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.
It's an energy meter. You plug your appliance into it, and then plug it into the wall socket. It measures grid voltage, how many amps your appliance draws (and by multiplying the two together how many Watts). Over time (multiply Watts x hours) it measures kWh's, and keeps a moving weekly log (day 1, day 2...) as a graphical bar chart which you can scroll through.
For seventeen bucks, I think it's bloody AMAZING!
I got excited after reading a site about hydrogen/gas propelled cars, I assume much like what you are describing. I'm broke and can't afford to throw money into something that's a dead end. Does this REALLY work? I need to get out of my present line of work and am ready to put my effort into something that is substantial. Do you market this hydrogen product and do you stand to gain by my pursuing this concept? I'm fascinated by this idea but I don't know who to trust. Without a doubt, With sincerity, Iwantthetruth
Mike, If I may respectfully disagree a bit... certainly for now, there is no economic means to generate H2... but it may be coming. If new catalyst systems could help us jump the water cracking energy hurdle, then Hydrogen may in fact be the best means to store energy, even in your own home, for use anytime in a fuel cell to create electricity. One could store energy collected by a solar array in the form of H2, vs. batteries. This is not far fetched;
I agree with Jim and in fact will be installing such a system from a reputable alt-e installer this summer (see thier websites below)
I have a massive solar array that, from March through October delivers 90% of my needs BUT living so far North (almost 49th parallel) I have had to run a generator most days from Nov through Feb (though this past December was awesome - very very sunny !)
after this summer I will make hydrogen in the summer with all the 'excess' solar I harvest and turn that into hydrogen and store in old propane tanks and come next winter use that as fuel in my generator (tri fuel gen set with Honda motor)
this will save me aprox 1,500 to 2,000 gal of propane (LP) at $2.50 per gal ... HUGE!
like me, the owner of this business is a Veteran and super bright guy (unlike me) -- most important - he is HONORABLE ... if he says this works I just write the check and know it works
hope this helps the conversation
One could store energy collected by a solar array in the form of H2, vs. batteries. This is not far fetched;
"jump the water cracking energy hurdle"? You mean beat the laws of thermodynamics Jim? Let me tell you something, if you want to make a gas to store energy at home, don't waste your time with H2, make some nat gas with grass, manure, and water. You won't need any external sources of energy, no expensive renewable energy systems, and it's safer to boot.
I know someone who is a PhD in Energy Engineering and is a world expert on fuel cells. She's told me it's a dead end technology, they just don't last... there's loads of stuff available on the net, even some papers you can delve into at the bottom link...
BS, MS(Ariz. State), PhD(Colorado)
Research Interests and Publications
AEMS Lab website Detailed research interests and publications are available at the UC Research Profile.
Mike, I am not talking about breaking the laws of thermodynamics.. I am talking about the science and technology of catalysts.
"Catalytic reactions have a lower rate-limiting free energy of activation than the corresponding uncatalyzed reaction, resulting in higher reaction rate at the same temperature."
Finding appropriate catalysts to aid in the "cracking", i.e. the process of breaking the bonds in H2O for form O2 and H2, is what Nocera of MIT is really working on. There will ultimately be many pathways to creating energy locally.. and your reference to homemade Nat gas may be a good one, depending on the inputs you have available. I know a guy who owns a restaurant and runs his diesel truck on used fry oil... that doesn't mean that is the best solution for everyone. You have given me no real reason why working a Hydrogen cycle based on electrolysis of water, aided by appropriate catalysts, cannot work.
Hydrogen is already reasonably viable.. it just needs to get cheaper, and I believe it will with advances in catalyst technology
I did a bit of research and discovered that Methane, the principal component in biogas, has four times the volumetric energy density of hydrogen (H2) and is suitable for use in many types of fuel cell generators.
Seeing as it is a much lower tech source of energy requiring no other external energy inputs or fancy catalysts, I think going this way is a no brainer...
Hi Mike.. sorry I did not see this earlier. I don't disagree... but I think the direction you take depends on the resources available, there is not one right answer. If you are AZ, you might be better off using solar to get the electrons to crack water into H2. If you are in the farmbelt... well, you get the picture.
I just listened to the sales video for this scam and it was painful to watch the (seemed like) 20-minute speech. My next stop was visiting a few "scam" sites to see the history of that company.
First things first:
Rule #1- NEVER EVER place an order on line with any company that demands your credit card information up front. That's common sense. Do you really want a suspicious web to get your credit card info even if you decide NOT to make a purchase? NEVER, EVER!
Now for the video sales pitch. I challenge any scam that can't make a distinction between Silicon and Silicone, unless you are looking for breast implants. Yes, Silicon is the most abundant element on earth, BUT THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL that a regular DIYer can make his own solar cells. This part caters to the technically ignorant or stupid.
Beware of pitches that go on and on, endlessly repetetive... save that for when you buy a new car.
The important things that a casual, non-technical casual visitor migh miss while listening for this high pressure pitch :
1. The narrating script goes on and on as to how easy it is to build a panel, then studiously avoids mentioning HOW MANY PANELS IT TAKES TO CREATE A USEFUL PANEL ARRAY. There is no hint of the wiring necessary to tie all the panels together, and protect it from short circuits and fires.
2. There is no hint what it takes to protect the array from the elements, which by definition must be outdoors. Not the maintenance required to keep the array clean, or risk a dramatic drop in electrical output.
3. There is no meantion or hint of HOW MANY specialized and expensive batteries it takes to build a useful system.
4. There is no mention of the cost and complexity of adding the transfer switch, WITHOUT WHICH THE INSTALLATION IS ILLEGAL ANYWHERE IN THE US, Does not comply with the national building codes, and voids whatever home insurance you rely on.
5. Finally, look at #1 again and think about it. If you can afford the $47 plus ?? handling and shipping, and still want to order the scam package for laughs, go right ahead and enjoy yourself.
Here is my solution for Emergency Power : Use 12V power packs from Sears. They make several models with different capacities, from around $60 to $200. High wattage appliances, forgetabout it. That includes large screen TVs. The units can be connected to 120v AC all the time and become available when an outage occurs. I also have three emergency rechargeable/crank flashlights for portability
I have 3 Sears Units. A low wattage model to power the TV cable service, and the computer wireless router for internet access. That allows accessing news and internet on two laptops. The second is a medium power model that powers a small LED TV, an emergency service scanner to access police and fire communications, and also LED lighting for one room; ambient lighting is all that's necessary.
The third unit is a high power unit to power the laptops the small LED TV and for charging cell phones. I can get along with no 120v service indefinitely. For refrigerator use with outages that exceed 12 hours, i just get several blocks of dry ice in styrofoam coolers.
Cooking is done with the normal back yard BBQ propane unit which has a small single burner, soups, coffee, whatever. I just keep extra propane bottles routinely. Good for weeks.
The emergency LED lighting, Automatic LED night lights for ambient lighting (halls, bathrooms), scanner, small LED TV and rechargeable flashlights I have always had; no extra expense.
Total cost, under $500. No rewiring. No inverters. Had the power units for years with NO maintenance or failures yet.
I might mention one final item for readers : battery power reading glasses. good for 50 hours, Just make sure you keep spare sets of batteries handy.
Does anyone have the HomeMadeEnergy email address for requesting a refund?
I am having a hard time finding it -- surprise surpise
The above was a long response....
When AC power is transmitted I understand the power companies use very high voltage .. several thousands of VOLTs. 110v in the US or 220v in Europe was not 'developed' to tranmit long distances.
DC power is 'useful' - we use it for torches, laptops, phones, autos, boats etc. What we don't often see is electric fires - for example - running off a 12v DC circuit. Power loss is substantial at lower voltages over DC circuits. To power an electric fire would need the 12v power source very close to the fire or direct cabling with very heavy cables (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter) because the ampage would be 50 amps or more (480w / 12v = 48amp) for just a small heater.
On large boats / yachts the DC power source is frequently 24v rather than 12v to avaoid the longer cable runs. Years ago I had a sailboat with a 24volt winch in the bows (front!). It was the only 24v item on board the boat but still had massive cables and it's own circuit to take the power from 2 large 12 volt batteries.
