Nov 21 • 53M

Solar Powered

James talks to Rees (aka Ctrl Alt Rees) about his recent DIY solar setup that got a lot of attention on YouTube. We chat about what was involved, as well as what it's like to have a video go so viral.

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Appears in this episode

James Bilsbrough
A technology podcast that aims to take a positive look at technology and computing. We aim to have genuinely engaging chats with folks doing interesting things in tech that make a positive impact.
Episode details

As energy costs are at an all-time high, many people are looking for ways to cut costs and become more self-sufficient. When it comes to solar power, there are effectively two ways to do this, a whole-home solar setup that requires a reasonably complex installation, usually by professionals, or a more off-grid approach that isn’t wired into your home’s electrical systems. Rees made a fascinating video based on his DIY project for the latter, that video then went somewhat viral on YouTube.

James and Rees recording this episode.

It was great to chat with Rees about the actual setup involved, things he learned from this project, what going viral really feels like, and some great general discussion about solar and off-grid power.

Have you had any fun with solar power, maybe you’ve got a whole-home system or have been tinkering with an off-grid solution like Rees’, we’d love to hear from you, so send a note over to, leave a comment on the post, or start a discussion in Goodpods.

If you liked this episode or any of our content, we’d greatly appreciate any little bit of support you can throw our way over at our Ko-Fi page.

Episode Links

Chapter Times

  1. 00:00:04: Introductions

  2. 00:01:45: Going Viral

  3. 00:11:30: DIY Solar Vs Whole Home

  4. 00:13:45: Why This Project?

  5. 00:15:26: Upfront Costs & Payback Time

  6. 00:19:53: Planning Permission?

  7. 00:22:52: How Much Can The Panels Generate?

  8. 00:27:00: Charge Controllers

  9. 00:28:46: Learnings From The Setup

  10. 00:33:02: Off Grid Phone Charging

  11. 00:35:42: Unexpected Cost Savings

  12. 00:38:07: Benefits Of PoE Or Low Voltage

  13. 00:42:52: Cost of Living

  14. 00:49:34: Wrapping Up


Intro and outro theme: Ace of Clubs by RoccoW