The power trip continues by Werner Theinert

First published in the Bass Coast Post*

What an amazing journey it’s been since ‘The Power Trip’ – my first Bass Coast Post article on October 1, 2020.

The Nissan Leaf e+ discussed in that article is still going strong with over 46,000 kilometres on the clock. It has only been charged away from home twice, at a cost of $8 each time at the fast chargers at Moe Folk Museum. That equates to an expenditure of $16 for nearly three years and 35,000kms of travel.

The rest of the power came from home, with most of it coming from the 12kW Solar PV on the roof. The addition of a Zappi car charger last year provides us with the ability to transfer all our excess solar power into the car’s battery.

The blue curve is the power being transferred to the car battery. The first two yellow “exported” power spikes on the top graph represent the two trips into town.

Our state and federal regulators still haven’t approved bidirectional chargers for battery electric vehicles, though the South Australian Government has approved them and smart solar PV inverters for use in the home.

Basically this means that we are allowed to install large-scale batteries in our homes but not if those batteries have wheels, lights and a steering wheel!

We have also installed an Eddi, which works together with Zappi. If there’s any excess solar power left after the car’s battery is charged, then Eddi regulates it to the electric hot water services during the winter months when the vacuum tube solar hot water systems aren’t working as well.

*see here.