Soo Chapman and her son Richard kindly welcomed a small group to visit their home in Southbourne this week to view the many carbon-saving improvements they’ve made to this large Edwardian house since 2009 – including their brand new Tesla Powerwall.
Anyone with an interest in climate change and energy use will be familiar with entrepreneur Elon Musk and his groundbreaking mega-scale Gigafactory and Tesla Motors companies, aiming to reduce global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption. The Powerwall is the latest innovation, developed to deal with the problem that solar panels only produce power when the sun shines.
The Tesla Powerwall is a domestic-scale lithium ion battery that stores the energy generated by the sun so that it can be used at night or when cloudy.
When the Powerwalls became available in the UK earlier this year, Soo’s son Richard did the research and ordered one (7kWh). It was installed in August at a cost of around £5000.
The key technologies used in Soo’s all-electric house are:
- Twenty pv solar panels (12 facing east, 8 facing west, 4.7kW)
- Air source heat pump – for heating
- Solar iBoost – uses excess energy from the solar panels to turn on the immersion heater for free hot water
- A solar thermal panel for hot water
- Excellent insulation – All rooms have lowered ceilings and thick insulation.
- Extremely energy efficient lighting (room lit with 12 LED bulbs equivalent to one old-fashioned 100W bulb)
- Tesla Powerwall
- Electric car charging point
- SolarEdge panel to monitor and optimise the pv performance
- Gravity-fed rainwater harvesting tank (currently in construction phase) for flushing toilets
- Forest garden design with fruit trees and low-maintenance veg.
Their electricity supplier is Ecotricity which is 100% from renewable sources and profits are channelled back into building more solar farms and wind turbines.
It will be interesting to see how the Powerwall performs in the long term.
The pix below show: Soo and Richard with the solar panels (pv and solar thermal) just showing over the fruit trees, the SolarEdge panel, the visitors, the car charging point about to be used, and the air-source heat pump.