Questions tagged [electricity]

Questions concerning the production or use of electricity in a sustainable way.

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43 views

Embodied energy of cold water

There is a significant chance that this has been covered on SE, but I haven't yet found anything similar enough for my taste (see related questions, below). Question: How could I go about coming up ...
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1answer
31 views

Help me safely mod my freezer

I want to connect my freezer to an external thermostat like this to maintain a higher temperature than it otherwise could. Are there any thermostats or other control devices that would keep the ...
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1answer
36 views

Can I insulate my refrigerator to improve efficiency?

Any "reasonable" methods would be appreciated. I have heard that this can be done but I'm dubious that it would do much. Maybe if I put polyethylene on the right bits?
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1answer
83 views

Most efficient cheap heating system for small apartment in the US midwest?

I live in the US Midwest and am looking to upgrade from my current old baseboard heaters to a more energy-efficient solution. Any ideas? I am already well advanced on a parallel project of home ...
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Help me estimate my annual refrigerator power consumption from this data sheet?

I am shopping for refrigerators and looking at this model. Feel free to let me know if that's stupid. But my main question is this: I'm trying to come up with a moderately conservative power ...
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How does the EPA estimate annual power consumption for refrigerators?

I'm trying to get a simplified idea of how the EPA estimates annual power consumption for refrigerators, e.g. here. There are a number of reasons why I want to know this, but there are three big ones: ...
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1answer
16 views

How do I find an efficient AC-DC converter for low-power applications?

My understanding is that AC-to-DC converters each have their own "sweet spot" in which they achieve their rated or advertised maximum efficiency. I want something with maximum efficiency at ...
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16 views

How to test accuracy of my Kill-A-Watt or similar device?

I have a used Kill-A-Watt power meter and want to see how accurate it is. In my "conventional" middle-class USA apartment, am I likely to have any electricity-consuming devices that I could ...
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26 views

Can I use a “normal” thermometer in a refrigerator?

My refrigerator has a rheostat that I want to turn up to save energy. I'm trying to figure out whether I need to get a dedicated refrigerator thermometer. I have a digital and a mercury-based ...
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1answer
40 views

What will happen if I leave my freezer off most of the time?

I only use my freezer to freeze ice packs, which I only use about an hour every two days. Because of this, I plan to turn my freezer off (or to the hottest setting) most of the time, and then reduce ...
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2answers
44 views

How to get a small volume of freezer capacity with high efficiency and low cost?

I have a big refrigerator/freezer and barely use any of the space. I also don't necessarily need to keep things cold all the time, as I mostly use it to freeze ice packs and extend the freshness of ...
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1answer
41 views

How to identify the rating of my electrical panel

Recently I got a bid from a solar company and they said I don't need to upgrade my electrical box since it is rated at 125 amps, and for that value, I can install a 7k system based on calculation here....
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1answer
50 views

Should I close vents to unused rooms?

It’s 40°C at dusk during a summer heat wave. My electric utility is threatening blackouts and begging people to conserve. I have a couple unused rooms in a detached suburban house that don’t need air ...
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31 views

Where can I buy samsung SDI ESS rackmount home batteries in the United States?

I am not interested in a Tesla powerwall for a variety of reasons - some of them having to do with non-standard form factor and some of them having to do with phoning-home and general network privacy ...
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1answer
36 views

Creating a string of six 2V batteries in series to power an inverter

Background: I have a Magnum Energy MSH3012RV 3kw inverter-charger that runs on 12VDC and I'd like to be able to discharge around 250 to 300 AH between recharges (from 120VAC input) without the ...
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1answer
120 views

How can I figure out what's using so much electricity in my home?

I recently moved into a new home with 2 other housemates (joining 1 who already lived there) and our combined bill for electricity is far higher than I expected. Now we're using just over 40 kWh per ...
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1answer
73 views

Should a projector be turned off if it won't be used for five to ten minutes?

