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groar 07-06-2008 08:32 AM

What we are doing at home : electricity (light, computer...) and water
 
Since a few years we are replacing all bulbs with CFLs and lately with LEDs. Currently remains only 2 bulbs on 2 desk lamps with very specific plugs. When my 50w bulb died, I replaced it with a narrower 40w.
From my spreadsheet, the biggest hits are :
. the 2x100w in the sitting room replaced by 1x20w+1x21w
. the 4x50w (spots) in the kitchen replaced by 4x9w (LED)
. the 1x75w in the corridor replaced by 1x15w
. the 2x40w + 1x30w (spots) in the bathroom replaced by 3x1.4 (LED)
For the lighting we are saving nearly 80% :-)

I bought a watt-meter and measured the consumption of a lot of devices. This is a must because not only you know where you are, but you can rapidly see which next step will pay more. The fridge has been the first step and it saves 75%. The next one is the washing machine.

For the computers, the one under windows sleeps after 30min idling. For the 3 under linux, I'm using powertop and following contents of the powertop's tips and powertop's faq. For all I always switch off the screen when I leave the computer. I don't know how much I'm saving with that, but I know I'm saving heat : processor's heat has diminished about 30%.

Next very big step, we are installing at the end of summer 3kWc of solar panels. As this is very expensive for us, we are selling all the produced electricity and the nearest houses will use it.
OK, we are not saving on bills, but we are producing electricity without any CO2 or nuclear waste (in France 75% of electricity is from nuclear plants :-(
When the selling contract will end in 20 years the panels will be paid (in fact they will be paid in 10 years ;-) and we'll be able to use the produced electricity.

Finally about the water, we installed flow reduction systems on main taps and in the shower : 50% saved for these.

Current step : I just bought a 2 years old laptop which is a little bit faster than my 6 years old main computer and it will pay for itself in 3 years. I have to make the swap...
Mid-term steps : car change in one/two years, and water solar heater one/two years after.
Current study : about a little wind turbine to produce the minimal amount of our electric consumption, but as there isn't enough wind here this may not pay for itself :-(

Denis.

dremd 07-08-2008 10:13 AM

Sounds similar to my swaps.

Fridge+ freezer was HUGE for me took Almost $100 a month out of my bill (1.2 year payback)

I have also eliminated desktops, and a server, and gone to lower power router savings 500 watts (continuos)

How much is your electricity/ kwh in france?
Is that a common thing in france?

jamesqf 07-08-2008 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by groar (Post 41401)
OK, we are not saving on bills, but we are producing electricity without any CO2 or nuclear waste (in France 75% of electricity is from nuclear plants :-(

Why :-( ? Should be :-) No CO2 generated, no mountains strip-mined, and the nuclear "waste" can be processed into more fuel.

groar 07-08-2008 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dremd (Post 41981)
How much is your electricity/ kwh in france?

At home (1 = 1.5654$) :
. day time = 0,1085 /kWh = 0.1698 $/kWh
. night time = 0,0661 /kWh = 0.1034 $/kWh

For the smallest installations it's more expensive :
. all time = 0,1325 /kWh = 0.2074 $/kWh

Quote:

Is that a common thing in france?
To change the fridge to save money : I don't think so.
The fridge cost 800 with 5 years warranty and I'll save 50/year. It should be changed before being 16 years old.

But when people have to change their fridge then they buy one that consume less. My old one was 11 years old and was consuming 650kWh/year. The new one should consume less than 150kWh/year.

Since a few years all the fridges must have a sticker with its consumption. A graphical diagram must show the fridge comparatively to predefined categories. During last years two new categories were added for more efficient systems :-)

Since a couple years, the same is for new cars with their consumptions and CO2 emissions :-)

Denis.

groar 07-08-2008 04:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesqf (Post 42107)
Why :-( ? Should be :-) No CO2 generated, no mountains strip-mined, and the nuclear "waste" can be processed into more fuel.

Today a nuclear incident happened in France. A treatment building "lost" 30m3 of water with 12g/l of uranium, i.e. 360kg! :mad: gone into two rivers. Officially it's a "minor risk" as its only natural uranium and not rich one :confused:
Ask Pierre and Marie Curie about natural nuclear material...

For Chernobyl the cloud officially stopped at the frontier and never entered France :confused:

Denis.

dremd 07-08-2008 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by groar (Post 42116)
At home (1 = 1.5654$) :
. day time = 0,1085 /kWh = 0.1698 $/kWh
. night time = 0,0661 /kWh = 0.1034 $/kWh

For the smallest installations it's more expensive :
. all time = 0,1325 /kWh = 0.2074 $/kWh

So not entirely out of line from some of our states.
I am under 7c/ kwh; but some places are 14c/ kwh

What are the "smallest installations"?

Quote:

Originally Posted by groar (Post 42116)

To change the fridge to save money : I don't think so.
The fridge cost 800 with 5 years warranty and I'll save 50/year. It should be changed before being 16 years old.

Same here; I had a special case because I had a fridge + freezer and they were both TERRIABLE energy hogs according to the kill-a-watt.
My new ones are not stellar, but as good as Lowes (Big Home improvement store here) had available.


