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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

http://gizmodo.com/5104016/dean-kamens-private-island-is-now-entirely-off-the-grid
Well, yeah. His home is typical of folks who invent the Segway or the Pop-Tart. Bill Gates probably saves bags of money on air-conditioning by living inside a mountain.
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wrote:

I guess you missed a few things, like the fact that part of getting off the grid involved figuring out ways to use LESS energy.
There is no single magic bullet. If you have that sort of tunnel vision, you are doomed to failure and extinction.
By using less energy, and producing more of it at the point of use, you CAN save money. You don't have to be Bill Gates to do it, either. I'm currently looking into installing geo-thermal in my primary residence. I will use photovoltaic solar to provide the electricity needed to operate the controls and pumps. So, I will be heating and cooling that house without any connection to the grid, and no fossil fuels. I'll be able to keep my house at any temp I want without worrying about how much energy I'm using to do it. I'll also be able to heat my hot tub for free, saving an additional $30-$40 a month. The initial installation will be expensive, but part of it will be offset by the boiler I won't be replacing. Since I won't be buying any oil, I'll break even in about 10 years at MOST. More likely about 7 years. After that, heat and air conditioning will be FREE other than maintenance, which is pretty minimal on these systems.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

What is your geo-thermo source?
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wrote:

groundwater
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Agreed. Some people, however, confuse the goals and the methods. For some, using less energy is the goal when energy usage is really the MEANS not the END. If you can accomplish the same goal using less energy, then good on you!
There are several ways to test the rationale of an hypothesis: One is to take the tactic to its extreme. If the goal is to find the cheapest on-going way to watch the Super Bowl on a 52" plasma TV, you might look at wind power or solar collectors. If the goal is to reduce energy consumption, then the extreme is the Unibomber's sharck or an Indian wigwam.
Regrettably, extremists have elevated reduced energy usage to the goal. You find this construct in slogans such as "Eliminate coal-fired power plants and we'll have cleaner air," implying that the elimination of coal-fired power plants is the goal and a subsidiary benefit is cleaner air. In my view, a better way of making a similar claim is "One way to get better air is to eliminate coal-fired power plants."
In reality, many environmental activists are closet Luddites who want us to devolve to a hunter-gatherer society. In the above example, they don't want cleaner air, they want our electricity consumption cut in half. Only then can we "get back to nature," maintain a simpler life-style, and lead lives that are short, painful, and brutish.

If you do undertake this salutary plan, it would be really neat to keep a journal of expenses and savings over time - starting at day one. After a few years, you should be able to divine a trend and the whole shebang would be excellent fodder for a magazine article or opinion piece.
I predict is will be a money pit into which you'll have to keep throwing coins called dear, but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise by cold, hard, facts.
Let us know how the project goes.
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wrote:

That's not reality. That's unthinking drama queen hysteria on your part.
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wrote:

Yeah, not to mention that you rarely get the "real story" on these things, just the sexy news bytes. Proly this kamen guy's got a diesel generator tucked away somewhere.
And, most of this stuff is much more effectively done on new construction.
Assuming Salty is not confabulating (again), his eyeballs will likely explode once he gets all those conversion bills -- not to mention his hissy fits when the skies are cloudy for weeks. 7 year ROI??? Try 30. Minimal maintenance???? Heh, but another eyeball explosion.
Take something a simple as thermal windows. I've read summaries of studies that showed that most often these windows are at best a break even proposition, because the energy they save just about equals their replacement cost at the end of their lifetime. Unless you go the way of Anderson/Pella/Marvin, and then your breakeven point will proly be 40 years.
Take in-floor radiant heating. Great idear, right? Indeed, it is. Heh, what happens when one pops a leak?? Or if electric, a shorted element. Holy Bananas, your ROI on DAT repair bill will proly be 150 years!
Kinda like tryna beat a parking meter: It wasn't really free parking, as yer "cost" of that free park is actually the expected probability of a ticket multiplied by the value of the ticket. Over the long term, the house always wins.
In NYC, if you avoid meters or garage parking, the alternative is hauling around someone just to watch the car/truck -- which is in fact what commercial vehicles often do, as one ticket essentially pays for that person.
Iow, there is no escape from effing NYC parking costs, there is likely no escape from effing energy costs, with rare exceptions in the case of talented knowledgeable DIYers. And THEN the cost is likely boucou time/labor.
Which is likely moot, as proly few municipalities would even allow such a DIY effort -- sheeit, many places require a licensed plumber to change yer goddamm water heater -- and worse.
Not badmouthing solar/geo/Green-ness, or the nobility of such efforts, just saying that a lot has been mis-represented -- mostly via HGTV, whose often stunning presentations on this stuff omit some nitty-gritty realities, like the fact that many of these stunning installations are the playthings of wealthy architects et al, which are proly write-offs way beyond energy tax credits, ito professional displays of their work. Iow, written off as a marketing/bidniss expense, etc.
Salty does, miraculously, make a very good point, which was my point in the Solar/40 hp thread:
This stuff will only be viable if we re-think our lifestyles : endless A/C, 4 kW clothes driers, 250++ hp cars -- and our whole "disposable" zeitgeist. And the folly of running on a 2 hp treadmill -- goodgawd.....
All of which, given the momentum of our current cultural bent and the economic corners we have been painted into, will never cease -- until we wind up in work barracks -- solar powered, of course.
--
EA


