Episode 9 – Battery storage – adding a second Tesla PowerWall

2021 – Battery options modelling

In September 2020 we installed our first battery at Sturt Apartments, Christie Walk. You can read the story of our modelling, battery choices and lessons learned in Episode 7 – Battery storage – Tesla PowerWall 2

Everything had gone to plan with the installation of the battery; performance was as expected. The savings generated by our PV upgrade and the battery were flowing into our Green Fund, enabling us to begin planning for the installation of our second battery.

Our modelling indicated that our 21kW PVs were generating enough power to usefully support up to about 55kWh of battery storage, corresponding to 4 x Tesla PowerWall 2 batteries. In cost-benefit terms, a sweet-spot would be with 2 batteries. In the depths of winter in July – on many days – we’d still generate enough spare power to fully charge the batteries for use after sundown.

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Episode 8 – We need to talk about shower heads

How sustainable is your daily shower?

Most shower heads at Christie Walk are WELS 3 standard, running at about 9L/minute. They were the best that were readily available when construction of our eco-village was completed in 2006. Older shower heads could be up to 22L/minute.

But the latest Ultra Low Flow shower heads run at 5L/min, and still give a satisfying shower.

So what is at stake here?

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Episode 6 – More evacuated tube solar hot water boosters

Adventures with an environment-conscious inner-urban community

2020

This was the crisis year for so many people – bushfires, COVID, job losses – and it also happened to be the year of our most adventurous emissions-reduction planning, carrying out 2 major projects a few months apart.

Stage 2 solar hot water boosters

The evacuated tube solar hot water boosters we had installed in 2018 were performing well, so it was time to build the second stage. We’d completed the design work in 2019 and had commenced the Development Application (DA) process with the City of Adelaide in September 2019. DA is required by Council if solar collectors are not mounted flat on the roof. After 9 weeks of back and forth, providing additional drawings and details, we finally received Planning Consent in mid-November.

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