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Author Topic: Using solar or windpower for new homes
Webgear
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posted 27 December 2006 11:39 AM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am currently in the process of creating my retirement home which I hope to have built in 2016. I have the purchased a small acreage and I am currently planning my home design.

I am serious thinking about using solar and wind power to provide electricity for my house.

I am thought about combining both systems, that way I will have a backup system in case of good or bad weather.

Does anyone have any personal (either negative or positive) experiences or advice with solar or wind power that they can share with me?


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 27 December 2006 12:13 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well that sounds great, PM me anout any thing you find out as I am thinking of doing some covenrsions. That said, covnersions are very expensive.

I think some kind of federally funded grant system is in order in order to encourage homeowners to make the conversions necessary.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 27 December 2006 01:24 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
...I think some kind of federally funded grant system is in order in order to encourage homeowners to make the conversions necessary.
Probably cancelled by "Canada's New Government of Anti-environmental Morons"

From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Steppenwolf Allende
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posted 27 December 2006 03:09 PM      Profile for Steppenwolf Allende     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Skookum! You got my admiration, for sure.

Most of what I could tell you is stuff that I have read or been told via interviews, etc.—info you probably already have.

Obviously, with either solar or wind power, the big thing to consider is location. You need to be in an area where you get a fairly steady supply of wind or sun. The big problem with these systems isn’t so much how much power they can generate when conditions are good. Rather, it’s that they don’t often have very effective ways of storing energy to use when conditions are bad.

Of course, if your place is on a fairly large lot, then you should be fine with a wind generator. But if it’s going to be on the usual urban-standard 100 X 33 lot, that could be problematic, especially with neighbours and just the thing being an eye-sore. Safety is another concern, since there may not be the space needed.

This is where zoning rules and building codes become very important. Also, just as a back-up, it’s usually advised to stay hooked up to Hydro (electric) and/or have a motor generator, since the conditions even in some of the best places in the country can leave a wind or solar home system lacking.

There’s an interesting roof-top wind generator that actually doesn’t take up much space, although I’m not too sure how much energy it can generate.

If you’re going to be in a rural area with good wind access, here’s something that seems to have caught on with different folks in the US.

Obviously, while there are many good honest progressive types involved in promoting these systems, sadly there are the dominant greed-headed eco-capitalist outfits as well, with zippo ethics and Wal-Mart style agendas that don’t care how well off you will be, as long as they can take your cash. So, as the old adage goes, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Here’s a link to a consumer guide for home wind power systems; along with one for solar power and other non-fossil systems.

Here is Vancouver, there’s a great co-op business, called the Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-op,that was started by some NDPers a couple years ago that installs such systems on houses. It’s a great thing—but sadly, still, it ain’t cheap. Their site has some good info.

[ 27 December 2006: Message edited by: Steppenwolf Allende ]


From: goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Legless-Marine
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posted 27 December 2006 03:34 PM      Profile for Legless-Marine        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
I am currently in the process of creating my retirement home which I hope to have built in 2016. I have the purchased a small acreage and I am currently planning my home design.

I am serious thinking about using solar and wind power to provide electricity for my house.

I am thought about combining both systems, that way I will have a backup system in case of good or bad weather.

Does anyone have any personal (either negative or positive) experiences or advice with solar or wind power that they can share with me?


http://www.pembina.org is worth checking out - primarily policy related, but also a good gateway to other resources.

HTH.


From: Calgary | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 27 December 2006 03:53 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Currently solar electricity is not viable. It costs more in interest per year on your investment than you can possibly get back. And the equipment you buy next year will probably be cheaper and better than what you buy this year.
But solar heat is another matter. It is way way more efficient than solar electricity.
Solar thermal means using the suns energy to heat the water in your boiler and passive solar is about having your house situated and your glass covered enclosures situated so that they capture the heat from the sun when and where you most need them.
Both these things are economical to do right now.
The heat and hot water that you get from your system saves you a little more in electricity or oil or gas purchases than the interest payments on the equipment. So with solar thermal, every month you save a little.
So you can safely increase your mortgauge to pay for it or alternatively, companys do provide financing (just like buying a car).
I think for the best solar house, the BACK of the house should face south. (This is to hide the equipment because it detracts from your houses kerb appeal). North facing houses are probably cheaper so thats a good thing!
I dont apporove of grants to do stuff, I think the stick of regulation will much more quickly get people into renewable energy. (And regulation does not drive up the price as much as grants do).
But without either, solar thermal is practical right now.
Taylor Munroe is a good solar firm in vancouver.

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 27 December 2006 09:28 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I looked into buying solar panels and equipment to get me plugged into the grid so I could sell excess electrical power back to the power company. I figured it out that the panels and stuff wouldn't pay for itself for another 35 years or so. I could increase the resale value more if I were to upgrade the furnace, slap some paint on here and there and change a few windows for visual appeal. Of course, Hampton's NDP is promising to help us all make our homes more energy efficient, which would save us all a bundle in electricity rates down the road. I suppose Ontarians prefer our Liberal government's plan to sink billions into nuclear-powered money pits instead while we end up re-mortgaging just to pay our light bills. Byootaful.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 27 December 2006 10:12 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Webgear, it is a bit difficult to predict what the energy market will be ten years from now. Since you plan to move in presumably in 2016. If you have a property now and it has few trees on it, plant some more soon, at this point they will give you the best environmental return.
From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 27 December 2006 11:22 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Solar Energy Society of Canada website: information and links.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 30 December 2006 12:07 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just go with a mix of varietys. climate change is happening quick. you need drought tollerant ones and possibly ones for a much warmer climate too.
quote:
Originally posted by Bubbles:
Webgear, it is a bit difficult to predict what the energy market will be ten years from now. Since you plan to move in presumably in 2016. If you have a property now and it has few trees on it, plant some more soon, at this point they will give you the best environmental return.

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
cooper3339
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posted 30 December 2006 09:17 AM      Profile for cooper3339        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
try going to energyalternatives.ca to get some ideas
From: Winnipeg | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 30 December 2006 10:11 AM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Webgear: I'm also building a retirement home that will incorporate solar/wind power. Don't expect to sell power to the grid. I doubt that will happen.

If power utilities were ever forced (and they would have to be) into allowing grid tied private residential systems, a one meter system where the meter runs backward when private power is sold to the system is best. That of course means a single power price,whether providing or consuming which is more than corporate greed can bear. Utilities will wish to have a two meter system whereby they sell power at retail rates and repurchase at wholesale.

I am utilising solar/wind dc current to both feed an inverter and charge a battery system. The batteries will provide dc power to the inverter when solar/wind power is insufficient to meet demand.

By isolating low amperage circuits on a sub-panel of the main breaker panel which is grid supplied, the inverter can supply maximum renewable power.

A low voltage trip switch will disconnect the private power at the appropriate voltage allowing the grid power to feed the sub panel. When the private system is recharged, the sub panel will be disconnected from the grid. These items are all solid state now and easily acquired.

I also am installing geothermal heat/cool with heat pumps suppying infloor closed loop circuits.

While the capital costs are not insubstantial, the long term security of supply coupled with the ability to significantly reduce uncertain future power costs make the investment worthwhile.

