Home Made Energy (a scam warning)

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getoto's picture
getoto
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Home Made Energy (a scam warning)

Dear all.

I purchased the e-book from "Home made Energy" a few weeks ago, when you watch the video, they mislead you by telling  how easy and inexpensive it is, to build your own "solar panel". Well let me tell you, is not easy and is not inexpensive, it requires to buy not only some tools, that I do not have, but requires to buy batteries ( to store the energy collected) that are not cheep at all, and to have  knowledge of electricity, otherwise you will require to hire an electrician. 

When you watch the video, and please do, it tells you basically that you are really stupid , if you are incapable of saving money by building such an easy thing to do and safe energy, what they do not tell you is that in order to safe a significant amount of money, you really have to have a workshop a lots of tools and a lot of time.

The reality is that I do feel stupid for not inquire a bit more about  this company, and the product, I really acted  emotionally , thinking " how cool will be" but the truth is  " How stupid it was"

By the way, I actually did not received the actual building instructions, what I got was a bunch of  "youtube" type of  inormation of what I need , and that's about it.

I requested my money back. I will tell you, how this is gonna work . meanwhile I keep bitching myself for been such an idiot.

Thanks guys

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Re: HOME MADE ENERGY

Don't beat yourself up getoto.

Everybody has been taken to the bank a time or two.

Now you know what not to do.

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Completely different view.

I purchased it also (dvd and pc disc). I've already started building my panels and I'm researching what batteries to buy next (they do work). They tell you what to buy and how they go together. Though I'll admit that some information is lacking in the dvd. I managed to find it on the pc disc instead. I found the charge controller I want to buy. It's made by Xantrex. It's the C60 model. Did you use the excel spread sheet on the pc disc? It's very helpful with calculating how many batteries you need (in series or parallel) and how many panels to build. What area did you have a problem with?

-Rich

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Home Made Energy

To do what HomeMadeEnergy is talking about at the output he is claiming on the slide show would take a lot more than 200 bucks. He supposedly started making money instead of spending hundreds per month on his electric bill. That would probably require at least a 3KW system but probably more like 5KW. The best fleaBay price on cells I found with a quick search is about 50 cents per watt. He would also need an inverter to the tune of probably around $2K to handle that much power. It has to be one that will sync its output to the frequency and period of the electric grid. If you don't want to be grid tied then the inverter would cost a little less (maybe a lot) but I think you would need some batteries to balance the load. Either way you have to have an inverter. That’s getting a minimal system to around $3500 or more. Oh and don't forget the electrician to wire everthing up or at least check your work. What about permits?

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Question - DIY Energy

I've lived through some power grid failures in my area that lead me to looking into alternative energy. I've researched Solar and Windmill power sources. It seems to me that to get the biggest bang for the buck - Wind energy would be my 1st project.

I've bought scam plans already been burned and got this ad today about "Home Made Energy" I did do a search to see what others were posting about it before I took the bait !

Now when I look at my consumption and what I need for batteries and converters. I began to question myself and would like others opinions as well on this topic.

Why not use 12volt for primary power ? Lighting and using some appliances that are made for RV use ? Invertors appear to consume part of that energy they are converting to 110V.

We have 12 volt chargers for our cell phones and various other daily used devices.

Then if you use 12volt - I've been looking at LED lighting options to save power usage further. What I've found so far looks pricey, But I've got some ideas on building my own lamps and light fixtures by converting some old 110v versions.

I may still need some 110v to run our washer and drier. But nearly everything else is available in 12volt.

I'd be interested in others comments if you have expereince or knowledge on the downsides of using 12 volt as a primary power supply.

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I don't have a lot of

I don't have a lot of experience, nor knowledge concerning such matters, but my husband built us a really nice outhouse that he's wired for 12 volt rv bulbs, fan, and heater using 12 volt batteries and deer feeder solar panels.  Works great.  I think it's worth looking into for limited uses (lighting on porches at night. etc..., it's worth looking into, I think.

