I am down to just my four PC computer servers that must be on 24/7.
We emptied shut down our chest freezer last November.
We're saving to replace our 1962-vintage HotPoint refrigerator (which is still working fine) with a new Energy Star rated fridge.
I've converted a lot of the incandescent lighting to fluorescent.
I've stopped using space heaters.
I've stopped using the big sound system for background and monitoring applications in my studio, replacing it with a small mag-field amplifier that has a low quiescent power draw.
The way I see it, the biggest continuous draw are my computers and musical instruments (synthesizers). In the past, I have looked into solar cell panels and found the costs to be prohibitive, requiring a mortgage to pay for. I would like to do something on a smaller scale.
If I could power even one computer by storage batteries and a solid state sine wave inverter, charged by solar cells during the day, with enough reserve to run the whole night throught til sun up, I would consider that a great start. Because of budget limits ($300-500) this will be a DIY project.
A few years back, I heard about "thin film" solar cells and they were in the experimental stages of development, but claims of efficiency completely blew convention cells out of the water. Are these new cells on the market today and are they as efficient as the early Popular Science articles suggested?
I'm looking for a variety of alternative energy source ideas, even wind power to charge batteries. Perhaps it makes more sense to have one big 3kVA inverter and three times the battery capacity and more cells charging by day and wind-driven generators charging by night? What I'd like to do is create a hybrid system that is scaleable as my needs/budget grow.
Is anyone on this discussion group doing serious alternative electric energy generation? Would love to discuss some ideas and expand my awareness of what's available in terms of hardware.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -