11 October 2007

Low tech implies high tech

Had a look at a property south of Yolla today, & noticed a few unusual things about it...

Firstly, it had a nice wood stove — not so odd up front, until you notice that there is no other stove, no light fittings on the ceilings, no power fittings on any of the walls; indeed, no power at all.

Hmmm.

So you ask, & yes, there is no ’phone line, either...

Fixing the former (over a distance of a few km) is worth about AUD$30,000.00 including about $4,XXX for a transformer; fixing the latter is probably only a few thousand but the line will be grotty, noisy, & will in no way support anything like ADSL.

So... scratch the standard approach. What else can be done?

It turns out that a workable RAPS system is down to about AUD$12,000.00 to $15,000.00 for a wind-gen (steady-ish NW winds) plus a modicum of solar panels & for a thousand or so more, we could add one of those Banki-turbine high-flow low-pressure thingies to the permanent creek for a small but persistent source of watts.

All of this would provide more than enough watts for a satellite link which could also sport a VoIP ’phone service.

There appears to be a revolution underway which would make reliable solar panels much cheaper, & another (oddly) less-technical revolution which should see satt links drop to about $20 a month... so RAPS plus satt more than halves the cost of power, plus lops about 30% off the cost of ’phone, plus throws in a bonus Internet link.

Is also enviro friendly since it saves a few km of 11kV power lines (poles & wires) & a ’phone trench.

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