Apr 19

this time last year we had the solar installed well by this time it was well on the roof … this date last year we had the meter replaced and the solar turned on.

The statistics:

  • kWh Imported 4295.3
  • kWh Exported 3199.9
  • kWh generated according to the inverter 4936
  • Fit Collected at 8c kWh $255.99
  • kWh not purchased or sold 1736.1

I’m currently on a flat rate of 29.084 c/kWh (note my rate has gone up since solar was installed) minus 10% discount  plus 5.5  c /kWh for green energy = 31.94 c /kWh. So the amount not purchased or sold is what I saved by not buying 1736.1*31.94c = $554.51 + the money I got from Fit $255.99 so in a year it’s saved me ~$810.5.

Has the solar been a good investment no…the capital cost was around $8.5k so with the amount saved it’ll take 10 years to pay back. The main reason for this is that we export way too much and the fit is so low if we got paid what it costs us it would of saved us ~$1500 a year and only 5.5 years to pay back.  Do I care if it was a solid investment not really.

If we look at how green it is if we take imported – exported (1095 kWh)  that’s how much power I’ve used from other generators which for my area is black coal, but that has been offset by my green power money purchasing green power from wind and biogass. so does my house run emissions free when it comes to electricity according to an accountant yes, because every kWh of power I’ve used has been purchased from a green source  but maybe not according to an engineer.

Other interesting notes on the power bill:

average kWh used per day including solar from April to may 2013 before purchasing the EV was 12.1 kwh

average kWh used per day including solar from July 2013 to April 2014 post purchasing the EV is 16.5 kwh

so the effect of owning an EV on our power bills is about 4.4 kwh per day $1.40 increased cost. Note: this would also include seasonal cost extras like summertime air con and winter time heating so I won’t have a clear picture until we 1 year of EV ownership.

Dec 29

Around May 2013 betterplace pulled out of Australian operations in an attempt to keep it’s parent company a float. This plan wasn’t overly great as the parent company still went bankrupt. http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/how-better-place-got-lost-20130527-2n7gp.html this SMH article goes into a bit more depth, on why how and what’s to blame.

The real unfortunate thing is they put in quite a bit of infrastructure, with their own money and through government support through smart grid smarty city funding and now it’s being removed or unusable.

Below is pictures from at the Morisset Level 3 Charger, before and after removal.

The good news for the Level 3 fast chargers is that schneider electric have taken possession of these units back (they originally provided them) and at least they will be resold and not placed on the scrap heap.

It also appears it’s not just the level 3 but the level 2 after noticing a local shopping centre was adversing EV charging on there facebook page I emailed them to sadly only get this reply

Good morning Gabriel

Regarding your query about our Electric Car Charges, we did have charging areas however these have recently been removed from our Centre.

Kind regards

Michelle Thomas
Centre Manager
Commercial Property
Retail | Office | Industrial
Stockland Jesmond & Wallsend
28 Blue Gum Road, Jesmond NSW 2299
T +61 2 4955 9249 M +61 438 266 707
F +61 2 4955 8014 E michelle.thomas@stockland.com.au
www.stockland.com.au
BeGreen… and consider the environment before printing this email

So while I’m working madly to try and increase the amount of EV chargers in my area they are being removed at a faster rate that I can convince people to put them in.

Dec 01

LEAF Meetup

On the 27 of October met up with some LEAF drivers from Australian LEAF Owners Forum at Sun Valley Tourist Park see the above picture for a line up of their Leafs. It was a good meet up most of them had not met before and basically the whole meet up was based around interest in the cars.  so naturally the talk of the next meet up came up and I suggested next years 2014 hunter EV festival it’s actually down for a weekend this day 1 at the race track day 2 the expo at the foreshore.

So in an attempt to help out I sent this email out to the accommodation around Newcastle

Hello
In the lead up the the 2014 hunter Electric Vehicle festival weekend I’m canvassing Newcastle accommodation for places that are Electric Vehicle friendly so i can provide a list to out of town EV drivers.

