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Dec 17, 2008 11:06am
1 post

Hi all,

Newbee here – followed a link from davidmc over at somersoft.com property forums.  Impressed to see this site up and running, looks great.  About me – I am lving in NSW OZ fairly new to the energy thing but keen to make a difference if I can.  In particular my wife and I are looking to buy land and build a new home in 09 – so I want to do it as energy efficient from the start as I can.  We are looking at basic project home setups as a base, but trying to tailor the floor plan and aspect to ensure we have a decent passive solar outcome. (long east west, bedrooms facing south, living areas facing north with lots of large north facing window, minimise the window sizes in all other directions. 

My questions are more about technology in its various forms and how they will effect things. 

1 Can I do a solar panel setup and have it finacially viable in reasonable timeframe? How?

2 How much difference will there be if I put it insulation batts rated at 5 in the roof (rather than standard 3.5) and say 3.5 in the walls (rather than 1.5)

3 What is the best lighting setup (we love downlights but unsure which is the best type for power usage etc)

4 Any ideas on different types of solar hot water setups?

Thanks if you can point me in the right direction to access this info its really appreciated.

Dec 18, 2008 4:16am
555 posts

Hey knightm!

Welcome to Smart Energy Groups, and thanks for joining up!

Sounds to me like you’ve got a top smart energy project on your hands there, and something that seems like it could be a really good model for this community to learn from.

There are a heap of new developments occuring in the solar space right now that look like being cheaper and better than silicon.  These are heading down the path of alternates like cadmium tellurium as the key ingredient to convert sunlight into electricity.   First Solar in the US has just implemented a project in Nevada where the cost of the solar kicks coals arse, 7.5 cents to 9 and looks to me the future.  So hold off until the new gear gets up and going.  Sheet loads of VC money is heading in this direction to expect big results.

In my opinion, I’d be insulating as much as possible, the more the better.  Certainly put the heavier batts in your northern walls.

For downlights, I am very keen to learn more about the current generation of LED lights, which are awesome.  I’d be wiring them all up on a central 12V circuit with 12 lead acid batteries, charged by the areforementioned solar system.  The halogen units just make more heat than they are worth, with 70+ watts apeiece (including light and transformer) it’s a sad fact there are so many about.

Keep us posted on what you learn!


Oct 27, 2011 4:18am
1 post

Thats one good idea too for me too. 

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