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Home Made Energy

Jdnew,

The idea of converting everything to 12 volts just won't work in a home.  Here's the problem.  Using Ohm's law, Power is a function of voltage times current.  (P=I*E)  Wire capacity is a function of the current it carries, not the power or voltage.  The higher the voltage, the more power a given wire can carry since current capacity remains constant.  Most house wiring is 14 guage which can safely  handle 15 amps or 1,800 watts at 120 volts.  Heavier duty wiring of 10 guage can safely handle 20 amps or 2,400 watts at 120 volts.  However that same 14 guage wire can only handle 180 watts at 12 volts.  That means a single 1,500 watt item such as a microwave uses 12.5 amps at 120 volts (1500/120=12.5).  Well within the 15 amp limit of 14 guage wiring.  However, a 1,500 watt microwave would require a whopping 125 amps at 12 volts, overloading any house wiring.  A typical electric stove requires as much as 30 amps at 250 volts which would need 625 amps at 12 volts.  See the problem?  Most appliances like refregerators, furnaces and such have what is called an AC induction motor which requires a fairly large starting current. 

Motor homes use things like gas stoves, gas refregerators and small electric motors to circulate the air on a fairly inefficient gas furnace.  Air conditioning is always120 volt AC since the load would be just too much for 12 volts and gas air conditioners are quite large and expensive.

I would be interested if you have any success in converting existing light fixtures to LED technology.   Existing LED lighting is pretty expensive for a reason.  Creating high power LEDs with a wide spectrum of colors is just now coming on line.  Manufactureres are struggling with producing a high power LED bulb with more or less natural (wide spectrum) colors.  R&D costs are pretty high and are not yet fully ready for mass marketing.  The R&D costs have to be figured into the cost of each light fixture.  Right now Phillips has an LED bulb that comes pretty close to natural light but costs $25 each for the equivalent of a 100 watt incandescent that would cost under $1.00.  I fully expect LED lights to dominate the scene in the near future but I don't think they are quite there yet.  I hope this helps.

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Completely different view

Before you get too deep into your project, I would suggest you engineer your requirements.  Step one is to determine the maximum demand your house needs.  You need to add the power required by things like your air conditioner, furnace, clothes washer/dryer, dish washer, refregerator, freezer, microwave, lights, TV, computers and anything else you can think of.  Add everything together and that will determine your worst case power requirement.  Use this number to select the capacity of the power inverter.  Anything smaller could possibly damage your appliences if they attempt to start with insufficient power available.

If you intend to connect to the power grid, you will need an inverter that can synchronize to the grid or you risk seriously damaging it or even causing an explosion if it connects out of phase.  I would guess you will need something in the range of 10KW -15KW.  Using Ohm's Law for power (Power=Current times Voltage), a 10KW, 120 Volt inverter will require at least 1,000 Amps at 12 volts to run at maximum power (10,000 / 120 * 12).  A 15KW inverter needs at least 1,500 amps (15,000 / 120 * 12).  Be sure the wires between the batteries and the inverter can handle that much current and your batteries have sufficient capacity to handle that kind of load for more than a few minutes.  You should also figure the capacity of your solar panels to be able to recharge the batteries in a normal day.  It IS possible to generate more power than you use and to sell the excess back to the power companies but do yourself a big favor and figure the total actual cost before you start.

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MrEnergyCzar
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no shortcuts

I was big on cold fusion and thought hydrogen was an energy source so it was worth it if you learned something.  Now it's amish electrically powered heaters, hydrogen attachments to your car and cold fusion again.  In 3 months I drove 3,200 miles using 5.5 gallons.  Including the cost of electricity, I'm getting 100 miles per dollar.  That's real, the Chevy Volt actually works....

MrEnergyCzar

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technical spectacle

OK, GETOTO, buy some darn tools and learn to use them and learn the one tween yer ears for a change, you will be better for it.

