Questions tagged [energy]

the sustainable use of energy, through efficiency and renewables. Use this tag for questions on energy in general. For questions on a specific energy type see [electricity], [heating] or [light]. For questions specificially about efficiency, use [energy-efficiency]

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7
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2answers
240 views

How is per capita energy consumption related to increasing per capita wealth?

Has there been any global calculation of average increase in consumption of energy per increase of wealth per person? Has there been any such calculations/analyses. And could you perhaps tell us ...
4
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5answers
18k views

What is the difference between “hydro” and “tidal/wave”? And what is the difference between “solar (heat)” and “solar panels”?

In the following graph: What is the difference between "hydro" and "tidal/wave"? And what is the difference between "solar (heat)" and "solar panels"?
3
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3answers
795 views

Is 3 phase electrical generation more efficient to utilize than single phase?

Is 3 phase power more efficient to generate/use? How difficult or complicated is it going to be to provide balanced single phase load(s) from a 3 phase service? (equipment & controls required) If ...
6
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2answers
169 views

Is a pellet stove better than a wood stove?

When we found our house (we're not owners right now), there was already a pellet stove. I don't really appreciate it because it uses electricity (I don't know how much but we now depend on it) and I ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Are electric cars more efficient than gas-powered car (when considering entire energy cycle)? [duplicate]

For the last couple weeks, I've been hearing a lot of talk surrounding Tesla and "the electric car". What I'm curious of is whether or not it is more efficient to actually power an electric car (the ...
3
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1answer
100 views

What is a good database containing wind speed and direction?

I am pursuing a science project involving wind power, and am looking for some data on wind speeds, directions, and ideally turbulence and shear. Do you know where I could find this? I would need to ...
25
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4answers
7k views

Is there a difference in insulation to keep heat in or out?

I know that one of the best ways to save energy at home is insulation. The question is, is there a different method for keeping the heat in when it's cold and keeping the heat out when it's warm? I ...
3
votes
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 ...
16
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2answers
6k views

How can I get my landlord to install better insulation?

We live in an apartment that has a lot of gaps in the doors and windows and poor insulation in the walls. Is there a way to make the landlord fix this? Some sort of property codes or something? He ...
42
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6answers
838 views

Producing my own energy options in urban area with windows but no roof access?

I'm wanting to produce my own energy, but I live in a condo with no access to the roof. I'd like to produce electricity, so maybe turning that energy into electricity safely. I have windows that have ...
15
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3answers
213 views

How can I determine whether roof top wind turbines would be beneficial in my area?

Rooftop wind turbines seem great in principle, but in practice, especially in urban areas their usefulness and efficiency is debated, such as in this article. The most general consensus seems to be ...
7
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2answers
285 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
514 views

Can pumped water energy storage be combined with rainwater harvesting?

A recent question on what to do with harvested rainwater got me thinking about pumped energy storage systems. Since both systems require storage of water for later use, is there a cost-effective way ...
7
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2answers
952 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 ...
5
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1answer
107 views

Energy Efficiency vs. Reduced Consumption

Energy efficiency and reduced consumption are not exclusive. But is it possible that we focus too much on the former and not enough on the latter? To expand on my question, I live near a very ...
7
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3answers
620 views

Want to build a portable solar refrigerator

I've got a 5v Peltier chip. What kind of and how many solar cells 4.5v 18mA do I need per 1 chip? I found these cells online on dealextreme, but there are also other different types. I'm lacking a ...
3
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2answers
138 views

Measure and compare energy consumption

does anyone know of a platform/forum where people measure and compare the energy consumption of their devices? I bought an energy metering plug, and now I can find out how much electricity my ...
9
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4answers
3k views

Is gasoline or Diesel refining less sustainable, per energy output?

Inspired by my own answer here, I'm wondering what the actual numbers are regarding gasoline and Diesel fuel refining. I have read (don't remember where) that refining of Diesel fuel is less ...
3
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2answers
83 views

How to log wind statistics data

How can I log data from anemometers? Are there any anemometers with ability to log data for long periods of time? I want to collect data for about a year or two. What are the options? Which will be ...
22
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4answers
780 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 ...
8
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3answers
152 views

Is pellet fuel a sustainable energy source in the way it's used now?

Pellet fuel is considered a sustainable energy source. But the way it's used now seems to produce air pollution which I think should not happen in case of sustainable energy source. So is pellet ...
17
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1answer
146 views

Long-term sustainability concerns of compact flourescent vs incandescent light bulbs

There is a strong movement to push people away from using incandescent lightbulbs in favor of compact flourescent bulbs in order to save energy, but the pollution profiles of these bulbs are very ...
7
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3answers
4k views

Why the world is using non renewable resources?

According to Wiki, A renewable resource is an organic natural resource which can replenish to overcome usage and consumption, either through biological reproduction or other naturally recurring ...
8
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2answers
156 views

Would you save energy by heating the air in a shower stall so that you could use colder water?

It is refreshing to take a cool shower in hot weather. And for the sake of discussion, lets assume that one should be "comfortable" with temeratures when taking a shower. Considering that the vast ...
21
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4answers
138k views

Leaving the oven door open for heat - bad idea?

I've heard before that it's a bad idea to use an oven to heat your house, because it's inefficient and carries the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. But what about leaving the oven door open after I'...
5
votes
1answer
366 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 ...
3
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1answer
179 views

Can artificial lighting compete with horizontal agriculture?

