27 Dec

Melbourne Surf – Solar Powered Adventure at Ocean Grove

Think Melbourne Australia is not a renown surf spot? Think again. My mate of 20 years plus Phil Sidney invited me on a wild surf trip along the coast line of Melbourne, Victoria solar panelsAustralia. As you will see from looking at the map of Melbourne below, because of the weird shape of the coastline, there is actually over 800 km of potential surf beaches. Phil is a Torquay fan and has surfed the entire coast, east to west for years. We had 3 weeks ‘roughing it’ along the surf beaches to the west of the city – an amazing time.

Torquay Cove was a bit flat initially but much better after sun down. Late one afternoon waves were about 4-6ft mostly,and a couple of faster closeouts, it was very easy to judge which direction they were coming  from or where they would break and over all it was so cool and nice and close to shore , shallow water and the Toruay pub (ha ha!). Phil and i  caught a handful of decent waves for the 2 1/2 hour drive from Frankston ,though i must say the cold water bought tears to my eyes. A couple of Phil’s friends and I went out around 6:30am-9:45am, very brisk – its located just  south of the famous Ale House. The waves were ok and it looked like the SE did fill in a bit with the SW wind swell and there some good 5-6 wave sets on offer so we had fun before a weird breakfast Phil made for us – more on this later. On some occasions we had 6-7 foot faces and some pretty funky rights and lefts, although a bit crowded by the time we left. We are longboarders , though we saw shortboarders  over the North end.

Solar Breakfast!

Phil is s legend – he can fix anything and build absolutely anything you can imagine…

His Kombie van has the best solar powered fridge, stove and lighting. He acquires a bunch vw kombie classic!!of  solar panels and to invested in the solar inverter and got some skilled labor to create a large solar PV panel array that was designed to be installed on Melbourne roof’s to supply solar electricity into Melbourne homes. The advice and parts were supplied via Ron at Integal Solar  , who is knowledgeable about all things solar – hardware, panels, invertrers, solar feed in tariffs and solar rebates in Melbourne – that is the main reason why solar power in Melbourne is on the up and up, as the Victorian State Government subsidises home solar panel installation in Melbourne. Phil’s Melbourne home had 40, yes 40 solar panels of the roof and generates 5k watts of solar power on a sunny Melbourne day (not many of those – joking Phil!). Phil’s house is in Frankston and has a massive north facing roof – perfect for solar power. He reckons the solar installation has not only cut his power bill, but, wait for it, he actually makes a small income from them as the extra power the solar panels produce is fed back to the main electricity grid and the Victorian Government pays a ‘solar feed in tariff’ meaning he gets a credit on his power bill! As a renewable energy boffin , Phil used the extra solar panels to power his Kombie – bottom line is we had a fantastic solar powered meal cooked courtesy of my good mate Phil!