Monday, September 23, 2013

On lights with no powerlines

On Friday I posted about our flash new gas fridge.
I said without much explanation that we couldn't have an electric fridge because we don't have mains power.
Which led Lisa to ask the sensible question of what we do for light?

The fuller picture is you can have electricity away from the mains courtesy of Solar Power, Wind Turbines or conventional fossil fuelled generators.

The catch is the amount of power a fridge uses, because they are on all the time. To have a  solar set up that would allow us to run our complete needs including a fridge would cost in excess of $30,000. We just don't have the budget for that (especially with the cost of rebuilding the house).

Hence the gas fridge, it will allow us to ultimately build a solar system that will meet our needs for around $10,000. Once we have that system with a little thought we will be able to run anything we wish. Oz is a sunny place after all! All it will mean is care not to run power hungry items like washing machines for long when we have had a lot of cloudy weather.

Anyway that is down the track...

For the moment we have one small 40 Watt solar panel (pictured on our bed before I put it up)

and a single 100 Amp hour battery to store energy.
 The system we are aiming for will have about 1200 Watts and 600 Ah, plus an inverter so we can run 240V items (the mains in Oz run at 240V not the 110V like in America)

Using low energy LED lights and lap top computers that basic system we have already gives us as much light as we need and a couple of hours of computer use a day. 

In the mean time we also have a petrol (gasoline) generator to run my powertools for the building. We also use it run things like a washing machine.  And a TV and DVD player when we just have to have a break from being hill-billies.

In the cold winter nights in an unlined house it also allowed us to run an electric heater so we didn't freeze to death!
With the wood stove and linings and insulation in place we won't need it next winter.

Before I forget I should answer the second half of of WIIW:

Was these delicate native pea flowers I shot last spring.


mshatch said...

what pretty little flowers! NOT an observatory, lol.

Old Kitty said...

Solar panels!!! Of course!!! Fantastic!

Did I guess woolly hat? LOL! Take care

Dawn Simon said...

It's cool you guys are using solar energy! I'd love to do that someday for at least some of our energy usage. We are in Seattle, so I'd have to be realistic. ;)

What beautiful flowers! :)

Lisa said...

Well, duh, Lisa! Solar's a great way to go. Beautiful flower and silly me thought plastic. I was a dope on both scores!