The suburb of the future?


It’s been said that it isn’t easy being green.

Well, that won’t be the case for the residents of Melbourne’s newest suburb, YarraBend.

Icon Status
The suburb is located at the previous site of the Alphington paper mill, just 6.5 km from the CBD and is being promoted as “an iconic new suburb” on its homepage, presented by the Glenvill Group.

This group is designing, developing and building this “iconic” project.

Aside from promoting Health & Wellness, Arts & Culture, Proposed New School”, Shopping Destination, Lush Green Spaces, Tech-concierge, these new premium homes, town homes and apartments will all be fit out, as a standard, with solar panels, Tesla Powerwalls and charging station for electric vehicles [EV].

This will essentially allow residents with an EV to refuel them for free.

And that’s a bonus, since the first release of the homes in this green development have advertised prices ranging from $1.48 -$2.1, for 3–5 bedrooms.

Now that’s app-tastic
Additionally, this future forward suburb will be “Smartwired”.

This will include high-speed internet [NBN anyone?], a complimentary tech-concierge and tech support that will make house calls to assist with WiFi set up, etc.

The most exciting offering is the bespoke YarraBend app. No word on whether its available for both iOS and Andrioid.

The app was created to connect future forward residents to community info, “public transport timetables, home delivery menus, carpooling arrangements and social events.”

Welcome to “Tesla Town”
The properties are now being dubbed “Tesla Town” and set to lead the way in sustainability in Australia with a strong focus on “Future proofing”, according to sales and marketing manager Nick Marinakis.

Further promoting the suburbs substantiality, he stated that “some areas that are a standout include water reduction of 43 per cent, landfill reduced by 80 per cent and the potential to reduce energy use by 34 per cent.”

With the official contracts expected to commence signing the first week in August, this would allow for residents to expect to move in late in 2017.

This new suburb of the future has been designed to achieve the highest level of sustainability and quality of life, but will it achieve its self-proclaimed iconic status?

Only time and the YarraBend App will tell.


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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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