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Country Discussion Topics
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Alternative energy informal survey
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screaminghollow    Posted 04-06-2004 at 10:44:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know many or most of you burn wood to heat or at least assist in the heating of our houses. How many use any other alternative energy sources.
Today on the radio, I heard a person say that one reason for the high oil and gas prices is our dependence on them for energy and that we can cut that by either conservation or alternative sources. The anouncer kinda laughed and said the U.S. isn't going to do either! Now, I am and have been seriously thinking about wind turbines at the top of my hill. The initial cost is high, but I figure the energy produced will cut down on my consumption of other energy. I also have the capacity for a small hydro unit. (sixty foot vertical fall of the stream from one property line to another.) Do any of you KLr's have any alternative energy units in operation?
(An Amish family down the road uses a windmill to compress air and runs all their small equipment off compressed air. Even the sewing machine and vacuum cleaner.)


RayP(MI)    Posted 04-06-2004 at 16:57:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here in central Michigan there were several individuals who set up wind generators. I note that none of them are functioning anymore. Apparently maintenance or lack there of has taken it's toll. If it had been a paying proposition, I would imagine that the owners would have worked harder to keep 'em going!


Ray    Posted 04-06-2004 at 18:56:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
A few have tried windmills around here (ohio) when you could get tax deductions several years
ago,but the high cost of the windmill plus a lot
of maintaince,plus the electric company charges
you a higher rate for the electric you use
saying your only a part time user.In california
they quit using some of the windmills because
peta said they were killing the birds.


Burrhead    Posted 04-06-2004 at 18:22:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
there could have been a different killer.

If Mich is anything like Texas the end result aint worth the individual payout.

A neighbor here spent over $10,000 to have a full fledged mill put in that produces more than enough for 2-3 homes.

To get the permit for the mill he had to contract the excess to our local energy company.

By the time he paid all the energy company's side cost and hidden fees it ended up costing him more to make his electric than buy it. Plus the headache of regular inspection and maintenance fee the energy board requires of him.

When his 2 year contract ran out he had the tower taken down.


Bkeepr    Posted 04-06-2004 at 14:54:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
As far as alternative electricity goes, I can't see how it is worth the investment. Very high initial costs, high replacement costs and despite what folks seem to think, the systems themselves don't last forever. So you "save money" for a little while, but if you do a total life-cycle cost analysis I think you'll find it is a money loser at anything close to current electricity prices. If electricity ever goes really high--5 or 10 times what we currently pay--then that won't hold true, but for now I'll just try to use less.

Tom A


Wyo    Posted 04-06-2004 at 14:15:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have wind/solar/grid, with a battery bank for storage, that can sustain power indefinitely!! One frig is 24 VDC and the well has a step-up transformer, 110 VAC from the inverter to 240 VAC. All we would have to do is cut back on our descretionary power useage, such as TV, stereo, and all those digital clocks around the house, and we could live off the wind and sun for ever. Is it cost effective? We have about 20 K invested and our power bill averages about $50 from the grid, mostly because of the hotwater heater!! Are we as dependent on the grid as our neighbors? No, and that is priceless!!


Check out this site!!    Posted 04-06-2004 at 14:20:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Forgot to post this site, they have a lot of info and have quality products:

http://www.poweriseverything.com/


Wyo    Posted 04-06-2004 at 14:14:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have wind/solar/grid, with a battery bank for storage, that can sustain power indefinitely!! One frig is 24 VDC and the well has a step-up transformer, 110 VAC from the inverter to 240 VAC. All we would have to do is cut back on our descretionary power useage, such as TV, stereo, and all those digital clocks around the house, and we could live off the wind and sun for ever. Is it cost effective? We have about 20 K invested and our power bill averages about $50 from the grid, mostly because of the hotwater heater!! Are we as dependent on the grid as our neighbors? No, and that is priceless!!


Danny in CO    Posted 04-06-2004 at 12:52:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I looked at this several years back. Most Wind Turbines generate either 24 or 48 volt DC and uses a bank of batteries to store the "juice". To use this juice in the house, you have to convert to 120/240 Volts AC. You also need a "thing" (I don't remember the correct name) between your house and the Electric Companies wires that will allow your extra juice to flow back.

All in all, it was going to cost in the neighborhood of $25,000 to $30,000 for a turbine that would generate enough electricity for my house in low/moderate consumption times.

I decided that it would take a long time to recover my expenses.

Danny


Andrew in Ottawa    Posted 04-06-2004 at 12:52:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I've looked at doing something a couple of times, but haven't done anything yet because of the initial cost. I'm not sure how long we'll be living where we are (plan on moving back to Nova Scotia at some point) and the only way to make money back on this stuff is over time. It's especially hard here in Ontario where the energy rates are so low (even with a recent raise in rates).


big fred    Posted 04-06-2004 at 12:45:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
When I travel to California to visit the grandkids, I go past the wind farm at Tehachapi and outside of Palm Springs. They are huge operations, must have hundreds if not thousands of wind mills. The most notable thing is that even with all those wind mills, they don't have the big electrical transmission lines. Makes me think they probably aren't getting much power out of them.


rhouston    Posted 04-06-2004 at 11:05:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
I want some of the solar roof shingles. I hear they cost 50 bucks a square (not installed) would be great for outside landscape lighting and driveway light. I use the solar landscape lights now but would love a centralized unit. did I mention I love just about anything solar ?

I figure the best bet is to use all three energy sources solar, wind, and hydro as one is always available.


toolman    Posted 04-06-2004 at 12:13:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
the way i see it if we want alternative sources we are going to have to be the ones to do it, govt. or big bussiness won,t as long as they are making money on what they have now no incenitve to change, they were saying last night on the news where ever there was a cold winter gas prices should be cheaper because gas is a byproduct of heating oil, hence an oversupply of gas in an area where its been a cold winter, not sure i buy into that idea, they can store or ship excess to where they want nowadays, anyway as long as the companies make their profit and govt. gets their cut in taxes without spending anything , not likely to change , only when they see the public finding alternative methods will they then try and jump on the band wagon, or theres no more profit to be made in what their selling today of course.


jeanette    Posted 04-06-2004 at 12:30:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
saw a guy run a hydrogen motor..


toolman    Posted 04-06-2004 at 12:38:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
sure lots of things we could do , if we knew how and how to do it cheaply for a small scale operation, DC is always messin around in stuff someday him or somebody just like him will come up with something and we,ll all benefit from it, it could be anyone so all ways tinker , who, knows.


Bruce    Posted 04-06-2004 at 12:50:11       [Reply]  [No Email]


for fun you should take a look at otherpower.com.


toolman    Posted 04-06-2004 at 12:57:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
thanks bruce, looks like an interesting site, i,ll spend some more time over there later on tonight, will send it to my buddy down the road , he,s an electronics expert, and been building all kinds of solar and wind stuff, he,ll find it interesting as well im sure.


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