In issue 152 we bring you an updated energy storage guide, considering what has changed since we last tackled the subject in 2017. That means more systems ‘in a box’, changing economics and an in-depth look at how batteries can provide backup to your home in the case of blackouts. To go with the guide, we look at 6 case studies of homes and offices using batteries, on- and off-grid. As many more of us are working from home, we look at how to make our home offices more efficient. Plus: articles on the sustainability of compostable plastics, our solar modelling calculator’s analysis of the impacts of overshadowing, a project in Timor Leste that’s using open-source plans to build plastic recycling machines and the future of EV charging.
Inside you’ll find:
The energy-efficient home office
How do you keep on top of your power bills when working from home? We look at efficient computing, heating, lighting and more.
Energy storage buyers guide
Demand for home battery systems has been growing steadily. We look at the factors and features to consider when buying a battery, and the options available.
Saving your solar for later
From an off-grid shop in the city, to a house that’s been running from Powerwalls for four years, to homes helping the grid as part of a virtual power plant, we look at the results of six battery installs.
7 ways to build resilience
In the face of twin disasters this year, we reflect on what’s needed in the recovery process. Can we build a more resilient, cleaner economy?
How green are compostable plastics?
We look into the difference between biodegradable and compostable plastics, how these plastic types are being used in Australia, and just how sustainable they are.
Small-scale plastic recycling
This Timor Leste project is collecting and recycling ocean plastic waste, using recycling machines built from open-source plans.
When your solar is overshadowed
Renew has added analysis of the impacts of overshadowing by neighbouring buildings to our solar modelling tool, Sunulator. Here’s how it works—warning: technical (but interesting) information ahead!
The science behind the climate emergency
The students are right, says Climate Councillor Will Steffen—we are in a climate emergency, and the science supports this. He reviews the data demonstrating temperature and emissions increases, and the huge risk from reaching tipping points.
Kent Taylor shows how a small solar and battery system means you can go all-electric when caravanning—even taking your induction cooker!
DIY hot water from PV
These simple hot water systems use PV panels to heat water directly: no pumps, batteries, power converters or other devices required.
The future of EV charging
Will you soon be able to use your electric vehicle’s battery to power your home? And is DC charging only for long-distance travel? Bryce Gaton looks at changes that may be just around the corner for EV charging.
Backup power from an EV
Richard Keech describes his method of powering some essentials in his home using his plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.