Sunday, August 5, 2018

Commentary on Electric Vehicle adoption in NZ

Price is no longer a barrier to electric vehicle (EV) adoption.  In fact, in New Zealand I would argue that price is now a driver for EV adoption if you are willing to look at the numbers.

For city driving, it now makes obvious sense to replace your petrol powered vehicle with an EV.  If you are driving a petrol powered car an average of 70 km per day, 6 days a week, then depending on your vehicle's fuel efficiency, its easy to be spending $50-100 per week on gas (in NZ petrol is currently around $2.30 per litre).

As well as this obvious saving, you will also be saving the wasted time and effort of going to a service station each week when the petrol tank needs topping up (with an EV, you just top up at home each night).

With some second hand EV's from Japan now available for less than $NZ 10,000, savings on petrol can very quickly pay this back (I'll let you do the sums).  Plus if you are buying this EV instead of an equivalent petrol powered car, the savings are immediate.

EV - no need for weekly visits to the service station.
Driving without the concern for the high cost of fuel, driving without the concern for the stinky butt smoke emanating from the rear of your car, driving without the concern of the upcoming or overdue oil change!!? A return to driving just for the fun of it, what's not to like.

It is time.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Testing the generic Modbus Device plugin

One of the cool plugins recently being tested for SolarNode is called "Modbus Device", it allows admins to add new hardware that supports the Modbus RTU and TCP protocols. Check out this link that describes using the Modbus Device plugin to talk to a thermopile pyranometer.  It's a pretty quick and easy process in terms of supporting a new industrial scientific instrument.

Pyranometer - measures irradiance (W/m2)
We see this device as extremely relevant to tracking solar array performance. Knowing quantitatively how a pyranometer is measuring sunlight near a PV array means that you have a metric for what you should expect from the array in terms of kilowatt-hours (kWh) generated. We expect to be able to use these irradiance figures as an input to SolarQuant (our non-linear energy data analysis engine) and then to inform admins as to whether actual performance is stacking up.  That means extracting more value from your solar array!

Automating this process is what is going to count - check back here for an update on SolarQuant development, there are more interesting developments coming up soon....