“I have always been interested in protecting and helping the environment where I can,” states Clare Chaffey, Senior QA (Quality Assurance) Documentation Supervisor at SEKISUI Diagnostics in Kent. While she had wanted to install solar panels for years, she could only install them when moving from a flat to a house in 2015. For the latest improvements of her solar panels system she was now awarded the SEKISUI Greenest Person Fresh Idea Award.
You were awarded the fresh prize award for your idea of “Energy Conservation at Home – Solar Panels System Improvement”. Could you please describe the green project?
When moving into my first house in 2015, I had solar panels installed as one of the first big projects. In 2018 I had storage batteries installed and included an inverter as well as an online management software to the system.
The solar panels at Clare Chaffey’s house.
What benefits do you have from the system and its latest improvements?
The improvements I made throughout last year increased the overall efficiency of the solar panels system by 20%. When looking at the different parts that were added, all three have different benefits. The inverter reduces the amount of stand-by time for the system. In 2018 82% of the electricity used in my house was generated by green energy. The online management software allows me to monitor the system performance in real time. It also informs me of any faults or problems. And when the storage batteries are fully charged the solar electricity is fed into the national grid. This electricity is then available to other energy suppliers nationwide.
I thought about possible improvements for a long time and am really happy with the results. My friends and family are often quite impressed when visiting the house. My brother is also looking into getting solar panels at the moment.
The management software keeps Clare informed on the system, including possible problems.
The storage batteries allow other energy suppliers to use the available electricity as well.
The inverter reduces the stand-by time for the system.
Are there any other things you do to care for the environment?
I have always been interested in protecting and helping the environment where I can. The solar panels system was a project I wanted to do for years. Unfortunately, I could not as I was living in a flat. On top of the solar panels as contribution to environment, I try to live as healthy as possible. I have been a vegetarian for two years now and am working to becoming vegan. I also have a paved garden which I am looking to replace with lawn turf to install a compost bin to handle household and garden waste.
What would you recommend to people that would like to contribute to the environment?
There are so many things you do at home that can be changed to contribute to the environment. Installing solar panels is obviously a large project. Small changes are just as good though, e.g. stop using washing powder and softener (ecological replacements are available), reduce waste, walk somewhere rather than using the car, grow your own vegetables, cook in bulk – the possibilities are endless!!
Great ideas and contribution to the environment. Congratulations, Clare!
Clare is not only engaged in environmental matters but is also driving KAIZEN at SEKISUI Diagnostics in Kent.