I've been studying electricity for years, and have been bit by it a few times wiring houses and fixing amps, all small voltage and small amperages, 110 at 15 amps will get your attention quick, its better than 220 at 15 amps as one pushes and the other pulls respectively, both hurt, 220 more than 110. This leads me to a major component in most every appliance in your household, The STEP-DOWN TRANSFORMER, which is what all of these things use to convert the energy supplied from the wall socket, or any other way you choose to accomplish they power delivery task, (one of my army buds recently showed me plans to power everything in a house w 12V system, crazy huh) this just a basic theory or guess that if you put anywhere from 1 to 10 of these panels together, I haven't seen the plans so I am unsure of the construction or the output voltage/amperage of these supposed ripoffs, but i expect it is a combination of unhappiness leads to complaints for the earnest yet inexperienced in this territory, and the moderately experienced checking it out and looking for ways to apply the idea. I am currently attending ITT for electronics engineering, so I had better understand at least the slightest modicum of this as i just spent 6 weeks learning about the different types of silicon that are being developed or currently used to make panels. The really cheap ones are very inefficient, but extremely viable if you have the room for 10 panels, and with a wood frame and some glue and some wire, not too big not too small, BDJAHN you are right on the money there, you can solder the contacts together into a parallel circuit to get a higher output/voltage. Tesla invented AC, and edison stole it for general electric, do your homework and check the history of these two as we are still standing on their shoulders and everything in your house is designed to run 110 through a step-down, which makes lots of heat and lost work/voltage/power so that it can convert the electricity into the actual voltage DC and occasionaly AC that the circuit actually requires, which is nowhere near the 110V coming out of the wall. Much like how Social Security was originally a ponzi scheme because at the time of its creation very few would live to collect, which is why now that everyone lives longer, they are talking about ending it or raising the age to 70 after I've been paying into it for almost 30 years, well the whole 110 AC is because the electric companies are deliviering power over long distances. AC was developed because TESLA and westinghouse built the first HYDRO-ELECTRIC DAM at Niagra Falls and they needed a way to get all that power to NEW YORK CITY, and DC was too inefficient for the job, Therefore, 110-120V polyphase 50-60 Mhz alternating current was originally developed to provide power over long distances, and this should not be necessary for a much smaller scale application, such as your house. So my suggestion is too follow BDJAHN in the idea of figuring out what your total household load is, and change that by determining what can have the step down transformer changed out to a transformer thats based on the standard dc voltage that will come from the output of your panels. That should decrease the houshold load, and this is just a guess, but the wiring in your house will likely handle the output from the storage batteries. The Air conditioning/ heater have their circuits wired direct from the fuse box, and the same for the washer/dryer, so everything that can come off the AC is plugged into wall sockets that can come off the fusebox and be wired into the batteries w a different fusebox in between for safety, make sure to change out the step down transformers before doing this. Step down transformers are cheap, ranging anywhere from $1 to $150, The $150 being a brand new cost for a transformer that is used for  MARSHALL guitar amp, which is extremely inefficient but worth it's weight in soundwaves, yes the loud and dirty ones known as distortion. but i digress, most of the things in your house will be in the $10-$50 dollar range and can be converted by a good appliance repairman, as long as you tell them what you are converting to first. I know I am probably way out there for most people with this suggestion, but the whole thing is built on 110V ac, and if your energy is home supplied for the most part, all the peripherals ( tv microwave toaster refrigerator) could be redesigned to run more efficiently off of DC power, at least its another possible way to increase efficiency in the use/loss of electrons. Tell me if I'm nuts

find me at brianefrench at gmail on facebook to converse more on this, because i rarely get lost in blogs

Thanks Y'all

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Home Made Solar Panels --

If you want to "go solar". I can help you, and its does not involve building your own solar panels. That's like building your own car.  Prices today on solar panels or modules and total installed system costs are lower than they've ever been.  You can purchase the major components, a design, and installation services that results in solar energy costs lower than your current electric bill. When you take advantage of Federal tax benefits (good through 2016), you can achieve "paybacks" of less than 5 years.  There is a way to develop and implement your own solar project, even at commercial levels...with minimum risks and costs...If you want some help... email me at LSlominski@aol.com.. 30 years experience.  Best of luck.

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Home Made Energy

I watched the video for a laugh, definitely a scam.  I have an electrical engineering degree and experience in the field, so it was easy to see the bullshit.

First thing, the electrical utility generates a massive amount of energy and sells at reasonable prices.  This is a fact.  You are not getting ripped off.

Second point, monitor your energy use.  I have used a wattmeter to help identify electric use rates of appliances.  An electric water heater uses much more electricity than a refrigerator.  Compact fluorescent lights are energy savers.  Learn where your electricity is being used in the house and learn how to be a more efficient consumer.  Being a cheapskate has nothing to do with being an efficient user.  I have a 2 year old home with 2000 sq. feet and the electric bill averages 80 bucks a month.

