Ever wondered what happens to your old laptop and electronics batteries when you up grade. Well if you recycled them maybe they ended up with Pete Matthews.
The Brisbane man who’s a bit of a DIY tech head built his own Tesla Powerwall using recycled components and batteries from laptops and electronics, the system powers his home off grid appliances excluding air-conditioning, hot water and stove.
His self built system can store 40kwh, or 2.8 times the capacity of Tesla’s Powerwall and cost about 10,000 to build. Made from 4,480 batteries commonly found in laptops and rechargeable consumer devices that were bought by the kilo from recycling centres costing about 8 cents each. Most of the other components where purchased from eBay.
The US science and technology website Motherboard recently called Mr Matthews “one of the most central figures of the DIY powerwall scene”.
“There’s blokes in their sheds, their basements, in their back pergolas, all doing these projects, all having fun, all learning together, all growing as a community. Anybody could do it.”
Mr Matthews completed all the work himself but did hire a licensed electrician to ensure his system was safe.
He also thinks the project has great potential for the third world where second hand parts are abundant and power security is unreliable.
“If you can hold a soldering iron and read a cookbook I’m sure you’d be capable of doing this.”
You may not have the time or inclination to build one of these systems yourself, but be sure to dispose of your electronics and batteries appropriately to ensure they are processed and recycled to be used again in the future.