The conference rooms in my office have projectors mounted on the ceilings, typical of many offices. During the day, several meetings will be scheduled in the rooms, with perhaps five to ten minutes ...
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4answers
1k views

Are fuel cell electricity generators a sustainable way of making electricity?

Since 75% of the universe is hydrogen, would it be sustainable to use fuel cell electricity generators? Fossil fuel generators won't last forever, because there is not an endless supply of fossil ...
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1answer
39 views

I have got some lights for hydroponic growing, they run from the UK mains but have small clover shaped connectors - what are these called?

I just got a load of LED grow light tubes - they have mains connectors that use clover shaped plugs -- very much like a lot of laptop chargers use, but just a bit smaller. There is no label on the ...
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1answer
102 views

Is electricity used at night more likely to be renewable?

Discussing charging my electric car with a colleague recently I argued that since (in Ireland) our renewable energy sources are mainly wind and hydro, since I charge my car at night the mixture of ...
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4answers
506 views

Why are my LED light bulbs so short lived?

I thought the idea of LED is, that the light bulb has a very long life and uses very little electricity. I have not invested in full LED lighting but tried the LED bulbs, you screw in your normal ...
5
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1answer
209 views

Is Tesla Powerwall a good investment?

I'm trying to determine if investing in a couple of Tesla Powerwall units to store solar energy is a wise financial decision. My energy cost is $0.1649/kWh. The installed price of the two Powerwall ...
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2answers
133 views

Differences in efficiency between oven, toaster oven, and stove?

Wondering how efficient different cooking methods are (for the sake of example, assume a dish in a cast iron pot heated by stovetop vs. oven). Stove seems to use less energy than an oven (as the ...
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1answer
42 views

Are pure or modified sine inverters different?

Just starting my power closet to power my off grid mobile home I've come to question everyone that I belive would know with no concrete answer Is there a difference between using a modified sine or ...
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6answers
201 views

better to heat house with gas or with electricity?

Is it better to heat house with gas or electricity? We have gas insert and gas heating but am looking at other options for sustainable energy use. Thank you!
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1answer
62 views

Size and reliability of inverter for refrigerator in an off-grid tiny home

I am building an 'Off Grid' tiny home, with my primary energy supply from solar + battery storage. I intend to utilise low voltage everything possible with the exception of a standard home washing ...
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2answers
2k views

How much electric energy would a studio apartment use per month if everything inside is powered by electricity (heater, water, stove, etc.)

How much electric energy, on average, would a typical one-person studio apartment consume per month in the winter if everything inside is powered by electricity? Additional Information: Apartment ...
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1answer
463 views

How much, if any, does resolution effect the net power consumption of watching online video?

I watch a lot of online video. I'd assume that for example videos on Youtube in 720p use less power than the same videos in 1080p. I think this might be because: more power is used by sending network ...
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4answers
266 views

Getting power from an innovative new mechanism [closed]

I am new to StackExchange and trying my best to stay within the rules. I have invented an efficient mechanism -- a rotating mass magnetically attached inside a closed loop (GB 2517244). I am ...
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1answer
539 views

How much energy do wall outlets with USB waste when not actively charging?

In new buildings and homes I've noticed wall outlets with USB chargers popping up more and more: Answers at another question indicate that these outlets waste energy just like traditional chargers ("...
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1answer
122 views

Best course of study for learning to build electrical systems and supporting electronics for an off grid power station

I'm working on constructing a totally self sufficient (i.e. totally off grid) building in the wild. I do not want to restrict myself to any particular source of power (hydro, solar, wind etc), but I ...
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3answers
112 views

Do higher electricity prices cause people to use less?

Demand for gas is elastic... I've read that cars in Europe are, on average, more efficient than cars in the US due to significantly higher taxes on gasoline. ...but not for electricity? In the ...
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2answers
4k views

Is leaving an electric oven on to heat bad for the oven?

We leave our oven on with door open to heat our trailer Will that cause the ovens thermostat go out it's an electric stove with four burners to boil water also for heat.
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1answer
134 views

How much energy would it cost to stabilize 2 tons of water at 70 degrees?

