Bureaucracy is a painfully slow machine

Back on 18 May 2009, I wrote that Stu’s Shed will be getting a little greener, with the intro of a small solar system, funded by a government grant.  On 10 June, it looked like it might be a dead cause, with the government prematurely pulling the plug on the scheme because it was too popular.

But in the end, it seems that we had just managed to get into the original solar scheme in time, and after a long 8 months, the system is finally installed, and generating a pitifully small, but free never-the-less amount of power.

Solar Panel Bank

It took about 3 hours or so for the install (our house is pretty convenient for that sort of thing apparently). We had to mount it on the west side of the house, rather than the north side, partly aesthetics, partly because we didn’t have sufficient roof space for all the panels on the north side anyway, so that will drop 20-30% of the power production.  Guess the building code needs modification to ensure there is sufficient north facing roofs for future implementations.

A pretty futuristic looking house now – Federation design, solar panels – a likely mix!  I’d have put it on the shed if I had a choice! At $8000 for the system, you wonder if the house price will be escalated by a decent proportion of that price, or whether people will take solar systems with them when they move homes.

Power Inverter

The DC comes off the roof to the power inverter, which then provides the power to the house power board.  The system as I understand it will feed unused power back to the national grid, but given the size of the unit, any power it generates will likely be consumed by the typical house loads.  I’m not sure exactly how this is wired – the way it was explained it feed power to the house after the house power meter, so whatever power it generates means the meter will slow down, (saving me money), and can even get to the point where the meter runs backwards (doubt that will ever happen!) Apparently the power company will want to install one of the new power meters now (at my expense), but there was a new issue raised about those meters.  The overall power generating organisation is trying to get peak power charges increased 500% over the next 4 years, and those with the new meters will be the first hit with the increased fee.  It may not happen, but it is a huge call to even apply to charge so much more for peak power.  If that ever goes through, I’ll be wishing that the 1KW unit I got was 4-5 times larger, and bugger the brown coal power generating companies.

And just to show Stu’s Shed has at least a component of solar providing its power…..

Dual Power Supplies

Cool 🙂

Footnote: I can honestly say I never thought I’d see it, but for the past couple of days, even with relatively low power generation conditions (ie near dusk), I’ve been watching the meter winding itself backwards quite happily. Unbelievable!

%d bloggers like this: