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Cold energy Storage MkIII

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I've just had a delivery of Land Rover spares from the UK and the voids around the little boxes, in the big box, was (were?) filled with polystyrene packing 'beads', the things that look almost edible. They have to be cheap, surely........

Bob, as for crushing, once the cubes are filled with water they will be ok, our septic (sewage) tank is poly and around 6 M3 (room for ribaldry at my expense here, lads!) and we are always warned not to leave it even partially empty after cleaning.

Leaving the IBC (s) in the cage would give peace of mind.

I like the garden shredder idea!


I was thinking the coolroom panel/ polystyrene block would help spread the side loads and support the weight on the top of the Tanks.
IBC's are rated to be stacked 4 High so the top fill is the least of my worries. As the tanks would be full of water, I don't think the crush  loads will be a big worry either.

I'm interested to see how I go with the solar generation this summer.
Sparky came the other day but made a mistake and didn't have the size cable I wanted.  What he had was probably good enough but I want this to be overkill if anything.  I'm keen to see what I can push back when I don't have the voltage rise issues due to thin cable I have now. Last summer the grid voltage was almost where it should have been thanks to all the AC running so I might be able to push hard when I'm not drawing much myself and still have left over when I am running the AC.

Bit wary of this grand  idea as it seems to have few if any flaws I can see and that makes me think i'm missing something.

I was also thinking today I might be better off seeing my mate  and if he has any old AC units with a damaged coil or whatever I could salvage a decent power compressor out of.  Might be better and easier to set up than a car compressor and a motor.  I want something around 2Kw draw ideally so that shouldn't be hard to find in an AC unit. 

I'm thinking to have a change over switch put in  but it means I'd either have to run another set of cables up the shed or have a plug put at the fuse box.
I think It might be just as easy to remember to turn off the main switch and just back feed like that.
Maybe I can think up some way to have a switch energised from the mains so it locks out connecting the genny if the mains are live?
Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

Hi Stef, always knew you were full of Sh1t,  :laugh: I know those polystyrene beads can be bought in bulk and cost next to nothing, if you have a local arts and crafts shop they generally sell them for filling cushions/bean bags and etc.

I have to get the local sewage pumping company in to pump out my septic tank, guess my Wife and I are also full of it!

Hi Glort, that is why I am watching what you are doing. If there is a fault in the logic you will find it at your expense, I will learn from your mistakes and try to avoid making the same mistakes.  :)

If you are going to fit a cross over switch you will need to get your sparky to fill in the necessary online paperwork with Essential Energy and then wait a month or more for approval. Your sparky will have to either do the work or supervise the work and sign off on it, this could be expensive. When I put my cross over switch in I found that they cost around $200 here but could be bought from the UK for around $50 including delivery for single phase, expect a three phase cross over to be much more expensive. I suspect that you could do the job using a high power three phase motor contactor/starter relay. It won`t be legal but it will do the job, 240 volt relay will drop out on mains power failure, easy to fit a switch giving you control.


Old AC units are a dime a dozen, scrap yards across Australia are full of them, 2KW might be a push as I think they start at around 3KW but an older lower power unit would probably be more user friendly with regards to servicing.


I'm lucky in that I don't have to have my septic pumped out.  It's a Biocycle unit that pumps itself out onto the garden. Only slight drawback is it's bit of a power hog but that's only really a factor in winter.  Whatever we are full of sure makes everything it touches grow like no tomorrow.
Neighbour is having some problems looking after her Very sick mother atm and haven't moved their pump out hose in a while. It's saturated the ground and running along the border where all my hedges are. I thought they were  shooting new growth really well given there has been NO rain here in months!

Happy to do the testing for you Bob, just sing out if you see me making or proposing anything you see as a mistake.

I spoke to the sparky the other day, He didn't mention anything about Paper work with the power co and don't know why the Fk they would want anything other than to just make some more revenue for nothing. I'm with Origin so may be different.

Had a blackout here tonight. I was tempted to just hard wire into a Circuit I use for one of my solar inverters but that would only power half the house.
I might have a think and do some number crunching on putting lights and power on one phase, water heater, stove, Bio pump and other non essentials on the other.  That way I can power what I need with a single phase Genny and the other things are not immediately essential. Might help with back feeding the solar but I'll have to think about that.  I have replaced every light in the place with LED so I reckon the total power demand of every light in the place probably wouldn't go 5A.  The 32A for the new Stove, the 15a for the water heater, the heat lamps might need 10 so still should come in under the 63A for the phase and it's Highly unlikely they would ever all be turned on at once.  The stove would have to have all the hotplates, the Griller and the oven on all at once to pull the 32 anyway so should not be a worry.  2 power circuits @ 20a and a Light Circuit at 10 would also walk it in but I'm not sure what the allowances have to be. Then again, don't really care.

I did look at the 3 phase changeovers and they were $700 up. The only thing I need the 3 phase for is the AC. Being 20 years old now, I have a suspicion it's probably not going to last a whole lot longer so if I do replace it  I'll definitely be going single phase.... Which may cause a problem but we'll see.

I'd be happier with a 3 KW unit than a 2KW unit  for the AC/ storage pump so all good either way.  First thing will be find a working one.  Mate occasionally gets old working ones where people are upgrading to bigger units, Ducted or inverters. all the AC in the old place was used units he got for me. Even had a couple spare so they could just be changed out if need be.  I wonder what sort of cooling I could get from running cold water through a normal evaporator Unit? A lot less than gas I'd think but if I used a fan coil unit from a large capacity setup, would get more cold water through that and better cooling.

The blackout tonight was a bit of a wake up to what I am predicting.  If that was to happen on a hot afternoon which is where my money is, the ability to run the storage side which really should be just a fan and a pump would be a real bonus. With the 2 ton, 27KWh of cold I could store, I don't think I'd ever fully deplete it and as the temp and power use peaks in the afternoon, good chance I'd already have everything back up to speed time an outage did come.  No reason I couldn't make the pump and the fan on the indoor unit  12/24V.


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