Who has non-convensional energy sources?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ross, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would like to hear who is using solar or wind or ??????? power from either homemade or factory built systems to power or suppliment their energy supply. We use wood for heat and are looking at various solar and wind systems but remain unconvinced and pretty skeptical. Still if we could cut our oil or electricity bills even somewhat it would be satisfying!
     
  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have been using wind power to generate electricity since 1977 and solar (PVs) since 1981. We justified our first set of batteries and wind generator because it was cheaper than paying to have the power lines brought in. When we later moved to town into a house already with electricity from the grid, we had the generator, tower, some batteries, some PVs (solar electric panels), etc., so we hooked them up again. We got more solar panels, new batteries, and some other new controls, etc., and the system now provides maybe half of the power that we use. We are stingy users of electricity compared to most people, thought, and we do the alternative energy primarily for political and self-sufficiency reasons. The equipment works well, is reliable if you buy good stuff, and should last for your grandchildren to use it. It is not cheap!!
    Always glad to try to help when it comes to alternative energy.
    Check Home Power magazine for good info.

    Jim
     

  3. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Like you, I'm also not convinced and am very skeptical of the alternative energies. What I am starting to research more is the savings from things like front-load washing machines, on-demand water heaters, LCD monitors, etc... basically saving money while on the grid.

    cheers,
     
  4. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    We pay .07 per kilowatt from the co-operative we belong to, we heat exclusively with wood, are water heater is electric, dryer and cooking stove as well. I am looking at converting to partail hydrogen using a taionary genset, and even burning hydrogen in a propane hotwater heater, should it be economical to make hydrogen fuel......
    my dad looked into methane in the 1970's figured to run a steam genset, and compress excess for running an old 9N or similar tractor and even turn a genset with one as well. he just coud never get it implemented before losing te farm in the 80's, we stil talk of it asossibility with a dozen cows for manure production for the digester......dad is only 70 and would still like to be on a small homestead to try a few ideas..... but he wont move in with us cause he dont want to impose his ideas on us.....oh well.

    One lung engines have run on methane all over the world for generations, including a pump in a chicago sewer for 70 years pumping sewerage 6 feet up cause two pipes didnt meet correctly and no one knew it until it quit..... so methane isnt a bad idea..... Henry Ford even wanted people to use methane in his proposed Hempmobile..... small methane plants on every homestead, think of the independance.

    a greenhouse on a southern wall even in your neck of the plains should yeild a passive heating system at minimal cost [building materials] use a small circulating fan for heat trasfer into the main house...... then only supplement with wood....???

    Wiiliam
     
  5. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    I run a PV solar power system that provides about 1/2 of my home energy needs, everything that is on 120 VAC. I would expand it but I have plans for the extra PV panels I have in storage. Besides, my array produces more power than I can use at this time with the current setup. I do not have a good quality 240 VAC inverter for the loads I still have on the grid, way too expensive for my current budget.

    Bob
     
  6. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I use solar panels on my motorhome,and have an inverter to change it to 120volt.Its real nice,I just spent three days in it when we got snowed out from home,its real slick to have the batteries fire it right up,after it sat for three months.Yep,its expensive,so is a new car,depends on what its worth to you to produce your own power.For me,I will spend a new car to solar power my next home.It represents freedom and insurance against ever increasing energy costs,I like the pay upfront aspect and no pay,or very little,in my retirement years for power.Much better investment than a car in my book.Those panels should outlast me no problem.
    Solar power :worship: :worship: :worship:
    BooBoo
     
  7. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    This morning I was affirmed of the value of my PV solar power system. The ice and wind knocked out grid power at 4:45 AM. My neighbor across the street looked out and saw my lights on and spent half an hour checking his breakers, going outside checking the power lines, driving up and down the street looking for why his power was out but mine wasn't.

    When he noticed that all the other houses were dark, only then did he remember that I have my own solar power system. He then went home and fired up his generator. His poor wife was just getting started with thanksgiving dinner when the lights went out. Her all electric kitchen was useless when the grid went down. His small generator hookup is set up for lights and heat (furnace fan) only, not the kitchen.

    Grid power was out for only 3 hours, but it was long enough that it would have probably killed all the chicks in my outdoor brooders had they been reliant on the grid for their warmth. The temperature was below freezing outside.

    Bob
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Yep,we have the battery/inverter backup at the house,power goes out I just plug in the extension cords and we have lights/tv.Neighbors have some noisey construction gennies,so we listen to them.
    Another benefit of your own power system,worth the cost to us.Im a believer in that these systems are reliable and work very well.
    BooBoo
     
  9. JV

    JV Well-Known Member

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    If you buy high quality and do a thorough site asessment renewable energy can be a very good LONG term investment. But you are always money ahead with investments in efficient appliances and lights. The rule of thumb when you are thinking about alternative energy systems is that a dollar spent on efficiency equals about $4-$5 spent on energy generation.
     
  10. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Savings are a good way to start. I'm currently changing aou evety other barn light with compact flourcents 100 watts vers 26 watts with 40 bulbs it should be quite a savings. I'm doing every other light to see how they work out this winter.



    2500 watts verses 4000 watts for 6 hours a day should make quite a difference.



    mikell
     
  11. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    I use those 15 watt compact flourescents throughout my home and in my henhouse. They put out about 60 watts worth of light for 1/4 the electric consumption, and run great off of the inverter.

    Bob