Sunday, 22 April 2012

Time tics on

Almost a month has passed since we received planning exemption.  Since then I’ve been busy selecting and engaging an engineer, getting some preliminary quotes and looking more seriously at personal choice items. 

The engineering represents the largest single outlay to date.  By the time we get to the end of this stage (all documentation done, building and plumbing permits in place) I expect we will have outlaid a bit over $10k.  Engineering will represent about half of that.
I’ve started doing a bit of initial research on solar electricity and hot water options.  I figure we have space for 3 rows of 7 panels on the garage roof so that should mean a 5kw system. 

That will leave the laundry roof space to accommodate the hot water system panels. 
The orientation and roof angle won’t be ideal so they will have to be mounted on supports above the roofline.  I’ll make the parapet on the front side of the garage high enough so they are hidden from the entry side. 

In regard to solar hot water, I don’t like the on roof tanks so we have settled on a “split” system. 
I’ve been thinking more about heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) and am pretty keen on going with a fully ducted Energy Recovery Ventilation system.  I want to minimise heating and cooling energy use and provide for a well-ventilated building.  I envisage a well-insulated and sealed building with ducted energy recovery ventilation system (Ideally ERV, but would accept HRV or AAHX depending on cost).  Ideally the supplementary heating/cooling system would be part of the same system as illustrated below (L being the “ERV” and “Ducted” being a heat pump). 

I have no idea what size ducting is going to be required which is a bit scary, anyone got any insight?  I’m dreading that it is probably 200mm and I might need to raise the first floor height to accommodate it.   It may not be a problem, given we have 2700 ceilings right through the lower level I may just have to accept dropping the ceiling through the powder/bath/powder/loo and the end of the hall to get the ducting through.

I am still a bit worried about the depth of the living/dining area but I’ve been told to suck it up by my lovely wife.  She’s probably right!   I’ve fallen in love with the Jasper modular couch range from King Furniture … unfortunately they are not available in Tassie.   If I had that towbar and trailer I would be off to Melbourne tomorrow!    I’ve always wanted a couch with really deep wide seats so two people can lie side by side… maybe one day!


  1. I also love the Jasper! I have to wait though to see if it will be in proportion to our formal living area before I commit to the purchase. I wan't a configuration like pictured above with the chase lounge section and shelf. Still not sure about colour/material...

    I'm afraid I'm no good on the technical side of this post. You may need to contact the companies that make/install the systems you're looking at.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  2. A bit of a tip on solar in Tassie Jon (seeing as we have just finalised ours and it is fresh in my mind!):

    Aurora only guarantees paying the 1:1 (ie. earn the same as you pay per kWh, about 25c/kWh I think at the moment) feed-in tariff on systems up to 3kW. Above that, they *may* offer you the ~25c/kWh one, but not if you generate more than 60% of your homes total electricity usage. Otherwise they may only offer you the standard wholesale energy price of 6c/kWh.

    I'm not sure of the details myself, but check this thread:

    We are getting a 3.185kW system with a 3kW inverter. (although the details the installer submitted to Aurora specify a 3.6kW inverter, despite our sales order saying 3.)

    So be cautious if installing at 5kW system .. it seems completely illogical. And it is!

    1. I had heard about that but I thought they only got nasty once you went about 5kw, thanks for heads up!

  3. Solar panels? In Tasmania?

    1. Yep, average of 15 Megajoules/m2 per day, pretty much the same as Sydney and Melbourne (except we get less rainy days and friendly people).

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