Background In Professor Bugbee's presentation, he describes some drawbacks of vertical farming (VF) versus traditional horizontal agriculture. Most of Bugbee's arguments against VF hinge on grow lamp ...
5
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3answers
133 views

Resources for Teaching Children About Solar Panels

I'm sure some of you will have already taken classes on Solar. The reason I am posting this question is to help out two Farmers in Kauai, Hawaii. They are currently creating an extension program ...
2
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0answers
63 views

How effective are “GreenUp” (opt-in utility company green energy) programs? [duplicate]

My local Seattle utility offers a "Green Up!" program where customers can pay extra on each bill to buy energy from more renewable sources. I'm signed up to contribute at the highest level ($12/month),...
2
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2answers
80 views

Is there a way to tell (or estimate) the electricity consumption of an arbitrary household item?

I often wonder how much energy a given item in my home is using. Examples include: the clock on my microwave my espresso maker an electric water kettle my phone charger (when no device is attached) ...
17
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5answers
832 views

What is worse: Wasting water or energy?

I am currently trying to buy a dish washer and just got a washing machine lately and I am really confused whether it is better to buy a machine which uses less water or one which uses less energy. ...
3
votes
1answer
355 views

Should I leave water in a water boiler for prolonged periods?

When I fill my electric water boiler with water some time before boiling it, the water gets warmer, it's temperature get closer to the room's temperature, saving some energy. On the other hand, I've ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

How much energy could we save if we all got up at sunrise

Just had a thought: How much energy could be saved if everyone got up at sunrise? Perhaps it would have a counteractive effect somehow but my thought is that if you're up less during hours that it's ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

Is there an “energy returned on materials invested” index for energy sources?

We already try to measure how much energy is invested (EROEI) in the production of energy, but I have a hard time finding numbers on the materials invested. For example: What is the total energy a ...
7
votes
1answer
83 views

What is the carbon footprint of energy transfer across power lines?

I've been doing some reading up on the full cycle carbon footprint of energy production and consumption, and realising there's a lot of aspects that are frequently overlooked. One of these I'm ...
2
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2answers
260 views

Less energy consumption when we stop using fossil fuels?

What's the best way to find out how much less energy we would use if we would quit fossil fuel usage altogether? What would be the percentage entailed? I know it's easy to find out with electrical ...
3
votes
2answers
675 views

Solar energy concentration using cylindrical Fresnel lenses

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using cylindrical Fresnel lenses as PV concentrators? My goal is to do some research and see which kind of Fresnel lenses are better to concentrate light ...
6
votes
1answer
274 views

What is the number 1 country by global installed wind capacity: the United States or China?

In the following graph: We see that China surpassed every single country in wind energy production, except the United States. But these statistics are up to 2009 only. So my question is: what about ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

When transporting high-end food stuff from Chita to Moscow, which method is more fuel efficient, by rail or by air?

Chita is a Russian city nestled between Mongolia and Manchuria. Although Chita is located on the trans-siberian railway, I wonder if it is more energy efficient to ship 100 tons of cut beef every day ...
5
votes
2answers
84 views

Sustainability of wood pellet sources for biomass boiler

We're considering a biomass boiler for our guesthouse (1820 vintage with corresponding energy issues). The opportunity to reduce gas usage and the economics of the RHI scheme in the UK (a sort-of ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Do switchable sockets left “on” use electricity if there's nothing plugged in?

My flat is fitted with switchable sockets as per below: Please settle an argument a friend and I are having: if a socket is switched "on", is it wasting electricity if nothing is actually plugged ...
11
votes
1answer
663 views

Reducing the setpoint by 1 degree C will save 7% energy: what's the origin of that claim?

I often hear a claim saying that reducing the thermostat's setpoint by one degree C will reduce the overall yearly energy consumption by 7%. I've heard heating control manufacturers, energy ...
9
votes
6answers
403 views

How can I use my own body as an energy source for greater environmental sustainability?

I've had the epiphany that my body is a living vessel of energy production (and consumption), just like all other energy sources and associated forms of consumption or re-allocation around me. My ...
34
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2answers
581 views

What’s the best strategy for turning off CFLs that will save energy but not reduce lifespan so much

With ordinary bulbs, I was used to turning the lights off even when I left the room for a few minutes (mostly because I know that I'll find other business and forget to return :-) ), but I've heard ...
2
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0answers
46 views

What kind of population-to-agriculture relationship is the most sustainable? [closed]

City/Rural Relationship High concentration of humans and low concentration of agriculture that are largely fed by areas outside the city that are very low in human population but are very high in ...
10
votes
1answer
138 views

Is building vertically instead of horizontally in climate with large seasonal temperature changes more sustainable?

My main line of thinking would be that you would build tall skinny housing that would allow the heat to gather in the upper levels in the winter and the cooler air would gather in the basement/lowest ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Synthetic Propane Manufacture

Methane (CH4) is available naturally. Propane (C3H8) is derived from Methane. Is there a process for synthesizing propane applicable to a micro-farm environment?
13
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3answers
505 views

Cost-effective alternative to rechargeable batteries?

Batteries are known to be the most unsustainable and expensive part of system exploiting renewable energy. So I am wondering, are there any alternatives to storing energy in batteries? Here I am ...
7
votes
2answers
167 views

Is canned fish more sustainable than fresh?

I read this beauty-oriented article claiming that canned fish is more sustainable than fresh fish. Is this true? Listed below is a brief energy/sustainability brain dump on the subject. Canned fish: ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Gas/cooling strategies for reducing fuel consumption while driving: air conditioner vs windows

Looking at gas milage and air conditioner use, it seems to me I get a significantly better gas milage when I don't use the air conditioner. However, if I roll down the windows, I assume this ...