My system is more comprehensive than that required by the majority of homeowners, though the geothermal system is not adequate to heat the pool. I calculate the payback ( estimating future power costs as constant) to be roughly 30 years.

It is rather ironic that those who constantly bleat about the environment and global warming are the first to complain of high costs associated with private power. I suppose the environment is not as important if the complainers have to pay personally.

I estimate that 50% of my personal power demand can be provided with renewable energy although 100% is possible if heavy demand appliances are removed.


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Palamedes
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posted 30 December 2006 10:34 AM      Profile for Palamedes        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you build windmills, you have to anticipate any neighbours that you have to complain vehemently.

You have no idea how many times social and enviormental progress is impeded by people concerned that the neighbourhood won't look as nice.


From: Toronto | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 30 December 2006 11:02 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For heating your pool, the best way is some sort of black plastic absorber pannels.
The payback time is only a few years.
I believe thats the bulk of the taylor munroe business.
Pools and hottubs cost a fortune to heat. The black plastic pannels are not super efficient but very cheap and provide most of the energy to heat the pool. (Best payback time often requires medium tech rather than super expensive high tech)

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 30 December 2006 04:46 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This roof mounted turbine from the link above can generate up to 5 kw.

[ 30 December 2006: Message edited by: jester ]

[ 30 December 2006: Message edited by: jester ]


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 30 December 2006 09:23 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jester:
It is rather ironic that those who constantly bleat about the environment and global warming are the first to complain of high costs associated with private power. I suppose the environment is not as important if the complainers have to pay personally.

I know the NDP in Ontario is advocating locally-produced electrical power where possible but on a municipal level where the costs are distributed. Why place the onus on what would be a minority of citizens with sufficient personal resources to save the world from runaway energy costs, global warming etc?.

Most people can't afford tens of thousands of dollars for solar panels or the equipment to sell power back to the grid. The NDP is advocating a broad range of energy conservation schemes like the State of California undertook after that U.S. state's experiment in electrical power deregulation went awry.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Martha (but not Stewart)
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posted 30 December 2006 10:22 PM      Profile for Martha (but not Stewart)     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jester:
This roof mounted turbine from the link above can generate up to 5 kw.

Kewl. Can that thing generate enough electricity for an average household? If so (even if not) it looks brilliant.


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 30 December 2006 10:54 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I am serious thinking about using solar and wind power to provide electricity for my house.

How are you going to heat it?


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 02 January 2007 04:33 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:

How are you going to heat it?


I am planning on using a large stone fireplace to heat the home. I have 180 acres of timber that will supply the wood for the fireplace.

Thank you to everyone that reply to my question.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 02 January 2007 06:05 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
180 acres is no small acreage. You could erect a wind turbine. You are planning for post carbon, aren't you?
From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 02 January 2007 06:45 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am trying to become completely self-sufficient. I am planning on a few wind turbines and other options for my property.

I am planning on having a small farm, which I hope will produce a great deal of meat and vegetables for my family and friends.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 02 January 2007 06:56 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Will you be practicing permaculture? And you will be organic, right?

Something else you might be interested in is the WhisperGen. This is amazing:

http://www.whispergen.com/main/acwhispergen/


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 January 2007 07:00 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
I am trying to become completely self-sufficient. I am planning on a few wind turbines and other options for my property.

I am planning on having a small farm, which I hope will produce a great deal of meat and vegetables for my family and friends.


Probly a good idea.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 02 January 2007 08:26 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

I know the NDP in Ontario is advocating locally-produced electrical power where possible but on a municipal level where the costs are distributed. Why place the onus on what would be a minority of citizens with sufficient personal resources to save the world from runaway energy costs, global warming etc?.

Most people can't afford tens of thousands of dollars for solar panels or the equipment to sell power back to the grid. The NDP is advocating a broad range of energy conservation schemes like the State of California undertook after that U.S. state's experiment in electrical power deregulation went awry.


Any apartment dweller can create a heat pump with some abs plumbing pipe and a roll of tinfoil.

Any apartment dweller can use a pvc panel to power a 12 volt system that will provide lighting and,through a Canadian Tire 400 watt inverter, a TV and a computer for under $1,000.

I lived in the Yukon for 20 years with a 12 volt b+w tv and rv lights. It does not require a lot of money, just doing rather than talking.

As far as heat is concerned, there is much innovation by do-it-yerselfers in the geothermal field as well. While the cost of a typical geothermal setup is about 30k, this cost can be substantially reduced by eliminating the huge built in contractor's profit.

The isolated system I described above is designed to provide reliable power for average demand at a very reasonable cost.

A $30k solar/wind system is much more than the average home requires. This system will provide inverter power for heavy loads washers,dryers,stoves etc


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 02 January 2007 09:38 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, Jester's ideas are more of a plan than McGuilty's Liberals have at this time, imo. Who thinks we should sink $35 billion(and that's lowball fer sure) into refurbishing nuclear reactors in Ontario ?. How much will more will these money pits cost us based on the Darlington Island fiasco ?.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 03 January 2007 09:00 AM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I got a kick out of the Librano's One Tonne fiasco. The only thing they did to meet Kyoto was give Rick Mercer a lot of money to cover the issue in bullshit.

Now, Monsieur Dion will have us believe that he is the solution to the same problem he refused to address in the first place. I don't believe any politicians have the will to make a difference because they will actually have to govern and governing conveys political risk.

For government to make the changes necessary to allow the populace meaningful access to green technology, they will have to challenge entrenched ideology in the regulatory sector where a thousand individual fiefdoms have their own axes to grind,their own lobby goups pushing an agenda and their own funding to maintain.

It will take a politician of rare courage and skill to wade into that particular shitstorm and Canada does not have such a politician. Given that most of the regulatory pit of snakes is a provincial/municipal area of jurisdiction, any attempt impose green technology for the masses by the feds will be met with pleas for funding of pet projects as a quid pro quo.

IF meeting the one tonne challenge through green housing /solar /wind energy was made possible, what effect would lowering emissions by 33 million tonnes have?

As opposed to ruining the economy, how many small businesses and jobs would be created by merely utilising EXISTING technology in a package that meets the requirements of present housing?

NASA can be credited for research in passive solar technology. Photovoltaic cells are becoming less costly and a huge demand would allow for production synergies.


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 03 January 2007 10:47 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't find this on the net anywhere, but I recall a story done by CBC earlier this year on some house in rural Nova Scotia. My foggy memory is placing it in the Parrsboro area. Anyway, he's built a heating system by painting dryer exhaust hoses black (using a specific heat absorbing paint), and enclosing a system of these hoses behind insulated glass. This system is placed along the house on a southern exposure, and hooked up with some sort of automated air exchanger.

I wish I could find the story online. Grr (at my own lack of surfing ability)


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 03 January 2007 11:09 AM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah....there are all sorts of homemade systems around. The technology is simple.If there was an impetus toward home based renewable power, entrepreneurs would soon flood the market with various options and the market could define the successes.

Most of the homemade systems are rudimentary and inefficient but the same setup, engineered for efficiency, cost and convenience could make a real difference.


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 03 January 2007 10:50 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's an interesting article, linked to on the dark side of all places.
quote:
...Ian Gilmartin, 60, has invented a mini water wheel capable of supplying enough electricity to power a house - for free.

The contraption is designed to be used in small rivers or streams - ideal for potentially thousands of homes across Britain...



From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 05 January 2007 10:28 AM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
I am trying to become completely self-sufficient. I am planning on a few wind turbines and other options for my property.

I am planning on having a small farm, which I hope will produce a great deal of meat and vegetables for my family and friends.


If you have not built the house yet, I would take a serious look at geothermal heating and power. It is harder once you have a structure, though not impossible. And it is almost completely self-sustaining. Throw on a solar panel or three and a wood stove to burn your deadfalls and you would be free and clear.

Bigger start up costs, but it would pay for itself fairly quickly.

I would also take a serious look at Passivhaus designs. Their proponents claim (accurately, AFAIK) that the higher cost of insulation etc. is more than offset by not having to install a furnace.

[ 05 January 2007: Message edited by: arborman ]


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 05 January 2007 10:46 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I notice that Crappy Tire is selling wind power kits. Not that I am recomending them or not. It's just a measure that these things are now becoming more commercial and easier to use.

On the solar end, there are claims that we are on the edge of being able to harness solar power on the infra red end. If true, that should revolutionize solar power, and might be available when you retire, Webgear.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 January 2007 11:36 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It should be available to the military before then.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 05 January 2007 04:28 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If you have not built the house yet, I would take a serious look at geothermal heating and power. It is harder once you have a structure, though not impossible. And it is almost completely self-sustaining. Throw on a solar panel or three and a wood stove to burn your deadfalls and you would be free and clear.

arborman,

Geothermal heating, does that not consist of some long underground lines, through which one pumps water in order to bring the water to the undergrounds temperature. And then extract the collected heat byway of a heatpump and bring it to the house? That would require a considerable motor to run that heat-pump. That might be good when you are connected to the grit, but it would be expensive if one wants to create the power via solarcells. Also it would seem to be no problem to install that later, since one only has to run a few pipes and electric lines trough the basement wall. Am I missing something?


From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 05 January 2007 04:37 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bubbles:
Geothermal heating, does that not consist of some long underground lines, through which one pumps water in order to bring the water to the undergrounds temperature. And then extract the collected heat byway of a heatpump and bring it to the house?
Something like that, although if you build on top of a hot spring you won't have far to pump the water!

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 05 January 2007 04:40 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My understanding, at least according to George Monbiot's latest book, is that the power to operate geothermal heating is about 10% of the power that would otherwise be used to heat a home.

Given a good mix of wind and solar, it could work.

There are two kinds of geothermal - and it depends on where you live. If you are lucky enough to be over a deep & hot aquifer, then it's a pipe straight down into the hot water. Hot water comes up, cools off while heating your house, then back down into the aquifer again to be repressurized and reheated (more or less). Or pumped into your water tanks or something. Water your garden... Definitely better to be installed while building the house.

The other kind involved horizontal pipes through the soil about ?12? feet underground, where apparently the mean temperature is about ?10? degrees. The water flows through the pipes, then is compressed (and therefore further heated up) by the pump in the house. This one can be done anywhere, but the logistics of putting in pipes ?12? feet underground and for a certain length suggest that it would be much easier in the building phase - rather than digging up the garden with a backhoe.

All numbers are based on my rough memory of what I read last night, and it would be better to go and look at one of the many geothermal sites before believing me.

[ 05 January 2007: Message edited by: arborman ]


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Farmpunk
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posted 05 January 2007 05:32 PM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To run a truly organic, self sustaining farm, you need wood chips for composting. Heating the home and water with wood is a good fit, in this case.
From: SW Ontario | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 05 January 2007 06:24 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
M.Spector,

Thanks for the link, but I have a feeling that Webgear is unlikely to have a place on top of some hot springs.

Did you read this article on ethanol. If I recall you are interested in this topic. Seems the US is misguided once more.

Farmpunk, I heat almost exclusively with wood, built myself an outdoor wood fired boiler and pipe the hot water into the house for heating purposes. Made the firebox big enough to fit small square bales, sothat I can burn old or moldy haybales, of which there are always some around. A woodshipper would increase the efficiency of the combustion process, but it greatly increases the mechanical complexity of the boiler.


From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 05 January 2007 06:32 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bubbles:
Did you read this article on ethanol.
Thanks. I hadn't read that one, but I did read a similar one in today's Globe and Mail.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Farmpunk
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posted 06 January 2007 02:32 AM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bubbles, wood chips are used for organic composting, to sustainably raise the crops Webgear wants to grow. Dry, seasoned firewood, the traditional kind, is an excellent renewable source of heat in a situation such as this. WG can integrate wood lot management into his heating program, his building maintainence, and his farming practices. But you gotta use the entire tree, and that includes chipping.

[ 06 January 2007: Message edited by: Farmpunk ]


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Bubbles
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posted 06 January 2007 07:13 AM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Farmpunk,

Yours is one aproach to take. For myself I tend to harvest firewood two inch in diameter and up. The rest I tend to put in piles in the woods for the little critters to build their homes in. In due time it decomposes and recycles back into life. And the ashes I return to the woods in order to try to maintain the nutrient cycle as complete as I can.

As far as meat production is concerned, one of my neighbours, who is in the cattle bussiness, rents some of my land and in return I buy some beef from him.


From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 06 January 2007 08:30 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I save the wood chips, wood dust, and indeed anything that falls on the ground during cutting and splitting wood that I don't intend to burn as firewood, and take it to the edge of my property in the hopes something good will come of it. The edge of my property is a cliff that falls down to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. If I can find affordable cedar bushes, I'm going to plant them near the edge in the hope the roots will keep the ground from falling into the sea. Shoreline erosion is a concern here, but the three levels of government haven't responded positively to our concerns yet. I wonder if some plant seeds added to this wood debris (chips, dust, etc...) would take root?
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 06 January 2007 03:05 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by arborman:
The other kind involved horizontal pipes through the soil about ?12? feet underground, where apparently the mean temperature is about ?10? degrees. The water flows through the pipes, then is compressed (and therefore further heated up) by the pump in the house.
When did physicists discover the secret to compressing water?

And what are the implications for hydraulic power, which was premised on the basis that water is not compressible?


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 06 January 2007 07:18 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The edge of my property is a cliff that falls down to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. If I can find affordable cedar bushes, I'm going to plant them near the edge in the hope the roots will keep the ground from falling into the sea.

Boom Boom,

I am not sure if planting cedars near the edge of that cliff is going to help you anything. It is the undercutting of the cliff by the waves that is eroding your shore. Unless the roots go below the waters edge they will do little. Mangrove trees would be good, but you might have to wait another seventy years of human inaction on climate change before they will be able to grow on the north shore.

I am no horticulturalist, but my impression is, that cedars are rather shallow rooted trees and slow growing. Willows have masive root systems, but they might not like the salt water. Pines seem to stand up fairly well to shore erosion,but again I am not sure about the salt water. Scotch pines grow fast and will grow in many places, are fairly wind firm. Staghorn sumacs are pretty and spread via the roots, so if a few fall over the edge you will have others to replace them. Just some ideas.