I'm trying to figure out the efficiency of energy usage between heating up 2 tons of water from 5°C to 70°C everyday (during winter) within a certain given time (let's say one hour) and stabilizing 2 ...
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1answer
57 views

Office building electricity use [closed]

A typical office lease says the tenant has 1.5 watts of electricity to use per sq.ft. for lighting and 3.5 watts of electricity per sq.ft to use for computers etc. anything over this they say extra ...
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1answer
71 views

How can I find out what a reasonable rate for installed solar is?

I'm looking to have a ~20kW grid-tied solar system installed at our property in Ontario, Canada. I've been searching and reading but am unable to find current (last year or two) data on how much such ...
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3answers
151 views

How the grid is managed in markets with high renewable energy penetration

As many people know, many of the renewable energy technologies generate fluctuating power dependent on availability of the power generating source e.g. wind and solar et al. Balancing power must be ...
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1answer
232 views

Can 140 square miles of solar panels power the US?

In the book The Upcycle (copyright 2013) by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, the authors make the following claim: ... consider exactly how much desert area covered in solar collectors ...
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3answers
4k views

What's the average efficiency of pumped hydroelectric energy storage facilities?

Pumped hydroelectric storage has, to date, been the most scalable way to store electricity (in this case, in the form of gravitational potential energy), allowing us to spread the time between when ...
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2answers
327 views

Anything similar to GravityLight that can be readily purchased?

Ever since it was first mentioned in a popular news site, I've always been interested in GravityLight. But I've never been able to go to a store or a site and just buy it. Is there anything vaguely ...
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2answers
1k views

Can I connect an inverter directly after an MPPT controller, with no battery?

Is it possible to connect a 12VDC to 220VAC inverter to the output of an MPPT solar charge controller, with no battery? This will be cheaper than having a full solar inverter, which can be really ...
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3answers
604 views

Does the price of polysilicon (for solar PV panels) depend on oil prices?

The assertion that the answer to this question is "yes" was made in an answer to another question here: Which solar power technology has the highest energy return on investment (EROI aka EROEI)?. The ...
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1answer
233 views

Does a PV panel take more energy to build than it generates in its lifetime? [duplicate]

Industrial energy costs are $1 per million BTU (MMBTU) or 300kWh, or $3*10^-6 per watt hour (Wh). http://www.eia.gov/consumption/manufacturing/ Solar has 1 kg of 9n silicon per 100W, at $20/kg. ...
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2answers
98 views

The more miles a car drives, the more economical battery packs become?

I was reading here: Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis, that the more miles an EV drives, the more economical battery packs become. I don't understand this assertion. I see ...
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2answers
149 views

Does it make any difference to charge my electronic devices using an USB port?

I work with a computer and I was wondering if using its USB ports to charge the devices that I use the most (mostly my phone and my e-reader) while working as opposed to charging them using a normal ...
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1answer
371 views

Electrical usage data logging with wireless data transfer

Does anyone know of a wireless energy usage capture device, that one can attach to an appliance and find out the energy usage? I know that there are certain energy monitors that do the job to some ...
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4answers
5k views

Do USB outlets waste energy just like conventional wall warts?

It is widely known that most AC-DC converters (aka "wall warts") continually use electricity, even when no devices are plugged in to them. That wasted energy is often called "phantom electricity" or "...
5
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1answer
133 views

Hydro-electric generation from roof-collected rainwater

Can electricity be produced from running water by the use of dc motors? For example rainwater collected from from the roof of a very tall house say 15m high is directed through a pipe and at it's exit,...
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1answer
178 views

Energy requirements for sustainable food production system

Overview Consider the following system for sustainable food production: The purpose of this system is to provide an environmentally-friendly, semi- (or fully-) automated means to produce food for ...
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4answers
277 views

Why are electrical cars encouraged but is electrical heating discouraged?

Electrical cars are very much promoted for a sustainable future, because they do not rely (directly) on fossil fuels. In the meantime, most of the electricity is produced with fossil fuels, such that ...