Solar panels and the accompanying equipment are going to be expensive.  They are also going to be intensive in maintenance.  Ever thought about the need to clean solar panels?  The utility maintains their own grid and the utilities are reliable.  I haven't had a utility outage longer than 5 mins in the past year.  If you set up an alternative energy system, you will have to pay for the initial cost and the maintenance cost (measured in your time and dollars for materials).

My last point about the infomercial is that they run their mouths for at least 10 minutes.  I didn't see any technical expertise demonstrated, just a bunch of "shit out mouth pound".  Definitely a scam alert here.  No professionalism, just a bunch of slick sales stuff.   

It is a shame to see the electric utilities get badmouthed and people get ripped off by such a scam.

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12v power

The big loads in a household are the heat pump and the electric water heater.  These are 240VAC systems and are usually breakered at 30amps.  A 12V system will require 20 times the amperage to operate, so it will be less money to step up the voltage and save the copper rewiring cost.  A house is prewired at 120/240VAC, a practical system would have to meet this voltage requirement or the house will have to be rewired.  

A person can get their electric bill down by being a smart consumer.  A home system to meet all electric demand load would be expensive in initial cost and expensive to maintain.  Not practical, you will get an economic spanking trying this.

Electric utilities are efficient, extremely efficient.  They are hard to beat on costs.  Only a large scale development (like a paper mill) would stand a chance of producing their own electricity and beating the utility cost.  Please note that paper mills can burn scrap, so they have free fuel.  I highly doubt that anyone can get off the grid, enjoy a comfortable home, and not spend more time and money than the electric utility would charge for service.

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dc volts

tell Thomas Edison that

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Off grid / On grid

I'm with JSmith, I too am an electrical engineer and have longed for a solar solution for years.  I even own a couple of 80 watt pannels for small outdoor power activities.  But when you sit down and do the math requirements of the needs of a typical home, the solar costs go through the roof compared to the electric company.  I live in Oklahoma and I have monitored our electric cost for several years - it is extremely reasonable.  Around $0.08 per KWH.  

I have continually looked at the cost of the individual solar cells (0.5 volts @ 2 - 5 amps depending on which ones you view) even if their cost is around $2 each, it is still a lot of money to build a panel large enough to have much of an impact on your bill.

BUT BY FAR, the biggest cost is associated with the converters.  If you try to connect your output to the grid, which means that the sine wave and voltages must be just right to actually put power into the grid, then that device is certified and acceptable by your power company and it costs a bundle.  Any potential savings you enjoy after the connection would take at least 10 years to recover in just the electronics and batteries - I've worked the math many times.  On top of that, those batteries will only last 3 - 5 years.  

If you are going off grid and wire a complete seperate system to utilize your power, you can save a good amount on the converter, but still not going to recover your initial cost very quickly.  And your system has to be capable of providing the max power on demand unless you change your energy habbits (like your wife using the hair dryer at the same time as the toaster oven and central heat/air.  You can adjust habbits and provide computer control for a lot of these systems to optimize the usage, but again another big change.

Reality is that right now for the individual, it is still very expensive.  The larger wind generators used by the power companies, becomes economical because they tie to the grid directly and the economy of scale provides a long term payback compared to additional generating plants, but probably out of reach of the normal home owner.

I watched the video and kept shaking my head at the ease of construction (properly seal the panel from moisture) and the protection from things like hail and long term UV exposure.  

Just not the right time yet for this on a small scale.

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Poet
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Great Contributions!

This is a great thread, in the sense that we now have mostly new people who have delurked and decided to post for the first time.

How do we get more of you lurkers posting and sharing your experiences? What other topics would make you want to get more involved?

Poet

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Home Made Energy

Thanks everyone for your comments and info.  My husband and I have been very curious about alternative enery solutions.  Infact a few days ago, when we were driving home from vacation, we passed through the most amazing "wind mill farm." It was at night and from a distance, it looked like a city with all the homes turning their lights on and off at the same time!  It was crazy.  I wish I could have seen it during the day.