From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 06 January 2007 07:32 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The first thing we're trying to get done is to extend the existing breakwater down past my property and a couple of others. It was a municipal project funded by the feds about five or six years ago. It wasn't extended far enough to do much good.

The shoreline erosion in another part of our community is quite extreme, and near the cemetery, which is also not far from the edge of a cliff. I can post some photos if I can get their sizes reduced.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 06 January 2007 07:45 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
When did physicists discover the secret to compressing water?

And what are the implications for hydraulic power, which was premised on the basis that water is not compressible?


Annoying twerp ain'tcha. If only those who meet your exacting standards are allowed to join in, you'll be talkin to yourself, as usual.

Geothermal is a closed loop system that utilises a refrigerant the same as fridge or freezer. The compressor creates heat which is removed by the heat exchanger or run it backwards for cooling in season.

It is laid in loops in trenches or installed in vertical boreholes.

Another cost effective solution is to install a heat pump and use an airconditioning condenser as the heat transfer source. It works well down to the freezing level.


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 06 January 2007 09:14 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jester:
Geothermal is a closed loop system that utilises a refrigerant the same as fridge or freezer. The compressor creates heat which is removed by the heat exchanger or run it backwards for cooling in season.
This is not geothermal energy. Geothermal energy derives heat from beneath the earth. It is conveyed to the surface in the form of hot water that has been warmed by heat that has radiated into the Earth's crust from the mantle.

What you are describing is a kind of heat pump that derives heat from an electric air compressor.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 06 January 2007 09:24 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This article might clarify the sytuation.

Ground source heating


From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Farmpunk
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posted 07 January 2007 06:47 AM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
BoomBoom.
http://www.laspilitas.com/garden/howto/slope.html

Plenty of info out there to start an experimental project. You might want to contact a local landscaper, or gov agronomist, to figure out the best plants for your area.

Boom, you're a gardener, right? Those wood chips would be useful in a home composting for soil conditioning program.

If you have a cow\hog\chicken farmer close by, the manure plus wood chips, composted, makes for a great soil ammendment. Homemade ferts from waste products.


From: SW Ontario | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 07 January 2007 07:01 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Farmpunk:
BoomBoom.
http://www.laspilitas.com/garden/howto/slope.html

Good stuff - thanks!

quote:
Plenty of info out there to start an experimental project. You might want to contact a local landscaper, or gov agronomist, to figure out the best plants for your area.

I'll have to figure out what's best from what I can get without going too far - no local landscapers or anyone else with garden or landscaping expertise around.

quote:
Boom, you're a gardener, right? Those wood chips would be useful in a home composting for soil conditioning program.

Thanks. I'm a new gardener, although I have experience in my distant past.

quote:
If you have a cow\hog\chicken farmer close by, the manure plus wood chips, composted, makes for a great soil ammendment. Homemade ferts from waste products.


Heh. No farmers within 500 km of here that I know of. I'm on Quebec's Lower North Shore, right south of Labrador on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 07 January 2007 09:11 AM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bubbles:
This article might clarify the sytuation.

Ground source heating


Good article. I suppose Spector is correct in the sense that geothermal such as Iceland's heating systems were originally the only geothermal but ground source heat/cool is also geothermal and the industry has appropriated the name without Spector's permission.

This industry is expanding by leaps and bounds. The first quote I got was when there was only one contractor doing upscale housing in the Okanagan. It was $60,000. The next one was from a contractor in Vancouver at $30,000+. Then i talked to a glazing contractor who told me his brother had a geothermal heat/cool system installed outside of Winnipeg for $14,000.

As the popularity and technology of geothermal heat/cool improves, competition and do-it-yourself capacity will lower the cost to be comparable to traditional systems.

After the capital costs,operating costs consist of only the electrical power for the pumps. The glazier told me his brother's system cost roughly$200/year. Excluding parasitic pollution associated with power generation,the geothermal system adds 0 greenhouse gasses.

The first reaction I get when mentioning geothermal is "too expensive" and it is always from people who think nothing of spending $10,000 for ganite countertops in their $30,000 kitchen.

If we as a society wish to address global warming and Kyoto we need to quit blaming it on industry and on government. We need to take personal responsibility and do our share. Starting with David Suzuki with his three houses and overreliance on polluting air travel. He can teleconference interviews about Rona's hair rather than jetting to Toronto to smirk in person.


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 07 January 2007 10:27 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jester:
..the industry has appropriated the name without Spector's permission.
You will notice of course that the government website linked to above never uses the word "geothermal". Industry has appropriated the word in order to make it sound more important and scientific, thereby confusing the meaning of the word in the public's perception.

The only thing "geo" about it is the fact that the water that is used as a heat sink is stored underground. I suppose they could store it in an above-ground tank instead, in a sunny location, and call it "solar energy" system.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 07 January 2007 07:52 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whats your point,other than talking to yourself again? In a very narrow sense,geothermal will refer to naturally superheated groundwater but most science includes ground source heat as geothermal. Whatever....

I was researching a coal stock I'm interested in and found this lovely bit of info:


The US produces 1500+ Million tons of soft coal, 94% of which is used for power generation.

Hard coal,of which only 1% is anthracite, is used as metallurgical or coking coal. Soft coal, lignite or brown coal is used for power generation.

If solar/wind system assistance to the grid and geothermal heat/cool became mainstream,how much pollution could society mitigate?

[ 07 January 2007: Message edited by: jester ]

[ 07 January 2007: Message edited by: jester ]


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 07 January 2007 09:39 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jester:
The first reaction I get when mentioning geothermal is "too expensive" and it is always from people who think nothing of spending $10,000 for ganite countertops in their $30,000 kitchen.

About 99 percent of the people I know couldn't afford to drop ten grand on a counter top. Non of them would dream of borrowing $30 G's on top of their second mortgages, car payments, and general outlays as it is. And in case you were wondering, about half of working Canadians don't earn $30 thousand a year. So there's half the working population who probably have a difficult time even relating to you and your financially independent friends wanting to save the planet from global warming.

Yes we do have to conserve and make the millions of energy ineffecient homes and commercial buildings across the country more efficient as well as embrace local power generation and alternate energy sources. And we need to tranform our economy from old world to new, high tech economy. After more than a hundred years of Conservative and Liberal plutocratic strangleholds on power, Canada is still a hewer of wood and drawer of water nation. That's none of our fault's here, because many of us here have voted for change all our adult lives. Some of us have voted NDP. Some things do fall squarely on government's shoulders as well as the Canadians who've voted them into power decade after decade. Someone has to take responsibility, you're right. But I can't lay a guilt trip on the poor old guy next door, because he's been struggling all his life just to put rags on his back and a roof over his head. Other countries are further ahead at this than we are, and it's time we stopped molly-coddling our two old line parties and clean them the hell out of Ottawa and Queen's Parks for lack of performancel.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 07 January 2007 10:38 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
When did physicists discover the secret to compressing water?

And what are the implications for hydraulic power, which was premised on the basis that water is not compressible?


Smug, aren't you. Water can be under pressure, if not compressed. Try diving 30 feet under water without equalizing. I did mention, repeatedly, that I was reciting from my faulty memory and didn't have the details ready at hand.

