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We’re building a house in Canberra and I was hoping to get some advice on how to plan for a solar system if I could please.
It’s a ~190m2 (internal living), 4-bedroom, 1 open-plan living, media room and small study home. We’re a family of 2 adults (that work from home maybe 30% of the time) and 2 kids. We’re out of the house most weekdays for work/school, as you’d expect.
The planned house uses solar passive design (exposed slab, 3 to 5 air-changes/hour) and has a projected NatHERs rating of 8.2, so energy usage should be rather low. It will be all electric with induction cooktop/oven, water heat pump and one Daikin US7 RCAC (5kW I think but not specified yet). We’d like to get an electric vehicle in future too.
According to our energy bills, we currently use 30kWh per day average over winter and 26kWh per day over summer. The house is like a glorified tent though so energy requirements would be lower in the new place.
I was targeting a 10kW system (EV needs at least that doesn't it?) but could be convinced to install less (just what’s required) or to cover the roof, if that’s the best way to go. I requested 3 quotes from solarquotes last week but I haven’t received any feedback yet. Budget is around $15K, maybe a bit more.
The roof is somewhat puzzling. The block faces north on the longest dimension, yet the architect has specified a skillion roof that slopes 5 degrees south (the below image is from the rear/west of the house so north is left). It does look nice though so I’ve accepted it for now.
Below is from north-west:
When I raised my concerns about its effects on solar (~28% decreased efficiency), the architect added a (6.5m x 4.3m) hip roof section at the rear of the house that tilts down to the north (which is straight up on the below aerial view).
It seems to me that we’ll need panels on both north and south facing roofs to get to 10kW. As north will outperform south we’d require micro-inverters, wouldn’t we? So, add 30% to the cost. Wouldn’t it be better to just add more panels to the south and make the roof south facing the whole way?
I have asked the architect about the costs associated with the hip roof at the rear but he hasn’t got back to me yet. I can’t see it being cheaper than skillion all along though.
I have mild concerns about the effects of the 5-degree pitch on panel self-cleaning but one solar installer told me that 5 degrees was the absolute minimum. If the roof is going to face south, I think I’ll wear it and get up there and clean them once in a while.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Item: 2 tickets for Yusuf Cat Stevens (Tuesday 28th November)
Location: Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne)
Price: $210 each
Item Condition: new
Reason for selling: Purchased 4 tickets (at $210 each) - friends had to cancel, although my wife and I are still going
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
Extra Info: Seats are in a great location, as can be seen in the image (orange circle), directly facing the stage on the lower level. Section: LOWER, Row: N, Seats: 216, 217.
Item: Stereoknight M-100 (100watt+ per side into 8ohms, or 200+watt per side into 4ohms - your choice) fully balanced design valve monoblocks WITH octet PrimaLuna KT-88s
Location: Melbourne, Australia (inner northern suburbs)
Price: $4200 ONO
Item Condition: Almost perfect
Reason for selling: Sidegrading (very reluctant sale)
Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, bank transfer. Pickup preferred (thus a buyer picking up will be given preference).
Here are a very hard to come by matching pair (sequential serials) of StereoKnight M-100 valve (tube) monoblocks. I had originally purchased them off a gentleman here in Victoria, and since then they have been lovingly and sparingly used, as well as upgraded and some expense. They are in near perfect condition. They have solid aluminium cases (I've never seen a build quality like them - really!), and there are only the odd tiny marks. I have tried my best to photograph all aspects of them.
Information can be somewhat difficult to track down, however for those in the know, these are built by the man now responsible for Audio Music (AM AUDIO) - Mr.Fang. I am very happy to say that he is easy to contact and will provide any information and support needed. He stands by his products, and they are massively over-engineered, so should last a lifetime!
Here are some links to have a look at. Note that the StereoKnight site is no longer active, as the company is now Audio Music (AM), and most reviews and spec's are relating to the M-75 monoblocks. Advertised here are the much upgraded M-100's, which as I understand it were produced only towards the end of StereoKnight's reign. Some of you will likely be aware that these all were (and AM still are) distributed in Australia via Greg Osborn here in Melbourne.
And here is a review of the (lesser) M-75's (please note the spec's on the ones I have for sale here are different):
Also note that I have added a full octet of select PrimaLuna KT-88 power tubes (4 per side). These retail at $175 each (thus full set = $1400). http://magentaaudio.com.au/product/primaluna-kt88-tube-silver-label/ I bought these tubes off a fellow member, at which time they had very little use (he changed to KT-120's as I recall). Note that, having discussed with Mr.Fang, you could use KT-120's in these beasts, making over 120 watts per side. Wow. Not that you'll need more power........Note that the newer Tung-sol KT-150's won't work in these according to Mr Fang (but now we're just getting greedy!). These beasts, irrespective, will most certainly lend themselves to tube rolling, given how madly revealing they are!
At night, they look like two small cities all lit up. Really cool.
NOTE: I am also happy to do a deal on the full set of KT88's (and some other spares) I replaced which could be used as spares (Electron Tube KT94). Just ask!
