Review: USB Battery Charger (EBL C9010N)

Red and green LEDs above the batteries.

I'll review anything with a USB-C port. When hardware companies offer to send me a gadget to review, I'll always reply back with "only if it has USB-C". The EBL C9010N has a USB micro socket. *sigh* We live in the future now. Don't buy anything which requires you to have multiple cables and adapters. […]

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One MegaWattHour of Battery Power!

Large box attached to the wall. A white metal case with blue polka dots covers it. There is a small black and white screen in the middle.

Less than a year ago, in August 2023, we installed a 4.8kWh Solar Battery at a cost of £2,900. Whenever I talk about the upfront capital costs of solar power, people rightly want to know what the payback period is. Well, after less than 10 months, the battery has given us 1MWh. To put that […]

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Gadget Review: USB-C AA Batteries

Two AA batteries with SUB-C leads going into them.

Supertoys last all summer long! But batteries do not. The last set of rechargeable batteries I had leaked everywhere, and I could never find the right charging lead for the gizmo which pumped power into them. So let's cut out the middle-man and plug a USB-C cable straight into our batteries! What? These were the […]

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We pay 12p / kWh for electricity - thanks to a smart tariff and battery

Screenshot of our electricity bill showing 320kWh consumption.

I love my solar panels. But the solar panels don't love the British midwinter. Most of the year, my panels produce more electricity than I can use. But in winter we're lucky if they produce 3kWh per day - and most of the time it is considerably less. So our winter electricity bills must be […]

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eInk Display for Octopus's Agile Energy Tariff

An eInk screen with a line graph on it. The graph shows the current price of power. The eInk is mounted in a wooden frame.

I'm a little bit obsessed with building eInk displays. They're pretty cheap second hand. They're low energy, passive displays, with good-enough performance for occasional updates. Here's a new one which shows me what the current cost of my electricity is: Background After installing solar panels, a smart electricity meter, and a solar battery - the […]

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One month with a solar battery - real statistics

Graph with multiple lines. There's a spike about 6AM which is probably a kettle being boiled. Another near lunchtime which might be a microwave. The evening has a couple of hours of high use - which is probably a washing machine.

August is meant to be full of gloriously hot days. An endless parade of sunshine and drinks in the park. This year it seemed mostly grey, miserable, and prone to pissing it down at a moment's notice. We all know that solar panels' efficiency wilts in the heat, but do they get a tan work […]

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Using *over* 100% of our solar battery capacity in one day!

Line graph showing the battery's state of charge.

Please imagine I have an extreme-YouTube-shocked-face as this post's thumbnail image. We recently got a 4.8kWh solar battery installed. Batteries are still somewhat complex beasties. In order to prevent damage to the internal structure, a BMS (Battery Management System) ensures that each cell in the battery gets a fair share of wear and tear. One […]

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Solar Battery Statistics - Day One

A complex graph with multiple overlapping coloured lines.

We recently upgraded our home solar storage to 4.8kWh. The battery has sensors to detect how much solar power we're generating, and how much electricity we're buying from (or selling to) the grid. That means... GRAPHS AND STATISTICS! Our battery was commissioned just after midday. This graph shows: 1630 - it was fully charged. 2000 […]

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Review: Moixa 4.8kWh Solar Battery

Large box attached to the wall. A white metal case with blue polka dots covers it. There is a small black and white screen in the middle.

I have upgradeitis. If something newer and shinier comes out, my stupid monkey-brain compels me to buy it. Seven years ago, we installed a solar battery. It was part of an experimental project which looked at creating a community power-grid, so it came at a subsidised price. As I explained to BBC Click, the 2kWh […]

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Gadget Review: SMT1500i UPS + Linux Instructions

Back of UPS with lots of ports.

I never get power cuts. But, we've had two in the last week. They've both been fixed quickly, but it takes an age for my cable modem to reboot - and then an age for my smarthome to reconnect to the WiFi. So it was time to invest in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). My […]

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