BC Hydro has a decent explanation of geothermal here.

quote:
Geothermal heat pumps extract heat from the ground or from water, either below or on the surface. Because ground and ground water temperatures are a constant 7° - 13° C (45°-55° F) year-round, this type of system is much more efficient.

There are two basic types of geothermal systems, open loop and closed loop. An open loop system uses a conventional well as its heat source. Water is pumped from the well through the heat pump's heat exchanger, where heat is extracted and transferred to a refrigerant system. The heat is then transferred to the air in the home. The water is then returned to a pond, stream, or second well. Local conditions such as quantity and quality of available water can affect the use of this type of system. Local water use and disposal regulations may also limit the use of open loop systems.

Vertical Loop System

Closed loop systems circulate a heat transfer fluid (usually a water/antifreeze solution) through a system of buried or submerged plastic piping, arranged either horizontally or vertically. Ground-based horizontal loop systems draw their heat from loops of piping buried 1.8 to 2.4 metres (six to eight feet) deep in trenches. The piping for water loop systems is installed below the winter ice level in pond or lake, or below low tide level in the ocean. Vertical loop systems use holes bored 45 to 60 metres (150-200 feet) deep with U-shaped loops of piping. They work the same as horizontal loop systems, but can be installed in locations where space is limited due to size, landscaping or other factors.

Horizontal Loop System

Another type of geothermal heat pump is called a "Direct Exchange" or "DX" system. This type of system uses a much shorter loop of piping buried below ground, through which the refrigerant itself is circulated, replacing the heat transfer fluid used in other geothermal systems because the heat is transferred directly between the refrigerant and the ground, the amount of piping can be drastically reduced. This type of system is ideal for situations where the amount of space for the piping loop is very limited.



From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 07 January 2007 10:42 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

About 99 percent of the people I know couldn't afford to drop ten grand on a counter top. Non of them would dream of borrowing $30 G's on top of their second mortgages, car payments, and general outlays as it is. And in case you were wondering, about half of working Canadians don't earn $30 thousand a year. So there's half the working population who probably have a difficult time even relating to you and your financially independent friends wanting to save the planet from global warming.


It's instead of a furnace, not as well as... Environmentalism is not just a pursuit of the wealthy - we all make choices.

That said, I agree with you that it's up to our governments to regulate meaningful large scale change. And I further agree with you that as a direct result of that, we're fucked.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 07 January 2007 11:42 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh ya. My sister and her hubby built a new house in the early 90's. They were looking at buying an in-well heat pump/geothermal heating for around ten g's at the time. They needed to cut costs to bring it under budget, and the heat pump was the first thing to be crossed off the wish list. So now they're stuck with electric rads and several thousand dollar a year heating bills. And he's a handyman, which saved them a bunch a money during the construction and all.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Legless-Marine
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posted 07 January 2007 11:49 PM      Profile for Legless-Marine        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by jester:
Geothermal is a closed loop system that utilises a refrigerant the same as fridge or freezer. The compressor creates heat which is removed by the heat exchanger or run it backwards for cooling in season.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is not geothermal energy. Geothermal energy derives heat from beneath the earth. It is conveyed to the surface in the form of hot water that has been warmed by heat that has radiated into the Earth's crust from the mantle.


He never said it was geothermal energy - He referred to it as simply "geothermal". I find it odd that you'd deliberately misinterpret someone in order to correct them.

quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
What you are describing is a kind of heat pump that derives heat from an electric air compressor.

Otherwise known as "Geothermal Heating", but commonly abbreviated to just "Geothermal" in the context of home energy efficiency.


From: Calgary | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 January 2007 12:00 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by arborman:
Smug, aren't you. Water can be under pressure, if not compressed. Try diving 30 feet under water without equalizing. I did mention, repeatedly, that I was reciting from my faulty memory and didn't have the details ready at hand.

If I remember right, a scuba bottle full of compressed air at 3000 psi, would collapse like a pop can at something like 35K feet or seven miles. And because of that rule of physics, I don't recommend we go sport diving to the bottom of the Marianas Trench or any other mega-faults at oceanic depths. Just sayin'.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Legless-Marine
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posted 08 January 2007 12:08 AM      Profile for Legless-Marine        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Bubbles:
Geothermal heating, does that not consist of some long underground lines, through which one pumps water in order to bring the water to the undergrounds temperature. And then extract the collected heat byway of a heatpump and bring it to the house?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Something like that, although if you build on top of a hot spring you won't have far to pump the water!

Bubbles described Geothermal heating, yet you sent him a link on Geothermal power.

Bubbles, here's a link on Geothermal heating: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_heating


From: Calgary | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 January 2007 12:19 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think "heat pumps" work on the same principle that air conditioning and refrigeration works, by using compressed gas to draw heat away from an enclosed compartment or air flow. Or something like that. I'm not entirely sure, so don't bug me.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 08 January 2007 11:12 AM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

If I remember right, a scuba bottle full of compressed air at 3000 psi, would collapse like a pop can at something like 35K feet or seven miles. And because of that rule of physics, I don't recommend we go sport diving to the bottom of the Marianas Trench or any other mega-faults at oceanic depths. Just sayin'.


Well, I know that somebody on the North Shore of Vancouver has developed a 'hardsuit' that allows one to dive as deep as 1500-2000 feet without pressurizing. Sounds utterly terrifying to me - I'm happy at 30' myself, but still pretty cool. And, of course, totally off topic.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
kropotkin1951
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posted 08 January 2007 04:42 PM      Profile for kropotkin1951   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A question I have wondered about and with all this expertise floating around maybe someone can answer it for me.

Is it currently possible to power an air conditioning unit with the amount of power solar panels can capture on a roof of the family home that needs cooling?

It has always seemed to me to be the most obvious fix to the air conditioner demands that occur every summer when the sun is beating down the hardest. But since I haven't seen rooftop solar panels conbined with air conditioning systems I figure there must be a technical problem like not enough power generted by panels to run an air conditioner.

Any comments?


From: North of Manifest Destiny | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 January 2007 06:03 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Geez, that's a good question. I've got a little one room a/c. I think it's rated for 6 amps or so of current draw. I x E = P,
6A x 120V = 720 Watts
And I think they use the most power when the thing first starts up. Maybe it settles down to 4Amps or so. I think 3 or 4 kiloWatts are needed to run a household. I don't see why you couldn't run a small one room ari conditioner with solar. Anyone else ?. YOU, yes, you in the back row! Stand still laddy!

From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 08 January 2007 06:36 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd love to be able to run a small electric heater from solar panels - I'm scared of what my hydro bill will be after using a few fan-forced heater the past two months (my wood furnace doesn't have enough ductwork to reach through the entire house).
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
mimeguy
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posted 08 January 2007 06:56 PM      Profile for mimeguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
webgear - Yes if you have not built the house yet or started you can definately think about a passive solar/geo mass house built from earth pounded tires. Here is a link to the Potter house which I have been to several times. We are building another one just south of Bancroft for a woman who has a small plot of land. The Potter house keeps a steady temperature year round and can be heated with a stove as you stated for the winter but the house is cooled in the summer naturally. It can be run on solar & wind, giving you all the power you need to run an average home. They are not expensive to build if you do the work yourself with lots of help or you can have someone build it with/for you for slightly higher cost. The Potter house is 2,500 sq.ft. but you can build them bigger on sloped land. The house also has built in design for grey water recycling through in house gardens and/or exterior green house, plus simple solar toilet or independent composting toilet possibilities. There is also a section on constructing into the house a thermal mass refrigerator and freezer. Here is a link to the Potter home subject.

http://www.sunspace.org/en/pottershouse_en.html

I have a set of books on building independent tire homes with complete designs from the ground up. Anyone is free to pm me if you want to talk about it.