I saw the email video about HomeMadeEnergy and thought I had run across a great solution, but through the course of my life, I realize if it seems "too good to be true," it probably is.  I googled the company and ran across this website.  It has been interesting reading everybody's comments.  We are not electricians and do not want to be!  My thought is this.... if a commerical version costs anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 and this gentlman who created HomeMadeEnergy is selling his secrets for $47 to the general public on how to make it ourselves... how 'bout I approach him on making actual panels for my home?  I don't want to make one, but I'd pay him to make one for me. 

If he says it is so easy, maybe he should wholesale to the public and make a whole lot more profit on his invention than a mere $47.  Maybe it isn't worth the time and money unless you actually sell it for 15 to 20 thousand?  If he can still make a profit by making them to order and save us a lot of money... I know we'd be interested in purchasing.  Plus... my husband would love to head up a national sales team to sell the panals,  I also have a large warehouse to hold them!  Ha!

Any comments?

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Home Made Energy ebook

I cannot even download the ebook I purchased, since I was given no instructions as to how to do so. I went to the Home Made Energy web-site, and all I got was the sales pitch video, nothing else.

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Off grid

Brief due to about to get on road....

We are building at the moment, on 40 acres of good farmland ( pouring footings today ).  We are going off grid, even though the power lines go right past us on the road

$11,000 New Zealand  to connect to grid.  Brought bare cells of ebay, second hand glass of local version of ebay. Spent about 3 hrs per pannel making them ( 15 units )  for 1 Kw stated capacity got an outlay of about NZD1000. ( including glass and glue )

went nickel iron batteries ( 3000 NZD ) for their rugged long life despite their electrical inefficiencies. Ballance when cells cheap and batteries expensive is oversize on panels and small battery so even a clouday day gives your base energy usage.

Running with gas fridge/freezer ( which I will convert to be dual powered by solar thermal collector when i have the time.....)

Picked up 20 square meters of double glazed glass units for  NZD100 to make solar hot water collector.  Oversize when material that cheap!!!!

Only have to run the diesel backup at moment for the washing machine as we are not buying an inverter big enought to run it, as will get 24 V washing machine soon as old one is almost dead. no inverter = 1 less thing to bvreak down......

Most electronicts today are low voltange anyway, so no problem there.

Still enough power to run an egg incubator and batteries

Intending to collect evolved H2/O2 evolved gas and use ( I am a Chemical engineer so am approiaply leery and aware of the issues of storing and useing an explosive mixture !! )

Got to go and mix concrete......

Cheers Hamish

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Lies, Lies, Lies

Take a good look at this guy selling this product, see the resemblence.  Yes, not only does he lie like him, he looks like him.  Bernie Madoff.  DO NOT BUY INTO HIS LIES.  He is making that money alright, but not form his meter going backwards, and selling electricity, but instead by selling his lies.

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The value of solar

jsmith8398 wrote:
First thing, the electrical utility generates a massive amount of energy and sells at reasonable prices.  This is a fact.  You are not getting ripped off.

Way too cheap in fact is my opinion........

jsmith8398 wrote:
Second point, monitor your energy use.  I have used a wattmeter to help identify electric use rates of appliances.  An electric water heater uses much more electricity than a refrigerator.  Compact fluorescent lights are energy savers.  Learn where your electricity is being used in the house and learn how to be a more efficient consumer.  Being a cheapskate has nothing to do with being an efficient user.  I have a 2 year old home with 2000 sq. feet and the electric bill averages 80 bucks a month.

Wow.....  THAT MUCH?!  http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/the-power-of-energy-effici...

jsmith8398 wrote:
Solar panels and the accompanying equipment are going to be expensive.  They are also going to be intensive in maintenance.  Ever thought about the need to clean solar panels?

I've NEVER cleaned our solar panels in seven years........  We use RAIN!

jsmith8398 wrote:
The utility maintains their own grid and the utilities are reliable.  I haven't had a utility outage longer than 5 mins in the past year.  If you set up an alternative energy system, you will have to pay for the initial cost and the maintenance cost (measured in your time and dollars for materials).

