Monday, April 23, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sunny delight - Mark Elliot - Energeno

Found this great article about solar & feed-in tariff, production/usage, by the new boss at Energeno, taking over Wattson meters activity:

The halving of the Feed-in Tariff does not mean the sun going down on solar PV, argues Mark Elliott of Energeno.

Bright future: Mark Elliot, Energeno, says there are still lots of opportunities to be had from solar PV

It was Harold McMillan who coined the phrase: ‘You’ve never had it so good’ in relation to full employment during the 1960s. Putting aside the scare stories of the potential solar PV  job losses as a result of the recent government announcement on Feed-in Tariff (FiTs) levels, you  could  have used the same adage for the very generous subsidies that have been on offer up until now.
After energy minister Gregg Barker brought forward the halving of the FiT from April to mid-December, many solar PV companies argued that the sun has gone down on their growth ambitions.
Although the CBI announced that the government had scored an ‘own goal’ on its renewable ambitions because of the cost of solar jobs, my argument is that householders can now see the true value of their investment and what returns can be realised because they are no longer seduced by over-generous FiT payments. In short, the future is still bright. Instead of a sense of over-reliance on the subsidy, householders putting in PV will now have to work for their money. There is still a FiT and because the price of capital equipment is greatly reduced, the power is now truly in the hands of the consumer and the installer.
Up until now the MCS-approved installer has not really had to sell the benefits or explain how the consumer can track the performance of his system in terms of cost and carbon savings and the harvesting of energy that is returnable to the grid. Indeed for those householders keen to learn, they had to regularly monitor inverters and meters with difficult to understand displays often installed in lofts and outbuildings.
But technology now enables the installer to get this all-important message across in a simple-to-read – and even colour-coded format – which reveals the savings and the surplus energy, all in one convenient portable display, with no calculation required. More importantly, it is portable and rather like an ergonomic ‘home hub’ for the internet, can look like a design feature anywhere in the home. It can offer a digital read out of energy being produced and glows green when the system is in optimum mode – harvesting more energy than is being used in order that it can be sold back to the grid. Most importantly, those who have so far used the technology have saved an average of 20 per cent on their electricity bills.
To installers, the technology can remotely monitor the performance of the solar PV and flag up failing technology as an early warning system allowing them to add value to the relationship they have with that consumer. This is a big impact on the current one-transactional arrangement recently highlighted in theWHICH? Report that has dogged this fledgling industry to date. In future there will be a meeting of minds between a more sophisticated and informed consumer and a more proactive and collaborative installer community eager to bring greater innovation to the renewable market.
The sun has far from set on the solar PV industry. Consumers no longer blinded by cash incentives will drive demand through the savings they derive through the regular checking their levels of energy use and carbon reduction. This is not just in the home, but soon to be delivered to their smartphones as they go about their daily business.
This creates a level playing field where the customer is king and has a route to redress. Any shortfall in projected estimates can be addressed with the installer early on, whether it is down to a fault or a miscalculation. Also, through the next generation of remote monitoring, installers will be able to flag up issues and therefore be able to continue the valuable dialogue with the customer. It is at that stage that we can truly say: You’ve never had it so good!


Autolib : 100,000 rentals already !

It's in the news today: Autolib has reached its 100,000's rental wednesday, after four and a half months of service since dec 5th; The 100,000's user has won a diner for two at the Jules Verne famous restaurant on the Eiffel Tower, and a free Autolib pass for one year
The number of rentals is increasing by 10% every week, and last week (apr 9-15) it has been rented 10,000 times ! 

Click on the picture to access Autolib website:

This week end people can test drive Autolib for free at these spots:

Twizy - Sims 3 - A funky commercial my son told me about

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Carlos Ghosn visits Zama Battery Production Plant in Japan

Carlos Ghosn @ Nissan battery plant in Zama, Japan :
- They are the biggest producer of batteries
- Zero problem with customers about battery since the beginning of production
- The best level of quality and reliability
- They are trying to reduce the cost of batteries (the main part of the cost in an EV)
- Sumitomo joint venture and the use of batteries even after the car life is over (Secondary usage as Storage for wind and solar energy)

Battery Modules production line

Nissan DC Quick Charger

Range Anxiety ? Mitsubishi Canada can help you overcome your fears

The treatment is here:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Renault Twizy commercial in Fance

After a commercial seen saturday, I just received an email about a new Event launched by Renault to promote the Twizy; Going to Renault website, it looks like you can subscribe for a private test drive with it between April 19th and 23rd, in parisian dealerships only

Email screenshot:

Renault Twizy subscritpion site:

More info here: 

Monday, April 16, 2012

EVTV Friday Show - April 13, 2012

Another episode of EVTV !

This week:

- Integrating the Cadlilac Escalade EXT throttle body position sensors with the Soliton1 dual controllers
- Also better equipment for less for bottom balancing cells
- and more ...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mia Electric 4-seater interior

Justa  quick picture to show you the interior of the 4-seater of the Mia;
I think it is pretty spacious in this version and would be perfect for our little family of 4

Mia Red & Black Slideshow - Heuliez Friendly flashback

Here is a slideshow of all the pictures of the Mia I took last saturday

This reminded me when I first photographed the Heuliez Friendly back in September 2009, the first prototype of the future Mia ... I believed in this eletric car from the start and thought it would be a hit;
Years after, and with a better look, it is starting to become one, and was in March number one in electric car sales in France (after the Bluecar / Autolib).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fwd: vous présente la Mia R&B - Série Spéciale à partir de 11 000 Euros hors batterie

Aramis Auto, an official dealer of Mia Electric, sent me the email below last night: the price is even more reduced than what I saw saturday (see my former post Mia Electric - Mia Red and Black Special Edition a... ) starting at 10,500 EUR, for a 3-seater version with battery pack rental, during April with a coupon 500 EUR rebate. This is looking very good I think !

