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Home repairs

Posted September 6 by John Birmingham

Replaced a bunch of halogen lights with LEDs today — or rather, I paid a guy to do it. Some had burned out and another two had been half eaten by possums (mine oldest enemy).
Been a few repairs to effect around here recently. It's been a decade since we renovated and the years have worked their magic.

The solar hot water system turned itself into a luke warm water system a few weeks back, in deepest winter, occasioning a medieval performance every night in which I boiled great pots of water and hauled them the length of the house to pour into the tub.
I thought the whole system might be cactus but the solar wizards we eventually got in said, nah, it was just a tempering valve. Apparently the system was still heating the water to a dangerously high temperature every day, even in winter, but the little valve that mixes in cold before sending it to the tap had failed safe, and so we were getting a geyser of cold with a trickle of hot.
It was a quick and relatively cheap repair, a couple of hundred bucks which, compared to hauling those big soup pots from the stove top, I thought to be a pretty fair deal.
It still amazes me that we can get all of our hot water from the sun. It saves a heap of money and feels a little bit like getting away with something.
Next year when I've got a few more books out I'm gonna look at throwing some more PV units up there to generate extra power. It makes a massive difference to the bills.
After that, a battery system I reckon. And proximity fused sentinel pods for securing the perimeter against zombies.

12 Responses to ‘Home repairs’

jl is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6
Love me some solar power. As you say, what's not to like about free energy?

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted September 6
I really want an electric car for this very reason.

jl asserts...

Posted September 7
Yeah, I think by the time I'm in the market for a new sedan (about five years from now), the price and engineering will have gotten to my level. Not to mention the wait lists.

Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted September 7
I've read a couple of articles about folks who've done full-electric conversions on their regular cars. I keep wondering if there's a business niche to buy smaller, older, less fancy vehicles, electrify them and put them back up for sale for the end of the market that's not up for Tesla's wait time and price tag.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted September 6
RE: LED's I heard a great description once; incandescents use mega watts pumping out every frequency from IR to something dogs might hear. Old mate compared this to pressing every key on a piano at once. Flouros are more efficient watts-lumens as they emit fewer frequencies like a big power chord. LEDs are uber super-dooper efficient as they only use watts to make those frequencies we need, like 2 fingers on the piano.

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jason mumbles...

Posted September 7
I work in this industry and the saddest thing I have heard is:
Q: When will these LEDs need replacing.
A: You'll be dead when these need replacing.

Good light bulb but a sad story for my mortality

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted September 8
to be fair that is sooner for some of us than others.

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WA n'ker mumbles...

Posted September 7
Is that a pic of J,Jennie's old house?

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Leftarc swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7
frackin zombies...

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Nocturnalist has opinions thus...

Posted September 7
We got the full panels'n'powerwall deal a couple of months ago and are loving it, although the hoops to jump through to get meter offsets are taking a little longer than we expected.

The Tesla wall comes with a lovely little app that lets you call up an animated flow diagram on your phone so you can see the power flowing from the panels down into the house and the wall, or, from the wall to the house, or (teeth-grindingly) from the grid to the house, or (gloriously) from the panels to the grid. It's got little overlay graphs tracking inputs and outputs over the day and a little pie chart that unrolls to show you what percentage of the day you've been self-powered for and everything.

I remember you talking about prowling the house after your panels went on, brooding about where your electrons were going. This could easily be a hilarious new obsession for you.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted September 8
Its become much easier to intergrate the power supply of electricity from disparate sources, with the development of better battery tech and supercapicitors it certainly marks the turning point in power supply and production.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted September 11
oh man, luckily this topic has put me into a paralysed stupor. Otherwise i'd be tempted to turn this place into a whirlpool post! : ) (also a survivor of solar hot water problems)

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