You obviously live somewhere it never storms......  Last year we had a week of rolling blackouts, one lasting twenty hours.  Just because YOU are lucky to have reliable power doesn't mean everybody else does.  Luckily we have backup power here http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/powering-up-for-the-collapse/

jsmith8398 wrote:
My last point about the infomercial is that they run their mouths for at least 10 minutes.  I didn't see any technical expertise demonstrated, just a bunch of "shit out mouth pound".  Definitely a scam alert here.  No professionalism, just a bunch of slick sales stuff. 

 

Obviously, do the research before reaching into your back pocket, the world is full of scammers..

jsmith8398 wrote:
It is a shame to see the electric utilities get badmouthed and people get ripped off by such a scam.

So you think it's OK to plunder the environment to have access to unlimited cheap energy?  I'm actually surprised with your overall attitude here, I know two electrical engineers, and they both have solar on their roofs and are very enthusiastic about it, they think it's definitely the way of the future....

Mike

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jsmith8398 wrote: The big

jsmith8398 wrote:

The big loads in a household are the heat pump and the electric water heater.  These are 240VAC systems and are usually breakered at 30amps.  A 12V system will require 20 times the amperage to operate, so it will be less money to step up the voltage and save the copper rewiring cost.  A house is prewired at 120/240VAC, a practical system would have to meet this voltage requirement or the house will have to be rewired.

 

Too easy.......  it's called an INVERTER!  BTW, if you're using electricity to heat ANYTHING, you're crazy....  Think of it this way: a power station burns fossil fuel to heat water, which turns to steam.  Under pressure, this steam drives a turbine, and this turbine drives a generator.  Power from the generator is transmitted many miles to substations at 10's of thousands of Volts.  Then that current is transformed down to (at least here downunder) 11,000V, until it's further transformed down to 120/240V (depending on where in the world you live).  Then, YOU turn this back into heat...  Efficient?  NO BLOODY WAY!  You want heat?  Burn the fossil fuel right where you need it, under your frying pan, or under your water heater.. or even better still, go solar to heat your water up.  Trust me, it works, it just needs to be designed and sized and installed PROPERLY for your climate and where you live.  Oh and if you don't live in Australia, please don't PM me, there's not much help I can give you that isn't on my website http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/the-power-of-energy-effici...

jsmith8398 wrote:
A person can get their electric bill down by being a smart consumer.  A home system to meet all electric demand load would be expensive in initial cost and expensive to maintain.  Not practical, you will get an economic spanking trying this.

http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/the-power-of-energy-effici...

jsmith8398 wrote:
Electric utilities are efficient, extremely efficient.

 

Completely untrue.  By the time electric energy reaches your house, you're lucky to get 20% of the primary energy that was in the fossil fuel to begin with.

jsmith8398 wrote:
They are hard to beat on costs

  .

I don't agree with that either.  We invested $6000 late in 2010, and so far our return, over and above ZERO POWER BILLS, has been ~$1500.  You tell me where you can invest $6000 and get $1500 return per year........  I dare you!

jsmith8398 wrote:
I highly doubt that anyone can get off the grid, enjoy a comfortable home, and not spend more time and money than the electric utility would charge for service.

Oh but we can.  Not that WE are off grid, we SELL our power to the grid, and enjoy uninterruptible power from our batteries when that "reliable grid" goes down.  I know maybe ten people who ARE off grid in Australia and enjoy a stress free life, never having to worry about bills or having to work to pay for them.  If you haven't tried it, and done it PROPERLY, then I can't see how you can comment or criticise.......  the proof's in the pudding.

Mike

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mitch73139 wrote: BUT BY

mitch73139 wrote:

BUT BY FAR, the biggest cost is associated with the converters.  If you try to connect your output to the grid, which means that the sine wave and voltages must be just right to actually put power into the grid, then that device is certified and acceptable by your power company and it costs a bundle.