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On Apr 7, 11:33am, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

That is true. Something has to be wrong with the math, because you can indeed buy a sytem in the 6KW range and put it on an average house roof. It doesn't even cover anywhere near the whole roof, maybe 40% or so I'd say. 6KW is an order of magnitude more than HB's claimed 1/2 KW.

The analogy here would be paying $50K for a car that has the same performance, size, and features as a toyota corolla. There are some applications where it is cost effective to use solar electric because there is no grid. But what we're talking about here is the 95% installed in populated areas with the rest of the taxpayers and future taxpayers getting stuck with paying the extra $25K bill.
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Methinks you left off a zero: Should be 1200 W/m^2. Nominal 100 W/sq ft.
Ackshooly, it varies from 900 to 1500 W/m^2, depending on lattitude, altitude, etc.
Selective-surface collectors can substantially exceed 70% -- good mostly for HW (heat, domestic), which can be a big % of used juice. Also, these collectors are proly a lot cheaper than photovoltaics. You can make pretty good ones DIY, as well.
PV's are up to what, now, 15% efficiency?? And I thought I read somewhere that PV's could be had for about $1/watt???
Also, I wonder what the lifespan of PV's are.
--
EA



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wrote:

If they can be had for that amount, how is it that a typical home system that generates 6KW costs $50K?


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If they can be had for that amount, how is it that a typical home system that generates 6KW costs $50K?
================================================= Well, I wasn't asserting this f'sure f'sure, I was hoping someone could either confirm it (with a link), or provide current pricing.
I believe that $50K is an installed price, with all the goodies, hookups, etc., whereas the $1/W I thought I read would be strictly a parts purchase.
HD was offering a rooftop array for $48K, altho I forget the exact wattage. If 6 kW, it would be about $30K (at $5/W), and $18K for the installation/peripherals.
And, as others have alluded, that 6 kW is likely a rating semi-equivalent to Sears hp ratings.... but we've been down THAT road before, eh?
--
EA





