Owning or building a holiday home in Spain can be quite taxing when it comes to installing basic utilities, says one our valued customers in the foothills of Sierra Nevada in Andalucia, southern Spain. Although it may appear to be a straightforward process, acquiring a mains electricity supply can quickly career into a long-winded, stressful affair involving Spanish neighbours and the authorities, ultimately resulting in spiralling costs in terms of money and time, making a mains connection impractical.
Sandy Spink comments, “It was going to cost €40,000 to install the mains to my new holiday home and it was going to take a very, very long time, it was simple – we needed another reliable solution”.
The solution chosen to provide their reliable electrical supply, was the Powerguard PS System which was installed by the Powerguard service team within 2 days. Fundamentally, the PS system is a small power station which provides a very stable and reliable 230V electrical supply. The fully-integrated PS System comprises of a diesel generator set, a battery bank and a power inverter. Unlike a standalone generator which would run for 24hrs, the PS system only needs to turn on the generator during periods when the electrical demand is high e.g. for a power shower, cooker or heating. This high demand period usually equates to less than 8hrs per day and if these periods are regular, the PS System can be programmed to turn on the generator automatically. For all other times when the demand is low, the system powers the home using the revolutionary battery pack and inverter.
Sandy explains, “Our system typically operates the generator for less than six hours a day with two set periods; one period between 7am and 10am and the second between 5pm and 7pm. The morning run simply recharges the batteries from any overnight use but because we all get up at this time, any appliances can be turned on without any use of the batteries – we time it so this happens. In the evening, we time the generator so we can have dinner using the cooker and perhaps have showers – again without using the batteries.”
The clever part of the PS System is that during periods when the demand is high, any unused power is used to recharge the batteries. The energy stored within the batteries is then used to provide AC mains power to the Villa for the remainder of the day and night i.e. when the demand is low. During the day, if more power is required than that provided by the batteries, the PS System’s microprocessor automatically turns on the generator, and subsequently switches it off after the load has reduced. The payback on an integrated PS System over a stand-alone generator is usually around 3 years.
To facilitate further fuel savings, the system can also handle inputs from renewable generation sources to recharge the batteries such as solar panels. Furthermore, the CHP option (also installed in holiday homes in southern Spain) provides free hot water for mains and heating whilst increasing efficiency to over 80%!
Sandy comments, “The system is very economical and reliable, I have no issues with recommending this system to similar people to myself who require a mains electricity supply for their holiday home but are not able to secure a utility mains connection.”