 

They are actuall called INVERTERS....  I would've thought an electrical engineer would know this.  Inverters create sine waves that are 99% accurate, way way better than ANY POWER STATION!  In fact, gadgets running on such power last a lot longer, free of brownouts and spikes.  Just over the past two years (when I was actually working in the industry - though no longer) the cost of inverters has HALVED....  The cost of solar power is dropping like a Russian satellite!  The 3kW inverter we bought just 15 months ago for $1800 is now $900.  Here in Australia, the rebates are slowly being removed, but while you might think the cost of installations would be rising as a consequence, they are actually FALLING.....

mitch73139 wrote:
Any potential savings you enjoy after the connection would take at least 10 years to recover in just the electronics and batteries - I've worked the math many times.  On top of that, those batteries will only last 3 - 5 years. 

 

Well, as usual, it all depends, hey....  yes, you can buy crap batteries (been there done that - http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/powering-up-for-the-collapse/), but I now own batteries that are more than 11 years old, and the very same model have been known to last over 30 years.  Our $6000 system which is NOT connected to batteries will be fully paid for in less than four years, after which we should have free power for 20 years.

mitch73139 wrote:
If you are going off grid and wire a complete seperate system to utilize your power, you can save a good amount on the converter, but still not going to recover your initial cost very quickly.  And your system has to be capable of providing the max power on demand unless you change your energy habits (like your wife using the hair dryer at the same time as the toaster oven and central heat/air.  You can adjust habits and provide computer control for a lot of these systems to optimize the usage, but again another big change.

Nonsense.  We can run ANYTHING on our system, even a 2kW drop saw, or the 3.6kW booster on our solar water heater (but we don't..... we NEVER BOOST!  Well not with electricity anyhow, right now it's raining, and the AGA's been on for two days, and we have oodles of hot water thanks to firewood...!

mitch73139 wrote:
Reality is that right now for the individual, it is still very expensive.  The larger wind generators used by the power companies, becomes economical because they tie to the grid directly and the economy of scale provides a long term payback compared to additional generating plants, but probably out of reach of the normal home owner.

We don't have wind power here because we have an excess of solar, and our utilities don't allow feeding wind power into the grid.  Do your research.  We don't have a good wind resource in any case, but if we did, I would definitely get a small turbine like this http://www.solazone.com.au/aerofortis.htm

mitch73139 wrote:
I watched the video and kept shaking my head at the ease of construction (properly seal the panel from moisture) and the protection from things like hail and long term UV exposure. 

I agree...... you'd have to be really poor, or really nuts to bother making your own panels.

Mike

herewego's picture
herewego
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 81
Great question, Poet

Poet wrote:

This is a great thread, in the sense that we now have mostly new people who have delurked and decided to post for the first time.

How do we get more of you lurkers posting and sharing your experiences? What other topics would make you want to get more involved?

Poet

I may still qualify as a lurker, reading almost daily and posting rarely.  You all have a lot to say and my head is usually busy trying not to spin after my CM.com visit.... 

Solar energy doesn't  inspire delurkation 'cause I just don't have anything to say or do about that yet.  But your question made me realize I would like to hear from more people about successes (or struggles) in creating a posse of peak-aware locals.  The ideal outcome for me would be an informed community that can learn, plan, act, problem-solve and communicate together even on  really hard-core topics.  A truly awesome outcome would be a group that has the skills and regard for each other to live together through hard times if necessary.

I'm new in my area and want to get to know people much better before showing my hand, so I'm starting a support group via Skype with friends who don't live nearby but are likeminded.  The purpose of the group will be to provide support in developing our own thinking and in getting sh#t done.  I'll start with just setting up a confidential listening circle where we can share what we are learning, work through decisions and help each other stay accountable with whatever projects we decide on.  We have yet to meet but I can post about how it goes.  Anyone else out there doing something like this? 

Thanks for the invitation to us timid ones, Poet!

Susan

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Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
What you need is a TT initiative...

herewego wrote:
I would like to hear from more people about successes (or struggles) in creating a posse of peak-aware locals.  The ideal outcome for me would be an informed community that can learn, plan, act, problem-solve and communicate together even on  really hard-core topics.  A truly awesome outcome would be a group that has the skills and regard for each other to live together through hard times if necessary.

Hi Susan, and welcome to the fray.......

I'd start by googling "transition town" with your location to see if anyone's started one near you.....  they are popping up all over the world.

Mike

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
washing machine info

gyrogearloose wrote:

Only have to run the diesel backup at moment for the washing machine as we are not buying an inverter big enought to run it, as will get 24 V washing machine soon as old one is almost dead. no inverter = 1 less thing to bvreak down......

