Renewable Energy (Template)
Rob Catchlove has led a community project to develop a residential microgrid in Brunswick West. This is a pilot project, with a strong consumer push (80% interest based on face to face discussions with all residents) to explore new solutions to managing and sharing electricity in an established street. While the final goal is to create a microgrid run on renewables, and enable consumers to spend less on electricity, the purpose is to also experiment and learn about what the best technical, financial and regulatory solutions are for streets and precincts that are within an established city. Though it’s still unclear what the best model is (for consumers, distributors and retailers), we are willing to investigate and learn by doing. From our research we have ascertained that there is a consumer willingness to participate and invest in new technologies, with the potential for reduced peak loads, increased knowledge base, and a transition pathway to a low carbon economy.
Review of Building Integrated Photovoltaics - Impact Investment Group and Woods Bagot
Clear glass windows that generate electricity! That’s exactly what BIPV are, along with some other variations, that Wave Consulting reviewed as part of a project to develop energy and water options for a brownfield redevelopment site. We engaged with suppliers and researchers to consider the pros and cons of three BIPVs:
- Transparent glass with photovoltaic technology running through it.
- Stick on photovoltaic cells.
- Roofing materials with embedded photovoltaic cells.
We found Australian examples of these products being developed right now, and trialled in different environments around the country. All options are relatively expensive, but do represent innovations and have a powerful message when displayed in public places like schools and activity centres.
Residential battery solution for holiday house in Point Lonsdale
There are 33 different batteries for residential homes on the market in Australia (and more arriving every day). The technology is complex and can be difficult for consumers or owner/builder’s to determine what it all means and what product is best for them.
Wave Consulting worked with battery suppliers and Brunswick Builders to design and select the right battery solution for a sustainable house. This system integrated with a 3 kW photovoltaic system has enabled the residents to store excess electricity generated during the day to be used for cooking, heating, hot water and watching a bit of TV.
Zero emissions house conversion
Wave Consulting has designed and delivered a zero emissions house through a combination of energy efficiency, transition away from gas (cooktop, heating and hot water), and new photovoltaics and batteries. This house is now running on solar and battery power 95% of the time, and doesn’t pay for any gas usage or connections. We plan to extend the zero emissions house to zero emissions transport through the adoption of an electric car!
We researched and reviewed other sustainable houses, completed the financial modelling, engaged with suppliers and researchers, and worked with a variety of installers to implement the best system. The hardest part of the transition is the heating and cooling in a house.