Floating

Friends, I am experiencing a sensation akin to weightlessness.

It is the feeling of living a good life without consuming electricity or gas from the grid.

Electricity

The combination of 12 solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall battery has been sufficient for us to be practically off-grid for the last 3 months. And that will probably continue for another 3 months.

Click for a larger version. The graph shows daily electricity drawn from the grid (kWh) since November last year. After the battery installation, this fell to almost zero. Also shown is daily electricity used from the battery and solar panels (kWh). This has risen recently because electricity is now being used for air conditioning, cooking and domestic hot water.

Household use of electricity has gone up in recent days as we have used electricity for water heating and air conditioning. But we have plenty to spare at the moment.

We have exported around 580 kWh so far this year, displacing mainly gas-powered generation. So in addition to not emitting any carbon dioxide from our own home, we have reduced emissions from other people’s homes by around 200 kg.

Gas

Last week we had the gas boiler removed and so since then we have only been using gas for cooking.

But on some days, the cooking load has been light and all we need to do is cook a bit of rice which can be done easily on a single ring induction heater (similar to this).

And so on those days, we have drawn no gas from the network.

Floating

At the moment it is just for a few days at a time. But it feels astonishing to be sustaining a good quality of life powered entirely by the Sun.

In fact, because of the air conditioning, I am probably cooler (thermally, not style-wise) than you.

As we approach the summer solstice, I feel like I have reached apogee in a solar-powered rocket, and I am briefly floating weightless.

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