So the first question is would you like to be added to the list ?

If you are interested I would like to know how many power points you have within close proximity to a car park?  and what type they are ? (most will be 240 Volt 10 amp)

The last piece of information I need is if there is a surcharge to the accommodation cost for EV charging and how much will it be?

Thank you for your time

What I forgot the put in the email was the dates August 16th and 17th… and the approximate cost of power which I estimated at 15kwh (~6 hours of time) so at $0.25 per KWh $3.75.  So far only had one reply which was positive but you can keep and eye on my progress by checking the spreadsheet on google drive

 

 

Nov 26

A lot of people ask where do you charge. The answer is nearly for all EV drivers is at home. Some times the next question is do you need special equipment to which the answer is a powerpoint. (more specifically a 15amp powerpoint for the provide cable with the LEAF or I-miev). When out and about we have the following options.

 Commercial Infrastructure

There are two providers of commercial charging infrastructure in Australia, both are American Chargepoint and Blink, there was a 3rd Better place but unfortunately that company went broke.  Blink is yet to setup an Australian office so they are a bit harder to contact.

Chargepoint have a office in every state of Australia and have around 167 charge stations in the country. The chargepoint model is a low risk for them, it requires the person or business that wants a charging station to pay for the capital costs of supply and install of the charger.  It’s then up to the charging station owner if they want to charge the EV driver and chargepoint through the use of their RFID tags issued to drivers then take care of the payment system and charger driver accordingly, at present all the ones in Australia are free to use.

As you can see the blink network is much smaller, with only 5 sites and 7 chargers.  blink doesn’t let the site owner choose the price but instead charge $1USD per hour. I’m still waiting to hear from blink sales on if they have plans to expand in Australia.

Community Infrastructure

What if you don’t want to charge people or just provide a simple power point.  Well for these site there is a great site that EV drivers and Charging spot owners can used to share information.  http://www.recargo.com/search (you might have to pan to Australia) Allows you to sign up and add charge points to there map tell other EV drivers that a charging spot works by checking in (think foursquare and facebook), and upload pictures to help people find charge location.  This has probably been the most useful tool so far when it comes to charging infrastructure, I highly recommend all EV drivers install the app on the iphone or android.

Encouraging Infrastructure

Currently there still isn’t enough charging infrastructure, not because the current EV drivers need it but mainly because it puts people off buying a EV.

In a small effort to make it easier for business to understand what’s required to provide a service to EV drivers I prepared a primer

Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions for Businesses

Hopefully other EV drivers can use this when negotiating with companies about added a charging station to there site.

Nov 22

The EV posts are comming !

Gabz EV
Comments Off
EV i miev

July 2013 it arrived

In July we purchased a 2012 I-miev ex-demo (Dec 2012 rego) from booths motor group Gosford for $25000 it’s now November so in 3-4 months we have done ~5000km. it’s had its 1500km service and the next service is at 15000km or 1 year.

Driving a EV is like driving a classic car, you rarely see them on the road and there is a nice community around them.

Like I said this is post number one more are coming !

Sep 15

For years in high school I had my hockey mad team mates telling me how great a field hockey game would be…

Looks like someone finally listerned there is currently a kick starter campaign to get one made http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/urbanwarfarestudios/the-field-hockey-game-pc-mac-linux

Love hockey but thing gaming is a waste of time ….. well think of this as a promotion of the sport well worth your time. I’ve backed it !

Apr 22

I’ve just got my new 3.27Kw sunpower solar system up and running and started output the results to pvoutput.org

http://www.pvoutput.org/intraday.jsp?id=20008

To upload I’m using the fronius easy card talking serial to a spare laptop ( will replace laptop with a raspi when i get a wireless card for it), because the sunpower inverter is a re-badged fronius i am using fslurp to do the serial commands

The only thing which needs to be changed is my device type is 0×97 Sunpower SPR-3501F-2, which is listed by fslurp as a unknown device.

