In late August 2013, whilst travelling back from the installation at Bumblebee Farm in Cornwall, I agreed to meet a customer at a service station off the M5 in Bristol to hand over their order for a Separett Villa 9010, Solar Panel, Charge Controller, and Battery.
Wayne owns Penylan Property (penylanproperty.co.uk) in Cardiff, and we’d been talking for a little while about a complete solution for his personal project on the island of Paxos, Greece.
Long term, Wayne is going to build a house on his land in Paxos, but for the moment, stage one is a small ‘studio’ building. Regulations in Greece are different from the UK, and if you want an electricity supply, you initially have to have a ‘builders’ supply (which has a higher tariff and a maximum time limit of around 2 years), and only when the build is complete and signed-off, can you get a domestic supply connected. Due to the time this build would take, coupled with budget restrictions and Wayne’s interest in ‘off-grid’ living, he decided that for the time being, he’d opt not to have a mains electrical connection. Additionally, there is currently no septic tank, but he needed a toilet in the studio, so was looking at the Separett Villa 9010 waterless composting loo.
In the end, we also supplied an 80 watt solar panel, charge controller, wiring and 100Ah ‘leisure’ battery to ensure there was plenty of 12 volt DC electricity to run the fan in the Villa compost toilet and have enough spare for some lighting too.
Like many people on Paxos, rainwater harvesting is the norm, and there are plans to construct a 40,000 litre collection unit below the main house, but for the time being, a 1,000 litre IBC collects rainwater from the studio roof.
Compared to excavating a septic tank and installing drains and inspection chambers at this stage it is very cost effective
I asked Wayne why he chose the Separett Villa composting toilet and he told me:
“The [Villa] composting loo gives a clean and efficient means of dealing with human waste. Compared to excavating a septic tank and installing drains and inspection chambers at this stage it is very cost effective. We also wish to cultivate and landscape the plot and the soil is high in clay content, so all organic material we can add, instead of losing it to a septic tank, is a bonus.”
“At present the urine pipe feeds into a plastic drum. I draw it off into buckets of water as needed, and water our fledgling plants and the 30 odd Olive trees that we are regenerating (they had been un-tended for some time and require heavy pruning and feeding to come back into full production).”
Below is Wayne’s email to me…
I am finally getting around to saying how pleased we are with the Separett and PV kit you supplied. We got everything over to Paxos in Greece, and the installation was very straightforward. The PV connection was quite easy and all the correct lights are indicating that the battery is being charged.
What we are most impressed with is the complete lack of any unpleasant smell from the toilet.
What we are most impressed with is the complete lack of any unpleasant smell from the toilet. The temperature was hitting around 32C for over a week at the beginning of August and it was more pleasant than our loo at home due to the constant ventilation from the fan! Also our shower room is close to the bed and the noise was minimal, causing no problem at night.
We have emptied and cleaned the toilet, installed a new bag and left everything connected whilst we are back in the UK and fully expect all to be well on our return in June.
Overall we are delighted and will recommend you and the system to anyone who shows an interest, as some have already.
If you would like more information on complete solar solutions (panel, charge controller, battery, wiring etc), please get in contact with us and we can advise on the most appropriate panels etc.