New for SHD 2015–an automotive section. Southeast Queensland is already home to more than 30 Teslas. At least a few of these will be on-hand and their ecstatically-happy owners are always willing to talk about them. We also aim to have a selection of the other electric and partly electric cars which are now available here in Queensland.
Come see how our solar energy system powers our house and a car and still exports enough to cover the consumption of our nearby neighbours.
The house on Lake Weyba Drive was designed to maximise electricity production and minimise consumption. The main roof is oriented perfectly north with a slope of 18 degrees; this creates interesting angles through the rest of the house.
A grid-connected 10 kilowatt photovoltaic system produces enough electricity to provide all household needs, fully power an electric car, and export significant surplus electricity to the grid.
This system has produced an average of 48 kilowatt hours per day over its first three years of operation. Of that, an average of 5 kWh/day is used in the house, 9 kWh/day is used to power the car, and the balance is exported.
Electricity drawn from the grid has averages less than 4 kWh/day or about 1 kWh per day per resident. Consumption is kept low by using all-LED lighting.
Hot water is supplied by an evacuated tube system with a rarely-used electric backup.
Rain water tanks with combined storage of 20,000 liters supply the toilets, washing machine, and outdoor taps. 60% of total water consumption is supplied by the rain water system.
The house was designed to use minimal concrete, with screw piles replacing the more common concrete foundation. The structure is mainly Cypress Pine (grown locally) with steel beams for a couple of longer spans.
We process all of our food waste on site—thanks to our chickens—and source a bit of our food on site: eggs, vegetables, and fruit. All of the rear garden is devoted to food production; the front is mainly low-maintenance natives. No lawn!