As far as I understand most professional installed Solar PV systems configure the panels in series - thereby creating 300,400 or 500v volt circuits and consequently 'ordinary cable'. The cable runs back to the inverter which converts the power to AC
I have read some of the articles in this thread and I came to this forum having seen emails about "Home-Made-Energy".
I work for a Solar Company in the UK and just wish to stress that the argument in the UK and other parts of Europe is install SOLAR panels now by an approved installer and get your FITs (Feed In Tariff) back from your energy suplier. Here in the UK this 'subsidy' is paid by the energy companies to enable them meet their own obligations to generate a %age of their power from rewable sources. The tariff dropped last year from 43pence per generated unit to 21pence and it is anticipated to drop further in a few months time (the cost of purchasing a unit from a power company is around 15pence).
To get the best out of these tariffs you require the most efficient panels etc. If there were no FITs then the cost of commercially supplied Solar Panels would be too high for most and the pay back would be far too long and yes there probably be a case for assembling a very low cost solution.
Simple fact, going solar (or not) is all about the cost of energy production.
Once you consider all the costs:
- Solar Panels
- Racking system (you have to attach them somehow to your house -- reliably and safely)
- Electrician/Inspection -- necessary if connecting to grid, recommended in some cases for insurance purposes
- Combiners, disconnects, etc.
Then your cost of electricity is going to be approximately $0.25-$0.30/kwh in a moderately north area with good sun, and around $0.20/kwh in a nice sunny southern climate. That is purely the cost to generate power. That is amortizing the costs of the panels over about 20 years.
Now if you want to be somewhat off-grid, then you are looking at the added cost of batteries. When you look at the life of a solar batteries, and how much energy they will store and feedback over their life, you are again looking in the area of $0.20/kwh and perhaps I am being kind with that with the actual cost being higher.
So best case, off grid you are looking at $0.40/kwh USD and more likely $0.50-$0.60 when one includes production and storage.
Now electrical rates are high in some places, but there are few places where they are that high!
Purely in terms of cost, if you have an electrical connection, do everything in your power to save on electricity usage. It is by far the biggest return on investment.
Of course, if you have incentives where you live, then that can pay for your solar system, and that changes the economics (but not the real cost). However, in that case, the install cost is likely to be higher due to the buerocracy and cost to do it "properly".
They use low quality batteries. You will be lucky if they still hold a charge after 3 years. If you are unfortunate enough to forget to put a top up charge into them every three months and let one sit dead for a few weeks, then that 3 years, will become 4 or 5 months.
You are better off buying a good quality AGM battery with very low self discharge and buying a low cost inverter to go with it. I actually have a few of these made with surplus telecom batteries. I good 45-50AH AGM battery is going to run you about $100. I got surplus one 50AH ones for $40 that were still measuring at about 45AH. I build my little boxes for $100 including the inverter. They likely have 2x the capacity of the $200 units from Sears and will last much longer.
This is Ben Ford from HomeMadeEnergy. While I do agree that not everybody may find cheap materials in the same satisfying state as our customers have - and we do have customers who have built them - that does not make our product a scam. The argument of being mislead is simply unconvincing to me and too convenient for every customer. Imagine doing this for every product you buy. You wouldn't have to buy anything at all, just get refunds and use everything for free. You can be mislead by a toothpaste commercial because your teeth are not that white, and you can be mislead by a soap commercial because your skin does not look like on TV. Being mislead however has to do with your attention and subjective interpretation. We have only stated some facts that are true, and our customers have built those panels. Just because some people don't look for the right materials or find them too expensive does not make us a scam. It is rather a matter of subjective value transposed here as a universal truth. And I cannot help but calrify this, because it defames our company's image. All I can ask is to pay more attention next time and think if you have the will and resources to build a DYI project before buying it and putting your own frustration on a scam website, which is an easy way out for everyone.
Thank you for your understanding.
This is Ben Ford from Home Made Energy. Upon seeing this harsh review I had to post a comment to make things clear. First of all, our product is not a scam. If it was we probably would not be up and running now. But I do understand why it is being viewed as such.
