2021 Feb 20, 12:32pm
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Coekaerts, who grew up in Belgium, is a man who highly values reliable, stable electricity— something PG&E has not always provided in recent years amid increasingly ferocious wildfires. And it's not just California: this week, a winter storm has paralyzed the grid in much of Texas, highlighting just how fragile the legacy system is. Coekaerts is senior vice president of software development at Oracle Corp., a legend in the open source community and is the longest serving board member of the Linux Foundation. We all want the lights to stay on; he needs to be able to run his servers and charge his electric Tesla Model S.His house is the exact opposite of a small cabin: it was designed by an architect and spans 2,800 square feet. Coekaerts started puzzling through the engineering challenges: What if he cut ties with PG&E? What would it take to build his own self sufficient energy system, with the electricity produced and stored on site? He started researching microgrids, a small energy grid with control capability, which typically means it can disconnect from the traditional grid. Coekaerts wanted to be autonomous from the beginning. He started looking at Tesla’s energy products: the home battery known as the Powerwall and larger systems called Powerpacks.“This is not a tiny home,” says Coekaerts, as contractors put the finishing touches on the three-bedroom limestone house. “A lot of people say they are off grid, but they have a tiny house where they only need two solar panels. I didn’t want to have a lifestyle where I’m just getting by. This is a normal house with normal energy consumption, and I can charge my car if needed.”Coekaerts didn’t want his system to function as a backup to the grid: he wanted to be independent of the grid. So through Luminalt, the San Francisco company that installed his solar system, he was able to get a Powerpack, which is about 17 times what a single Powerwall provides. Tesla representatives have told him it is the first residential Powerpack installation that they know of, though others are in the pipeline. The total cost, including permitting, labor for the installation and a federal tax credit for the solar system, was roughly $300,000.His system, which was activated in November, combines 27 kw of photovoltaic solar panels with a 232kWh Tesla Powerpack. There are five ground-mounted arrays of 15 solar panels each, or 75 solar panels total, stretching across the yard.
All that to be 100% solar. When I was a kid, my family was poor as fuck and we lived off the grid. We had a generator for power and it ran on diesel. Didn’t cost that much to operate either. All this idiot had to do is install a backup generator instead of the enormous battery. Cost maybe $10k instead of the extra $250k.
Someone like him is going to spend more like $20K on a commercial grade whole house generator. The $10K ones are what I would call residential grade. The difference being things like better overall quality, the ability to run the unit 24X7 forever if you wanted to, etc. Think of having a water cooled until instead of air cooled.
House that big, he is not helping environment.
The article says the house is 2800 sq feet, hardly a "large" house.
HeadSet saysThe article says the house is 2800 sq feet, hardly a "large" house.Larger than it needs to be though. Unless you have 4-5 kids, 2,800sf is obnoxious IMHO. Is that what many people have, yes. But if you're trying to be "green" like this guy, he fucked up from the word go. I also look a ton at the value of my time and what it gets me. I sleep, shower and eat almost 80-90% of the time at home. Hell, we're normal traveling about 2 months of the year. Not everyone is like me, but it's a good exercise to run some numbers on the time you're at home and what you do. Spending large sums of money on a house is probably one of the dumbest uses of money ever. A good mattress, master bath/bed and kitchen is really all you need if you want those to be nice/big. Paying for a dining room used 3 times a year if that is the biggest fucking waste on the planet. A bigger house ju...
My house is like 800 sq ft.
I also look a ton at the value of my time and what it gets me. I sleep, shower and eat almost 80-90% of the time at home. Hell, we're normal traveling about 2 months of the year. Not everyone is like me, but it's a good exercise to run some numbers on the time you're at home and what you do. Spending large sums of money on a house is probably one of the dumbest uses of money ever.
While we may not agree some of the choices this guy made, bear in mind that he was 550 ft from the nearest power pole and faced a choice: pay PG&E Corp. roughly $100,000 for engineering work and foot the enormous additional cost of the trenching, or engineer a more personal fix. He'll probably be doing better than most of us after the big one.
I had built a large home for my residence in 2014, for the following reasons:
I plan to retire soon, and like Wookieman
HeadSet says I plan to retire soon, and like WookiemanRetire to where? No fucking way am I staying here.
I forget you guys are on the east coast. Humidity and hurricanes blow, but Florida is where I'd go domestically. Probably panhandle area.