February 5, 2019 Courses 2 Comments

This two day course covers both practical and theoretical aspects to designing and installing your own off-grid solar PV system and understanding how to apply this knowledge to wind and micro-hydro. The course also provides an introduction to designing and installation of solar thermal,  building a biogas reactor, making biodiesel from waste veg oil, making a rocket stove for cooking and heating and solar thermal.  The course will cover the basic calculations and physics involved in off grid electrical setups as well as all the practical skills, tools and materials for undertaking your own installations.

12th & 13th September Coed Talylan Cost: The cost of the course is banded on the basis of income and includes food, accommodation and materials:

  • Up to 14K/year £150
  • 14K-20K/year £200
  • 20K upwards £250
Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone with a growing interest in off-grid living and renewable energy generation.  It will give a broad introduction to various approaches, practical tips for design/installation and some technical details for those who like maths and physics!

What will the course cover?
      • Energy yield and usage calculations
      • Types of panels: efficiency and cost
      • Sizing array, batteries (chemistries, specifications), cables, charge controller, fuses, circuit breakers, voltage and current parameters
      • Overall design setup: circuit diagrams, general approaches, parallel vs. series configurations
      • Practical setup: layout, cable crimping, connectors, battery care
      • Understanding Charge controllers: MPPT and non-MPPT
      • Using inverters
      • Options and installation techniques for lighting and other appliances
      • Introduction to Wind Turbines
      • Introduction to Micro-hydro
      • Biogas
      • Biodiesel
      • Rocket Stove design, building and applications
      • Introduction to solar thermal
Learning methods and outcomes

This course is taught via a series of informal lectures (including handouts), questions and answers, discussions and practical sessions.

The practical aspects of this course will demonstrate the use of typical tools and components used for setup/design. The theoretical aspects of this course will give participants a good foundation into the concepts needed for designing an off-grid 12v solar PV system and how to scale this to your needs. Coed Talylan has working examples of 12v and 48v solar PV systems.

You will also come away with design schematics and resources covering all course content.

Course Instructor

Suneil Tagore BEng MSc

Suneil has spent the last 9 years working in renewable energy and appropriate technology. He studied engineering at University College London and completed an MSc at Cardiff University working in the field of Climate Modelling. Since then, Suneil worked as an engineer at an educational charity (The Centre for Alternative Technology) and in the commercial sector working on medium and large scale community wind and hydro electric projects. Abroad, Suneil worked as a project manager for hydro and solar energy projects in Uganda with Partnership Overseas Networking Trust.  Suneil has recently been a visiting lecturer at South Wales University and has run courses on renewable energy at Atlantic College and Bath University.


Coed Talylan is a 70 acre woodland on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons. Nestled below the iron age hill fort of Garn Goch in the foothills of the Black Mountain it offers a secluded and peaceful location for our course participants to learn and explore the potential of applying agroecology within a co-sufficient community settlement.
Accommodation is available for camping around our guest lodge, an A-frame wooden cabin with kitchen and dining/living space. We have running filtered spring water throughout the site, compost toilets and wash facilities.


Lunch will be provided on one day courses/events.  Breakfast and evening meals are also provided for those staying for longer duration courses.  Tea, coffee and refreshments will be available throughout.


We are offering a 5% discount for those that use public transport to get to us. The rail service to Llangadog is part of the “Heart of Wales Line” an historic railway running from Shrewsbury to Swansea. If you choose to arrive by train or bus we offer a collection service from Llangadog or it’s a very pleasant 2 mile countryside walk.


On a sliding scale according to income, fees are:
Up to 14K/year £150
14K-20K/year £200
20K upwards £250

We endeavour to make our courses and events affordable to all. Unfortunately, we do not receive any external funding and rely on large amounts of voluntary input. We accept payments by installments.

Booking and Paying for your place

To book a place on the course contact us using the register for a course sidebar on this page and we’ll send you a booking form. Please note that we ask that you pay a £50 non-refundable deposit to secure a place on the course and the remianing balance paid at least 3 weeks before the course begin. We accept payments by installments.

Off-Grid Energy: Booking Form

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