 25 years, would continue to produce electricity for another 17 years free of charge. If electricity prices continue to rise, my balcony power plant will pay for itself much earlier. Either way, you make a lot of profit in the long run. And I’m not fully exploiting the potential, as you can read below.
First cars are equipped with solar cells:
Important details about my solar system
From June 2021 to March 2022, my solar system was on the ground and was often in the shade. Since I hung up the solar panels (see title picture), the yield in April and May 2022 has been much better. So I expect even more yield in the next 12 months. From October to February, the sun doesn’t shine enough to produce much energy. The sun is low there and there is also a large tree in my way, whose shadow falls on the solar panels from around 3 p.m. So if you don’t have any shadows, you can of course make better use of the hours of sunshine.
That is the most important lesson for me: It is extremely important to align the balcony power plant properly. The more sun you capture and then actually use the energy, the more worthwhile such a system is. But even if the conditions are not as ideal as mine, a plug-in mini solar system is worthwhile. You just have to have the (right) place for it.