As to questions in the thread about converting homes in the city we inquired about converting our house in Toronto to solar and we were quoted a cost of 25K to tie into the grid or 10k for a back up system that could run the house. We have reduced our house down to about 1000kw/month but I have been shown ways to cut that further down to 800. I couldn't find anything for practical air conditioning but we don't use air conditioning in our house anyway so I haven't looked very hard.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
mimeguy
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posted 08 January 2007 07:03 PM      Profile for mimeguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One other separate thing. I agree with Cueball above when he says we need a federal and/or provincial grant system to help convert or back up existing housing. I would go further by requiring housing developers to incorporate solar systems into future housing projects. It does not significantly increase the cost of the house considering todays speculative climate but does add significantly to the future value of the house.
From: Ontario | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Legless-Marine
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posted 08 January 2007 07:28 PM      Profile for Legless-Marine        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kropotkin1951:

Is it currently possible to power an air conditioning unit with the amount of power solar panels can capture on a roof of the family home that needs cooling?

I imagine it's possible, but an air conditioner is a pretty bad energy pig, so you'd need to generate a fair bit of solar power.

An alternative would be to cool your home using geothermal "heating" - In reverse.

Check out the wiki link posted previously for an explanation.


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jester
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posted 08 January 2007 07:38 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

About 99 percent of the people I know couldn't afford to drop ten grand on a counter top. Non of them would dream of borrowing $30 G's on top of their second mortgages, car payments, and general outlays as it is. And in case you were wondering, about half of working Canadians don't earn $30 thousand a year. So there's half the working population who probably have a difficult time even relating to you and your financially independent friends wanting to save the planet from global warming.

Yes we do have to conserve and make the millions of energy ineffecient homes and commercial buildings across the country more efficient as well as embrace local power generation and alternate energy sources. And we need to tranform our economy from old world to new, high tech economy. After more than a hundred years of Conservative and Liberal plutocratic strangleholds on power, Canada is still a hewer of wood and drawer of water nation. That's none of our fault's here, because many of us here have voted for change all our adult lives. Some of us have voted NDP. Some things do fall squarely on government's shoulders as well as the Canadians who've voted them into power decade after decade. Someone has to take responsibility, you're right. But I can't lay a guilt trip on the poor old guy next door, because he's been struggling all his life just to put rags on his back and a roof over his head. Other countries are further ahead at this than we are, and it's time we stopped molly-coddling our two old line parties and clean them the hell out of Ottawa and Queen's Parks for lack of performancel.


I'm not expecting average income folks to pay for geothermal. But when those who can afford to are not interested in advancing the use of passive energy,it is very hard to motivate government into providing the regulatory framework that will encourage passive energy to become mainstream.

The folks I refer to are those who can make a difference but choose not to while at the same time complaining bitterly about their pet faux environmental concerns.


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 08 January 2007 07:51 PM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
A question I have wondered about and with all this expertise floating around maybe someone can answer it for me.

Is it currently possible to power an air conditioning unit with the amount of power solar panels can capture on a roof of the family home that needs cooling?

It has always seemed to me to be the most obvious fix to the air conditioner demands that occur every summer when the sun is beating down the hardest. But since I haven't seen rooftop solar panels conbined with air conditioning systems I figure there must be a technical problem like not enough power generted by panels to run an air conditioner.

Any comments?


190 watt solar panels @ $1000 each, 4 kilowatt inverter @$3000. The technology is there but until the price of photovoltaic cells(solar panels) can be brought down through new technology or market forces or gov't subsidy, grid power is the cheapest option.

As long as residential electrical power is subsidised by the taxpayer, the consumer has no incentive to even conserve,let alone look to alternatives.

If government were to regulate (force) utilities into a single price for power bought or sold, a single meter system whereby excess passive power generation was sold back to the grid at the same price grid power was purchased would create a market force that would substantially lower the payback period for capital investment in private personal passive energy. Also allow capital costs to be written off against personal income.


From: Against stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 08 January 2007 08:42 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
kropotkin1951,

It would be pretty expensive to run you airconditioner from solar cells as others already pointed out. If you live in a low summer humidity area you could try evaporative cooling. It requires a bit more maintenance but has the advantage that it pumps fresh air in the house.

Boom Boom,

running a heater on a solar panel is not all that effective, since the sun tends to be weak in the winter, just when you want the heat. But you have a woodstove. Could you not extend your duct work into the room you want to heat? Or if you could put a water tank, the type used for electric hotwater tanks, beside your woodstove and heat the water by convection current trough your woodstove. Then all you would need is a small circulation pump and you could via some plastic hotwater lines and a few pieces of finned tubing any place in your house. The tank could also store some heat to give you some quick heat in the morning and could pre-heat the cold water into your hotwater tank.

45 gallon water tank about $170
Circulation pump and fittings about $220
Finned tubing around $40 per eight foot
Misc lines and plumbing supplies $200 -$400
A bit of electrical wiring and maybe a box $50
And a lot of determination to make it work 200 coffees.


From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 January 2007 09:03 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Imagine towns and cities across North America constructing solariums like this one centrally or strategically. Photo-voltaic cells in the roof panels produce more electrical than the building uses, and so it supplies homes in the surrounding neighborhood. And it wouldn't look half bad. They could grow veggies or something.

According to a blog or two skimmed over, people in Germany can apply for government grants worth several thousand dollars to buy grid ties for redirecting excess power developed by your own system back to the local power utility. And in England, you can get government help to pay for half the cost of a solar roof. And here in Canada ... Nero, meet fiddle - fiddle, Nero.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
chilled
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posted 17 January 2007 04:15 PM      Profile for chilled        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A wind generator and photovoltaics with some sort battery storage, possibly an agreement to feed back into the electrical grid. This system driving energy efficient lighting, low demand outlets, a direct current driven geothermal system for infloor heating. R2000 minumum building standards. A standard 230Volt feed from the utility for major appliances. Strategically placed wood burning stoves for backup heat when the inevitable breakdowns occur.

Nice system. I'd do it if I had the bucks. Depending how young you are when retiring you could even see a payback prior to being compost yourself.


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Boom Boom
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posted 17 January 2007 04:45 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We have very windy periods here - not all the time - and I'd love to harness it. Same with the sun - I have three buildings with lots of rooftop space for solar panels, and even more space for them to be mounted at angles on the sides. Lots of potential for alternative energies here, if I could afford them.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 17 January 2007 05:41 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A comination of solar and hydrogen power can supply all the power a house needs, but the upfront price is high.

quote:
... Solar power currently contributes only 0.1 percent of U.S. energy needs but the number of photovoltaic installations grew by 20 percent in 2006, and the cost of making solar panels is dropping by about 7 percent annually, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

As costs decline and the search accelerates for clean alternatives to expensive and dirty fossil fuels, some analysts predict solar is poised for a significant expansion in the next five to 10 years...



