ReNew Issue 125

ReNew Issue 125 is out now!

  • Is the future electric?
  • The sunny side of the street
  • Know your renewables: Solar hot water basics
  • Light up Atauro
  • 10 Star inside and out
  • Practices and plumbing
  • Smart water monitoring
  • A water self-sufficient home
  • Water saving toilets
  • Green roofs
  • Rooftop vegie garden
  • Communal water harvest
  • The aquaponics cycle
  • Rainwater tank buyers guide
  • EV van conversion
  • The well-monitored solar HWS
  • Food production in a drying city
  • ATA member profile: Bernie Hobbs
  • Salvage It! See the earth move
  • Pears report: Poles and wires welfare

Issue Contents:

Is the future electric?

Richard Keech critically examines the sustainability of gas.

The sunny side of the street

Amy Rolfe checks out the cars competing in the 2013 World Solar Challenge, powered by nothing but solar energy.

Know your renewables: Solar hot water basics

Solar hot water systems are steadily becoming more popular in Australia. Lance Turner explains the types and how they work.

Light up Atauro

Or at least a glow in the village of Atecru:a report from two participants in this ATA project in Timor Leste.

10 Star inside and out

Behind 10 Star Josh’s House is a productive, water smart and shade-giving garden—and you can find the plans online, writes Jacinta Cleary.

Practices and plumbing

Water saving doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Jacinta Cleary reviews the best practices and latest technologies to help save water around the home.

Smart water monitoring

Andrew Stewart from Aquamonitor explains how smart water monitors can hook into our mechanical water meters to help reduce water consumption—and make a building manager’s life easier.

A water self-sufficient home

Richard Stanford describes his son’s rainwater collection and greywater treatment system in suburban Sydney that makes the house 96% water self-sufficient.

Water saving toilets

To use less water to flush we might need to radically change toilet design. Beth Askham rounds up some of the options including air assistance, vacuum piping, urine separation and composting toilets.

Green roofs

From farming to education to biodiversity, Brod Street considers the many and varied uses of rooftops.

Rooftop vegie garden

What do you do if your garden is a bit too blessed with shade? Grow your vegies on the roof, of course. Andrew Marsh describes his rooftop garden project.

Communal water harvest

Sharing water management among the houses on this estate makes sense in many ways, not least for the health of nearby Duck River, writes Mark Liebman.

The aquaponics cycle

Geoff Wilson, director and editor of Aquaponics Network Australia, explains the recycling inherent in aquaponics systems.

Rainwater tank buyers guide

Rainwater tanks come in almost any size, shape and colour you can imagine. So what should you look for when buying a tank?

EV van conversion

Rhys Freeman describes the successful conversion of a delivery van by the EV group at CERES in Melbourne.

The well-monitored solar HWS

David Gobbett used a Netduino microcontroller to monitor the temperature fluctuations in his rooftop solar hot water system. He describes the setup and what he’s learnt.

Food production in a drying city

Tim Frodsham explains how his household uses greywater and rainwater to offset mains water use for food production.

ATA member profile: Bernie Hobbs

You might know Bernie Hobbs from the ABC show The New Inventors, but she’s also an ATA member and has the electric car story to prove it, finds Beth Askham.

Salvage It! See the earth move

Combine an old tape deck and the speakers from a junked TV and you have yourself a seismometer. Julian Edgar shows how.

Pears report: Poles and wires welfare

The Productivity Commission fights against protection in all other industries—why not in electricity? asks Alan Pears.