Quote:

Originally Posted by groar (Post 42116)
But when people have to change their fridge then they buy one that consume less. My old one was 11 years old and was consuming 650kWh/year. The new one should consume less than 150kWh/year.

Since a few years all the fridges must have a sticker with its consumption. A graphical diagram must show the fridge comparatively to predefined categories. During last years two new categories were added for more efficient systems :-)

Similar here.
We have yellow tags showing typical energy consumption both in kwh and in $'s

Quote:

Originally Posted by groar (Post 42116)
Since a couple years, the same is for new cars with their consumptions and CO2 emissions :-)

Denis.

CO2 emissions would be stellar here; we are just getting around to suggesting that CO@ is a pollutant here.

We do however require the biggest lettering on the window sticker to be the EPA rated MPG


Thank you for converting units!
Your english might be better than mine :-)
Glad to see somebody with similar interest on the other side of the pond.

jamesqf 07-09-2008 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by groar (Post 42119)
Today a nuclear incident happened in France. A treatment building "lost" 30m3 of water with 12g/l of uranium, i.e. 360kg! :mad: gone into two rivers. Officially it's a "minor risk" as its only natural uranium and not rich one :confused:

Ever stop to figure out how much natural uranium is out there already? Quite a bit, especially if you happen to live where the rocks are granite.

Quote:

Ask Pierre and Marie Curie about natural nuclear material...
Ask any coal miner about black lung disease. Or look up how many people die from exposure to petroleum byproducts.

Quote:

For Chernobyl the cloud officially stopped at the frontier and never entered France :confused:
I wonder: do you know how many people actually died as a result of Chernobyl? A lot fewer than for instance are reported to die in French heat waves every summer.

Not to get sidetracked into an off-topic discussion, but there's an awful lot of misinformation & fearmongering out there, and much of which seems to have obvious political motivations. Remember, it's not what you don't know that's the problem, it's what you do know that isn't so.

cinaroh 07-09-2008 12:48 AM

Efficiency
 
I live off the grid and love LED lights too.
Make power from a 500 watt Airx 6 bladed wind turbine and 2X80 watt PV.
Cook electrically & very efficiently with a rice cooker and electric skillet.
I am working on a highly efficient fridge using thermoelectric technology.
...but consider this
A combustion engine is extremely inefficient, if you saw the PBS show by the Click and Clack guys, you know now how really bad it is.(glossed over by them)
During the show Amory Lovins(Rocky Mountain Institute) said about .3% efficient by the time the energy burnt hits the road!!
Heck I just purchased a scangauge to teach me how to drive my Geo better, but at such poor efficencies even a fly on the windshield would make a difference.
On the other hand AC induction motors are
70-80% efficient, which makes electric cars the ones to hyper mile with , much more fun to see how far you can go on a watt.
Even hybrids are better for such activity.
And these cars are nothing new-what's a diesel electric locomotive...Have you seen the ad for CSX showing a 50 mpg car being transported by a 450 mpg train! Yet why are we ripping up train tracks???

Guess its up to T. Boone Pickens an 80 year olde oil man to show us the right path through the very very painful withdrawl form oil addiction to renewable energy independence.
Sad state of affairs for not only this country but the world.
I welcome your comments.
Cheers

groar 07-09-2008 04:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dremd (Post 42126)
What are the "smallest installations"?

People using less than 3 kVA at any moment and paying lowest subscription rate (24.28/y = 38$/y). I have 9kVA and I'm paying 191.90/y (=300.40$/y) subscription rate for a total bill of 1200/y (~1900$/y) including heating.

Quote:

CO2 emissions would be stellar here; we are just getting around to suggesting that CO@ is a pollutant here.
Since a few years we have air pollution alerts (mainly caused by ozone) and each time we have temporary more restrictive speed limitations on free/highways. In my town the speed of the freeway around the town has been permanently lowered from 110km/h (68mph) to 90km/h (56mph) last summer after a test during previous summer.

People are understanding that any car pollute, but people will not change their car to pollute less. When they will have to change their car, they will be happy to have a less polluting (in fact less consuming) car.

Quote:

Glad to see somebody with similar interest on the other side of the pond.
Since a few years, advertisement are broadcasted saying "it heats, change your life" with concrete examples of what to do :
  • Sorting domestic wastes is now standard, but people have always as much wastes.
  • For electricity they say to keep unused things off, not idle.
  • For heating they say to configure it at 19C and not 21C.
  • With cars they say to lower the speed from 130k to 120km/h (81 to 75mph) to save 10% but I don't think people are doing it for this reason (in fact since 5 year thousand of automatic radars has been installed).

Government is promoting "sustainable development" but I have the feeling it may not be enough... Some people are talking about "global footprint" and I have the feeling it may change more things.

At G8 yesterday, an agreement has been signed to lower CO2 emissions :) . I was first happy to hear that, but imho 2050 is too far, 50% is too small and it may be 50% comparatively to 1990 !!! :(
If we are slowing down with such a low rate, then in 10 years when China, India, Brasil... will have same amount of emission as us we'll all kill the planet.

Denis.


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