Questions tagged [electricity]

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

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14
votes
5answers
5k views

For electricity use, which is better: Turning all appliances on at the same time, or spread out?

In the 1980's, a company I worked at owned a stand-alone building, and they were concerned about their electricity bill. It seemed to be higher than it should be. A manager called the electrical ...
7
votes
2answers
678 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

Minimizing home heating costs with high ceilings

I live in an old rental house with 12 foot ceilings and zero ceiling fans. I am trying to conserve as much energy as possible as heating costs are expensive. I have placed plastic on all of my windows ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Charging only one battery at a time, automatically

Sometimes I have multiple batteries I want to charge, but I don't want to charge them all simultaneously. There are three scenarios for this: My power source isn't strong enough to charge all the ...
5
votes
3answers
116 views

Electricity need to switch all cars from fossil fuel

For purely hypothetical discussion, I was asking myself how big electrical production increase would be needed for a first-world country when switching all cars from fossil fuel to EV only. I made the ...
5
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5answers
1k 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 ...
1
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0answers
94 views

What darknet would you choose (or is it not justifiable)?

I want to know if there are any darknets that are sustainable. I have my doubts about Tor due to their apparent interest in Proof of Work. https://blog.torproject.org/stop-the-onion-denial In ...
5
votes
3answers
142 views

Which energy sources will replace fossil fuels for heating homes in cold climates?

Many countries are looking to phase out fossil fuels for domestic heat and hot water within this decade (see related question). Which alternative energy sources will primarily replace fossil fuels? ...
5
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2answers
101 views

How to ensure you are using efficient chargers for cell phones, laptop computers, and other electronic devices?

I recently asked a question regarding a sustainable way to generate white noise. I received a wonderfully helpful comment from Móż (thank you!) in which Móż recommended ensuring that the power source ...
3
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1answer
63 views

How to create a sustainable white noise generation box?

I would like to create a white noise generation box. I want it to be as sustainable as possible (within reason), as it will likely be used 24/7. My thinking so far is to use an old, unused smartphone,...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Any way for microinverter PV array to power a house when the grid is down?

Suppose I'm already heavily invested in microinverter type solar panels -- with the inverter on the panel on the roof. These comply with UL 1741 and will stop supplying power the moment they see grid ...
2
votes
1answer
48 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 ...
3
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1answer
73 views

Embodied energy of tap 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 ...
2
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1answer
32 views

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: ...
1
vote
1answer
77 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 ...
25
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5answers
952 views

What form of electrical lighting has the smallest energy-footprint?

We all know that when it comes to household electrical lighting, LED lights consume the least amount of energy for a given amount of light, followed by fluorescent tubes, halogens, and Edison-age ...
20
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10answers
2k views

What is an easy way to cool off during the summer without electricity?

What are some easy ways to stay cool during the day without using electricity?
3
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1answer
36 views

Effects of refrigerating vegetables that I'm supposed to freeze

I recently experimented with storing "frozen edamame" in my refrigerator for 7 days (about 45 degrees F/7 deg C), instead of the freezer. There were seemingly no ill effects. So that made me ...
1
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1answer
36 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
47 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?
6
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2answers
501 views

How to monitor energy use in existing office building without submetering?

Our office occupies one floor of a 4-story, one hundred year old building. We are making tenant-level improvements to our space, and are interested in lowering and monitoring our energy use, but are ...
3
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
51 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....
0
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1answer
20 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 ...
2
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0answers
34 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
46 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
6k 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 "...
0
votes
1answer
41 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
263 views

Is there a portable water recycling unit?

Is there a portable water recycling unit that one could install in their studio apartment to recycle grey water ? Or which is the smallest grey water recycling unit ? And can't someone just pass the ...
5
votes
1answer
230 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
63k views

How many kilowatt hours of electricity does it take to heat 180 litres of water from 15 to 60 degrees C?

I think this calculation uses the specific heat capacity for water, which is from memory a bit over 4. Can someone please do the math? Also, if we assume electricity costs $0.30 per kilowatt hour, ...
15
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
15
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4answers
44k views

How much power does a computer monitor left switched on use?

It's a little niggling annoyance that always gets me in my office that when I work overtime and leave the office after everyone else I see row upon row of little orange lights where people have turned ...
5
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
3
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6answers
211 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!
2
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
179 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

Which is more energy efficient, a washing machine express wash, or normal?

My electric washing machine has an express wash button (they seem a common feature) that reduces the washing time by a lot. My first thought would be that using it would save energy because of the ...
1
vote
1answer
46 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
32
votes
3answers
3k views

Which solar power technology has the highest energy return on investment (EROI aka EROEI)?

Which solar-electric technology had the highest EROEI? Energy Returned On (Energy) Invested, also known as EROI and as EROEI, has become something of a fashionable metric *but see footnote. It is ...
5
votes
1answer
974 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 ...
-5
votes
4answers
282 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
127 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 ...