We aim for a low environmental impact-but with very comfortable living!
Our water is roof-collected rainwater(about 150,000 litres capacity) with a spring water supplement when needed and for the gardens,vineyard and orchards.Conservation of water is vital for us!
The property has a 3.5kw Grid-feed Solar Panel rooftop electricity generator and now a Maglev(magnetic levitation) 300 watt wind turbine.(battery connected)
Homestead hot water is provided by 102 rooftop Evacuated Tubes and a woodfire thermosyphon to a 500 litre ceiling storage tank.Heat from the tubes is circulated by a small 5 watt pump fed from a 5 watt solar panel whenever the sun is shining-and heating the water.There is an electric boost available(try not to use it!)
This also feeds passive individually controlled warm water radiators in each room.The system is boosted by a Quantum Eco heat pump in winter.
Hot water for the 2 self-contained rooms is from Quantum "heat from thin air" technology.This is effectively solar heat since the sun warmed the air.This system is now also heated by 30 evacuated tubes with hot water circulated by a 12volt in line pump powered by 3 small solar panel (total 15 watt).
This further reduces electricity consumption and associated carbon emissions.
Air conditioning in the living area is inverter technology with 4 and 5 star efficiency (all bedrooms are double-glazed) and the 2 self contained are also efficiently air conditioned.
Lighting throughout the property is LED technology.
Our lounge room TV is a 40 inch LED Samsung. Bedroom 24 inch LCD TVs have 5 star energy efficiency as well!
We have installed the Australian Biolytix water treatment system which uses a river bank ecosystem principle in an underground tank to treat waste water (no chemicals) and then irrigate and nourish our lawns with high grade water with nutrients via advanced Netafim subsurface irrigation. All household water is thus used twice before slowly draining subsurface to the valley below-perfectly clean!
All indoor water facilities are conventional-this includes flush toilets,showers, bath, basins, insinkerator etc!
Our 800 tree eucalypt plantation supplies wood for the wood fire as well as carbon offsets for other energy used during your stay(e.g grid supplied electricity usage above that supplied from the rooftop solar/PV generator). We continue to expand plantings of endemic eucalypts around the property and collect the seeds and grow the plants ourselves creating habitat and wildlife corridors.
A low-carbon option: the carbon dioxide emitted when wood is burned is the same amount that was absorbed over the months and years that the plant was growing. The process is sustainable as long as new plants continue to grow in place of those used for fuel. There are some carbon emissions caused by the cultivation, manufacture and transportation of the fuel, but as long as the fuel is sourced locally, these are much lower than the emissions from fossil fuels.
Wood heater Flue, Evacuated Tubes(hot Water), Solar panels(Electricity generator),Inverter airconditioner
Over the past few years, technology for LEDs (Light emitting diodes) have advanced so dramatically that the widespread use of these lights range from traffic lights, cell phones, aviation, shipping, auto to television screens.(we have the 40 inch LED TV in the lounge room)The applications for LEDs today are endless and will continue to grow together with the advancement in technology.
Consuming only about 15-25% of the power required by regular lighting sources, LEDS are very energy efficient and light up to full intensity instantly. For instance, a regular traffic light with a light bulb consumes 150W, but with the application of LEDs, this reduces the energy consumption to 10W. This actually translates into a huge amount in energy savings across city streets.
The lifetime of LEDs range from 35,000 to more than 50,000 hours, depending on the type and usage – this would equal to over 5 years of 24 hours operation per day. Consequently, replacement cost of LEDs is also reduced to a minimum for the customer.
LEDs also switch on at full brightness unlike fluorescent type globes.This is especially important in short use situations-bathrooms,toilets etc
LEDs are very durable and tough due to advanced plastic/metal construction. No glass and gas is used.They are very resistant to shocks and vibrations and any outside influences. This robustness makes LEDs highly suitable for the most demanding installations indoors and outdoors.
