Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #120

5 November 2008

My Grid Feed System

I have a 1.04kW grid feed solar system on my Nimbin roof. This is comprised of 8 x 130W Kyocera panels and a Latronics PV Edge inverter (1200W). I have been monitoring my gross production for the past 6 months (May to Oct) and am pleased to report that my system produced 753kWh during the period (4.14kWh/day on average). The next 6 months should be higher with our summer sun.

The current Latronics inverters have a small kWh meter on it. Those who have the older models can add a solar gross meter kWh meter to their system - either a conventional utility type meter (MET-14110) or our new din rail mounted one (MET-014).

See all our meters.

Price Changes

As a result of our dollar devaluation, the price of imported goods is rising. All our battery prices are going up around 10% in a week so order them today if you need any.

Boiling Water

The article about using gas versus electricity to boil a kettle of water in the last e-newsletter drew some interest.

Peter Lynch, of Pelena Energy who did the study, added this further comment "I found the most interesting result in boiling a kettle with gas was that the flame setting on the stove made no difference to the amount of gas used. A low setting took 14 minutes to boil, and the high gas setting about 7 minutes. It seems that heat loss from the kettle is significant and what energy may be lost by the flame running up the sides of the kettle on a high flame, is equally lost through the top of the kettle on a low flame".

12/24V versus 230V Domestic Pressure Pumps

One of our customers compared his Shurflo 24V pump with a 230V Grundfos CHZ-40 pump. To fill a 10 litre bucket from a garden hose with a spray nozzle, took:

24V Shurflo: 45 seconds at 156 Watts (1.95Wh)

230V Grundfos: 35 seconds at 547 Watts (5.3Wh)

View have both DC pumps and 230V household pumps.

Water Cooler Power Usage

We recently purchased a water cooler for $99 from Aldi recently. These are also sold in Big W under the Aquaport brand. It has the conventional 10 litre bottle on the top of it. They do not have a compressor. It has 2 fans which cycle on and off and I suspect that it operates using the Peltier effect. It only cools one litre of water inside the unit, as needed. We put it on a timer to operate during business hours between 9am and 5pm. On a mild day (28C ambient) it used around 120Wh, with 1 - 2 glasses of water consumed. On a hot day (33C ambient) with 3 - 4 glasses of water consumed it used 310Wh. I was pleasantly surprised by how efficient it was, considering its economical price.

Increased 230V Fridge Efficiency

Ray our Service Technician wrote:

"The new 230V fridge models are amazing re their efficiency. Considering they are frost-free, have the heat exchanger coils on the outside side-skins of the fridge, and about 25mm of insulation between there and your cold food at 4 degrees, it's a wonder they can do it. I have a 390 litre 1997 model F&P fridge/freezer (not frost-free) which has a 780kWh/yr sticker on the door. I've watched over the years how the new models have come down in power requirements and even in around 2000 it was down to about 550 kWh. I looked at them a year ago and my 390 litre model was discontinued, but a larger 430 litre fridge (frost-free only) was 51% power requirements of my model, as I remember working it out at the time - approx 398kWh/yr. I haven't looked at fridge/freezers of today but if ever I have to get another, I'm going to be in front powerwise as it will save me about 450kWh per year......fantastic, about $77. Last week one of our customers bought a Fischer & Paykel 373 litre fridge-only model which is rated at a very respectable 296 kWh/year (only 811Wh/day). One downside of running 230V fridges on solar is that you need a larger inverter than you would otherwise need and often they must be left on Run Mode rather than on the more efficient Stand By mode.

Also check out the Energy Rating Website, a joint initiative of Commonwealth, State, and Territory government agencies. Everyone has a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Choosing an energy efficient appliance is one way to do this while saving money. Search for an energy efficient refrigerator.

Cheers from Dave and all the RPC crew.

Dave Lambert (Director)

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.