Expéditeur: Anthony Glotin <>
Date: 11 avril 2012 19:24:49 HAEC
Destinataire: undisclosed-recipients:;
Objet: vous présente la Mia R&B - Série Spéciale à partir de 11 000 Euros hors batterie

Bonjour, le plaisir de vous présenter la série spéciale de Mia :

red and black – rouge et noir

La Mia Electric est maintenant disponible avec la possibilité d'acheter ou de louer la batterie.

Mia Electric est disponible à partir de 11 000 € TTC seulement  (Aide Gouvernementale déduite) et la batterie à partir de 49 € TTC par mois.

L'ensemble de nos équipes sont à votre disposition pour répondre à vos questions et concrétiser votre projet.

Pour toute commande d'une Mia Electric au mois d'avril 2012 vous bénéficierez de 500 € de remise complémentaire sur présentation de ce message.
(Code Promo : MIA-AG-2012)

Pour plus d'informations contactez nous au     


Merci pour votre confiance.

Sincères salutations.

Anthony GLOTIN
Responsable Partenariats

39 avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier - 94 250 Paris Gentilly - Distributeur d'Automobiles

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Parked & charging behind Paris cityhall & surprise when I came back

Monday, I went for a walk in Marais, a nice neighborhood to hang out, and parked at the back of Paris cityhall to charge as usual. When I came back, after few hours, another EV was there charging :-) It doesn't happen very often for now

Yes you can use an extension cord, I use one outside (with a waterproof connection box) and in my parking garage and never had any problem; it just has to be able to carry 10-11 Amps; this one is fine up to 16A

Carwings capture on my iPhone when I left the LEAF 

When I came back, a Citroen C-Zero (Mitsubishi i-Miev Citroen version) was plugged in and charging

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tyco Kilovac contactor added to grid tie inverter set up

Few weeks ago I received my Tyco Kilovac contactor from Hong Kong; I purchased it used on eBay at a bargain price of 50 EUR or so, and it took 3 weeks to get here.
After testing it with a 12V battery, I added it to my discharge line, between the Amp meter and the Grid Tie inverter (3rd picture below), and it is deactivated by the Programmable Voltmeter when the battery pack hits 48V (and when kick in again at 52V, which means never)
The makes a loud clap noise when the coil is activated and the contact must be able to carry 500A ! Of course it is oversized for my project (10-15A max) but I wanted to try it after seeing it on many EV conversions

Mastervolt Soladin 600 - Small Grid Tie Inverter

Mastervolt Soladin 600 : This is the grid tie inverter I choose for my solar project; It seams to be a reliable GTI (ingeneered in the NL), easy to use, just plug & play with 2 MC4 solar connectors and a 220V plug.

Small PV system GTI:

Input (DC):  
  Nominal power @25 °C: 550W
  PV power range: 160-700 Wp
  MPP voltage range: 45-125V DC
  Maximum voltage: 155V DC
  MPP current: 8A
  MPP tracker: dynamic MPP tracker
  Start-up power:  1W DC @ 45V DC

It gives a lot of feedback on what it is doing, with just with 2 LEDs (yellow and red) blinking or in solid state. It is also small and pretty lite with only 2 kg (a SMA 3000W inverter weights 32 kg !)

I got it from a MasterVolt official dealer, in France, on this website, for 370 EUR back in july 2011: 
I will get another one for my two arrays of Uni-Solar PVs.

Full documentation here: 


Key figures:

Lower back view: 

Side view:

Rather small, about the same size as the Chinese GTI used for my LiFePO4 Battery Bank Storage System:

User manual first page with drawing/diagram:

DC MC4 Solar connectors:

EVTV Friday Show - April 6, 2012

Jack is back with another episode of EVTV

This week:

- Escalade motor mounts
- A123 cell balancing and Flatten Em' series module construction
- John Allen's Toyota
- Royce Wood's Cougar

Mia Electric - Mia Red and Black Special Edition and Special Offer

Last saturday, we went to a green vehicle event taking place in Paris, in front of the 3rd district cityhall; To me the most interesting part was the Mia Electric was there to see in its latest version; But there was a surprise...

There is a great value propostion for the Mia until June 2012: 11,500 EUR for the 3-seater, and 12,500 EUR for the 4-seater version of the Mia "Red & Black" Special Edition (Red leather seats inside, black carbone-look outisde, red accessories); Take a look at the pricing in this second picture; Very cheap I think, a real bargain, I would just rent the battery pack for 4 years, at 49 EUR / month 

Kids love it, and dad too ;-)

LEAF - Japanese shopping in Paris

That's where we do our Japanese food grocery shopping : some pictures and a video

Please Share this Post if you Liked it !

Please Share this Post if you Liked it ! Thanks !
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...