Thursday, 28 February 2019

Latest Solar Bill and more ideas

Jan sent me to the local supermarket to get a bag of dog food for Molly.  So there I was in the checkout queue with my bag of dried dog food when the woman behind me asked “Do you have a dog?”  What a stupid question.  Anyway, I decided to have some fun and told her I was going to do the dog food diet.  She told me she’d never heard of it.  So I explained dried dog food was a perfectly balanced meal containing all the necessary vitamins, protein and other necessary nutritional supplements.  My method was to place a handful of pellets in my trouser pocket and just eat a few any time I got hungry.  I preferred the chicken pellets to the beef & gravy as the former was tastier.  She then asked me how much weight I anticipated losing.  By now the other people in the queue were listening intently.  I told her this was actually the second time I’d done the diet.  The first time I’d lost 30kg but ended up in the hospital intensive care ward with tubes running out of me. “OMG!”  she said “Was it food poisoning?”  “No!” I replied. “I stepped off the kerb to smell the butt of a cute poodle and was hit by a car”.

The latest electricity bill arrived by email this morning.  This is the first regular two monthly invoice since the panels were installed.  The details were:

   Total consumption       $115.88
   Supply Charge     $62.78 for 68 days
   Sub-total               $178.66
   GST (VAT)            $17.87
   Total                     $196.53
   Rebate for electricity sold back to the utility company $108.52
  Final Bill                $88

Two things immediately stand out. 

1.  The utility company has charged us GST(VAT) on the total electricity but not given us a GST credit on the electricity we supplied to them.
2.  If you remove the supply charge (the amount we pay for the privilege of being connected to the grid) then we actually purchased  $9.46 per month.

Looking at the total kWh’s is also interesting

We consumed 450kWh but exported to the grid 1521kWh.  So we exported more than three times what we used.  Of course they sell us electricity at $0.30 per kWh and purchase it from us at $0.07 per kWh.  The utility company requires us to pay for their infrastructure as a daily service charge.  We get nothing in the way of a service rebate for incurring the cost of our infrastructure. 

I’m keeping a close watch on residential battery storage costs.  We are obviously producing far more electricity than we require so there is plenty of surplus solar electricity to store and use when there is no sunlight.

Whilst pottering around in the man cave today I remembered the offcut of 100mm sewer pipe.  The rest of the pipe is under the shed concrete slab and will form part of the planned dust extraction system.  I decided I could do something with the surplus piece of pipe. 
First I had to cut it into three 200mm lengths which would leave a further 140mm spare.  This was done on the table saw using the slide and a clamped block as a guide length.

The PVC pipe was pushed onto the saw blade and then rotated to make an exact cut.  Next I used a 40mm hole saw to make a hole 100mm from one end.  Yes, I made that rough jig to hold the pipe whilst I drilled an cut it!

Then I used the jigsaw to cut the slot before filing off the sharp edges.  The lengths of pipe were then screwed to the underside of a scrap piece of plywood.

Finally the plywood was screwed to the workshop wall.

A rack for the portable drills with a shelf above for the bits and other odds & ends.

You haven’t forgotten that last piece of pipe…. and neither had I Smile

I scribed a circle on a piece of scrap particleboard and then cut it out with the jigsaw.

Then I glued another piece of particleboard to the base and cut the combined pieces into a square

Finally, the last piece of pipe was glued into the hole.  I now have a container for my files and wood rasps.

There were also a few pieces of scrap Jarrah hardwood behind the shed which I used to make a rack for my old wood chisels.  I found these in a drain before I met Jan, which means they are at least 50 years old.

Good quality British steel

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