Here are the specs from the web (for the lesser M-75's):
Specifications (note that these have much upgraded spec's. Please contact Mr.Fang via AM Audio for specifics).
Tubes: 1 X 6H30, 2 X 6922 4 X KT88 Power output: 2×75W (8? ULTRALINEAR); 2x 140W (4? ULTRALINEAR) Input: 1 x RCA, 1 x XLR Frequency response: 10Hz?60kHz THD: 1%(1kHz) Input sensitivity: 2 V Input impedance: 50 K? Output impedance: 8?, 4? S/N ratio: > 90 dB Dimensions: 500×330×240mm Net weight: 29Kg x 2 Power consumption: 550W maximum
Full balance design. High grade 600W EI type power transformer, extra wide band C-core output transformer (StereoKnight signature). High end components (Nichicon and Hovland capacitor), parts (StereoKnight designed heavy duty gold-plated binding post) and wire (TEFLON insulated wire and Japan made POCC rectangular solid core copper wire) all the way. ZERO-NEGATIVE-FEEDBACK technology. ZERO noise: dead silence background. MOSFET voltage stabilization. High control power (75WPC or 140W at 4?), capable of driving a wide range of loudspeakers. Easily accessible individual output tube bias measurement and adjustment points on side chassis. Detachable IEC power cord, high quality gold-plated StereoKnight custom binding posts and RCA jacks. Full high quality aluminum alloy body construction, power meter in faceplate and acrylic enclosure cover design: sturdy built with art.
I have been using these amps as follows:
Pre - Wyred4Sound STP-SE
Power - Stereoknight M-100 valve monoblocks (via XLR in true balanced configuration) - I preferred ~100+W into 8ohms compared to ~200+W into 4ohms, but other systems will vary.
speakers - Osborn Epitome (approx 90dB efficiency)
sources - various, including hi-res digital and vinyl
I must say these amps are truly extraordinary. I've never heard more beautiful bass. They simply don't suffer from slow or muddy bass. They are glorious in this sense. Clarity is superb, and separation and soundstage blows me away. If you're a jazz fan, I'd look no further (your favourite female vocal will make you shiver. Start with a quality vinyl pressing of "What's New?" by Helen Merrill and you'll melt. Having said that, I have a very eclectic taste in music (from jazz to classical to indie rock to heavy metal to 60's rock and back again....) and these amps produce it all with aplomb! Anyone looking for high-powered (and yes, we're talking up to over 200wpc fully balanced into 4ohms if preferred!!), these are hard to pass up. They'll drive almost anything easily. For those in the know, any audiophile tube amps producing this sort of drive usually cost well over the price of these! They really do respond to a truly balanced end-to-end setup, so fire up that balanced Preamp and invest in some quality XLR cables (I preferred a copper/silver mix to all silver, however (as always) each system and ear is different)!!
I have all the original boxing and packaging. I worry about posting, even with proper factory packaging, but can do if needed. Tubes may need to be removed and padded up). You will need to get your own power cords (although I can throw in some cheapies, however I'd recommend something to match their quality). I have been very loving of them. They have always been allowed to warm up prior to use (they really come on song after about an hour ideally). They will definitely benefit from a couple of heavy & solid isolation platforms to sit on. They certainly sound a whole lot better (especially mid range) with the PrimaLuna (silver edition) tubes, compared to the set of KT94's that came with them. All my gear runs off a power conditioner.
Please note that the power output needle on (I seem to recall the right channel) one amp does not work. It was not working when I got them (I am the second owner), and does not affect sound of course. I have not looked into getting it fixed, however I am sure this could easily be done. I may get the opportunity to have it looked at next week if time permits.
You'll note the little doors on the sides of each amp. They come off with an allen key (supplied), and you need a basic multimeter (I'll throw in with the sale) in order to bias each tube. There is a bias screw next to each corresponding power tube (see pics). It's really easy, and according to Mr.Fang you can decide your output preferences. These amps can produce a lot more power, but it's up to the listener what their preferences are. Notably, the PrimaLunas went in and needed very little (if any) bias adjusting (ie. a matched Octet!). http://www.primaluna-usa.com/tube-rolling
These amps go very easy on tubes (if standard biasing is applied), so they should last ages.
These monsters are big and heavy and beautiful:
- around 30kg each
- packaging adds 2kg each
- size (each in cm) is 46w, 22h, 30w
- colour is silver aluminium with clear perspex lids
I will happily arrange for an audition only for those truly intending to buy (amps are currently not in use). I live in inner-north of Melbourne. Price will be formalised before this happens (I don't want to spend ages working through critical listening, only for someone to try to lowball me. I am sure you all understand (and I will negotiate on price if required and reasonable), but it's happened too many times before). I am always very light-on for time (it took me 3 months after having stored the amps to get around to this ad!), so please do your own research. Price is negotiable, however it reflects age, condition, use, rarity and a $1400 tube set! Don't let them pass you by if you've been thinking of high powered tubes but the prices have held you back. Given this sort of quality and the bliss into which you will plunge, they represent tube heaven at this price range in my opinion.