Thermosyphon systems explained

As a company with an energy-saving ethos, we sometimes receive enquiries from DIY enthusiasts seeking to maximise their return-on-investment by making their own solar system.

My initial response is: “Have you costed the working hours you'll need to put into such a project? Plus the cost of materials? Buying a commercially-available system usually works out cheaper – not to mention safer! – as they have mass production standards on their side. Commercial systems are more efficient, more reliable, are guaranteed and, if regularly maintained, will last 15 years or more. Could a home-made system offer the same?” 

Algarve Solar Panel Grants in Portugal


The grant for Photovoltaic or PV is now down to 10 cents a KW which means it only pays for systems above 10KW (60 panels) which is simply too many panels for even a large household. Unfortunately battery based systems are still too expensive and unreliable to install. This will change with cheaper lithium based battery packs like the TESLA Powerwall but we do not know when they are available in Europe.

Please be wary of any installers claiming any return on investment below 7 years as this will invariably flout the laws of physics and economics.

Systems are available for self consumption but there is a limit to what is viable - i.e. you would have to use all the power that is generated for it to make economic sense so there is no point installing too much.  The consensus is that up to 3 KW (12 panels) is the maximum limit you should consider but 1.5kw (6 panels) is the more common threshold. These systems still have to be registered with EDP and installed by certified installers with certified equipment.

You can view the plug-in solar info here - Plug in Photovoltaic!



Algarve PhotoVoltaic PV Grants NO LONGER VIABLE

As of 2015 most grid based systems are now no longer viable as the payback is around 10 cents per Kilowatt and your consumption rate is currently about 20 cents a Kilowatt. The best option to save energy

Please click on this link to see updated information: