MarchIt is mid March already. I haven't updated this site for a long time. In part because I've been busy but mostly because this computer did not survive the move in working order. It is mostly working now after a new motherboard and a new power supply.
In short I had to fast-track my move and I've been camping here since late January. Slowly working towards glamping.
At my old house I had trouble with the local low-life and also the factory next door. With about 22 trailer loads of my stuff moved there is light at the end of the tunnel. It will be a squeeze to get it all in here and I may leave some stuff behind.
A lot has happened but I haven't done a huge amount of building. Progress is being made but the first winter could be uncomfortable.
Power.I was not going to live here until I had solar power. Real power which at a minimum could run a fridge 24/7.
My power system is fairly high end. It is the fourth one of its type ever built and possibly the last.
Designed and built by two of my friends who named them "black monoliths". Obviously they're are black but also the have the same proportions as the "2001 a space odyssey" monolith - 1:4:9.
It has 20KWH of LiFePO4 batteries, twin 4 KW inverters, about 17 micro-controllers and a linux based bealge bone black.
It runs node-red as a web interface. I have the admin password and know how to program in node-red. I have already made changes to it.
When complete there will be 6KW of PV panels.
It was installed a few days before I moved. We only got 1/4 of the panels connected and that has been enough so far.
Since moving in I have not used any fossil fuel for the house. All my cooking has been electric and I've gone through three rainy periods with over %70 charge in the batteries. There has only been one day where I didn't gain any charge during the day. I often get 200 to 400W in during the rain.
Typically in rainy weather I'd loose %15 charge from later afternoon till next morning and gain %10 during the day ie loose %5 overall.
When the rest of the panels hooked up I'll see full charge most days even when it is cloudy.
After a string of blue sunny days the batteries are full by noon.
I like being off grid but it would make sense to be on the grid if ran past. I'm over 400M from the nearest pole and that would need to be upgraded if houses are added.
Shower.Mostly I've been using a plastic bag style camping solar shower. With maybe %50 sun or better this works well.
After a afternoon of full sun it is too hot too use immediately. I don't have pumped water yet so filling it is a pain.
When it is too cloudy to heat it in the sun I'd heat a kettle using monolith power.
This gave me a fair idea of how much hot water I need and how much energy is required.
Lately I've been using an water heater made from an esky and an 1800W element.
Many people want long showers - I don't. I like the occasional long bath and showers are boring.
My showers are 10-12L and a bit more when I was my hair.
In this weather heating 10L takes about 7.5 minutes and uses about %0.5 of my battery storage.
With all 6KW of PV no battery energy will be needed if the sun is up.
I have bought a 25L hot water system to use in future but it is not set up yet.
In case you missed it - I have enough hot water for a shower even after >3 days of cloudy weather - people here who are using solar hot water have run out or are using boosters at the point.
Another control system and a node-red enabled HWS is very likely.
Washing machine.Washing is a bit of a pain ATM but is possible. With no plumbing or header tank in place I had to boost the pressure from the tank to get it to work at all.
My 4LPM pump was a bit slow for it. I bought a cheap 8LPM pump but the pressure was too high and I had to hack it.
It works but is a PITA.
Internet.About the only thing I miss about my old place is I had fibre to the door. Here wireless NBN is perpetually 12 months away. Just checked again and it has slipped to 1st quarter 2019.
In the interim I'm using mobile broadband. I have 50G/mth at about 3X the price of my fibre plan - jeenee/optus. Service can be a bit unreliable but lately it has been fairly good. The main problem is it does not deliver real broadband speed. I can only stream youtube at 320P resolution.
I use a wifi pocket modem and this also provides access to the monolith powerwall.