SimpliPhi Battery Review: Highly Reliable Storage From The USA

It is currently popular for all the cool kids to be down on the chances of the United States remaining a driving force in world history.  People are saying it has lost its way and only faces turmoil now Batman has passed away and Seinfeld has refused to hug Kesha.

But I have faith in the land that gave us Jim Henson and Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream.  I think America still has plenty to offer the world.  Sure, maybe nothing as good as Muppets and Chunky Monkey, but still some pretty neat stuff. For example, SimpliPhi batteries. [Read more…]

Beware of Blended Payback: Solar Pays For Itself But Batteries Don’t Yet.

a solar panel, a battery and a blender

We are seeing a lot of battery companies only quoting the payback of solar and batteries combined. But adding batteries makes payback worse. So always compare the payback of just solar.

I want you to know I have a great investment for you.  Believe me, it’s great.  I have all the best investments.  Trust me — it’s yuge!  If you invest in the Ronald Trump fund you will get an average return of over 4%.  I guarantee it!1  Just hand over your money and you’ll start making money!

What’s that?  You want me to actually explain what I will do with your money?  Trust me, you don’t want to worry your pretty little head about that!

What?  You do want to worry your pretty little head about that?  Alright then, what I will do is take your money and invest it in the Australian stock market.  Then each year I will take all the dividends and all the capital gains and I will reinvest half and I will take the other half in the form of $50 notes and burn them.  It will be great!  In 10 years you can have over a 50% return!

Wait a minute!  Calm down!  You say you don’t want me to burn half the money your investment makes?  I don’t understand why you are complaining.  You will still come out ahead! [Read more…]


  1. Not an actual guarantee.

Does Rooftop Solar Hurt The Have Nots?

a poor mother paying for a prince's solar

Do solar rebates result in the poor subsidising the rich?

If you spend a significant amount of time on the internet, which I can’t recommend as it is a silly place, then you may have come across people who claim rooftop solar is an enormous scam that depends on government subsidies unfairly taken from those who can’t install it, or choose not to. [Read more…]

DCS Batteries Make Wild Payback Claims

DCS battery and Croc Dundee

Australian battery company DCS are making wild claims about their battery.

Power is boring.

But the struggle to obtain it?  That is interesting.

In 10 year’s time powering homes with batteries may be so commonplace it will be boring.

But at the moment it’s not so dull. [Read more…]

Tesla Says Powerwall 2’s Return Will Be 8-15%. Really?

powerwall spruiker

Is it reasonable to expect a “8-15% return on investment” on a Powerwall 2?

Last month, Lyndon Rive, Tesla’s Vice President for Energy Products, stood up in front of a large group of people, including me, and promised the Powerwall 2 will deliver a return between 8% and 15%. [Read more…]

Australian Company To Elon Musk: We’ll Supply Twice The Storage in 100 Days For Half The Price

wetwatts tower

Aggregated, wireless power transfer can enable massive storage to be rolled out very quickly and very cheaply.

These are, quite literally, dark days for national energy security.

The South Australian grid is in disarray and blackouts threaten to engulf other states as soon as summer rolls around again or adverse weather conditions strike. [Read more…]

BYD Brings B-Box To Battery Battleground


The BYD B-Box Battery. Is it the perfect B-Boy Beat-Box Battery?

BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries  Those three letters stand for Build Your Dreams and apparently their dream was to build a battery box and sell it in Australia because that’s exactly what they’re doing with their B-box battery systems. [Read more…]

Will it be illegal to install a single phase Powerwall 2 from Thursday?

Unless your local electricity network provides a local variation to a new Australian Standard that becomes mandatory on Thursday, it may be illegal to install a Powerwall 2 plus solar on a single phase. [Read more…]

Billionaire’s Gambit – Why we should accept Musk’s offer.


Last Thursday in a trendy re-purposed Substation near Melbourne, Elon Musk’s cousin Lyndon Rive claimed he could solve SA’s energy woes in 100 days.


By installing 100-300MWh of batteries.

Big Call.

A day later, via Twitter, Aussie tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes asks Musk if he’s serious about “100MW1” of batteries in 100 days. Musk wagers he’ll deliver and install them in 100 days or it’s free. [Read more…]


  1. Later corrected to 100MWh

The Billionaire’s Gambit – Why we should politely decline.


Note from Finn:

This post is Ronald’s considered opinion of Elon Musk’s offer. My personal opinion (with caveats) is that we should accept the offer. I’ll publish a post later today with my reasoning.


Elon Musk has offered to sell South Australia large scale Tesla battery storage of 100 megawatt-hours or more.  He says it will cost $250 US dollars at the “pack level” per kilowatt-hour which is around $333 at today’s exchange rate.  What’s more, he has promised it will be installed within 100 days of the contract being signed or it’s free.

This may be the best offer that has ever been made for large scale lithium battery storage.  But despite the small chance we would get it for free, I think our reply should be a polite, “No thank you.”

South Australia doesn’t need a large amount of battery storage to solve its current electricity supply problems and so there are better alternatives to spend the money on.  If in the future it turns out it would be useful we can get it then and it should be even cheaper. [Read more…]

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