Saturday 13 December 2014


Being off-grid and living in Southern Crete we will be relying upon the excellent local sunshine record to power an array of PV panels. (See earlier post on PV systems). After considering various options it has been decided that the best position for fixed panels will be on the earth covered roof to the house.

The output of these panels will be taken the relatively short distance to the "power room" located at the back of the house and stored in the battery bank and converted to AC to power the house. From the "power room" the electricity will be distributed through surface mounted metal conduit around the house. When I opted for a simple concrete fair faced finish for the house I decided that this surface mounting approach would not only maintain the full integrity of the high thermal mass concrete but would give just the modern industrial look I sought.

In response to the tender to install the in-house electrics one of the contractors invited to bid built a couple of examples illustrating both the metal and plastic conduit options. This electrician also went out of his way to input ideas and happily answered a wide range of questions the engineers asked. Needless to say he won the contract.

His professional approach has been exemplary throughout, including always turning up to meetings on time (something that is rare here in Crete!), and he, and his team, have fully understood the requirement to not mark or scratch the finished concrete walls. He has used chalk, which was easily removed, for marking up as apposed to one tradesman who was on the verge of using bright red spray paint until I intervened!

Given the broad brief to run the conduit around the top of the walls, 10cm below the ceiling, running down to switches and power points as required, the electrician has designed and put in place a really neat power distribution system. He paid particular attention to making sure that all lights, switches and power points were located exactly as I required.

Marking up using a chalk string.

The first section of conduit in place. Note "Fillergate" walls.

Carefully bending the metal conduit.

First section of conduit completed. Note the renovated walls.

Starting to wire up the conduit.

Precise measurement and patient careful bending. The mark of a professional.

Professional at work.