Sustainable Chippendale

A Sustainable Suburb In the Making

Sustainable Chippendale is a community initiative setup to support the Sustainable Streets and Community Plan in Chippendale. If you are passionate about sustainability we'd love you to join us in getting behind this ground breaking project to establish a practical model for sustainable inner city living in Sydney.

Sustainable House Disconnects!

On Wednesday, 25th March 2015 Sydney's Sustainable House was disconnected from the main electricity grid.

The wires from the house to the pole and grid and the meter have been taken off. They're no longer being used.

The photo shows the black, yet to be named, 'kiosk' outside the french doors of the bedroom on the first floor. Inside it are batteries and a thing which changes sunlight electricity into the 240 volts needed to run the household appliances (the thing is called, an inverter).

Background

1996    - Solar system installed to feed into and take energy from grid.  Cost $26,000 for 2.2 kW system without batteries; 18 x 120 w panels.  Before renovation of kitchen, bathroom the four person household used 24 kW a day; afterwards 6kW a day due to efficient appliances.  No rebates at that time.  Batteries, if purchased, cost > $35 k, lasted ~ 10 – 15 years, required maintenance, highly polluting and inefficient.

2015     -  Disconnect from grid 24 March 15;  6 x 327 w panels replaced 6 x 120 w panels; battery + panels + installation $26,814: five day storage if no sun, 20 year warranty. 

Note; solar panels not cleaned since 1996 installation – 19 years operation; panels work at 95% efficiency in 2015.  Take up of batteries will be faster than take up of solar; with 1.4 million households having solar they’re an obvious market.  It is expected that the cost of batteries will half this year.

Neighbours, Graeme, Thais and Jake, with a 1996 panel (120 watts) on the left, which was replaced by a 2015 panel (327 watts)

Neighbours, Graeme, Thais and Jake, with a 1996 panel (120 watts) on the left, which was replaced by a 2015 panel (327 watts)

Links

Data showing energy generation - http://sustainablehouse.com.au/my-electricity/

Legal advice: Australian law permits disconnection and the building and operation of local solar power stations - http://streetcoolers.com.au/resources 

Useful Information:

Household energy use by postcode and number of people: https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/bill-benchmark

Household energy use by LGA: http://www.ausgrid.com.au/ 

Future Grid Research Program - http://www.futuregrid.org.au/