When PayPal founder Eion Musk creates batteries for solar energy collection …

… you know that you need to take notice

For years I’ve been plagued by emails about Tesla power. First about a perpetual energy generator that you could build yourself, and not being remotely skilled in engineering I kept deleting them or sending them to spam. But now I have to take them seriously.

It’s all the news on solar energy

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, has been using his fortune to create an electric car and now a battery that can charge it.

The battery sits on a wall (pictured here in a garage) and currently can produced 7-10kWh of power. That’s equivalent to a household using 5000kWh power per month.

“Musk said that the batteries will have thermal management systems to allow them to power houses in hot and cold climates, too—the batteries have an operating temperature range of -20C (-4F) to 43C (110F).” according to a report in ARS Technica.

Working with major solar energy company

The press release says that in the US Tesla will be working with international company Solar City to develop a total package of installation (you still need to install enough panels to charge the battery).

And here is the man himself enthusing over the potential benefits of the new Powerwall battery system:

Eion Musk announces a major step forward in solar energy batteries

The video announcement: Tesla Powerwall Keynote by Elon Musk “The Missing Piece” – was published on May 1, 2015 – so it’s very recent news. It’s also news you need to take notice of, news you need to follow and perhaps put pressure on your solar installers to make sure you’re first in line when they hit your shores.

Heather Sylvawood, @eBrainz, Amazon Author

Cool fun in the solar system

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Go searching around the internet and you discover all these amazing people sharing equally amazing information.

Today, investigating solar energy I came across this website and Blog: https://www.mysolarquotes.co.nz/blog/. I recommend you take a read if you are remotely interested in installing solar on your roof top. The founder, Kristy Hoare, has an Honours degree in Marketing and has worked in the solar power industry for over five years. The service offered by the website is finding you the best quotes for installation in your area.

Kirsty also gathers together news, views and experiments in solar energy use such as these: Cool sun glasses that also keep you in touch with your friends by re-charging your cell phone.


Stay charged on holiday

Another trend I have been watching for is a New Zealand company in Christchurch which has developed an easily transportable solar battery pack. The company says the flexible panel can charge anything up to a laptop or tablet – simply place the panel on a sunny surface and have the device in a cooler, shady spot, link them through the extension socket and away you go – perfect for summer camping or a break on your tramping holiday.

Transportable, light-weight and energy efficient solar panel

At under $500 (inc GST) this product is a gift – unfortunately currently out of stock. I’ve been waiting for the price to come down so that I could justify the purchase and keep my writing going over our summer camping weeks. Now I’ll have to keep checking back to when they have them in stock again.

However, another option I could use is their Power Bank 60 Battery Pack that has a high power USB port to power all your smart phones, laptops and tablets. The great thing is that you can use one of their range of single solar panels to charge the battery pack. How neat is that?

by Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

The Game of More is changing to a Game of Better

Today I found out an answer to one of life’s profound questions: Can we stop the World buckling under the weight of debt? This is a Must View video.

As I launched into becoming a more aware world citizen living a more environmentally friendly life, I kept getting tripped up by the traps of consumerism along the way. You only have to look at what I found out about solar energy to realise that even the most obvious solutions have been grabbed by commerce and turned into an industry weighed down by profit.

So why is profit so important? Why does every step in the production of anything have to include making a profit above and beyond what is necessary to sustain life (comfortably) for the people who put their energy into making the product? Where does that profit go? And why is the World buckling under the weight of debt?

OK I have ideas on that, but changing the system in order to make it happen? Today I found out an answer. Human beings made the economic mess and we can fix it.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Keep your home free of oil and SMART meters

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Today I have two topics to write about. The first is a bouquet, the second a brick.

The Bouquet: I find it slightly bizarre, but commendable, that a country actively encouraging research into alternative energy should be the United Arab Emirates. The Zayed Future Energy Prize is awarded each year to Corporations, SMEs, NGOs and international high schools who are seen to be researching or implementing renewable energy options.

Check it out here.

Now what does that tell us about the future of oil?

Oil-free homes and lives are inevitable

It’s generally understood by the world that oil, natural gas and coal (anything that must be mined) is a finite resource. Although there is some renewing of the resource over time, the eons of time it takes to be renewed is far outstripped by the rate in which our oil-dependent world is consuming it. Oil exploration is now reaching into less and less likely and more inaccessible places in a desperate bid to find new fields before the main ones run out. Of course, exploration is not altruistic. Scarcity will drive up prices so investors stand to gain huge profits by discovering one new source of oil or gas.

