You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2010.

This graph says it all!

I went from a small 10kW hours to, in four days, 52 kW hours. That day was over 90 degrees. On average, my summer usage is closer to 30kW hours a day. This puts me close to 1000 kW hours a month. When I finally decide to replace my Air Conditioner I hope to reduce that by 200kW hours. Since my current Air conditioning load appears to be about 500kW hours, I feel this is a reasonable number. Why? My current AC is a SEER 10. A new unit will have at least SEER 18. This would be almost a 100% increase. Thus reducing the usage by close to half.

Advertisements

By city, I mean New York City. For starters I would lose the car. Who needs a car in the city? I mean if I need a car, I will just do Zip cars. With mass transit comes a much smaller transportation CO2 foot print.

Now I have a 3000 sq. foot house. Not in NYC. a 1000 sq. ft. apartment would cost three times the value of my current home. Thus, I would have to downsize. Smaller home means smaller foot print.

Apartment means no grass to mow. The emissions from a lawn mower can be 30 times that of a car. There is no catalytic converter on a lawn mower. Now my other lawn tools would be gone too.

Apartment almost always have neighbors. That means your “roof” maybe someone else’s floor. Unless you live on the top floor that is. If you lived in the middle of a brownstone row, you may have only one outside wall. This would help reduce your heating and cooling load tremendously.

By my estimates, I would think my carbon foot print would reduced to less than a third of what it is now. There is a movement to make livable neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that you can live and work in.

The major problem I have is where would the solar panels and solar hot water go?

Maybe, but not as good if you were to use a thermal module directly with the heat source. (Think fire people.) For a good list of products to get my brain thinking I went to tegpower.com.  I don’t know if the power output is linear but there 30 Watt module produces that 30 watts with a temperature difference of 258C. The best you could get with solar hot water would be maybe 65C. (80C hot and 15C cold) So you may get 7 watts. At the cost of $300 for the panel only, it would not be worth it.

Now if you could mount it to the header of a evacuated heat pipe collector, you may be in business. According to the apricus.com website.

Each heat pipe is tested for heat transfer performance and exposed to 250oC (482oF) temperatures prior to being approved for use.

This upper limit is below the upper limit for the thermal electric unit. So this could be done if someone wanted to investigate.

Personally, I would leave the hot water and the power generating separate. Water and electricity do mix.

Well, that is the flavor for today. The problem is that you have to rely on someone else for the gas. (NG or LPG) But, if you can have as much on gas as possible you would need less solar panels. I will use my house as an example. On average I use 4 kw hours a day to heat water. (This is good for electric heating) If I were to use Solar Panels for this electric (very bad idea BTW) I would need an extra 100o watts of panels. I also have an electric range. While it is hard to measure actual output, an educated guess would be 2 kW hours a day on average.

Without heat or AC running, I would use less than 10kW hours a day. This would be a more manageable solar array. (about 3kW for me) I could shave a little more off of that 10 kW hour number but it would be more of a hassle then it is worth right now. What I need to find is a heating and cooling system that runs off of solar thermal energy. Then the backup would be a gas-fired boiler. I will keep looking for this system.

I was looking at my electric bill the other day. Man, riders sure are a pain. I have about ten of them on my bill, at least two are credits but still. Why so many. From what I have gathered, it is a may to make more money from the customer. A nickel here, a dime there. But I have a problem with two of the riders. Rider 71 – Clean coal adjustment. Well, clean and coal don’t below in the same sentence but that is another issue all together. Rider 61 – Coal gasification adjustment. Here is the problem. From everything I have heard about “Clean Coal” it almost always points to gasification. So the two riders are the same thing!

On my last bill, rider 71 was $2.93 and rider 61 was $1.40. Not that much but I know this just goes right to the bottom line of Duke Energy. To top it off Duke wants to raise rider 61 because of cost over runs. You can’t win. So I took the “can’t beat them join them approach”. I purchase some Vectren Stock about a month ago. Vectren is my Gas company not my electric company. But they do provide electric to most of the southern half of Indiana. A few months ago they asked the Indiana board for a rate increase. Most of their case was based on falling revenue. But some of it was to cover equipment upgrades. (Just like Duke wants to do.) In the rate case documents they stated they wanted to maintain about a 10% ROI for their stakeholders. Who would not want a 10% ROI. So I purchased some stock. I figure that Vectren was a more stable company then Duke.

I guess everything is going a la cart these days. Just look at your trash bill. Mine has a fuel cost adjustment. I called and they said that anytime the average fuel cost is about $2 a gallon of diesel they charge the adjustment. When is the next time you will see Diesel below $2?

Maybe I should just buy a little piece of all the utilities I have at the house, then I won’t feel so bed when I have to pay more for the same service.

I need to call my friend over at Solarhome.org. Maybe they can run the numbers for me on a solar panel system??? Prices keep coming down on solar and up on electric bills.