LEDs are low energy products which reduce carbon emissions. They do not contact sulphur or mercury content like other light sources such as fluorescent types. They are an eco-friendly product for disposal,even recyclable, contributing actively to the protection of the environment.
The Vacuum Tube-How it works!
The tubes are 'twin-glass' construction similar to that of a thermos flask but made out of exceptionally strong borosilicate glass -Pyrex. Unlike the silvered surface of a thermos flask, the inside of the tube is covered in an advanced 'selected coating' which is able to absorb 93% of the light energy while re emitting only 7% in radiant heat. The presence of a vacuum eliminates convection and greatly reduces conduction losses enabling the tube to harvest useful energy even on cold, windy days. Even with cloud cover the tubes can pick up the scattered radiation from the sun (typically of the order of 30% of all available energy). The system is far superior to the older style flat plate collectors at the time when the demand is highest and the insolation is lowest, meaning that is feasible to use the collectors as a year round hot water source – not just a pre heat device. Also in the colder, mountainous regions, the tubes will start absorbing energy as soon as the sunlight hits their surface, without the long start up time associated with flat plates. The sheer mass of the older style system means that on some days the available solar energy will be unable to raise the temperature of the frame, insulation, trapped air, collector panel and glass to a usable level.
The vacuum tube has been around for over 20 years proving its stability and long life
The tubes can also withstand hailstone strikes of up to 25mm diameter.
Advantages of Hydronic Space heating
Silent,allergy free and passive. When combined with the wood fuel for our Wood Heater sourced and /or offset with wood from our WOODLOT a renewable system is created
Combined Hot Water and Heating Systems Boiler –Our Lodge features a combined ceiling boiler that allow for hydronic heating and home hot water usage
Our rooftop solar evacuated heater increases the energy efficiency of the system and works in tandem with the ceiling storage. The tubes on the roof heats water that runs through tubes inside the storage tank. This creates water that is naturally pre-heated and requires less energy from the boiler to bring to the right temperature.
They are inconspicuously located along the walls of rooms throughout the Lodge.Most have valves which allow individual room control,
Biolytix is the only sewerage and wastewater treatment system to win a Global Eco-Tech Award at the World Expo in Japan, 2005. Biolytix was judged to be one of the world’s “globally significant environmental technologies" that contribute significantly to the resolution of global environmental problems and the realisation of a sustainable future.
"The Biolytix Filter mimics the intricate natural conditions which fuel the decomposition of debris on a river bank.
The Biolytix system immediately separates solids from the water in raw sewage and other household wastes. Whereas conventional systems leave the waste in the water to settle out in a smelly septic stage, or be broken down by mechanically pumping air into the water, the Biolytix system removes the waste from the water immediately. Selected worms and other organisms then convert the waste into structured humus, which acts as a filter to turn the waste into garden irrigation water.
In brief, the Biolytix system turns the conventional sewage treatment process on its head. An independent assessment of the Biolytix System concludes that “the process of separating the water from the solids through an organic filter, and providing an environment conducive to composting of the solids, is truly unique".
from BIOLYTIX as featured on the ABC The New Inventors TV program
Safe and waterwise irrigation: no risk of pathogen exposure; no water wasted.
Negligible methane emitted (methane is 21 x more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas): the presence of a low-methane septic stage further reducing our carbon footprint
Chemical-free treatment: no potentially hazardous chemicals present in the water continually disposed into our gardens and vines-in fact the opposite-natural nutrients for our lawns and vines!
AROUND THE WORLD
Biolytix in Africa
Biolytix has been successfully implemented at environmentally sensitive destinations such as the award winning Pezula Private Estate, Longridge Winery, Bushmanskloof Lodge, Groenvlei Eco-Lodge, De Hoop Nature Reserves, Lynedoch Village, Angola Onguma Safari Lodge, Plains Camp and Tented Camp in Etosha, Namibia, the Algeria campsite in the Cedarberg as well as The Sugarbird Manor, the World Wildlife Fund’s guesthouse .
ISN'T EVERY LOCATION "ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE"?????????