Hi Amish......  this puzzled me a bit.  In my experience [front loader] washing machines use bugger all power/energy.

I recently bought one of these from Aldi (can’t recommend it enough) and I’ve just put our washing machine on it for the first time, and the most power it uses while spinning at full noise is 375W.  While washing, it only uses 100W.  Of course we only wash in cold water.

BTW, the total amount of energy it used in one cycle is a mere 0.229kWh, or 5 cents worth of electricity!

Mike

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
battery breakthrough...?

It was the plant that had nothing going for it.

Once an innocent and attractive import from Africa, marabu likes the fertile soil of Cuba rather too much.

The woody shrub was brought to the Caribbean because of its attractive flowers, but when the collapse of the Soviet bloc led to the decline of the Cuban sugar industry it left thousands of hectares of land open to weeds.

Marabu was quick to take advantage. At the last count, it covered 1.7 million hectares of once-productive land.

Marabu wood is no good for building. It's too smoky for cooking or heating. It doesn't even float.

It was pretty much useless - until Strathclyde University's engineering faculty got their hands on it.

Excellent filter

According to Prof Peter Hall, he and his colleagues started "playing" with it. At the end of the process they found they had produced high-quality activated carbon for a fraction of the cost of similar materials.

Professor Hall holds up a small plastic vial containing a few grams of marabu carbon. Each tiny shard contains millions of microscopic holes.

"That," he says, "has a surface area equivalent to the city of Glasgow."

It's a characteristic that makes it an excellent filter. Cuba currently spends millions of dollars importing activated carbon for use in its rum industry. Marabu carbon could do the job instead. The process could also be applied to gin, vodka, whisky - or to produce clean drinking water in the developing world.

But that's not the half of it. Ground down and mixed with a polymer base, it can be painted onto aluminium to create lightweight electrodes.

Working with colleagues at St Andrews University, the Strathclyde engineers are using them to make cells for lithium-oxygen batteries which are fifteen times thinner and lighter than existing ones. They're rechargeable and non-toxic.

Scientific mission

Possible uses include electric cars that weigh less and can travel further between charges.

The Strathclyde engineers are also using marabu carbon to take a step beyond batteries to super capacitors. They carry a bigger charge and pack more power than ordinary capacitors. Their applications range from running mp3 players to powering buses.

The Scottish-Cuban research project began after a scientific mission funded by Scottish Development International introduced Scottish experts to Cuban government ministers.

From the collapse of the USSR to slimmer, lighter mobile phones and better tasting cocktails?

Some of these developments will take years to make it to the marketplace.

But if they're a commercial success the Cubans may have to start farming the weed nobody wanted.

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 480
Washing machine

Hi

As stated in paragraph you quoted..... Inverter size......etc

Had a bad run at first,  3 new ones faild under LIGHT load.  all refunded but made me leary ( and no they were not the cheapest I could find ! )

If you don't have it it wont break ........

Got to run.....

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cassie2080
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2012
Posts: 1
Been Had

Don't usually "bite," did this time. Will have to got to my MsCd, I guess, moreover, get it canceled.

My excuse was watching Barret-Jackson, while on the 'Net.

Probably the best thing I've seen from this thread, is people getting together by groups to share information, and the like.

Ideally, would be great for a local community of potential users to get together, share knowledge, labor, expertise, as well as how to deal with the power company, permits to be sure one is following the right doctrine.

Another means, would be for people to do the above, even if remote by location.

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CHT
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2012
Posts: 1
Damnthematrix I have a ? for you

I recently bought one of these from Aldi (can’t recommend it enough)

Mike what do you call this little gaget ?

I also wanted to say, I found this blog while investigating the Homade energy thing. I am not buying it sounds to good to be true, I am however going to be doing a lot more research on cutting my electric bill.

Thanks everyone for all the input.

Chris

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Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 2422
Now now, boys.

I keep hearing opinions on this thread about how things are now.

I subscribe to try and figure out how to position myself for the future.

For instance. My yacht makes no sense Now. Your rifle makes no sense Now, his solar cells make no sense Now.

Human have a high discount rate , Now.

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