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bigdaddy

Bigdaddy's sustainable energy for his home.

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Hi folks,

In South Australia we have some of the most expensive electricity in the world with most people earning on or just above minimum income and our many pensioners living below the poverty line so paying for electricity is fast or has become a major concern for many.

Our state no longer has enough of it's own power generation capabilities to remain continually functional on it's own, this means we have to rely on other states providing electricity for us when we can not produce enough. This is done via what is known as the national power grid, a somewhat complex power sharing infrastructure, in which power is introduced by people who produce more than they require and distributed to those who need it at a cost. The costs vary depending on numerous factors, but in the end, because of our needs, we (us the consumer in S.A.) are left paying a lot of money for electricity. 

Our climate ranges from mild nasty winters at times to very hot summers at times. We also have a lot of beautiful weather in between. With electricity prices expected to soar yet again, I've decided to invest in some sustainable energy for my home. Over the last 12 - 18 months I've installed solar panels and now, over the last couple of weeks, battery storage for my home. Our States geographical location is ideally suited to solar electricity generation and storage. My house faces South/North which is ideal natural heating and cooling. I also have no shade concerns. All and more are considerations when deciding to go with solar power generation.

My previous winter, electricity bill topped around $790.00 per 1/4 or 3 months, compared to (by memory) $340.00 with my solar panels on. My first bill with solar panels on dropped from around $720.00  around $90.00.

Now with my battery storage system I am hoping to knock out my power bill and electricity connection cost all together. I am hoping the payback of the whole system will be under 5 years, time will tell I guess.

Pic 1: Battery around the back, out of the way, under my solar panel inverter

Pic 2: My services out the front. Gas supply underneath, electricity in the middle and battery gateway on top with the NBN connection on the side.

Cheers.

 

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Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)

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I am guessing that the fires currently raging over there are chewing at the power lines, so power if available will cost even more to folks.  I am glad that you have been able to set up and get working, your personal solar system.  I know those systems are not cheap to set up, and the payback where I have mine in Florida can be non-existant.  Your high cost off set seems way better than mine is, but I set mine up for living with some electricity after disasters like hurricanes take out our grid power.  I see power lines over trees in the corner of your second picture.  I do hope that fire never hits those trees.  Good fortune to you!

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Hi Ragat,

Thanks for your kind thoughts, they are very much appreciated.

I live in Adelaide which is the capital of South Australia with approximately 1 million residents. We are lucky enough to have a lot of trees in our streets. My area is what we describe as an inner subrurb of the metropoetan area. What you can see is the overhead power lines in front of a nice green tree in our street. Living close to town has many benefits but naturally, it does lack to country feel. To put things in perspective,  I live approximately 1 hour drive away from the hills, Barossa, Cape Jervis (mainland opposite Kangaroo Island) and other areas in the country. I have friends and work colleagues who live in the hills and the area where these devasting fires hit and they are ok. Luckily for me the fires haven't come that close. I do remember the scary Ash Wednesday fires in the 1980's, they were closer and one the comments I heard from a person who volenteers say, we are due for another event like that. Later on,  I'll move over to the bushfires thread and talk a bit more of the current state as not to clog this thread up.

Luckily the fires are no where near where all our natinal grid interconectors are so at the moment we are ok with that. Having said that, the clean up after these fires will cost billions of dollars nationally and eventually that cost will be passed down to us the customer in different ways. The money does have to come from somewhere I spose.

I don't know how your system is set up but mine is set up, where my house uses the energy made from the solar panels first then, the battery, then the grid. Interstingly, I'm looking forward to my next electricity bill (who would of thought?) which is due in six weeks or so. A couple of things to take into consideration is, it is summer time here so we have the best chance of solar input so whilst cooling is expensive, heating is slightly more expensive. The other thing to think about is, whilst we had some very hot days, we have had a lot of cooler days with the temps on some being well below the January average. That means no cooling nor heating has been required. Today in my area we are heading for a top of 26 C, which is warmer than it has been for the last few days. My monitoring estimates daily net savings have been mostly in the minuses so I'm happy with that.

Cheers.

Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)

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Hi Bigdaddy,

That's a very neat installation, although I don't like all this expensive equipment fully exposed to the elements.

I am running a simular set-up while based in country victoria. Mine is already running for 3.5 years and I still use old style AGM batteries, which approaching end of service life now. I have several aquaculture/aquaponics systems running. The system saved my fish a number of times during a power outage. So it's not just reducing power bills. btw my bills are in the plus during the summer, although the feed-in tariff is not great ($0.12 / kWh), while gridpower cost ($0.25 / kWh) + ($1.2 /day for the connection).

I am planning to go offgrid when I switch to Lithium batteries. 

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Hi Phri and all,

Sorry about the delay in responding, had troubles downloading pics and got busy.

Here are a couple of pics as the system sits now. I totally agree about the weather, that's why I asked for the solar inverter to be put around the side as it is more protected there and one day when finances and priorities allow, I will eventually have a roof there. For now that is more than adequate. I also insisted on the battery being put under the solar inverter and payed more for the extra work, that way it did not need bollards around it to protect it from the car, I had more room in the drive way and the battery was also reasonably protected from the elements. Certainly more so than on the side of the driveway under or around the meter box. Now I have a roof over the top of the meter box providing protection for the gateway and more importantly providing protection for people enering my home.

Although it is somewhat expensive, hopefully all this extra thought and expense will pay off in the long run.

Cheers.

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Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)

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