All we are trying to do is to help people go green. Many say that if our intentions were true we would give the product for free. Unfortunately, this is an utopian vision. We also have production costs, and the reason for which our product is an e-book and not a printed book is to keep these price to a minimum. If we would send a big package with solar cells and polycarbonate, wires, batteries, and so on, I am sure you realize how much the package would cost. Since it is a DIY project, we put our hopes in our customers' DIY skills.
Secondly, the complaint about the product not being thorough enough is hardly an argument since we actually have more complaints about it being too complicated. We do understand that not all people have the same level of comprehension, or the same skill with electric devices, and we do know that for some people the information is redundant. But we merely try to satisfy as many people as possible.
With that said, I hope I shed some of the bad reputation from our product, and that maybe you will give it another chance.
If this was a scam I probably wouldn't bother writing here in the first place.
You sound like a reasonable person. How about we find an also reasonable, impartial volunteer with electrical experience (volunteers, anyone?). And you provide a copy of your materials for FREE to this one person to personally review and try it out. She or he can then report back on value. Sounds reasonable?
As with other people that are on here I am following this thread with interest.
I have no expeience in this field but am wondering what happened the thread after Poet made his request re trial.
Coming from a sales background I can say that after the second "sketch" I had no doubt that I was looking at a scam and was only wondering how much they would "chance" asking for.
When or if by some miracle HME does agree to the Free Trial and they prove all us sceptics wrong i will gladly pay for the free trial.
I will also buy and edition for myself and all my very extened family here in Ireland where the cost of electricty is the third highest in the world.
Is mise le meas
I came close to buying this information program tonight real close so glad i didn't as you can tell by my typing i was getting nervous over the (got to buy now sales pitch). I've noticed a lot of individuals here have made the comment if it looks to good to be,then it probably never was. If this product is what it claims to be and saving all that money is really possible by the method he describes then i would'nt mind paying an extra $20 or even a $100 more if i did'nt have the funds now and had to buy later. I just could'nt believe anyone wanting to help other family's and there children would be pushing a sales pitch so intense. Dang if i had the ideal to make a better world, save energy,cut cost to everyone then i would thank the big un up stairs and would be more than happy to take all that money i made off the grid and all the money i saved as a blessing and post all my knowledge and tricks that i used for free. Once again I will thank my high power for watching over me and running into this site before purchasing the $47 package. I have lots of ideals to save a buck or two on energy i will post some of them later. For free.,
Ben i don't quite understand. This is a free site it cost nothing to make comments and suggestions here. Why don't you just spill that knowledge right here for free and lets save the world lots of money and make a greener planet right now. Take all the money you "saved" and some of the money you "made" as your blessing and post at least some of your energy savers for free right here tonight. example......Check out how to( make a solar heat generator out of waste aluminium cans ) on google. You might not make yourself rich , but you might be contributing to the earth and others that way...
I have an army surplus diesel system ... I got for cheap ... it runs both of my houses and at 81 bucks a month for fuel for the both ..... I have had power go down for at least 5 times a year.. the most was 2 days ... I was the only one with power and also my renter had full power and had enough if my neighbors needed power they could run power to their house ... and at over 100 deg I had air in both houses .. The rest runs off gas like the water heater, stove and could keep my older neighbor lady to have air in 1 room and TV
Now I used to use it all the time but decided to run it only when power is off or during summer months.. have when power is high ... or when I have to use a lot of power
So for less than the $1500 for the 45k gen and the used tank ... I also got at the same auction
I get very low power bill.. About $50 bucks during the times it is hot.... live in a part of the USA that stays hot most of the time ... it can get over 100deg even in January ... gas is about 60 bucks during times it gets cold ... down to 20 a month during the heat
So solar panels are not the cheapest way to go … also if I had a bit more room I would put in wind power (I may do that if I buy that small farm and put on a metal garage and house)
A resource for planning for & reacting to the unexpected (storms, natural disasters and other shocks)
Members to support one another in investing endeavors
Preparing those people on Ise Lodge (Kettering) Northants, interested in the future post fossil fuel.
A meeting place for all who are interested in building or sharing a resilient lifestyle up here in the North.
A group to form alliances for survival