Energy saving

Solar energy, wind turbines whatever it is then here is your place to talk about it.
paulish
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Energy saving

Post: #166963 paulish
Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:52 pm

Hi, Just to add to the article about saving energy. We've reduced our bill to a similar amount, £70/month combined gas and electric bill and reduced our carbon footprint considerably.
The main cost savings came from similar economies, avoiding stand-by, reducing the area and time of heating. The carbon reduction came from switching to gas where possible: Kettle, heating and cooking. The carbon dioxide per kWh (Kilo Watt Hour) is 0.21Kg for gas, 0.54 for electric. The difference as you probably know, is due to generation and transmission losses rather than burning the fuel at the point of use. We've combined the two bills with one company, pay by direct debit, gone to on-line billing and moved to the cheapest option. I had assumed we were on the cheapest rate! The web site allows us to record and monitor cost and carbon. We've reduced our carbon by 1.54t, equivalent to 8,994 miles in a car. The energy tracker gives every retail user a 12 month rolling graph of performance. Our next step is to move to a green tarriff. This is now so close to the cheapest rate, I've asked our supplier to match this but got a polite "no" last week. We've saved £35/month, £420/year. I'll have a look at food next, we've just started to record what we spend per month, pretty shocking, then look at locally grown, organic and less processed foods. I'm involved with this at work but could do better at home. Great web site, well done folks, been following it for a while now. Best wishes, Paul

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Re: Energy saving

Post: #167035 farmersteve
Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:47 pm

Hi, Ever consider wind and solar energy? The initial cost can be relative small if you are capable and handy.

paulish
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Re: Energy saving

Post: #167427 paulish
Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:15 pm

Hi Steve, Many thanks for your reply. I've had a good look at your web site, it looks really interesting and I'd like to have a go at making the solar panel. It would be useful to speak to someone in the UK, do you have a contact here. I'd need to be sure I could get all the parts before commiting to buying the manual, and do a full costing at UK prices. Thanks again, Paul

dave45
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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168163 dave45
Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:00 pm

Don't believe that small-scale wind and solar can ever be cost-effective in the UK at even treble current energy prices.

Solar may make sense with subsidies in the Mojave desert, or Costa del Sol, but not here. Apart from Alaska the whole of the US is further south than us. Wind doesn't work very well at all in urban or suburban areas. By all means investigate, but keep your money in your pocket.

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Odsox
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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168168 Odsox
Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:34 pm

dave45 wrote:Don't believe that small-scale wind and solar can ever be cost-effective in the UK at even treble current energy prices.

I sincerely hope you're wrong about that Dave.
I'm in the (longish) process of assembling a wind turbine system and I hope I have my sums right. :study:
Admittedly I'm in a windy spot, but I think I've worked out that I can run my radio room with radios and computer switched on 24/7, my hydroponic greenhouse and possibly my house lights, with a payback of about 4 years at today's low electricity prices.
When we get out of recession and the oil prices rocket again it should be even more attractive.

I'll let you know in about 6 months time if I've made a right pig's ear of my calculations. :scratch:
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

dave45
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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168187 dave45
Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:02 pm

I wish I was. But I do have 6 years experience of both solar and wind in Lancashire. It is very expensive and produces a pitiful amount of usable electricity. As an example, my inverter has packed in and it is costing 400 quid for a new one. This is a small fraction of the total system cost. I haven't produced 400 quids worth of electricity in 5 years. My Rutland 913 wind generator produces so little electricity that I don't even bother with a charge controller. Their brochure says "Charges up to 300 Watts. * Produces 90 Watts @ 19 knots and 24 Watts @ 10 knots" .. most of the time the blades are turning but the current generated is zero. I have a 5 amp meter on it (thats 60 watts full-scale at 12v)).. I tend to go and see how it is doing in high winds... it goes off-scale about once a year. Read the Warwick Wind Trials report. Sad but true. The solar panels are better, but we just don't get enough clear sunshine. yes solar panels do produce a current on a cloudy day - about 5% of the full-sun rating. hopeless.

It is FAR FAR more cost-effective to reduce your consumption... save a kWh rather than generate one.

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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168189 Jandra
Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:11 pm

PV solar panels may be harder to get cost effective, but solar hot water panels are centainly viable and save lots of energy. Return on investment is only a few years. Much less time than PV panels.

Jandra

dave45
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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168212 dave45
Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:42 pm

I had Encraft (the guys behind the Warwick Wind Trials) do me a feasibility study 5 years ago into solar water heating... their estimates were between 59 and 109 years financial payback (inclusive of the Clear Skies grants available at the time).

I really can't see where the financial optimism comes from. People who haven't tried it or people who are selling it I guess.

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Odsox
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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168251 Odsox
Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:43 am

dave45 wrote:solar water heating... their estimates were between 59 and 109 years financial payback

I agree with you about solar heating panels and payback time.
I got all enthusiastic about solar heating a while back, until I did the sums.
A single evacuated tube panel, plus fittings, with me installing it so no labour charges, would cost around the €2,000 mark.
My hot water costs with an off-peak immersion heater is just about €2.00 per week.
If it produced ALL my hot water it would still take 20 years to start paying for itself, and realistically it would probably be at least 40 years.
It would need electricity prices to quadruple (which is entirely possible) to make it viable for me, but of course if electricity prices did do that then production costs for evacuated tubes would also increase pro rata.

I still reserve the right to disagree with you over wind turbines though. :mrgreen:
Tony

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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168254 contadino
Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:06 am

My solar DHW system paid for itself in 15 months. But then I did a DIY install, so got a system that was simple at a price that made sense. Also, being in a sunnier climate means that I can opt for a flat panel rather than tubes. The price of electricity here is roughly twice that of the UK, and the only means of heating water beforehand was via an immersion heater - hence the quick payback.

I believe that HardWorkingHippy, who posts on here occasionally, has a Rutland 913, which has served them well for many years. They're off-grid for electricity.

Sweeping statement about the inefficacy of wind and sun are stupid. In the right situation, wind can be very effective. The same goes for sun (PV & DHW.) The responsibility falls on the buyer to decide whether their situation makes a system cost effective.

dave45
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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168353 dave45
Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:59 pm

its not the "inefficacy" its the economics that don't make sense here in cloudy Lancashire. The technology works fine (more or less), there just isn't enough tappable energy here. Is this the right place to go thru the financial details? (I'll show you mine if you'll show yours!).

paul123456
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Re: Energy saving

Post: #168628 paul123456
Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:58 pm

Here we are again ,

forgot to say we allready invested in energy ,

16m2 of solar boiler and 2 ranges ,connected to the heating system , yes it was an investment of around 25k.
Today we received the yearly energy bill recalculation , and we have lowered our heating cost by 1k per year.

We do not expect that the system will make money but it will certainly save some , and then our carbon footprint
will be fairly less .

regards ,

Paul

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Re: Energy saving

Post: #179261 Stanleyman
Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:16 pm

Installed both PV and solar water.The water is harder to work out monetery wise, but from April till October I have enough hot water,only needing to top it up with the boiler now and again.That is a raretiy.The Solar Pv 2.08kw, has been in operation for one year,so far we have generated enough units to offset both the elecrtic and Gas bill,more than pleased.We live on the south coast,and yes you have to make alterations in how you use your energy,but if you make an investment of this kind you need to get the most from it,so from our pont of veiw its an excellent decision to make.


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