The Zayed Future Energy Prize is designed to uncover some options to oil energy. The 2014 nominees are in the process of being assessed by a Jury and will be announced in July.  Hopefully from the public acknowledgement by an oil-producing country the oil power mongers will not be able to shutdown the technology. Read More about the nominees here:

But what are the alternatives – electricity?

The Brick:  In the US there are over 5000 alternative energy source patents that have been suppressed.  (See this YouTube posting for referencevery important!) In the meantime, power companies (not just oil-fired generators) have introduced an appliance that could be harming our health irreversibly, and we’re just going along with it without question.

The villain is the SMART meter. SMART meters are being installed world-wide, sold to us as power-price reducing devices that ensure accurate readings of our power consumption. Analogue meters, we are told, are inaccurate.

However, a body of evidence is emerging (supported by many scientists) that SMART meters are dangerous because:

  • They cause chronic illness, such as migraines and cancer (Read about it on the EMF website)
  • They can alter the structure of blood cells in people exposed to them over time (See Take Back Your Power video)
  • They have been shown to cause fires (Read EMF reports) – In New Zealand, 422 fires involved smart meters in 2010.
  • They emit radiation (Read Organic NZ report)

Take Back Your Power

Having just viewed the film Take Back Your Power, I am horrified to realise our domestic power companies are going along with a device that has not been properly tested for safety. More than that, it’s designed to transmit power (radiation) impulses that can be picked up by power companies measuring power usage.  Sounds a great idea. No problems with reading the meter and the company knows when to ramp up supply.

On the other hand, the emission of radiation pulses continues even when the power company is not collecting the data; it continues night and day. And that’s when it starts affecting our health; everyone’s health, not just those who are susceptible to electro-magnetic pulses.

Become SMART about SMART meters

So my plea to you is investigate for yourself, and if you don’t yet have a SMART meter insist that your power supplier respect your wish not to have one. If you do have a SMART meter ask your power supplier to take it out and replace it with an analogue meter – modern alternatives are available. If they won’t comply tell them you are going to change power suppliers. It’s better to reason with them and wear them down than try and find a new supplier, because the new supplier will want to hook up to the existing SMART meter.

I enquired from Contact Energy and their fee for removing an existing SMART meter and replacing it with an analogue one is $110 NZ. I also had the call centre person register on our account that we do not want a SMART meter. She actually offered, so others must be requesting to be SMART meter-free. However, she did say we would receive mail explaining why they’re being installed once they get around to our area. In other words, they won’t take a blind bit of notice of our request to not have one installed and we will have to refuse again.

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Little light goes a long way

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Have you seen those pictures taken from space looking back at the Earth? They look beautiful, like the Earth is a jewelled crown. We seem intent on lighting up space with our collective lighting energy.

Are we sending out a message to space? “Here we are. This is a perfect example of how we squander our resources.”

Earth from space

But so much of that energy is wasted on streets with few people in them or lighted while most residents sleep. What we need is targeted light as shown in the video below:

Have you seen this video?

We have the  lighting technology, so why aren’t we using it and spending the saved energy on more important things?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Solar to the rescue when these giant babies need a feed

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Isn’t it wonderful to hear of efforts to put right the wrongs of humanity, especially when the wrong is committed against animals?


What I particularly liked about this story is that the effort of the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe, Sri Lanka, to save and rehabilitate these baby elephants is enhanced by solar energy.

The initiative is supported by the conservation foundation set up by the Dilmah Tea Company and was triggered by the insatiable demand for firewood needed to boil umpteen litres of water used to make-up the baby formula for orphaned elephant calves cared for by the Elephant Transit Home.

Wood burning an environmental dilemma

The search for firewood was draining in human resources because dead wood (the organisation ethically chose not to fell live trees) became scarcer and had to be fetched long distances. Also, the environmental damage of carbon-dioxide released into the atmosphere from burning large quantities of wood to boil the water did not sit well with the home.


“They are fed 8 times a day each day, and they collectively consume a staggering quantity of over 640 litres of milk. The milk is made by combining dehydrated human infant formula (baby food) with water. Elephant calves are extremely susceptible to gastrointestinal complications that arise due to bacteria present in water used to prepare their milk. In order to prevent this, water must be boiled to remove any bacterial presence.”

To find out more about this heart-warming story click the link or copy into your browser address bar.


By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author