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Old 21st December 2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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Electricity is the worst kind of energy when it comes to efficiency.
A big waste in transportation.
Wood fire whenever it is possible.Heats the house. Cooks the meals. Heats water.
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Old 21st December 2012, 07:07 PM   #12
jrenkin is offline jrenkin  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Weldon View Post
I like a house that breathes a little. All those examples of how to save a little money here and there, along with all the cleaners, disinfectants and sterilizers have given us a generation of sick and allergenic kids.

Energy savings have a dark side too.


Hi Ron, I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
Here in the US we have lot of natural gas heat and hot water. Or even oil in some places. Burning these for energy requires some minimum air flow. Tho can be through specific vents, but usually is accomplished by leakage. Often the total vent area required is up to a 1/2 meter square. Whoa to the house that buttons up too tight.
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Old 21st December 2012, 10:17 PM   #13
jcx is online now jcx  United States
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Default as a engineer I despise "feel good" gestures, innumeracy

http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-useit helps to know the landscape, dimensions of the probelm, see what is really driving use, inefficiency

which means cars - anyone commuting 10s of miles daily needn't look at home energy consumption - they need to move closer to work - or "own" their lifestyle decision energy cost - and address the bigest first

Last edited by jcx; 21st December 2012 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 02:37 AM   #14
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Weldon View Post
Interesting as our electricity is done provincially so the cost varies. Here in BC we pay 6.8 cents per kW/h for the first 675 per month and then 10.2 cents per kW/h beyond that.

What is it you pay?
Oh this much:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 02:42 AM   #15
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Weldon View Post
Actually an electric kettle is more efficient.
The most common kettle sold here is a 2400 watt unit that takes as a minimum 0.5 litres of water.
Click the image to open in full size.

This is what I use: (When I have visitors) Its a 1650 watt unit from the dark ages, the cord has been replaced.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I've just been putting my cup of water in the microwave (Panasonic NN-S235WF) for 1-2 minutes not only because its more efficient than the modern 0.5 litre minimum kettle but also because its easier than filling, pouring, mixing, stirring, going to the fridge to get milk, then going back and topping up.

Which takes 2-3 minutes just for the modern kettle to boil.... an eternity! and 4 minutes for the ancient 1650 watt one to boil, makes more time for conversation you see.. (hence the use during visitors)

With me its just a simple matter of mixing powdered milk compound, with coffee powder, and sugar if i need it, then putting the kitchen tap onto the cup, taking out the spoon and putting the cup in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

And if you think it stays chunky think again, the water will mix extremely well with the compounds and produce an amazingly smooth cup, better infact than hot water from the kettle can do, I think the microwave energy rehydrates the powder somehow as it is being mixed with the water.
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Last edited by freax; 22nd December 2012 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 02:58 AM   #16
jrenkin is offline jrenkin  United States
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That's coffee abuse! Ack....
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:00 AM   #17
ruerose is offline ruerose  Canada
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Heat pumps, on demand water heater systems, wrapping hot water lines and your tank with designated thermal wrap are some current ideas.

Replace your windows with modern ones, big! difference in loss.

There some really interesting things happening in combined power & heat units (CHP).

ElectroMotion Energy

Cogeneration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Combined heat and power systems explained
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:10 AM   #18
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvee View Post
As Cal said, that's a bad example: in a microwave, the efficiency from the wall outlet to target is 30 to 50%.
Inverter microwaves are nice and efficient, but I like the reliability of an old transformer based unit.

However in saying that, considering that the only other way for me to cook dinner is with an electric oven that takes 30 minutes to pre-heat and 30-60 minutes to cook dinner, I love my microwave.

Quote:
I have an ultra efficient electric kettle, accepting as little as 0.15l (a small cup) and as much as 1.8l, and the contents of cup is brought to boiling point in less than 30s, with very little heat lost in the surroundings.
You should be informed that I've edited the OP to include your helpful advice, and given you credit.

That would be something to recommend to people that I know. People who cannot live with a microwave for boiling hot water.

Every fiber of my microwaves being has been designed to efficiently boil water, so why not use it? I'm a single person, its faster than filling a kettle to 0.15L just to make a single cup, and I'm more than happy with the techology which requires almost no supervision aside from pressing 3 buttons and walking away for 1-2 minutes.

Click the image to open in full size.

Infact I'm going to go make another cup now.
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Last edited by freax; 22nd December 2012 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:21 AM   #19
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Weldon View Post
I like a house that breathes a little. All those examples of how to save a little money here and there, along with all the cleaners, disinfectants and sterilizers have given us a generation of sick and allergenic kids.

Energy savings have a dark side too.
They do indeed. Like LED Lighting

I'm holding onto flourescent for as long as possible.

I always open up the house every time I wake up, and turn a fan on, without doing that I would need an air conditioner just so I could stay sane and not get heatstroke.

This contributes considerably to my power bill however during 6 months out of the year it is an apsolute necessity to have forced airflow going through your house here in this part of Australia as a bare minimum.

Quite a few australians use air conditioners infact, every single house from here up and down 50km along the coastline has one, with a few exceptions that get the sea breeze.

However this isn't going to continue for much longer I don't think, there will be a breaking point when the air conditioner never gets turned on again.

It got so hot where I used to live that I had it on 24/7 for 3 months, this isn't some small unit either, this is a windowed 2.5 HP unit, my power bill at the end of that 3 months was $700 AUD.
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Last edited by freax; 22nd December 2012 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:27 AM   #20
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Weldon View Post
Hi Ron, I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
Let's say you have a house that is drafty - very cold when windy - if you can reduce the infiltration you can save a lot of energy. While there is certainly a price to pay for a house that is "too tight" or one that doesn't manage moisture properly, older houses (such as my 1959 ranch) often can reduce their energy bill more cost effectively with weatherstripping than with insulation.

The payback on adding insulation in my attic is decades,where the payback on making my windows tighter is more easily measured in months.
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