Cheap "energy". Your ideas please.

Solar energy, wind turbines whatever it is then here is your place to talk about it.
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Cheap "energy". Your ideas please.

Post: #199264 Daveswife
Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:11 pm

We tend to think of energy as something that runs a piece of equipment - a toaster or cooker or washing machine etc. But turn this on its head, and think about your own personal energy - think how you can use it and avoid the plug-in kind.

This is me:

If you have a wood buring stove or open fire you can toast bread, cook jacket potatoes, heat food in a casserole dish, heat water, effectively using your fire as a camp fire. (Obviously this doesn't work when you don't have the fire lit!)

All these use your own personal energy, burn off a few calories, and save electricity:
In the kitchen there is no need to use an electric mixer because you can easily use a hand-whisk for the same purpose.
Mixing cake ingredients is better with a wooden spoon.
Use a potato masher to liquidise soup or sauce ingredients. The end product is not as smooth but it is just as good.
Wash clothes by hand. Mucky stuff can be soaked in the bath, or in buckets, give the mucky bits an extra rub, rinse in cold water and hang out to dry. Even with a family it is not necessary to use a washing machine.

Out in the garden, cutting the lawns using a push-mower is as effective as an electric or petrol one and cutting the hedge with shears is quite thereaputic. Both avoid using electricity and the resultant hazard of a trailing cable.

Travel by bicycle.

All this energy saving takes some effort but you get used to it.

Please let us know how you save energy and use your own instead.
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Re: Cheap "energy". Your ideas please.

Post: #199712 paul123456
Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:15 pm

Hello there ,

to save energy we have spent loads of money , as I posted earlier being self sufficient is expensive , but that is not the subject now.
What we have done till now.

Installed a new gas central heating system which hardly uses gas .Put in a water storage tank and 16 m2 of solar boiler panels.
Placed a back boiler Stanley Erin in the living room .This heats the adjoining rooms and puts in a few kwh to the hot water.
In the kitchen we have an Esse Ironheart , and it is an Ironheart , we cook diner , boil water , toast , bake and fry on it ,and it is also connected to the hot water system.

Made a hot water connection from the solar system to the washing machine , was a bit of a cock up .the water in the summer months reaches a temperature of 76 degrees , out of the tap. I blamed the the Mrs for shrinking my clothes , but it was due to the high temperature , it needs a mixture tap to be placed .

In the heating room where all the valves and stuff is placed it is around 30 degrees , we have a big clothes rack in there .

As for lighting we have made a big saving by replacing bulbs with LED , the bulbs would usally be an average of 45 watts ,
now in LED they consume 1 to 5 watts .Work that out on a yearly basis and you seriously save money .

Further we would like to place a wind generator of around 6kwh , here in oost Friesland there are a zillion of them ,but.................the civil servant's , yes the ones I pay their salaries through taxes , will not allow me to have one .
They are probably on the take of the big energy firms who do not like competition.

We keep trying to find new ideas , well at least you have one reaction , on such a "hot" subject I would of expected more response ,

regards ,


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Re: Cheap "energy". Your ideas please.

Post: #199736 frozenthunderbolt
Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:18 am

Good thinking both of you, digging by hand rather than rototilling is good, as is splitting firewood by hand - I use hand tools where I can (if not too pressed for time) in my wood and metal working.
As you say, calorie for calorie, humans are more efficient converters of accessible energy to work than hydrocarbon subsidized devices.
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Re: Cheap "energy". Your ideas please.

Post: #201788 dave45
Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:21 pm

You can cut your lawm with scissors but you can't beat an electric lawnmower

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Re: Cheap "energy". Your ideas please.

Post: #201798 Durgan
Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:12 am

Pipe dreams. If people have the money, it will be spent spend on labor saving devices, and physical comforts? Almost all the green energy devices are expensive. At best we are simply embracing old technology in the guise of going green. Example being the electric car. Everything boils down at the present time to producing clean electricity, and until there is a breakthrough in the utilization of hydrogen all we are doing is playing musical chairs.

I was born and raised on a homestead of 160 acres in a log cabin in Carrot River, Saskatchewan on virgin pioneer land. Like everybody else all we wanted was some of the laborer saving devices. A tractor instead of the horses, electricity instead of coal oil for light, a rototiller instead of a horse drawn cultivator in the garden, central water instead of a rope and pail in a well, indoor plumbing instead of a stinky out house, central heat instead of a wood stove, an insulated house instead of chinked logs, anything had to be an improvement over cutting logs, hauling by horse, swede saw cutting by hand. Hauling drinking water from a well at 30 below was no joy, watering stock when it was so cold the cows wouldn't go to the out side trough, stooking, thrashing, cleaning the barn by hand is no joy, wash day melting snow. Food meat, potatoes and preserves gets rather tiresome. Clothe hung out doors frozen like sheet metal. This is going green in many parts of Canada. It might be a little easier in Cuba, and I notice not too many people are immigrating to Cuba.

No folks Green is a pipe dream. Most of us want the comforts, and if we have the money we will use it to obtain such. At one time only the Lords had the comforts at the expense of much misery for the sheeple. The only problems today is everybody assumes they are a Lords and they want the same that the Master had over the centuries.

The real problem is too many people for the planet to have a Western Style of living. For the 7 billion people to have the Western Style of living, the planet will have to be about seven times larger, just to supply the material. In the meantime, we the strong and wealthy will take all we can and to hell with those without the power to resist. It has always been that way and always will be. When the weak squeal a crumb will be thrown to appease the conscious, and if the weak protest too much we will suppress using the military, police and political fear tactics.

Conserve, go frugal if you like, but normal population growth will overwhelm, and any gains will be swamped.

Reality Check!

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Re: Cheap "energy". Your ideas please.

Post: #201858 TheGoodEarth
Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:49 pm

dave45 wrote:You can cut your lawm with scissors but you can't beat an electric lawnmower

I disagree, petrol is much better!

WRT to the OP, I admire your efforts but where on earth do you find the time? Most people have to work these days and what you suggest just isn't feasible. If I was to suggest to my wife that she does the family washing by hand she would personally drive me to the local shrink! In fact before doing that she would give me one of those looks that would make me hide behind the sofa!
No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery

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Re: Cheap "energy". Your ideas please.

Post: #201906 dave45
Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:50 am

A petrol flymo is great for rough ground weed control and shredding plants, but a bit of a bu**ger when it goes wrong (I've worn out two Flymo38s on my jungle garden and spent many happy hours tinkering with fuel systems, electrics and the weird air-pressure throttle control that gets clogged with grass!). But for a proper lawn electric is much easier. Just a shame it takes too much jiuce for my small solar/battery/inverter system.

Durgan - I think you are a bit of a pessimist. Long term, Green is the only answer barring some miracle energy source. Think ahead a thousand years - when all the fossil fuels and uranium resources have gone... a transition to renewables is inevitable.
But the politics aint easy.

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