Sep 24, 2021: Two Years In the Cottage

It’s now been two years since we installed the 5kW solar power system on the retrofitted cottage next to the Greeny Flat. We used an Enphase micro-inverter system which gives us excellent monitoring or both the production from the panels (it even tells us how much each individual panel has produced on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or lifetime basis) and our energy consumption in the house. I highly recommend the Enphase system. It maximises the production from our panels and gives us the information we need to make the most efficient use of the power they produce.

With VERY Positive Results!

As you will see from the screenshot below, over the last two years we have managed to export almost three times as much power to the grid (11.0MWh) as we have imported from the grid (4.1MWh). The system has produced a total of 13.1MWh and we have consumed less than half that… only 6.2MWh.

MWh means ‘mega-watt hour’. One MWh is 1000kWh. kWh is what we get charged for by our electricity retailer (or what we get paid for if we are exporting to the grid).

One of our primary goals for this project was to take an old fibre-cottage and make it energy positive. So we are delighted to know that we are producing more than twice as much power as we are using and have been doing so consistently for two years now.


Back in our February Newsletter I wrote about how much I hated ‘Packer’s Pecker’… the Crown Sydney Tower. I even went so far as to say it was a new contender for the worst building in Sydney (neck and neck with the Blues Point Tower). So you can imagine my delight when I read the headline this morning that this shocker of a monstrosity has just won an award for best skyscraper in the world.

Image Source:

According to this article from Archinect, ‘The top ten skyscrapers in the world have been announced as part of the annual Emporis Skyscraper Awards, with One Barangaroo in Sydney, Australia taking the top spot.

Apparently ‘The Emporis Skyscraper Award was selected by an international jury of architectural experts‘…

Well this just proves what I’ve been saying for years… architectural experts are idiots! And they clearly don’t give a damn about climate change or design that is appropriate to place, climate or context. The Crown Sydney Tower is a disgusting affront to Sydney and to any efforts the rest of us might be making to try to reduce our carbon emissions. James Packer might just as well have built an 890 foot-tall model of his middle finger, proudly saluting the people of Australia and shouting ‘SCREW YOU’ from its lofty rooftop.

I would have enjoyed that a lot more.

Solar-powered Electric Campervan

I just want one of these.

The Stella Vita, solar-powered electric campervan from the University of Technology in Eindhoven (Source: New Atlas)- Click here to read the article

2 comments to Sep 24, 2021: Two Years In the Cottage

  • James Wyatt

    Hi Andy

    Thanks for all your posts. They’re invariably interesting and informative.

    Just wondering, when you chose a 5kW solar power system for the cottage, how many residents or what other factors did you use to select the size of the system?

    If this is elsewhere on your website my apologies.

    Kind regards
    James Wyatt

    • admin

      Hi James and thanks for your compliment. There was no real science behind our choice of a 5kW solar system for the cottage. It just felt about right given that the 3kW system we have on the Greeny Flat was able to produce about twice the amount of power that two of us used while we lived in it. The 5kW also fitted comfortably on our East and West facing roof spaces (which was a Council requirement) leaving the North face available for future expansion of the system if necessary (STCA). Cheers, Andy

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