Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #37

9 October 2000

New Brochure

A new brochure with some of our key products has just been printed. Photowatt & Selectronic leaflets are still available. Let me know if you want a copy.

Price Changes

The Alco Trojan battery range is going up about 5% due to the decreased value of the Aussie dollar versus the US dollar.

12V Shavers

Katherine let me know that Braun make quite a few '230V shavers' which in fact are powered by a 230 to 12V plug pack.

Washing Machines

Washing machines have become much more efficient over the last few years. Generally speaking, front opening machines are more efficient.
One thing to look for is that the washing machine has a program available for a 'cold' wash e.g. the element in the machine doesn't do any heating (which takes a lot of power). If you want to use hot water, you'd obtain this from your solar, gas or wood heater.

In Australia, we have a star label to indicate efficiency. However, this is unfortunately a complex issue because this rating assumes that you are using electricity to heat the water. Therefore, washing machines that use more water than others will show a higher power consumption on the star label.

We have found the Fisher & Paykel "Smart Drive" units to be very energy efficient. The technical division of Fisher & Paykel have advised that the 500 series model uses 107 Wh/load (21.4Wh/kg) while the 600 series uses 18.6Wh/kg. The maximum power used was 289W on medium spin & 366W on fast spin speed. However, they do use more water than some of the more water efficient units on the market. This can be an issue if you are on tank water or otherwise have a limited supply of water.

We recently tested the newest Fisher & Paykel 'Excellence' 7.5 kg model. We measured the energy usage to be 80.1 Wh per load (measured on the AC side). It uses 230 litres of water per load on the lowest water setting.

One of our customers runs a 4kg Hoover Gemini washing machine off a 500W square wave inverter. It uses 120W when pumping, 220W on spin cycle and 440W while washing for a total of 110Wh/load measured on the DC side of the inverter.

One of our staff has a ten year old Hitachi 5kg washing machine which only uses 50Wh per load (measured on the DC side) when run on 'economy cycle'. It uses 150 litres of water per load and works off a modified square wave inverter.

However, we do advise that all modern washing machines should be run off a good sine wave inverter (not a modified square wave type). We'd also caution against running them off petrol/diesel generators unless both the voltage and frequency is controlled within a tight tolerance similar to grid power.

That's all for this month.

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.