Visit Eureka Farm in the Autumn

Leaves on the apricots are starting to drop now.

Leaves on the apricots are starting to drop now.

Autumn weather has come at last. But so far it has been a beautiful autumn with extremely mild weather. (winds still from the north).

1-DSCF6073

 

We are still picking strawberries and with the mild

weather they seem to be getting bigger and better. 

1-IMAG1483-001

hard to beat home made cake with Tassie’s best icecream and fresh fruit. Always a winning combo

What a nice time to drop in for one of our special desserts. Home made fruit pies or our super fruity Summer Puddings seem to be the winners at this time of year.

Berry fruity crepes are great in winter

Berry fruity crepes are great in winter

Solar Panels

[stextbox id=”alert” bgcolorto=”23db44″]This article is fairly long winded but if you are a potential solar panel user I am sure you might find some of my experiences interesting. Feel free to contact me too if you need to know more…[/stextbox]

Hurrah! Eureka Farm is going solar. We have looked at the costs and have decided there could be no better time to install solar panels. Prices for the panels has dropped enormously as the world enters an over supply situation. Once the decision to go solar was made I became intrigue as to what system I should use. This included the type of panels i.e mono-crystalline or poly-crystalline , are some better than others, what size and then how to put them on the roof landscape or portrait and what sort of mounting would be best for us. Then there was the question of inverters and  how to get it into the grid system.

My research led me all over the place but gradually the folklore around installations and the more real answers came to light. It was interesting to talk to suppliers too and hear their take as well. My neighbour Terry Stingle has a 5kw system installed and he too had done his home work well and gave me some good advice.

I eventually settled on 250w panels and ended up with a panel supplied by Diamond Cell. Now you just can’t use any panel but it has to have Australian Accreditation. And yes the panel given in the quote is accredited. I wouldn’t have chosen this one initially ( virtually an unknown brand) as I favoured the Trina Panels which had a reasonably smart specification and were being offered very cheaply.

3-DSCF6077The things you should look for besides the spec are thwarranty. With the TDG-PV 250w  solar panel shown above there is a 10 year product warranty  and a 30 year linear performance warranty. I don’t place a lot of confidence in these long term warranties for if you have been reading the papers lately you will note that many large and first class manufacturers have given up largely because they cannot compete with China. But the large warranty supplied hopefully will last long enough to see that they go through one summer and one cycle thereby ensuring that most of the performance criteria is met.

It would seem that there are many businesses out there flogging their systems. Usually they seem to have a relationship with certain module manufacturers and are less particular about which inverter to use. It is very hard to distinguish the real costs of parts and installation and the Government rebates offered with many of these suppliers. Often you think you are getting a good price but are inclined to forget this price includes the SPC credits (Government rebates) which are returned to the user or his nominated supplier.

I must admit I began to  suspect that there was a lot of fat built in these prices and was very interested to see what the actual wholesale prices would be for these materials. In our case at Eureka Farm we were looking at a 20kw system or 80x 250w panels.. It was large enough that certain wholesale suppliers were interested in quoting. As an example one wholesale quote for a 20kw wholesale price delivered to me including panels, 3 traditional composite string inverters and  mounting came to $28000. Add the cost of installing the system and take away the credits this comes to about $20000 to $23000 including GST. This compares with having a package supplied by a solar installer of at least $31000 on the same basis  a difference of up to $10000. This settled the course of action plan for me.

Farmhouse Direct

Order your favorite Eureka Farm products and pay no freight.

Order your favorite Eureka Farm products and pay no freight.

I am sure most of you now know about our association with Farmhouse Direct . This organisation is promoting Australian producers and has an amazing collection of goodies. What makes it work so well behind it all is Australia Post which offers very reasonable freight rates anywhere in Australia.

Now just for the next couple of days (15th March ’til 17th March 2013) we are able to offer you free freight. Yes I did say free with no strings  attached. This is courtesy of Australian Post so isn’t that amazing. Just order your goodies from us of any of the other producers and you will not be charged freight whilst this off is running.

Now you can see that Christmas can come more than once a year.

Bicycling with a Difference

1-DSCF6109 2-DSCF6110 3-DSCF6112

How about this for an example of an energetic couple with a zing for adventure. Julien and his wife Benedicte along with their 2 children Kiara and Mael are cycling around Tasmania. They arrived here exhausted as they had had headwinds all day and I reckon which ever way you looked at it carrying all that luggage would be a task even for Hercules.

We had the benefit however of their company as we reckoned they would be safer here rather than going on. Camping in most places this year is not the best as the coast is very dusty as there has been no rain for sometime.

Lotus Car Enthusiasts

dscf0685We have had a great visit from the Lotus club. About 10 cars visited us yesterday who were touring Tasmania. Very low slung cars with hardly enough free board to escape the bumps and not a great deal of space inside. But they were obviously having a great time and there cars certainly looked sleek. Unfortunately not enough room to get a lift and escape the farm for a while!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.