From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 17 January 2007 06:02 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
Is it currently possible to power an air conditioning unit with the amount of power solar panels can capture on a roof of the family home that needs cooling?

It has always seemed to me to be the most obvious fix to the air conditioner demands that occur every summer when the sun is beating down the hardest. But since I haven't seen rooftop solar panels conbined with air conditioning systems I figure there must be a technical problem like not enough power generted by panels to run an air conditioner.


It would be enormously more possible with a very thorough insulation of the home, reducing the need for a/c altogether. Check out the links to passive houses above that I added - they don't even need to build furnaces, and the homes maintain a steady temperature all day and night using heat exchange and very thorough insulation.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 January 2007 06:36 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What arborman said. Energy conservation and efficiency is where it's at, and Canada is behind other countries in this regard. The thing is, we have the building technology to do it without jumping first to more nuclear power.

Anybody aside from arborman catch what George Monbiot, is saying about wind and solar power ?. It sounds huge to me, what with solar panel arrays across the Sahara, and offshore arrays of windmill power and transmitting DC* over long distances as opposed to AC current inland, I guess, where it would be converted to AC. Apparently, England is one of the select few places in the world where winds are fast enough offshore to make it feasible. I think our East Coast is another. There are a few more sites.

The metro bus system he mentions sounds like a good idea to me. The only aspect of travel that cannot continue in anyway, he says, is air travel. There can be no curbing emissions from jet engines aside from a lot less air travel.

[ 17 January 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 17 January 2007 09:15 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
edited - moved to other thread

[ 17 January 2007: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 22 January 2007 03:05 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Electricity meter runs backwards sometimes.
quote:
...Solar panels on their barn roof can often provide enough for all their electricity needs. Sometimes — and this is the best part — their solar setup actually pushes power back into the system. The Bagnalls "net meter," a state-sanctioned setup that allows homeowners to adopt renewable energy without taking the more radical step of disconnecting from their local electric utility, Central Hudson Gas & Electric.

Net metering essentially allows people to become mini-power producers. Programs vary state to state, but they are typically coupled with financial incentives that make it easier to invest thousands of dollars for photovoltaic panels, windmills or fuel cells. Since sun and wind are intermittent, customers still rely on the grid for steady service. The meter runs backward when more energy is produced than a customer consumes...



From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 22 January 2007 03:14 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Eco-friendly house
quote:
...The walls are insulated with draft-stopping foam; the floors are covered in wood from a sustainable forest; and the rooms are decked out with nontoxic paint, just to name a few of its earth-friendly features.

The Josephs weren't planning to go green. But when their builder described the benefits - lower heating and cooling bills and better indoor-air quality - they agreed that it was worth adding $10,000 to their total tab...


Link was found at DeSmogBlog.

[ 22 January 2007: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 07 June 2007 02:46 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wow. $10,000 extra is all it costs when you're building? That is so worth it. Seems to me it costs a lot more than that to retrofit.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 07 June 2007 04:23 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's a lot of things I'd like to do to my house if I could afford it - expand the living room, for instance. If I only had $10k to work with, though, I'd seriously consider making my place more eco-friendly and eco-efficient. I'd like to make a permanent statement about how I chose to live, and hopefully influence others to do likewise.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 19 June 2008 04:33 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is turning into a very windy year - I wish I could afford a small windmill to provide for my electric needs here. Any updates on babblers using windmills?
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
KenS
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posted 19 June 2008 06:06 AM      Profile for KenS     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you can borrow on the equity on your home then you can easily finance altrnative power generation that pays for itself.

Then its a matter of research into what will work best at your site. Whether you can sell excess power back to the utility will influence how much you want to invest in battery storage and inversion equipment.

If your siting is good enough that you can produce a lot of power at low cost, then you might think of coverting a gas vehicle to electric. That is of course an additional learning curve- but it is easier simpler and easier than internal combustion vehicle mechanics. It's just unlikely that you can hire anyone to do more than help you do the work.


From: Minasville, NS | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 19 June 2008 06:59 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Ken - you've given me a lot to think about.
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Sven
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posted 19 June 2008 07:01 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by KenS:
If you can borrow on the equity on your home then you can easily finance altrnative power generation that pays for itself.

With regard to alternative power generation, over how many years does residential wind power “pay for itself”?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
KenS
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posted 19 June 2008 07:09 AM      Profile for KenS     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How long depends on where you live.

How much power you can expect to get from where you live is something I think you're only going to find out by research.

The reason I mentioned borrowing on your home is that it is easy to get more than payback when the length of the borrowing is as long as the life of the quipment you will be buying.

I don't even know the range of payback period expectations any more. But with the power of the net and people wanting to see wind generators- that has got to be pretty quick for getting to a ballpark starting point estimate.


From: Minasville, NS | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 19 June 2008 07:15 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm paying off house and truck mortgages and I'm on a disability pension, so it'll be a while before I can borrow again. In the meantime I'm going to see what financial incentives there might be provincially (Quebec) to add a small windmill on my property.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
KenS
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posted 19 June 2008 07:31 AM      Profile for KenS     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is where government funding COULD be very effective: a revolving loan fund geared to payback times of equipment.

And this is exactly the kind of supplement that is required for a carbon tax to do anything more than bump up prices.

It is also one of the most cost effective program tools available- because it is a loan program [for which the government can get security unavailable to financial institutions].

But it does require shelling out a sizable chunk of cash to start the program.

Being as it is the kind of thing that is required to make the carbon tax form of carbon pricing actually produce results, and being as it is highly cost effective, and a well established and widely known public policy tool...

do you think we'll see Dion in all the hooplah today mention something like such a alternative energy loan for homeowners?

or maybe sometime this summer when he is selling their program?


From: Minasville, NS | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 19 June 2008 08:01 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The pundits on Politics last night were discussing this. I do hope someone asks Dion directly what kind of help would be available for homeowners such as myself with such low incomes that we pay no income tax. All I have heard so far is that there will be tax breaks for lower income earners, but what do I need a tax break for, if I pay no income tax to begin with?

If the cost of hydro goes up (which someone last night suggested will happen with Dion's carbon tax), along with the cost of gasoline for our vehicles, then I'm going to have to make some changes in my budget - and I'm already stretched to the max.

I don't think Dion's carbon tax team has considered the plight of those at the poverty level - if we're paying no income tax, then what good is a tax break to offset carbon taxes? Or am I missing something?


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 19 June 2008 08:26 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by KenS:
How long depends on where you live.

How much power you can expect to get from where you live is something I think you're only going to find out by research.


That makes sense. It’s obvious...but I didn’t even think about that.

quote:
Originally posted by KenS:
The reason I mentioned borrowing on your home is that it is easy to get more than payback when the length of the borrowing is as long as the life of the quipment you will be buying.

If the payback (in energy savings) is, say, 20 years on a cash investment, then the payback time would be approximately double that if the investment is financed with home equity. For example, if a complete system costs $10,000 and if that $10,000 is financed with home equity over a 30-year period at 5%, then the total payments for the system over the life of the loan would be just under $20,000.

