What makes this the MOST ADVANCED solar farm in the UK?



Four years ago I filmed the construction of the UK's largest solar farm which was fun to document in my own way and visually impressive too, but the technology involved was very basic when compared to the site I am working on now.

Here is the resulting film from 2015 which has had 42,310 views on YouTube. One of my more popular time-lapses it seems.

Make way for the NEW AGE of solar

The sun moves throughout the day so it is logical that the modules should also move, maintaining the optimum position. For the life of me I cannot understand how it has taken this country so long to finally figure this out. The CEO of Gridserve (the company behind this project) tells me it is more about politics and bureaucracy than anything else.

What a ridiculous world we live in!

Intelligent torque bars

Instead of being fixed in a static position, the solar modules are on torque bars.


These torque bars are controlled by central points which are receiving data all the time from the system's computer.


The computer has an algorithm which calculates the optimal position for the modules based on the the position of sun and the time of year. It even has the ability to set each row at a slightly different inclination, avoiding any potential shadows when the sun is low.

Independent power

The mechanism to move the torque bars has its own power source, the baby solar modules seen here.


All in all a very neat system which doesn't eat into the main power output.

Bi-facial panels

You can see how unlike ordinary solar modules, these ones look the same on both sides. This is a first for any company to test on a large scale so no one knows how much extra energy this will generate. Estimates are coming in between 5% and 15%.


It seems to me if they put something reflective on the ground, this would help.

Their biggest issue will be the plants which naturally want to take back their field! And if left unchecked they will keep getting taller till they hit the torque bar mechanism, causing some problems.

Safety in the wind

As we go deeper into the Grand Solar Minimum, higher winds can be expected and any fixed position solar farms are potentially in danger.


The solution is a weather station connected to the main computer.

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Behind me you can see one such weather station, complete with its own solar power source.

So, any high winds are immediately dealt with by flattening out the modules.

A neat & logical solution.


Battery storage

Normally a solar farm feeds directly into the grid.

But what this means is a glut of electricity when the sun is high in the sky, making the price of energy cheap at this time of day.

At the heart of this site is the battery storage & control centre.


Lovely branded shipping containers, modified for a very unique job.

battery storage.jpg

To store a shit load of power.


Here are the batteries. At least I think that's what these are. Looks more like a mining rig to me!

Hmmmm.... and these guys are invested in crypto. I wonder if they are up to something???

Optimising profit

By storing the power in batteries now they can release it onto the grid when it is most needed, like at 6am for example, when everyone turns on their kettle before another hellish day at work!

Gridserve have basically designed a way to sell their electricity at a much better rate.

The downside

Storing energy is never efficient.

And let's not even go down the road of how much energy it takes to create this quantity of PV panels & lithium ion batteries.

The BIGGER downside

All of this may look great and even feel something like hope for the future, but I'm sorry to tell you it is not.

This is a centralised system. It sells you power at a premium, making corporations rich at the expense of your dependence on their expensive and wasteful product.

Even the companies offering to put solar on your roof are still just feeding it back into the grid, making EVERYONE reliant on that little hole in the wall...


...which may (for a whole plethora of reasons) one day stop providing you power.

Do not be fooled

If you want to be independent from the grid (which I HIGHLY recommend!) you will need solar and battery storage of your own.

Producing the energy where it is needed is the most efficient way to do it. And, if you can get your hands on DC products you eliminate the need for further waste by using a transformer to create AC power.

Back in my days in Indonesia I worked for a company called Sundaya who understood very well the problem and the solution.

I made this film to demonstrate how easy it is now to find this kind of independence from the grid. The JouleBox is an awesome kit capable of transforming the way you power so many aspects of your home life.

I still intend to buy a bunch of the JouleStick kits, ready to re-sell them to you for STEEM. Once my final pay cheque comes in!

The JouleBox will be my next step. Let's see if the JouleSticks sell first.

In conclusion

Never again will I work for a company with whom I do not feel energetically aligned with.

The brothers who run this particular company I love very much and have known their family since the age of seven, so this felt different. I wanted to help them with their new venture & I wish them all the best.

But now I am done.

Am looking forward to showing you the new film & getting back to being a farmer in the South of France!


Who is @samstonehill?

He was a London based filmmaker until he sold everything and set out on a barefoot journey around the world, currently based in the south of France.

He is travelling with his partner & two children and with no bank account he has been living on STEEM & crypto for over two years.

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Sam supports @naturalmedicine because they are seeking to help us in ways which go far beyond money. Please come and join us on Discord

All content created for this account is 100% original (unless otherwise stated), produced by @samstonehill who invites you to use & share freely as you wish.


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With the GSM upon us, the TSI also going into a sleepy phase, a solar farm in the north of England seems like a inefficient use of money.


