Electric vehicle parking sign

Electric vehicle summer experience

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.

Gravity feed rainwater tank on a stand

Gravity feed rainwater system

The gravity feed rainwater system for 23B works but we haven't eliminated the need for a pump. A small, solar powered pump transfers water to the tank to keep it full.

Sunlight coming through the northern windows and hitting the thermal mass.

Winter sunshine benefits

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.

Winter solar operation of solar power and battery

Import power test run

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 peak production from the north and south arrays

Summer solar lessons

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.

Thermal mass in living room heated by sunlight

ARENA video showcases our home

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.

Winter solar operation of solar power and battery

Winter solar and battery experience

After the first winter in our all-electric home, it’s time to look back over the numbers and tease out useful lessons.  What worked well and contributed to our objective of ...

Solar panels installed on the north and south facing roofs

Solar panels installed and operating

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.

Charger and inverter are the heart of an offgrid power system

Offgrid power system is back

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.

Heat pump for hot water looks similar to air conditioner heat pump

Heat pump in service

Using heat pump technology for both the reverse cycle air conditioner and the hot water system is an efficient way to meet those needs. Despite the warm weather, the air conditioner is yet to be fully tested as the passive cooling features in the house have kept this heat pump on standby duty.