There are a lot of “moving parts” in assessing the viability of adding residential wind generation to a house.

If energy costs continue to increase significantly (which I expect they will), that would have the effect of reducing the payback period.

If the system wears out or needs significant amounts of repair prior to the end of the payoff period, then the investment would never be recouped (i.e., the cost of the system would exceed the energy savings).

Deciding to install wind generation in a residential home is a pretty complex assessment, if a person is looking only at the dollar cost (of the system) versus the dollars saved (in energy). If a person doesn’t care if the cost of the system exceeds the dollars saved, and the person is going to use wind-generated residential energy for altruistic reasons, then the decision may be much simpler.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
ElizaQ
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posted 19 June 2008 08:34 AM      Profile for ElizaQ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is one of the best sites I've ever come across with hundreds of ideas and info on low-cost ways of doing these sort of things without necessarily paying the big bucks.
http://www.builditsolar.com/

It's a DIYers dream site.

The hubby says he's going to try out one of the DIY versions of a small homescale wind turbine. He figures it will cost about half of what you'd pay in the store and even less if he sources parts second hand.


From: Eastern Lakes | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 19 June 2008 12:51 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The site looks awesome, EQ - thanks for the link!
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 02 October 2008 06:01 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wind turbines in the city? Here's the first news coverage I've seen: Backyard wind turbine stalled by Ottawa bylaws.

I've always envisoned wind turbines as a rural thing, on farms or large private properties - it just sounded odd to me that these could be erected on private household lots within a city. But, then we see this, at the end of the article:

(excerpt)

"We should take the lead from the Europeans who are installing these not only in backyards, but on street poles, lighting pools, on schools, on fences, on bridges," he said.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
scott
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posted 02 October 2008 09:09 AM      Profile for scott   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You can buy small scale wind turbines at Canadian Tire now. You need an appropriate site for them though. I think one of the best energy saving home modifications would be a solar hot water heater, in particular the kind that involved a box with black painted copper tubes that pre-heats water flowing into your hot water tank. You can make these yourself with parts available from a building supplier. One of my neighbours has one of these. It could save a good part of your water heating energy.

[ 02 October 2008: Message edited by: scott ]


From: Kootenays BC | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Noise
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posted 02 October 2008 09:17 AM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Anyone aware of any plans that would allow homes that are powered by solar/wind/whatever else people are creative enough to come up with to push power back onto the grid (basically allowing home owners to sell the extra energy they generate)? Heh, anyone aware of the electric grid aware of whether or not that would even be possible?
From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 02 October 2008 09:33 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scott:
You can buy small scale wind turbines at Canadian Tire now.

Thanks - I was completely unaware of this. I'm going to search the Canadian Tire website now!

quote:
You need an inappropriate site for them though.

I think you mean appropriate.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
MYTHBUSTER
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posted 02 October 2008 09:40 AM      Profile for MYTHBUSTER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The only way wind and solar is viable is if the cost is brought down significantly via subsidies. Electricy is quite cheap in canada vs teh US, hence the payback is far too long

I am a founding shareholder of a Solar power marketing company in the US and we pretty much only sell well in states that have massive subsidies, like california , arizona Colorado and New York

Most people buy if theres a year payback, not a decade.

Because Canada creates a large amount of its electricity form renewable sources like Hydro -electric, the costs are kept in check far better than countries like the US that rely on burning coal and natural gas.

Check and see how your utility creates its power, I would say that if it generates power via hydro -electric, or nuclear it would be pointless to consider solar or wind.


From: BC | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 02 October 2008 09:47 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Found this: AirX 400W Wind Generator

...and it's selling at a discount!

Where I live, alternative power sources are very desireable because the Hydro goes off suddenly and could take many hours, indeed days before it's back on again. I have a small generator, but I need a much larger (and more expensive...) one to drive even my furnace fan. This CTC wind turbine might reduce my hydro bill, but that's not my main concern - I'd love to have a supply of electricity for when the power goes out. I'll have to see if there's an accessory battery pack to store power in case of outage.

[ 02 October 2008: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 02 October 2008 10:51 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I made a compound solar cooker that you can make for $30 or less.
It produces 200 watts of cooking power in the cooking pot.
This is actually comparable performance to the SK14 parabolic solar cookers made in germany and used all over the world.
On an engineering forum, a guy estimated my cooker would pay for itself in a year if used to cook once a week!
The guy also estimated the pay back time for a 80 dollar 15 watt solar panel (and 30 dollar charge controller and the hundred dollar battery it needs to store the power.
His estimate: 70 YEARS! If used every day all day. Try subsidising that! Given that the panels will not last more than 15 years and the battery more than 5! A total waste of government or your money.
Solar thermal is workable and economic right now. solar electricity is stupid right now. It makes NO economic sense.
I have used the solar cooker to steam soil. (to kill bugs and weed seeds). (because I am not home to cook food)
Reaction? Mostly, dats stupid!
Actually, it is not stupid at all. If you have a garden, it saves you money.
People are drawn to new technology but how much is marketing and how much is useful.
Economics and payback time are an important part of what should guide you at all times. Unless it is pure hobby or indulgance.
Brian


quote:
Originally posted by MYTHBUSTER:
The only way wind and solar is viable is if the cost is brought down significantly via subsidies. Electricy is quite cheap in canada vs teh US, hence the payback is far too long

I am a founding shareholder of a Solar power marketing company in the US and we pretty much only sell well in states that have massive subsidies, like california , arizona Colorado and New York

Most people buy if theres a year payback, not a decade.

Because Canada creates a large amount of its electricity form renewable sources like Hydro -electric, the costs are kept in check far better than countries like the US that rely on burning coal and natural gas.

Check and see how your utility creates its power, I would say that if it generates power via hydro -electric, or nuclear it would be pointless to consider solar or wind.



From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
MYTHBUSTER
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posted 02 October 2008 10:59 AM      Profile for MYTHBUSTER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Brian i was talking about payback on much larger watt panels. 15 watts isn't going to power much of anything! We sell in 1KW modules so there is significant electricity savings and hence motivation to purchase and install. If the state of CA would gives you 15K to purchase panels and inverters, its stands to reason you buy as big a system you can. hey i am all for any solar product that gives quick payback, all I am saying is canada is quite unique in its ability to produce as much environmentally friendly electricity, hencethe motivation to go solar is far les
From: BC | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 02 October 2008 11:59 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
15 K is a lot of money. The state of CA is using public money irrationally.
They are broke, arn't they? figures.
If they just financed water heating for showers, and hot tubs, it would make a lot more economic sense.
Same with Canada. You finance something with a realistic payback time.
If your payback time for your system is longer than the system life it is economically INSANE to go with that system.

quote:
Originally posted by MYTHBUSTER:
Brian i was talking about payback on much larger watt panels. 15 watts isn't going to power much of anything! We sell in 1KW modules so there is significant electricity savings and hence motivation to purchase and install. If the state of CA would gives you 15K to purchase panels and inverters, its stands to reason you buy as big a system you can. hey i am all for any solar product that gives quick payback, all I am saying is canada is quite unique in its ability to produce as much environmentally friendly electricity, hencethe motivation to go solar is far les

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged

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