Tag Archives: Wise Earth

Josh Byrne to Bring Strength to Wise Earth Board

Wise Earth owns and manages Solar E. and its corresponding website. Apart from being involved in the advancement of innovative solar technology and integrated construction systems, Wise Earth is looking to enhance its expertise by inviting high profile, experienced people to its Board, including its most recent appointment in Josh Byrne.

Josh Byrne

Josh is an environmental scientist best known for his role as the WA presenter on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia program where over the past 13 years he has demonstrated practical ways to create productive and water efficient gardens to a national audience. He is Director of Josh Byrne & Associates, a Fremantle based multi-award winning consulting practice integrating the fields of landscape architecture, built environment sustainability, media and communications, and a Research Fellow with Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP), where his research and teaching interests span high performance housing, water sensitive design and low carbon residential precincts. Josh is a recipient of the Australian Water Association’s Water Professional of the Year Award for WA and Murdoch University Distinguished Alumni for Science and Engineering. He is Patron for a number community based environment and sustainability organisations including the Conservation Council of WA.

Josh Byrne outside his office at Fremantle Chamber of Commerce

Josh Byrne outside his office at Fremantle Chamber of Commerce

Fremantle Housing Trust

Josh and Wise Earth are planning to develop sustainable housing projects in the Fremantle area with land owners and other participants forming the Fremantle Housing Trust. The Trust will develop communities of between 4-8 houses in key locations incorporating existing land owners where desirable; in creating affordable solutions to low energy sustainable developments. Wise Earth, together with Josh, see this as an important demonstration opportunity that will not only explore a new community-led residential development model, but also utilise Wise Earth construction systems and solar technologies in addition to established principles solar passive design and sustainable landscaping.

Wise Earth’s Board

Wise Earth’s Board has also been strengthened with further directors bringing with them their wisdom and expertise including Tony Fitzgerald; ex MD of Orbital Engineering; Ray Glickman, former CEO of Fremantle and 15 years as CEO of Amana Living and Steve Gava from NKH Accounting firm. Together with these highly experienced business and community leaders, Josh adds his youth and expertise to balance a very impressive Board overseeing the development and construction of innovative solar energy systems for high performance housing.

New Power Storage of Energy the Way to the Future?

Power Storage of Energy

New Way of Relating to the Grid

There have been innovations and cutting-edge technology that has seen Lithuim-ion batteries and Tessler Walls reduce in price dramatically and this could change the whole way that people relate to the power grid.

Solar-E founder, Garry Baverstock AM feels that current prices need to reduce at least 50% more before people would even consider disconnecting from the grid.

Having said that, Garry feels that disconnecting from the grid is probably not a good idea at all for a number of reasons; one being security. Also, he feels the economics would still need to be proved.

Peak Load Savings

In the future, a great way for the consumer and Western Power to save energy at peak loading such as happened in Perth’s recent heat wave, was to save some solar power stored for night-time use rather than tax the system during daylight hours.

steve garry factory

Storing Solar Energy

Garry went on to say that the big breakthrough in the future for storage in solar energy would be high-tech controls to store the energy into the mass of the building. The bricks and the concrete will store the thermal energy rather than going through an intermediary like a battery, and dealing direct with DC power in heating and cooling buildings rather than a large slab of power required to be stored in batteries.

Thermal Energy Storage via Hot Water

In hot water systems, the water will store the energy for use the next morning. Thermal storage rather electrical storage is the way of the future and much cheaper, Garry remarked and we already have the storage there, we are just not using it.

Convert Australian’s Existing Brick Houses

Looking to the near future, we can convert brick houses around Australia to be thermal storage devices so suppliers like Western Power doesn’t need to deal with an increasing demand for power.

For information on saving energy with a climate sensible home design visit Ecotect-Architects 

Interested in learning more about Garry’s  joint Master of Building Services Engineering programme with Murdoch University?

Top photo: Garry is researching new ways to improve the delivery of solar energy at Wise Earth’s factory in Western Australia

Photo Credits; Nick Melidonis, www.nickmelidonis.com