I’m doing the actual upload to pvoutput using a sh script. fslurp2pvoutput-live.sh

Jan 07

because I got a comment asking for more info on the last post here is a bit of an updated

I got my quad flying but flying a quad is harder than you think see video below

If you want to fly any model aircraft i recommending finding your local club mine is this one http://www.comsoa.com

not only can you get lessons but they have insurance encase your plane falls from the sky. (remember it’s a flying lawn mower i have scars on my arms to prove it)

Currently i haven’t got a lot of time to fly haven’t in a couple months as miss 2 and the newborn are keeping me very busy.

 

Mar 04

So I decided to build a quad mainly the one designed by the diydrones.com people, there are 2 suppliers of the kit jdrones and udrones. one is based in Asia the other in the US.

I decided to be slack and buy the pre-soldered kit, I can solder and it’s not like it was anything hard like surface mount. Big NOTE when they say pre-soldered they don’t mean the entire kit has be soldered you still have to solder 24 bullet connectors and the power distribution board, and for some reason they give you the magnetometer attached by cable not soldered directly to a header on a board like they recommend.

So what I purchased from Jdrones

  • ArduCopter Quad v1.1 KIT, KIT, Pre-Soldered, Tested + Software
  • Upgraded with the 880kv motors 30amp esc and larger props.
  • Also wanted to be able to do low altitude hover so I brought a sonar
  • http://store.jdrones.com/product_p/cbl3psnr01.htm (cable)
  • http://store.jdrones.com/product_p/mb1200.htm (sonar)
  • http://store.jdrones.com/product_p/mntmx12pc01.htm (mount)
  • What I forgot to buy is some headers: http://store.jdrones.com/product_p/conhead20angle.htm and http://store.jdrones.com/product_p/conhead20str.htm

Ok so this isn’t enough to make it fly and yes you’ve just spent nearly a AU$1000 you’ll also need to get a Battery, and a radio. For that I tried the hobbyking.com shop. Note: if it’s not in stock in the Australian warehouse delivery times seem a bit slow.Also LiPo battery’s can not be shipped by air, make sure you buy in Australia for those.

battery: ZIPPY Flightmax 2650mAh 3S1P 40C also need some connectors XT60 Battery charger I’m using a cheap only does 2S and 3S batteries get it from jaycar Lipo balanced charger

Lastly is the radio the most expensive single item after the kit. I’m trying to get my hand on this but apparently the queue is long and the might take months. why so popular you ask well it cost like $60. and something with that many channels cost normally around $200+ so If nothing ships soon I’m looking at buying one of these Futaba 7c and probably from the more local hobby store dune planes

What you need to know about the TX RX radio is basically get 2.4 GHz otherwise the local model aircraft club will not let you fly near them. and you need at least 6 channels and any more than 8 channels is pointless

The diydrone has a very smart and easily programmable flight controller if you want cheap and no as intelligent have a look at kkmulticopter

Jan 30

ClearOS formally Clarkconnect based of Centos…

Start by enabling the Tim S repo

To install the repo first install the public key (yes all RPM’s will now be signed) :-)
rpm --import ftp://timburgess.net/RPM-GPG-KEY-TimB.txt

Then install the release RPM (by default the ‘timb’ and ‘timb-testing’ repo’s will be disabled)

wget ftp://timburgess.net/repo/clearos/5.2/os/timb-release-1-0.noarch.rpm
rpm -Kv timb-release-1-0.noarch.rpm
rpm -Uvh timb-release-1-0.noarch.rpm

ref http://www.clearfoundation.com/docs/howtos/adding_tim_s_repo

yum --enablerepo=timb install kmod-atl1e

ref http://www.clearfoundation.com/component/option,com_kunena/Itemid,232/catid,28/func,view/id,24438/limit,10/limitstart,50/

last you need to edit the /etc/modprobe.conf
it need to contain an alias for every network card in my case I have a TP-link installed as well so

alias eth0 r8169
alias eth1 atl1e

if you fail to get this to work ifconfig -a will have a odd tmp interface.