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> Also, I wonder what the lifespan of PV's are.
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Solar-powered plane makes successful maiden flight Posted on 04/08/2010
PAYERNE, SWITZERLAND
By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER
Associated Press
At the pace of a fast bicycle, a solar-powered plane took to the skies for its maiden flight Wednesday, passing an important test on the way to a historic voyage around the world -- a journey that would not use a drop of fuel.
The Solar Impulse lifted off from a military airport at a speed no faster than 28 mph (45 kph) after briefly accelerating down the runway. It slowly gained altitude above the green-and-beige fields and eventually faded into the horizon as villagers watched from the nearest hills.
"There has never been an airplane of that kind that could fly -- never an airplane so big, so light, using so little energy. So there were huge question marks for us," said Bertrand Piccard, who is leading the project. In 1999, he copiloted the first nonstop round-the-world balloon flight.
During Wednesday's 90-minute flight, the plane completed a series of turns by gently tilting its black-and-white wings, which are as wide as those of a 747 jumbo jet. It climbed nearly a mile above the Swiss countryside. The weather was sunny, and there was little wind -- obvious advantages for a plane so light and dependent on the sun.
Engineers on the $93.5 million project have been conducting short tests since December, taking the plane no higher than 2 feet and flying no more than 1,000 feet in distance. A night flight is planned before July, and then a second plane will be built based on the results of those tests.
That plane will be the one to attempt the round-the-world flight planned for 2012.
"The goal is to fly day and night with no fuel. The goal is to demonstrate the importance of renewable energies, to show that with renewable energies we can achieve impossible things," Piccard said.
Aviation experts said they see a future for renewable fuels in commercial aviation, but they predicted that biofuels from plants, algae or other sources were more likely to succeed than solar power.
"Solar energy does not have enough 'energy density' to power regular airplanes that are supposed to fly somewhere in a reasonably short time," said Hans Weber, president of San Diego-based aviation consulting firm TECOP International, Inc. With solar planes, "the objective is only to stay aloft, not to go anywhere fast."
Test pilot Markus Scherdel said Wednesday's flight proved that the plane could take off and land safely and handles like a passenger jet.
"Everything worked as it should," he said.
While the next plane will have an outer shell, the current prototype has an open cockpit -- sort of the aeronautic version of a convertible.
Scherdel said the frigid air didn't bother him and that it was "too cold for flies" that might otherwise have hit his face.
"I was wearing my special underwear and a windproof overall," he said. "I got shoes and gloves with built-in heating. You see, we thought of everything."
Using almost 12,000 solar cells, rechargeable lithium batteries and four electric motors, Piccard and co-pilot Andre Borschberg plan to take the plane around the world. They will make regular stops to switch places and stretch after long periods in the cramped cockpit -- and to show off their aircraft.
The circumnavigation will take time. With the engines providing only 40 horsepower, the plane will perform like a moped in the sky, at an average flight speed of 44 mph (70 kph). The trip will be divided into five stages -- keeping the plane in the air for up to five days at a time.
Solar flight isn't new, but Piccard's project is the most ambitious.
In 1980, a fragile ultra-lightweight experimental solar plane called the Gossamer Penguin flew short demonstration flights with one pilot on board. A bigger project called the Solar Challenger flew a single pilot from France to England in 1981 in a trip lasting more than five hours.
Solar plane technology recalls the early days of manned flight, and the slow ascent of the Solar Impulse was somewhat reminiscent of the Wright brothers' pioneering experiments in 1903.
Wilbur and Orville Wright also progressed from short hops to longer flights after 1905, reaching average speeds above 30 mph (48 kph) and only slightly slower than the Solar Impulse.
The loud clicks of the Swiss plane's four propellers added another hint of nostalgia. And designers acknowledged the same worries that preoccupied the first fliers.
"The first crucial question was: Do we have enough power to fly?" said Borschberg. "The second crucial thing was: Are we capable of landing this airplane, is it controllable?"
"It was two hours of deep emotion," he added, calling the test flight the high point of seven years of work on the project. "The airplane has landed but we have not yet landed."
Borschberg followed the flight in a helicopter. Below waited numerous people involved with the project and Piccard, who comes from a long line of adventurers. His late father, Jacques, was an oceanographer and engineer who plunged deeper beneath the ocean than any other man. His grandfather Auguste, also an engineer, was the first man to take a balloon into the stratosphere.
On Wednesday, the Solar Impulse reached an altitude of 5,500 feet. After a gentle landing, Scherdel emerged from the cockpit with his arms raised, and the team broke open bottles of champagne.
When the plane attempts to circle the globe, the team will have to monitor conditions closely to ensure the aircraft follows the best weather. Ground crews will stay close to provide service at each stop, he said.
"Round-the-world will seem impossible until we do it," Piccard said. "Today is an absolutely incredible milestone."
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wrote:

================================================= Unless vanity/narcissism is involved -- then there is no bottom limit to the IQ plummet, or cartwheels tripping over each other.
Pudgy Tony Little sold millions of Ab Isolators, where 1. He had nary an ab anywhere on his pudgy li'l body 2. His product was absolute crap 3. His product didn't work 4. NO ab product can work 5. Abs are irrelevant to begin with.
Millions, he sold.
Add fashion, perfumes, hair care products, Extenze and all the rest, and there should be a brisk market for Perpetual Motion Machine -- IFF they made us look better, lose weight, hopped up our peckers.....
--
EA



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