Off The Grid - Going Green

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Old 07-05-09, 11:43 AM
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Off The Grid - Going Green

Just finished watching a This Old House . A guy living on a small island off Nantucket has gone off the grid. It was certainly impressive. I didn't get a total cost but the photo cells alone was $25,000. Then there was a vertical wind turbine. The photocells had a max of 5KW. That day because of clouds was only putting out 1KW. No wind so the wind turbine was 0KW.

Of course that wasn't the only cost. There was a building of batteries totaling 50KW of storage plus inverters. No mention on cost of the batteries or how often they needed replacing but I'd be surprised if it weren't in the 10's of thousands every 3 or 4 years.

But what got me thinking was they had a 15KW propane backup generator. I couldn't help wonder how many years of propane they could have bought for the cost of photocells, wind turbine, and the ongoing expense of batteries and technicians to maintain all the associated electronics. To me the set up just didn't make sense. Just the gen they needed for backup anyway and maybe with a smaller backup gen would have made a lot more sense and been simpler and cheaper to maintain..
 
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Old 07-05-09, 11:54 AM
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ray..it didn't make sense to me either..of course neither of us make enough money to live on an island off of Nantucket do we? lol

I saw that one a while back..what struck me was NO WIND? On an island off the cost of MA?

There was a series of articles in PM or PS a while back, where a family lived off the grid on a rustic farm. But it dealt with more real world solutions as I remember. Fabricating a solar cooker, using a cold box with access from the inside in winter, water power, etc.
Seems like they did have solar and a small wind generator..but nothing like the guy on the island. They did more to REDUCE their consumption, not just find alternative methods of generating it.
 
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Old 07-05-09, 02:22 PM
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Just the cost of the panels would pay my electricity bill for 14 years. I think it is great the technology is there, but you have to draw a line of sanity somewhere. The batteries are giving off Sulfur oxide just by being charged, and I don't think it is a green gas. I'm sure the factories that made the panels, batteries and other periphery were only light green with their processes. BUT, Al Gore would be proud, and that's the point, right?
 
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Old 07-06-09, 09:50 AM
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Tv shows like TOH want people to watch. Watching people just pound nails gets boring. New technology is fun. Seems magical.

Comedian on tv's C-channel last night mentioned how D-channel show and others try to get you to watch how they may discover the Lochness monster while the show aires, and of course, they come up dry. And then you tune in yet again on anther date when they try the same sort of discovery. Coming up dry again, of course. All in the name of entertainment, where producers try to satisfy peoples appetite for the unusual -original -unique, etc. We sit there and watch and let other people spend their money on all that lastest fancy stuff.

Too bad it is so pricey. Then again, people out east are rich and everything pays more and costs more.

My idea of saving would be to go down to my warehouse garage and resurect and old franklin stove I've had sitten down there for about 22 years, and set it up and burn wood. But burning wood is bad, isn't it?

Mother Earth news projects always seem to make economic and green sense though. The earth bermed homes sort of thing, and converting old water heaters into something else, having goats cut your grass, or sheep graze on your grass roof - that sort of stuff.
 
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Old 07-06-09, 10:04 AM
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I was wandering the web looking wind generators one time and found a place that would tell you your payback. Mine was 55 years! Hummm sounds cost effective.
 
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Old 07-06-09, 08:55 PM
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I would only go green if it saved money. Sorry but "I" dont make a difference unless everyone is doing it. Thats reality. Make a few green laws so everyone follows them and I will too.

I was in Palm Springs last year and I called the water authority. Could not believe how cheap water was. The lady said they take great pride in their low prices.

Thats insane! In a desert, charge more so people use less. I asked her where their water came from and she did not know. No one had asked her that before.

I've been thinking about inventing dehydrated water.
 
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Old 07-06-09, 08:58 PM
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Of course it got me wondering how much it would have cost to go on grid. Now there'd be a question for the electrical forum. Lets see the boat took 10 minuets to get there at probably 10 knots so thats 1.7 miles to the nearest power pole so what gauge wire and what type is suitable for direct submersion in salt water. {LOL}
 
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Old 07-07-09, 04:34 AM
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It really depends on the draft of the boat, hull design and the salinity of the water to make an accurate determination. And 1.7 miles is way too far between poles, so we would have to either run part of it underground, which gets into splicing problems. I gotta have more coffee.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mjd2k View Post
I've been thinking about inventing dehydrated water.
Be sure you only use "dihydrogen monoxide" (be sure to look this up on the web!), when reactivating!
 
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Old 07-07-09, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Be sure you only use "dihydrogen monoxide" (be sure to look this up on the web!), when reactivating!
Thats exactly the activating agent I was missing. If this stuff sells, I'll cut you in on 25% of my profits.
 
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