I said these exact words to the two brothers running this company. And they just laughed at me, quoting the 97% consensus on global warming.

Sheep. At least I can say I tried.


What I don't understand is how a place like the UK, with very little in the way of sunlight can do something so innovative like this... and yet here in Australia, our governments are resisting doing anything remotely similar to this. AND WE HAVE SO MUCH EMPTY SPACE AND SO MUCH SUN!!!!!!!

What the actual f**ck?!?

Maybe you should come down here and set something like this up?


South Australia is actually, finally doing this. Since the statewide blackout, a couple of years ago, they've realised we need to become independent of Victoria and they're running out solar panels across the state. Some of them are on selected houses, but the Elizabeth shopping centre now has solar panel shades across all the car parks. I was gobsmacked when I saw them going up! About time. Mind you, paying for this is why we have the highest power prices in the country.


I will put your question to the man who runs this company. It is an interesting one for sure. No doubt political. If the government cannot gain in some way from these advances, they don't happen.

Better to get solar, get batteries and be independent from all that crap ;)

Wow, that is some impressive PV tech.

And in terms of national energy strategy I hope we see more of this.

But in terms of true resilience it would be great to see this sort of tech deployed at a household or community scale. I am really keen on the idea of local energy islands where small communities could be become self sufficient in their energy/electricity needs without being reliant on the grid.

I wonder how the economics of this sort of system would work out on a smaller community scale...


I see no reason why it couldn't work perfectly well on a smaller community scale. All one would do is eliminate the grid from the process and the power would be exclusively for the community. This would work great, if only the controlling entities would permit it to happen. In many countries you cannot buy a plot of land without also buying a connection to the grid.

Good to see them trying out the bi-facial panels.

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It is a cool idea hey and I am wondering if there isn't a more efficient way to use them on a smaller scale.

Using a decent reflective material one could almost double the output.


Indeed some sort of reflective item could increase performance.

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Back in my London growing days I used a material called mylar:

"Mylar is relatively inexpensive, relatively easy to apply, and reflects up to 98 percent of the light that shines on it"

Sounds good eh ;)


That could be very useful for the purpose.

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Fantastic work Sam!
Beautifully documented - this is a success story that needs sharing!

Upvoted, retweeted and resteemed :D


Thanks buddy. Thankfully I have found a little more energy in these closing days!

Much has happened here & I enjoy giving it a place on the blockchain ;)


Nice one =D

Currently the majority of people can't afford to go off grid, so they're stuck with what the grid provides. Let's hope those panels and batteries last a long time to offset the energy used to make them.

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For $1,300 one could buy the JouleBox 1000 kit which ticks most of the boxes to get us off grid. I know this is a lot for people but it can't be more than what they pay in just one year from the grid. Whereas these kits are guaranteed for 25 years with smash proof and water proof bulbs ;)

The only thing missing from this particular kit is a fridge!

I will find out how long the panels & batteries on this UK site are supposed to last. That is a good question worth finding the answer to.

Wow it’s amazing to see the actual details of a power plant and happy to know an Indonesian company works towards a better future for everyone. If we are living in a normal suburb, and paying for monthly electricity bill, what would you recommend as the first step of being off the grid? Thank you!


Sundaya is an amazing company run by an amazing man. If I were you, I would buy their products because the are designed to work together, so you can keep expanding when you have more money.

I have already shown you the JouleBox in the above film. Here is the JouleStick, which can be charged from its own small panel or from the JouleBox.

I already bought two of these because let's face it, they are cool! And not too expensive under $50.

Keep following my feed. I intend to buy a bunch of these kits and sell them for STEEM.

I really believe in this company and think this is one of the most important things people can have in an emergency.


Thank you so much! Yes, I will learn more about Sundaya & their products! 👍🏽

If you are going to post content like this, I recommend using the #technology or even #science tag so you show up on https://stemgeeks.net (STEMGeeks) and can earn STEM tokens in addition to Steem.

STEMGeeks is a tribe (aka Community) that is focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content.


Excellent! Many thanks for the heads up.

I'm still here on site so no reason why I can't make a few more posts ;)

Furiously mapping before my flight on Friday.

Appreciate the explanation for STEM tokens & associated site.

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Thank you 🙏🏻

For a maximum efficiency such installation should be installed in different regions, like the Sahara. But for that, a number of problems need to be solved first. Who would invest serious amounts of money to build such infrastructure - and it would make the existing solar installations look like beer mattes - in countries that are politically totally unreliable?
So for the time being, this is all more a lame compromise.


Solar panels on the roof of our homes would be the most logical way to do it. Why move energy around with an expensive and inefficient infrastructure?

Ah yes, maximum profit for the corporations running this circus.

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