Committing to electric vehicle only driving was a positive experience. The cars have more than enough range to meet our urban needs, with the MG ZS EV enabling longer distance travel. In summer, trickle charging the EVs with excess solar power minimised the running costs.
A few cold, but sunny, days allowed our home to show off what it can do with sunlight. Light streaming through the large north facing windows quickly warmed the house in daytime. Solar panels produced more than enough electricity to supply our all-electric home's needs.
A run of cold, cloudy days was the ideal opportunity to program the SolarEdge inverter to import offpeak power to charge the battery at night. Without this option, I would have paid peak power rates for electricity the next day when solar production wasn't able to meet household demand.
Summer solar means maximum production from the panels. With great power comes great responsibility so there were lessons to be learned in how to best use the electricity generated. The most important lesson I learned was to move power consumption to daylight hours whenever possible.
Hey, our development features in a video made by ARENA! They're using it to promote the environmental and financial benefits of including sustainability principles in the design and construction new houses.
The day we switched on the solar power system was the culmination of a long design and installation process. Clever solar panels maximise electricity production while the inverter/battery keeps the lights on at night. The aim is to minimise importing grid electricity but export as much solar power as we can.
During Unit 1 construction, the team showed that an offgrid power system could meet the electrical requirements for all but the most demanding users. Based on that experience, the system was reassembled to power Unit 2 and 3 construction.
Installing solar cells and then fitting a battery storage system might be worth a few greenie points, but is the extra cost justified on a purely economic analysis? Not yet maybe, but current trends indicate that time isn't too far in the future.