OT: Hybrid cars make no economical sense

Page 11 of 13  
snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Around here, the Wally Worlds all have skylights, and they cut the electric lights by half during day shift. I'm sure it is a tiny fraction of their power bill, but every little bit helps.
'Power' does not always equal 'electricity' or 'oil'. The cheap and easy way to take advantage of solar is to use it in ways that don't involve converting it to other forms, or trying to store it very long. For buildings, if you make passive solar part of the design, you can reduce the power requirements a lot, without a lot of extra upfront costs. For daytime, you can use it for lights, via traditional or pipe-style skylights. Make a passive solar heat mass out of a water tank, a sunny day will preheat the water for you for a day or three, so your water heater has less work to do. Etc, etc. Along with the koo-koo tree huggers, there ARE real engineers out there that have published how-to books for all this. Of course all this works better in sunny areas, but a lot of the solutions help even here in the frozen north.
If I had the money to build a new house, I'd definitely include the solutions that worked at whatever latitude I was building, even if it was just the traditional super-insulation and lots of south-facing windows for for winter (with a big stone interior wall for the windows to shine on), and big overhangs for summer. But since I'm not a rich man, for now it is just a dream, shivering in the dark.
-- aem sends...
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I'm about to spend a sizable chunk of change to install a geothermal heating and cooling system in my main residence.
One of the most interesting examples of passive solar I've heard of is the Mall of America in Minnesota. Despite the location, the mall has NO heating plant. None. Nada, Zilch. The bill for heating that huge space is ZERO dollars per forever.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I wonder what would happen if the mall powered down for a period of time during the winter? I assume that a lot of the needed heat is from all the activity and equipment.
TDD
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2008 06:59:02 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I will always bet on the side of physics. When the sun goes down, outside ambient is cruising in the single digits or less and there is not much heat being generated by activity in the mall, the temperature is going to drop.
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2008 06:26:34 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

It is amazing that a place that is supposed to be so ecologically sound hasn't figured out how to open a window.
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2008 13:00:03 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I think the main reason they need to use airconditioning is to reduce humidity.
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The best use of solar is heating water, either for domestic consumption, space heating or simply heating a pool/spa. That gives you a real bang for your buck.
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wrote:

I'd like to have one of those systems for my pool and spa but talk about expensive! I have a perfect spot for the panels on my south facing roof too.
Olddog
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I built up my own from second hand collectors. A hint is to get them from a roofer (or a tip of where to find them cheap). Most people do not take the proper steps when installing them to keep the roof from leaking and when the roofer blames the leak on the collectors the customer will not usually want them reinstalled.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That is why I specified 'passive' in my previous post. Most people do not have the knowledge, time, or interest to do the care and feeding of an active system, any more than they do the care and feeding of a simple gas-fired furnace. I still see a few abandoned collectors on roofs around here as well, but there used to be a lot more, prior to re-roofs. A pool is easy, if you aren't fussy about looks- a coil of black pipe on the garage or carport roof, and a more powerful pool pump with diverter valves. Household heat, not so much. Yes, you can suck more heat out of the sky with an active system, but at a higher up-front cost, and it requires more involvement by the homeowner. (not to mention finding HVAC companies, plumbers, and roofers, that have a clue how to deal with active systems.) For an existing house, having a sunroom added on south side, or maybe getting a couple of those window box things, is usually about as complicated as they are able or willing to deal with. Most people are not like the people who hang out here- they just want to go home at the end of the day, and have a dry warm place to sleep.
IMHO, architects and residential designers should be pitching appropriate passive solar during the design phase for new houses, and the people who write or guarantee construction loans should offer a money inducement to include passive features in the design. Or maybe put the inducement on the tax side, since conservation is supposed to be a national policy priority. I haven't seen much solar in new public or educational buildings around here, and that is a big shame. (A lot easier to have a unit in science class about energy conservation, if you can take the kids down the hall or down the street, and show them a system in operation. Get it in the back of their brains for when they grow up and build a house, etc.)
-- aem sends...
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You really only need one valve and 2 "T" fittings in the return line. You shut off the direct return to the pool and force it up the "T" to the roof. It just "T"s back into the return past the valve. Mine is a bit more sophisticated with an electric valve actuator and some sensors to figure out when I want the solars running but it is still only a couple relays, switches etc. I didn't change the size of my pool pump (1 hp) but you do need a lot more collector area than you will get with a coil of black pipe. Typically you want pretty close to the same area as your pool surface if you really expect a significant rise in temperature. About the minimum effective area ratio is 50% with a covered pool. If you don't have a pool cover you are never going to get it more than a couple degrees above ambient air temp in the afternoon with solars. In the morning it will be cold again.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'm no expert on pool plumbing, so I'll take your word for it. But I see plenty of hillbilly collectors of the loosely coiled black pipe on garage roofs around here. Maybe a few degrees is all they are looking for, to extend the swimming season past the Memorial day to Labor day that an unheated pool provides. ( Really don't understand why anyone in SW MI has a pool anyway- you can't drive 15 minutes in any direction without passing a lake.)
-- aem sends...
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Lakes are much harder to heat.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Chuckle. That is just to make you keep moving, to stay warm. Most residential pools are too small for anything but splashing. Lakes don't burn your eyes and dry out your skin and hair, either.
IMHO, for the vast majority of owners, pools are like hot tubs and RVs- by the third year, they are barely used. Just too much of a PITA. Now if you have teenagers you want close by so you can keep tabs on them, a pool may be worth it. But once the kids are gone? I know several households that ripped out pools after about year 10.
(Pools are expensive wet spots, where it should be dry. Boats are expensive dry spots, where it should be wet.)
-- aem sends...
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I'd have to disagree about pools and hot tubs. My family had one of the first vinyl liner pools in the country. In fact, My later father wrote the installation manual (in exchange for the pool kit) as well as articles in Readers Digest and several other major magazines to promote "a backyard pool for about the price of a compact car".
That pool is still in existence, almost 50 years later.
My first hot tub was home made from a giant wine cask in Santa Cruz California in 1970. I still have a hot tub today, and we use it several times a week in the winter.
The pool requires a noticeable, but still not overwhelming amount of maintenance. The hot tub requires VERY little.
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 06:07:09 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Public Relations reasons and a fat tax deduction off of their exorbitant profits is my guess.
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 22:20:14 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'm glad that you qualified that as a guess.
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2008 06:57:23 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Unless you were at the board meeting and listened to the presentation it is all a guess. I just know what the cost of panels is per watt and what the utility rates are. Without something else to tip the scale, there is no way they make financial sense.
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2008 13:45:45 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Well, Walmart is a publically traded company. They have to justify everything they do to investors. Publically traded companies are not prone to deliberately doing things that hurt the bottom line.
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wrote:

At least the couple I am kinda familiar with, a second company came in and essentially leased the roof for the collector array. So, Walmart most likely is making money whether or not the other company is. Although, the other company may be.
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